‘America — with its decaying infrastructure, its third-world public transit, its shrinking labor market, its evaporating middle class, its expanding gulf between rich and poor, its heartless health insurance system, its mindless indifference to a dying ecology, its predatory credit agencies, its looming Social Security collapse, its interminable war, its metastasizing national debt and all the social pathologies that gave it a degenerate imbecile and child-abducting sadist as its president — remains the only developed economy in the world that believes it wrong to use civic wealth for civic goods. Its absurdly engorged military budget diverts hundreds of billions of dollars a year from the public weal to those who profit from the military-industrial complex. Its plutocratic policies and libertarian ethos are immune to all appeals of human solidarity. It towers over the world, but promises secure shelter only to the fortunate few’.
– David Bentley Hart, ‘The New York Yankees Are a Moral Abomination’. The New York Times, 14 July 2018.
[Image: Gustave Doré, ‘Pantagruel’s meal’ (1854)]
This relatively well-known photograph by Carl Purcell reminded me not only of Matthew 6:24, but also of Wisdom 13:1–19,
‘For all people who were ignorant of God were foolish by nature; and they were unable from the good things that are seen to know the one who exists, nor did they recognize the artisan while paying heed to his works; 2 but they supposed that either fire or wind or swift air, or the circle of the stars, or turbulent water, or the luminaries of heaven were the gods that rule the world. 3 If through delight in the beauty of these things people assumed them to be gods, let them know how much better than these is their Lord, for the author of beauty created them. 4 And if people were amazed at their power and working, let them perceive from them how much more powerful is the one who formed them. 5 For from the greatness and beauty of created things comes a corresponding perception of their Creator. 6 Yet these people are little to be blamed, for perhaps they go astray while seeking God and desiring to find him. 7 For while they live among his works, they keep searching, and they trust in what they see, because the things that are seen are beautiful. 8 Yet again, not even they are to be excused; 9 for if they had the power to know so much that they could investigate the world, how did they fail to find sooner the Lord of these things? 10 But miserable, with their hopes set on dead things, are those who give the name “gods” to the works of human hands, gold and silver fashioned with skill, and likenesses of animals, or a useless stone, the work of an ancient hand. 11 A skilled woodcutter may saw down a tree easy to handle and skillfully strip off all its bark, and then with pleasing workmanship make a useful vessel that serves life’s needs, 12 and burn the cast-off pieces of his work to prepare his food, and eat his fill. 13 But a cast-off piece from among them, useful for nothing, a stick crooked and full of knots, he takes and carves with care in his leisure, and shapes it with skill gained in idleness; he forms it in the likeness of a human being, 14 or makes it like some worthless animal, giving it a coat of red paint and coloring its surface red and covering every blemish in it with paint; 15 then he makes a suitable niche for it, and sets it in the wall, and fastens it there with iron. 16 He takes thought for it, so that it may not fall, because he knows that it cannot help itself, for it is only an image and has need of help. 17 When he prays about possessions and his marriage and children, he is not ashamed to address a lifeless thing. 18 For health he appeals to a thing that is weak; for life he prays to a thing that is dead; for aid he entreats a thing that is utterly inexperienced; for a prosperous journey, a thing that cannot take a step; 19 for money-making and work and success with his hands he asks strength of a thing whose hands have no strength’.
Here’s a few more podcasts that I’ve checked out today that I thought were worth sharing here:
With the rise of the internet many parents are feelings that their kids know more about what goes on in the world wide web than they do. And with community like websites, danger for them is no longer just in the neighbourhood. In this podcast, Paul Wallbank of PC Rescue maps out some of the dangers of cyberspace.
In this podcast on living with drug and alcohol abuse in families, Shirley Smith, author of Set Yourself Free, talks about how we can help people with addictions or overcome our own. All of us know someone with a problem with addiction and it can create chaos in a lot of lives.
The first 9 minutes of this podcast includes a discussion on Boys, Men, and Fathers.
This podcast includes a discussion on reading to your children, this one and this one are discussions on co-parenting and reading to kids, while this one is on Single-sex schools.
This podcast includes an argument for co-ed schools, and this one’s on Political wives, Intensive parenting, and Maths for pre-schoolers.
There’s a discussion here on Kids and Money too, and one here on ‘From Babies to Blokes: The Making of Men’.
So that ought to keep us all busy for a wee while. I usually download podcasts to my MP3 player and listen to them at night while I fall asleep.