Thursday, November 08, 2007

The Sources of Looniness in American Culture

This post does not arise from any particular current event. I am simply offering some random observations about American culture.

Being something of an egghead, I am prone to dismiss criticisms of the content and conduct of college classrooms as reflecting anti-intellectualism or parochialism on the part of the critics.

As a Christian, I am prone to dismiss criticisms of Christianity as reflecting a hostility toward religion or an inability to understand Christian beliefs and motivations.

Having made those two statements, I will ask: are there any sectors of American life that are more likely to promote the advocacy of loony ideas than the university and the church?

To be sure, there are many differences in the nature of these two animals. University looniness most frequently, though not always, veers to the left and influences elite culture. Ecclesiastical looniness most frequently, though not always, veers to the right and influences popular culture.

And these mirror images, not recognizing their reflections, despise one another.

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