the imaginative conservative logo

tragedy-9-11-twin-towerTake me back to Constantinople
No, you can’t go back to Constantinople
Now it’s Istanbul, not Constantinople
Why did Constantinople get the works?
That’s nobody’s business but the Turks’

Interestingly enough, we band of conservatives here at Imaginative Conservative have spent only the smallest amount of time addressing the current raging controversy regarding the erection of a Mosque/Cultural Center at Ground Zero. Our so-called president wavers about this intensely local matter, and the web is overloaded with conflicting variety of views.

Our intellectual ancestors discussed Islam frequently and rarely with elegance or for what would pass today as sensitivity. Christopher Dawson, for example, wrote in 1952: “as the unity of the ancient world was finally broken in two by the sin of Islam, so the modern world is being broken by in two by the sin of communism.”

The topic of 9/11 and how we remember it, though, lingers, as it should in the confused and collective American soul. It festers amorphously for much of the public, finding its expression in strange ways.

Importantly, American uncertainty about who we are and what we want to be seems to be creating confusion regarding the individual soul of our chief executive, King Barack. The press yesterday had a field day noting that Americans are very unsure of what religion the King practices. Roughly 18% of Americans believe their elected president is a follower of Islam. This, by the way, has jumped from 11% a year ago. Most interesting to me, though, is that 43% of Americans say that don’t know what he is! Can any of us think of a president in recent memory who at the very least pretended, often rather openly, to be a member of some Christian denomination? My hope is that such cloudiness will pervade the study or non-study of this current presidency years from now. Here’s hoping that Obama will be remembered, if at all, as our century’s Millard Fillmore, the kind of president we remember only because he’s so forgettable. Obama, by the way, claims to be Christian.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/08/19/nearly-americans-thinks-obama-muslim-survey-shows/

On the terrible side of life, yesterday was “Happy Government Day,” the day of the year we Americans no longer pay taxes to our various governments (local, state, and federal). Everything earned from today, August 20 through December 31 is ours.  But, January 1 is coming soon.

If memory serves me, this end of taxing paying date was around early to mid May back in the 1980s. As Jim Otteson asked over at Pileus, when are we Americans going to stop putting up with this?

http://pileusblog.wordpress.com/2010/08/19/happy-cost-of-government-day/

To answer Jim’s question, I highly recommend one of my favorite books, Lexington and Concord, by A.B. Tourtellot.

Signs of the good life appear broke through yesterday’s fog. Hillsdale College’s new Kirby Center announced it will be hosting a rather massive webcast/webinar on September 16-17.

http://www.hillsdale.edu/kirbycenter/

The New York Times published a fascinating article on the faculty of imagination.

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/08/15/reclaiming-the-imagination/

And, NPR had an article on how to fight corporate invasions of our privacy.

http://www.npr.org/tablet/#story/?storyId=129298003&ft=1&f=1001

Finally, the literary critic, Frank Kermode, passed away on Tuesday of this week. Whatever his faults (and a big one, in my mind, was his bashing of Kirk’s biography of T.S. Eliot), Kermode (b. 1919) fought a good fight for literature as literature and not merely as an expression of theory, at least as he got older.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/20/opinion/20fri4.html?_r=1&th&emc=th

P.S.  A personal note.  I tried to watch a part of Disney’s “Bedknobs and Broomsticks” with my kids (age 11 and under) last night. Though they (my kids) laughed uproariously, I failed to get the movie or the humor. English witchcraft and psychedelic special effects, cartoon animals interacting with live action humans, dancing to celebrate the diversity of the British empire? I’m now convinced that 1971 produced not only terrible church architecture, but really creepy Disney movies as well.

Books mentioned in this essay may be found in The Imaginative Conservative Bookstore.

Print Friendly
"All comments are subject to moderation. We welcome the comments of those who disagree, but not those who are disagreeable."
5 replies to this post
  1. Bedknobs and Broomsticks is WAY creepy. I thought so even as a child.

    My six year old just asked me about the picture above, and I explained simply what had happened. After expressing relief that we didn't live in those buildings, he said, "But, I'll bet they built those buildings right up again." From the mouths of babes, indeed.

  2. Lindsay, thanks for this. I did want to put up a shocking image, but I wasn't intending to shock anyway under the age of 18! So, my apologies. Here's hoping your boy (full of wisdom) will benefit from seeing the image.

    And, yes, Bedknobs is totally creepy. I'm sorry I let the kids watch it–I have good memories of it as one of my aunts took me to it when it came out in 1971. It's one of my first memories. My 4-year old mind wouldn't have understood the imperialist and psychedelic overtones and undertones of the show.

  3. Brad,
    Let's go one step more. The real contest in the world today is not between democracy and whatever, but between Christianity and Islam–not "radical" Islam, which is an oxymoron, but Islam itself. Bishop Sheen said that we have the ultimate weapon to resolve the conflict: our Mother Mary, who the muslims venerate.

  4. No worries, Brad. There's no reason why you would consider a 6 year old audience for your post! I'm just glad I can introduce such information naturally with something like a picture instead of the bombardment of video one encountered when it originally happened.

    It reminds me of a story friends told of their daughter who was about that age when Reagan was shot. They kept showing the event on the news, and she finally asked, "Why do they keep shooting that poor man?"

Please leave a thoughtful, civil, and constructive comment: