A Mencken for Catholics

By Casey Chalk

Sex and the Unreal City: The Demolition of the Western Mind, by Anthony Esolen, (Ignatius Press: July 2020), 209 pages, $17.95.

A “rascal,” declared American satirist Ambrose Bierce, is “a fool considered under another aspect.” “Wit,” alternatively, is “the salt with which the American humorist spoils his intellectual cookery by leaving it out.” Prolific author and professor Anthony Esolen in his new book Sex and the Unreal City: The Demolition of the Western Mind expertly considers many of the former, and perhaps unintentionally, accomplishes this feat with plenty of the latter. Perhaps Esolen is worthy of the moniker “American Catholicism’s H.L. Mencken” (albeit a far more charitable one).

Sex and the Unreal City is a clever, pithy assault on the ironic absurdities and irrationality of our notions of education, politics, and sex, among other things. Academics, says Esolen, are “undereducated, and overschooled.” Describing a mandated “seminar on the new-and-improved methods of education,” Esolen declares: “I could not get into the specifics of it, because there were no specifics.” He recounts a story of one professor who said that students should study “something that will be of use to you in the Real World, like feminist sociology.”

Esolen accuses contemporary academia of rent-seeking. “We might call it a monopoly, a cartel, or a turnpike. The principle is the same. You control the only means by which ordinary people can get something ordinary done. They must cross the river at this point, and you hold the bridge.” Because American colleges control the bridge into successful professional careers—even if bordering on the prohibitively expensive, given average student debt—its own ineptitude is often overlooked or excused. Courses with titles like “Shakespeare and…,” actually mean “Not Shakespeare but Gender,” or “Not Shakespeare but Race,” states Esolen.

If we’re going to talk about university culture, we should also talk about sex, since they are the normalizers of what was once considered obscene. In a demonstration of why Esolen is no longer allowed in “polite” liberal society, he observes that homosexuals “sow seed where seed don’t go.” He is just as blunt regarding transgenderism. “We want to believe that our words can alter reality…. If a man claims to be a woman, which he can never be, and demands to be addressed as such, he is not merely asking for right etiquette. He is demanding that we enter his delusion.” The Magdalen College writer-in-residence reminds readers that there are more than six thousand physical differences between males and females. But, you know, she feels like a man.

His condemnation of abortion is just as forthright, and just as welcome. “The unborn child, at whatever stage we wish to name, is not a part of the mother, like a thumb. It has its own genetic code.” He continues: “In Roe v. Wade (1973), they ripped from the husband any say in the matter of his wife’s decision to kill their unborn child.” I’d never thought of it that way, but is it not the truth? The man, to quote comedian …read more

Via:: American Conservative

      

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David Bossie: Senate Republicans should confirm Trump’s Supreme Court nominee by Election Day

By David Bossie Republicans control both the White House and the Senate, and it’s clear that they were elected in part on the issue of the Supreme Court and filling vacancies in the federal judiciary. …read more

Via:: Fox Opines

      

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Donna Brazile: Ginsburg moved US forward — Trump and GOP want new Supreme Court justice to turn back clock

By Donna Brazile Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is determined to do everything in his power to help Trump return America to “the good old days” when Black people and women had far fewer rights.. …read more

Via:: Fox Opines

      

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Rob Smith: Black Ky. AG unjustly criticized by Black left for not charging police in Breonna Taylor death

By Rob Smith The decision not to charge police in the shooting of Breonna Taylor made those intent on using Black pain to exploit a political agenda very upset, and they responded with racially charged attacks on Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, a Black Republican. …read more

Via:: Fox Opines

      

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A Time to Fight

By Matt Purple

Donald Trump, his supporters say, is a man who fights. Yet that supposed fighting can sometimes feel more like Punch and Judy-style slapstick theater. In the Trump era, only the thinnest membrane separates politics from televisual spectacle, which can make it difficult to gauge how effective the president really is. Is he beating back the left? Or is he just calling them names on Twitter while they pound the pavement to replace him?

Whatever the answers to those questions, one thing is now abundantly clear: the vacancy of a Supreme Court seat has given Trump an opportunity to fight, really fight.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a titan of the law, a woman of deep culture and learning whose mind you had to respect even if you were at odds with it. My condolences go out to her family. But her formidable accomplishments make no more claim on her empty Supreme Court seat than Ted Kennedy’s work on health care did on his Senate desk. The people of Massachusetts deserved full congressional representation and the people of America deserve a full Supreme Court. That’s all the more true as we approach what could be a tight and contested election, when judicial deliberation might unfortunately prove necessary. The lawsuits fly…multiple lower courts declare multiple effective winners…for the sake of the republic, the Supreme Court can’t have an even number of justices.

So far, Trump has seemed to relish this fight. He’s pledged to fill Ginsburg’s seat “without delay” and is expected to announce a nominee by week’s end. He’ll likely name Amy Coney Barrett, a devout Catholic who’s expressed some skepticism over Roe v. Wade and who generally takes a Scalia-esque textualist approach to the law. For all the fluff about how Trump was going to nominate Tom Cotton or Jeanine Pirro or the judge from My Cousin Vinny, he appears to be doing exactly as he should. Barrett is careful, unflappable, and deeply professional. She’s a native of New Orleans and a lover of Truman Capote. A former professor and frequent tailgater at Notre Dame Law School, her prior nomination to an appellate court was unanimously supported by her faculty colleagues.

Yet despite all that, she’s probably best known for sending Dianne Feinstein into a fit of ecclesiophobia. After Trump nominated Barrett to serve on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, Senator Feinstein grilled her about her Catholic beliefs and whether “the dogma lives loudly within you.” At issue was a law article Barrett had co-authored in 1998 with John Garvey, now the president of my alma mater, the Catholic University of America. The essay is cozily familiar to us Cardinals, an Aristotelian consideration of how Catholic judges should handle capital punishment cases. Barrett and Garvey distinguish between formal and material cooperation with evil. The first is analogous to actually signing an execution order, while the second is more indirect and less clear, akin to sitting on a habeas corpus case that involves the death penalty, for example. They recommend …read more

Via:: American Conservative

      

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Andrew McCarthy: Biden refuses to say if he favors packing Supreme Court — among key questions he won’t answer

By Andrew McCarthy Biden rarely answers questions and won’t answer many important ones, including whether he supports calls by Democrats to repeal the Senate filibuster and expand the Supreme Court to add liberal justices. …read more

Via:: Fox Opines

      

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Newt Gingrich: Trump has an astonishing opportunity to makes history again

By Newt Gingrich Throughout his presidency, President Trump has continued to focus on creating the kind of disruptive changes for which his supporters voted. …read more

Via:: Fox Opines

      

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