This came to mind this morning when I read over a few things I saw on the internet.
In a morning column, the economist Thomas Sowell, senior fellow at the Hoover Institute at Stanford University said:
"Experience" is often just a fancy word for the mistakes that we belatedly realized we were making, only after the realities of the world made us pay a painful price for being wrong.This morning as well, Juan Cole, an American professor of modern Middle Eastern and South Asian history, as if to prove Sowell’s point, wrote an article for the widely read online journal Salon, entitled:
Those who are insulated from that pain-- whether by being born into affluence or wealth, or shielded by the welfare state, or insulated by tenure in academia or in the federal judiciary-- can remain in a state of perpetual immaturity. . . .
Even people born into normal lives, but who have been able through talent or luck to escape into a world of celebrity and wealth, can likewise find themselves in the enviable position of being able to choose whether to grow up or not.
What is the difference between Palin and a Muslim fundamentalist? Lipstick
The rambling and predictable article ended with the following sentence:
You can't say you are waging a war on religious extremism if you are trying to put a religious extremist a heartbeat away from the presidency.It’s the moral equivalency instinct that is triggered by any sense that the ideological bubble is being threatened by realities the ideology can no longer wish away.
Alas, however, Professor Cole is himself a religious man. In the middle of his article, for instance, he puts his professional erudition on display by observing:
As for global warming, green theology, in which Christians and Muslims appeal to Scripture in fighting global warming, is an increasing tendency in both traditions.Green Theology.
His mistake here, as his co-religionists will have pointed out to him by now, was to use the now-retired term “global warming.” Statistics now show that the earth has been cooling for the last number of years, and, not to be deterred from their faith by facts such as these, the green theologians have renamed the apocalypse. It is now called “climate change,” a way of hedging one’s bets as to which direction that change might take.
On the question of “climate change,” I’m neutral, but on the question of “Green Theology,” I’ll go out on a limb. It’s further evidence of the spiritual crisis among those who fall under G. K. Chesterton’s withering observation that: “When a Man stops believing in God he doesn't then believe in nothing, he believes anything.”