"UNCA DARRELL" WILL COVER whatever interests me, but here is a list of main themes. The first three stand apart in their importance and, it must be said, in the almost uniform view of those who are cleverer than the rest of us that they should never be mentioned in polite company.
- God exists and mankind in his natural state is estranged from him, but Jesus Christ has opened the door to reconciliation. To those who disagree or have no opinion on this proposition, I mention it only so you won't be surprised by mentions of faith and religion. I promise not to badger you. Instead, I'll use the category FIRST THINGS to teach a subject that even nonbelievers will find useful, interesting, and nonthreathening: biblical literacy. If you then care to know more about faith, ask.
- There is such a thing as CIVILIZATION, and among all other civilizations, present and past, none measures up to Western Civilization. Those who seek to destroy the civilized order of things, for example, by piloting airliners into tall buildings, are dangerous, but less dangerous than children of the West who so thoroughly doubt or dislike their own civilization that they always speak badly of it and, when pressed, find themselves unwilling to call evildoers by their proper name: barbarians.
- AMERICA is not perfect, but it is a good and decent county; the world would be better off if more counties were like America. Elite thinkers and doers today work diligently, not to make America more like itself, but to make America more like the everywhere else. That is the essence of conservatives' quarrel with liberals.
None of these views was particularly controversial in the years before and after my birth. Upon the Battle of Britain, Churchill said in 1940, "depends the surivival of Christian civilization." The rights of man come not "from the generosity of the state," Kennedy said in his inaugural address, "but from the hand of God." Embedded in Mr. Kennedy's promise to "pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship" for "the survival and success of liberty" was a vision of American virtue and responsibility nearly as stout as Reagan's. Example after example could be drawn from the words of Washington, Lincoln, and Martin Luther King: religious believers all, confessed heirs of Western culture all, American exceptionalists all.
Today this language, and the ideas behind it, are generally viewed as primitive and retrograde, perhaps even dangerous. Without minimizing the real progress that has been made on civil rights and other issues, our grandparents generally had it right and modernists generally have it wrong on Christianity, Western Civilization, and America.
Here are some other propositions in "Unca Darrell" flow in one sense or another from those above:
- FAMILY is the foundation for civilization and MARRIAGE is the foundation stone of family.
- Who should make LAW? Many issues that should be settled democratically are now being settled instead by judges and lawyers. Are we still a self-governing republic?
- POLITICS is not a four-letter word; it's the engine for consent of the governed.
- Senator Obama is charming and gifted young man. His success so far is a testament to his own considerable powers and to the qualities of the country he now leads. Sadly, Senator Obama lacks the experience, judgment, and character to be our president. [That was written some years ago. Looking back, I rest my case.]
- Newspaper JOURNALISM has two big problems. One is that young people don't read newspapers. The other is simple trust. Year in and year out, 90 percent of editors and reporters at major newspapers self-identify as Democrats and most act accordingly. One hundred percent of the editorial writers and local columnists at the Houston Chronicle are political, economic, cultural, and religious liberals or progressives. They neither understand nor respect the largely conservative views, processes, and institutions of their own community.
- We should all find ways to help others through GOOD WORKS. Unca Darrell will promote programs to help children in Moldova and throughout the world.
- HISTORY? Let's just say that close readers of "Unca Darrell" will not be doomed to repeat it.
Finally, "Unca Darrell" believes in having fun.
- Some pleasures exceed that of reading a good BOOK, but not many.
- MUSIC, PHOTOGRAPHY, and TRAVEL are worthy passions.
- This is not a SPORTS blog, but attention must be paid.
- And I will provide links and touts for your READING pleasure, but not too many.