Tag Archives: Thomas Aquinas
Humanistic and democratic endeavors will need to become conscious of their implied politics to survive, let alone shape the future. It is not enough to practice and restate journalistic customs of objectivity, neutrality, and balance. They need to be understood as choices with consequences for, among many other things, the reality of the populace they imagine or propose. They need to be more than defended, but actively deployed in opposition to the tendencies that prosper by undermining them. The best and most independent-minded journalism and the most ambitious and penetrating film and television productions constantly risk being nothing more than quiescent entertainment for a useless liberal intelligentsia.
When the great theologian Thomas Aquinas wrote about the sacraments, he wrote about them as the way God gives us grace. “Now the gift of grace,” he wrote, “surpasses every capability of created nature, since it is nothing short of a partaking in the divine nature.” This is a professional way of saying that grace is the gift we can’t get for ourselves because it is beyond our capability. It is the way we embrace the very nature of God. It is the way that the invisible, eternal Father comes to live inside of us, like a radioactive tracer that outlives our own flesh.
(This op-ed originally appeared in The Daily on May 20, 2012, under the name ‘Flunking History.’ It is no longer extant, so I am posting it here) In a 2009 foreign policy speech, Mitt Romney used the word “medieval” to deride the aims of jihad. The jihadists, he claimed, intend to drag “the entire world […]