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A Different Viewpoint

September 18, 2019

Leadership Notes

With the soon-to-be crisp autumn days almost here, apple orchards and pumpkin patches are preparing for bushels of fruit pickers and gourd grabbers. I wonder if people realize the same apples and pumpkins are available for a lot less hassle at their local supermarket.

Camille Paglia is my go-to liberal feminist academic and social critic. Her writing amuses, fascinates and challenges me. While an atheist, she has a grasp of the Christian faith that tells me {when writing about religion} she knows what she is talking about.

At the rebellious age of 15, during religious instruction class at the school she attended, Paglia asked the nun this question:

"If God is infinitely forgiving, is it possible that at some point in the future He'll forgive Satan?"

According to Paglia, the nun's face reddened as she condemned her for even asking such a question.

Paglia still asks the inconvenient questions. As a college professor, as she observes where our culture is now, she observes; "Now we have this endless privileging of victimhood, with a pathological vulnerability seen as the default human mode." As a teacher of undergraduates, Paglia despairs at how "bad it is for young people, filled with fears, to be raised in this kind of climate where personal responsibility isn't spoken of."

Nearest to my heart, Paglia notes that capitalism has "produced this cornucopia around us. But the young seem to believe in having the government run everything, and that the private companies that are doing things for profit around them, and supplying them with goods, will somehow exist forever."

I don't think it's helpful to paint people with so broad of a brush. I know many people under 40 who are stalwart capitalists and free-marketeers. But I understand the point she is making. Capitalism is the best way, in an imperfect world, for people to escape crushing poverty and see lives bettered across all demographics. Paglia goes as far as saying, "Capitalism has produced the glorious emancipation of women."

There's a lot that I don't have in common with Paglia. But I need to be stretched and challenged. We can learn from people who are different from us. And while God only knows a person's ultimate destination, I know my life has been and will continue to be blessed by people who don't share my particular worldview. And that's a good thing.

God is Good All the Time,


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