The exterior chaos and this exterior menace of dictatorship are nevertheless not the essential. They are but the projection of something incomparably more serious and more dangerous – interior chaos, the confusion that reigns in the hearts of men. It is now an affair of a generation which, in its ensemble, is incapable of discerning truth from lies, the true from the false, the good from the bad.
-Tage Lindbom, The Tares and the Good Grain
Tage Lindbom was an influential member of the Swedish Social Democratic Party who for years helped build the social democracy Sweden is known for to this day. However, as his life and thinking progressed, Lindbom underwent an ideological transformation that would eventually result in both political and spiritual conversion. In the foreword to the 7th edition of his renowned book The Conservative Mind, Russell Kirk describes Tage Lindbom as, “Once a Marxist, today a subject of the Kingdom of God.”
The conviction that Lindbom eventually succumbed to and then rose to defend is that the reality of the spiritual ought to bear heavily on the physical present. Lindbom argued that spiritual torpor, manifested in a life in which material existence is the only thing that matters to a person, would ultimately lead to the destruction of humankind.
Lindbom understood that while every one of us should be free to come to our own conclusions about who, or what, or where “god” is, the conception of “god” meaningfully points towards the presence of a truth that exists outside of humanity and, importantly, has a bearing on human existence. The American founders were conveying this same concept when they wrote of, “the laws of nature and nature’s God” in the Declaration of Independence. This is important, because without an anchor of truth located outside the finite realm of human thought, there is no basis for determining what is right and what isn’t. As it says in the quote above, it results in an “interior chaos… incapable of discerning truth from lies.”
More on the Value of Morality…
What the Market Needs to Be Moral by Joe Carter
You’ve likely heard the field of economics referred to as “the dismal science.” And if you took a course in macroeconomics you probably recognize that the appellation was given by the Scottish historian Thomas Carlyle. But what few people realize is that Carlyle coined the term in an 1849 magazine article titled Occasional Discourse on the Negro Question in which he denounced the two groups within the United Kingdom who championed the cause of anti-slavery: market economists and evangelicals. Read the full article
Senator Jim DeMint and Morality by Nicholas D. Kristof
I’m stunned by what Senator Jim DeMint says about moral requirements for teachers. Not only is he against gay teachers, but also against single women who sleep with their boyfriends. Not clear what he thinks of those boyfriends having sex before marriage, but they don’t seem to alarm him so much.Read the full article
God and Gettysburg by Robert George
“Under God” were Lincoln’s immortal words…Read the full article
Gratitude and Grace by Roger Scruton
In the religions that are familiar to us, the idea of grace is of fundamental importance. The term (Latin gratia) translates a variety of words in Hebrew, Greek, Arabic, and Sanskrit, but all the sacred texts seem to point in the same direction, affirming that God’s relation to the world as a whole, and to each of us in particular, is one of giving.Read the full article