Since I have been away, the world has fallen apart – what else is new?

A short note. In my month away from blogging, Russia has launched a war against Ukraine, and has not won yet, COVID seems more and more to be a manufactured virus escaped from a lab in Wuhan, COVID vaccines have been shown to be neither safe nor of durable effectiveness, inflation has run rampant, after central banks printed trillions of dollars, Trudeau is still in power, Biden dodders towards his earthly demise, Kamala Harris proves to be even more vacuous than originally supposed, and the Democrats seem paralyzed before the oncoming headlights of the great truck of electoral obliteration. Oh! and the Gay/Transgender Identity Thing gathers force. The crisis of over-compassion continues.

I have been silent, and my excuse is this. I have been overwhelmed. I have not felt that a word of mine will make a difference to various unfolding catastrophes. In the past, forgive me, I used to think that what I wrote had some importance for somebody. I ought to have known I was writing as a witness, not a participant. My testimony may well be forgotten. It will be forgotten. get used to it!

Nevertheless despite superior knowledge, I return to the fray.

Of the many things I have seen in the last while, I strongly recommend the Triggernometry interview with the historian of religion Tom Holland

on the Great Awokening. He reminds us that Christianity is frequently riven with religious fanaticisms, of which the Woke thing is the most recent example. His analysis of   the dispute between the Woke and the unWoke is that it is a replay of the struggle between Pelagian view of man as capable of infinite self improvement, and the Augustinian view of man as stained with original, ineradicable sin, incapable of self salvation and dependent on divine grace. In Holland’s view, we are living through a replay of frequently occurring movements in Christian and specifically American Christian religious history.

As the black police sergeant said to a Woke rioter, “Lady, America does not have a racism problem, is has a sin problem.”

Holland says he is now attracted to the idea of original sin, as a democratic idea. The 1960s were an outburst of Pelagianism, and again with Wokeism. Moral self satisfaction is the key to understanding both epochs.

“Strange religious ideas keep re-occurring over centuries” says Holland.

Worth your time.

_____________________

I replayed the movie Steve Jobs last night, after having seen it in 2016. Michael Fassbender inhabits rather than merely plays Steve Jobs. It was directed by Danny Boyle and written by Aaron Sorkin. It was better the second time than the first, and it was great on the first viewing. Kate Winslet disappears into the character of Joanna Hoffman, Job’s right hand man. Its many excellences need to be experienced rather than described.