American Election: Views from Across the Pond

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American Election:
Views from Across the Pond

Saturday, 12 November 2016; London, England – I was in London this weekend. While one of our daughters was in class, I was walking through Covent Garden and along Victoria Embankment asking random people what they thought of the U.S. election and its outcome.

“May I ask you a question?” I would inquire with a smile. And the vast majority of people obliged. A few seemed to know quite a lot about Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Many appeared to know nearly nothing.

A few conversations were longer than ten minutes; most spanned perhaps two minutes. I’ll sum up the “results” at the end of the post, though I sense that the brief narratives below rather speak for themselves.

Perhaps the funniest exchange is the first one below, though it wasn’t my first engagement, thankfully. I spoke with around fifty people in the span of nearly three hours.

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A Different Kind of Coming Out & Is God Anti-Gay?

Sam Allberry, an Anglican minister who used to be in Oxford, and who used to welcome our Summit Oxford students to St. Ebbe’s Church in Oxford, recently has come out publicly about his same-sex attraction. But he does not identify himself with regards to his sexual desires. Rather, his is “a different kind of coming out” (audio interviews here). For Sam’s further thoughts, I recommend that you read in Sam’s book, Is God Anti-Gay? You can get the e-book over at The Good Book Company.

Is God anti-gay? (Questions Christians Ask)

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Lady Margaret Thatcher

Today was the funeral for Lady Margaret Thatcher, the first woman Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, the longest-serving PM of the 20th century (1979-90). Without any question, she was a great woman. She is known well for both her domestic and international policies. Her staunch stance against Communism in general and the Soviet Union in particular earned her the title of “The Iron Lady.” Many and varied memories and emotions have been reignited at the news of her passing.

If you have the time, The Daily Telegraph has produced a multi-part documentary on the rise, the service, the policies, and various significant events in Thatcher’s political life. Below are the links. But before you skip to the links, permit me to recommend two books for your consideration.

There Is No Alternative: Why Margaret Thatcher Matters

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See Claire Berlinski’s interview on Uncommon Knowledge.

The President, the Pope, and the Prime Minister: Three Who Changed the World

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Now for the documentary series.

Part 1: The Making of Margaret Thatcher (51 min.)

Part 2: The Falklands (27 min.)

Part 3: The World Stage (35 min.) 

Part 4: The Age of Dissent (27 min.)

Part 5: Taking on the Unions (28 min.)

Part 6: Public Image, Private Life (33 min.)

Part 7: The Fall (31 min.)

Part 8: The Legacy (29 min.)

Darlymple: The Politics and Culture of Decline

Theodore Dalrymple’s book, Not With a Bang But a Whimper: The Politics and Culture of Decline, is a compilation of previously published essays, all of which may be found online. Below are links to each of the essays (though I personally like reading most things in hard copy, see link above). Enjoy!

ARTISTS AND IDEOLOGUES

The Gift of Language
What Makes Dr. Johnson Great?
Truth vs. Theory
A Drinker of Infinity
Ibsen and His Discontents
The Specters Haunting Dresden
What the New Atheists Don’t See
The Marriage of Reason and Nightmare

POLITICS AND CULTURE

The Roads to Serfdom
How Not to Do It
A Prophetic and Violent Masterpiece
It’s This Bad
Real Crime, Fake Justice
Delusions of Honesty
The Terrorists among us
Suicide Bombers
Multiculturalism Starts Losing Its Luster
In the Asylum
A Murderess’s Tale

 

Amazon.com: New Threats to Freedom (9781599473512): Adam Bellow: Books

Some leap into already raging debates on issues such as Sharia law in the West, the rise of transnationalism, and the regulatory state. Others turn their attention to less obvious threats, such as the dogma of fairness, the failed promises of the blogosphere, and the triumph of behavioral psychology. These threats are very real and very urgent, yet this collection avoids projecting an air of doom and gloom. Rather, it provides a blueprint for intellectual resistance so that modern defenders of liberty may better understand their enemies, more effectively fight to preserve the meaning of freedom, and more surely carry its light to a new generation.

via Amazon.com: New Threats to Freedom (9781599473512): Adam Bellow: Books.

Defending Life

I’ve just received a copy of, and would like to bring your attention to, Defending Life: A Moral and Legal Case Against Abortion Choice, by Francis J. Beckwith (Cambridge University Press, 2007) (click here for a UK link to the book).

This nearly 300-page book breaks out into three parts with a total of nine chapters, plus an introduction and a robust 55 pages of endnotes (many of which are substantial).

I’m honored to know Frank and his wife, Frankie as friends and fellow faculty member of Summit Ministries summer seminars. He is a sharp mind, a keen intellect, and a very quick wit.

Below is the table of contents complete with links to some of Beckwith’s earlier essays relevant to the respective chapters (the essays are in a PDF format so you may download them and read them now).

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