Roger's got a post up today that's a lazer beam of moral clarity, and I'm pleased to share it with readers in light of the backlash we've seen here in the comments against some of my posts. Tim, Repsac3, and Truth 101 have formed something of a nihilist trio this past couple of days, and the comment threads have not been without fireworks of vituperation. I have recieved an e-mail from one reader who has observed all of this and has decided to stay on the sidelines. This reader repeatedly thanks me for my essays, and commends me for my patience in fending off the many brutal screeds that sometimes fill (pollute?) these threads.
In any case, Roger's essay today provides a perspective on things that's more powerful than I can offer. So please read and consider this excerpt from his post, "Chemo Thoughts: The End of My World?":
Earlier today a friend emailed me to ask how I was doing. I assume they were referring to my ongoing battle with leukemia. I answered that I was doing fine. I had determined early on when I got that first lethal prognosis that I was not going to use the pages of Radarsite for a continual updating on the morbid details of my chemotherapy. So I answered that I was doing fine. But, I wonder, how am I really doing? Am I really doing fine?Now, I can't add to much to Roger's elegy to traditionalism without dishonoring his words.
Nothing concentrates the mind like a death sentence. Especially one that is so close at hand and almost certain. Priorities are immediately questioned and reshuffled. What seemed of great import yesterday may have lost much or all of its weight today. The love and closeness of family and friends becomes paramount; whereas the opinions of strangers become less and less relevant. The often frenetic muddle of everyday life is quickly subsumed into the greater battle for life itself. There's only enough space left in your life for those things of real value, or perhaps for those values which are real. There's just not enough time left for empty rhetoric or endless gentlemanly debate. In whatever time is left you must embrace your family and your values and hold them dear ....
How do I feel? My friend asks. Here's how I really feel. From those very first days I have accepted my personal prognosis completely and without complaint. I am grateful for the endlessly fascinating life I have been allowed to live. But I have not yet accepted the dire fate that awaits my beloved country. I am filled with shame and disbelief at what we have become, what we are becoming, what we are giving up, what we have forgotten. My usually dependable inherent optimism has been all but eroded by the preposterous events of these last few years. That America I have so long loved and respected has been turned upside down. Those values that separated us from the rest of the world have either been ingloriously degraded or completely abandoned. We no longer know who we are or what we stand for. We allow others to define us, we allow our sworn enemies -- both within and without -- to determine our national agendas. We are in the fateful process of completely losing our national identity. And according to our recent elections, this makes half of our population happy. Half of our population considers our formerly-precious American identity to be the problem. America is what's wrong with this world. To fix the world we must therefore change what it means to be an American. Change we can believe in.
We are presently besieged by savage enemies. Islamists, Marxists, Anarchists, cruel dictators and criminal tyrants. We are besieged by alien cults of death who nurse apocalyptic visions of destruction. Everything that we hold dear is under attack and threatened. But the most dangerous and shameless enemy of all lives right here amongst us. Our very own treacherous patriots, who rush to give the keys to the kingdom to the barbarians at our gates. The idiots, the fools, the delusional liberals, and those elitist amoral progressives who honestly believe that by utterly destroying the fabric of this great nation they will somehow save it. They have traded our pride for guilt and our strength for safety. And I despise them for it. I despise them more than I despise our sworn enemies, because our sworn enemies do not disguise their motives under the cloak of patriotism.
And what of our innocent children? Our beloved grandchildren? What godless world have we bequeathed to them? What is our message to these innocents? There is no right or wrong. Everything is relative. All peoples and all belief systems are morally equal. There is no such thing as good or evil, just different points of view. War is morally wrong, no matter what its purpose. To defend yourself with violence is as unjustifiable as to attack one with violence.
How do I feel? I have been told that my life is coming to an end. So be it. I can deal with that. But can I deal with the prospect of my beloved country coming to an end? Is my beloved country eagerly embracing its own demise? Will our new America truly be willing to fight for its survival in this savage world? Or, as it seems to me now, have we chosen the ignoble road of appeasement and dishonor? Is there still hope for us?
I will say that in my writing, when I characterize secular progressives as "nihilist," I think Roger's essay captures my meaning. As Merriam-Webster's dictionary indicates, nihilism is " a doctrine that denies any objective ground of truth and especially of moral truths." Despite the protestations of the aforementioned commenters at this blog, Roger's "elitist amoral progressives" are one and the same with those who would deny "any objective ground of truth and especially moral truths."
Perhaps this will clarify some things, and thanks so much to Roger for offering his fine and meaningful musings on life, family, and the universal good.