Essays on American Culture and Society
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Joseph Sobran (1946-2010), an important Christian and paleo-conservative writer, predicted years in advance the war against Christian society, the culture of death, the decline of society, and the perils of government intervention in our lives.
Edited by his long-time publisher, Fran Griffin, and author, Tom Bethell, this new collection is “dedicated to a resurgence of Christianity in a world that has chosen to ‘subtract’ Christ.” It has a Preface by the Most Rev. Fabian Bruskewitz, who calls the book, “a true spiritual and intellectual treasure”; and a Foreword by Fr. J.J. Pokorsky who says that “his insights, his clarity of thought, and his unique way of getting to the heart of an issue have stuck with me.”
Pat Buchanan endorses the new anthology of 117 essays by saying: “Christianity and the moral code it bequeathed mankind did not have a more eloquent defender in our lifetimes than Joe Sobran. His wit, his insight, his capacity to clarify, simplify, and beautify the revealed truths were unrivaled. He was a champion of the unborn who relished intellectual combat, and bore his wounds of battle bravely.”
In an essay, “The Words and Deeds of Christ,” Sobran, who is often compared to G.K. Chesteron, writes: “Christ is still quoted after 2000 years. His words have a unique power that sets them off from all merely human words. Even two removes from their original language, they still penetrate us and rule our consciences.”
In “Calling All Grown-Ups,” Joe says: “As the state relieves us of responsibility to our parents and children, it increases our responsibilities to itself. You many divorce your spouse, desert (or abort) your children, and abandon your parents, but your duty to pay taxes is absolute. There is no divorce or separation from the welfare state, till death do you part.”
This collection has candid essays in the chapters, “Killing as a ‘Right’”; “For Fear of the Jews”; and “Odd Couplings,” in which Sobran predicted (in “Sodomy and the Constitution,” written in 2003) that Justice Anthony Kennedy would be the pivotal player in the Supreme Court legalizing so-called same-sex marriage.
In “Dark Ages, New Morality,” Joe writes: “The progressives have found no substitute for virtue. They can offer only such morbid stopgaps as contraception, abortion, and euthanasia. The Dark Ages understood virtue built a civilization; the progressive age doesn’t understand virtue and is tearing down the civilization it inherited. Euthanasia is a fitting symbol: the last sacrament of a society that cannot aspire to heaven, but only to painless annihilation.”
In “The Expurgated Christ,” Sobran discusses the “historical Jesus”: “The result is a paltry figure nobody could worship. Had this ‘historical Jesus’ really existed, we would never have heard of Him. The message that you should be nice to others and refrain from stuff like imperial exploitation would hardly have transformed the ancient world and haunted the conscience of mankind through several civilizations to come. A man who preached such watery doctrine wouldn’t be worth crucifying.”
Sobran says that the words of Jesus “have a unique permanence…they have an authority in our hearts, even when we try to deny them. They command. We can obey or rebel. That is why Jesus is still not only loved but also hated — and why those who hate Him feel they have to profess to love Him.”
Fr. Ronald Tacelli, S.J. writes: “In this astonishingly relevant book, Sobran exposes with searingly ironic wit the many vices and follies of our modern-day culture. It also describes, with clarity, power, and great beauty, the remedy, The Thing, needed to cure us.”
Robert Reilly writes: “Joe Sobran had a capacious Renaissance mind. There is ample balm for the soul here from his keen moral sense, and wit and entertainment of a high order for the mind, all delivered with impeccable style. One need not agree with all of it -- Joe would probably be disappointed if you did -- but who would not be better off for having read it?”
- Category: Public Administration
- Published: Nov 11, 2015
- Publisher: FGF Books, the publishing imprint of the Fitzgerald Griffin Foundation
- Seller: Fitzgerald Griffin Foundation
- Print Length: 456 Pages
- Language: English