The Stump

Politics and the Petting Zoo

What if our expectations of politicians whom we mock or despise are simply unrealistic and guided by the standards of this world? The faith of some regular Americans in their ability to achieve social reform already amazed de Tocqueville in the 1830s. But this mindset, flowing so naturally from the much-lauded Protestant work ethic lulls us into this optimistic feeling that somehow we can just muscle our way to a perfect solution or compromise, if only we work hard.

Tone-Deaf Experts in the Hour of Grift

Back of all this you might hear a rabble-rousing Palestinian Jew from a couple of millennia ago promising that the truth, once known, will set you free - but that poor soul on a collision course with Golgotha was assuming that truth could be disentangled from all the elegant technocratic lies it’s wound up in.

Shame and Exceptionalism: Livy’s Subversive History for Liberty

Livy asserts that shamelessness led to decadence which, in turn, led to greed and eventually devolved into demagoguery and tyranny. His assertion that Roman liberty and equality were destroyed by the decadence of the civil wars and buried with the emergence of the Augustan regime had far reaching influence.

Forget Red vs. Blue, America is Cactus vs. Philodendron

Is there a direct causal connection between America’s embrace of succulents and semi-succulents as houseplants-of-choice and the conspicuous mass movement of Americans to states with the least amount of rainfall? Maybe not, but the correlation gives us strong cause to consider.

Dobbs v. Roe: See How They Love One Another

There will be a temptation for many to say: “Good. Roe is gone. Now the rest is none of my business.” It would be wise to remember this disinterest in our communities is what enabled a technocratic judiciary to impose Roe. To perfect our nation and its communities, we must balance the needs of living amongst one another with caring for one another.

Dr. Rigby’s Ugly Cry

For all the enhanced resolution of our universe Webb brings, for all the material analysis this new device supplies to scientists’ burgeoning cosmic databases, informing the denizens of Earth just what the universe is made of, NASA is not one whit closer to explaining what the universe actually is.

Hot Mediums, Hot Tempers

Life is inherently unpredictable and requires engagement without certainty of outcome. It also often requires patience. No matter how many labor-saving and time-bending devices we create, we will never exist in a completely predictable and easy environment. “Convenience” ceases to be convenient when it is sapping us of the courage we need to encounter everyday life.

Immigrant Cemeteries

No one even tried to keep me. The dead, not an argumentative sort to begin with, never had the chance. The living, God bless them, had been so thoroughly tutored by modern life that they could, in the same breath, say how wonderful was my “great opportunity” to go and how sad they would be that I couldn’t stay.

Another Option for Christian Politics

With simple elements of bread and wine, the church, then and now, celebrates the memory of Christ’s death by partaking of the sacrament of his body and blood. Ignatius wants to share in the suffering and thereby the glory of his Lord. He knows there are worse things than death - above all, a failure to follow Christ, even to the cross.

On College, Careers, and Aspirations for Home

These modern forms threaten the desire for familial and communal life—an aspiration traditionally associated with conservatism, especially the conservatism inherited from Aristotle, Cicero, and Burke. The spirit of the careerist and the influencer counter this classically “conservative” spirit that aspires towards an actual family and community with all the duties each entail.