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Against Doomerism


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R. R. Reno

7 . 2 . 20

We have reason to be sanguine on some fronts. On Tuesday the Supreme Court handed down a decision that put a knife into more than a century of religious discrimination. In 1889, Montana adopted an amendment to its state constitution that prohibits state funding of religious education. This so-called Blaine Amendment was part of a nationwide anti-Catholic campaign. Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue effectively strikes down that prohibition. This is an important victory for religious freedom.

Other good news: Earlier in June, the United States organized an international coalition to defend the freedom of Hong Kong. These efforts were successful. Beijing is trying new tactics, and perhaps the Communist Party will succeed in trampling on the rights of those living in Hong Kong. But the fact remains: That brave city remains determined to shape its own destiny.


But there are opportunities in this loss of the transcendent. I find nothing to support in Black Lives Matter. It is a top-down creation of elite progressive ideology (and money), not a bottom-up movement. Its goals are aligned with Ivy League activism, not the interests and needs of the poor and marginalized BLM purports to represent. Nevertheless, the recent protests indicate a powerful moral, even spiritual hunger. Man cannot live by bread alone. It is up to us to feed our fellow citizens with the words that come from the mouth of God.

Good and bad, setbacks and advances—these are extraordinarily volatile times. The foundations of our society are shaking. It’s tempting to recoil from this uncertainty and see in it only dark possibilities. But we must not underestimate God’s providence. Plowing a field breaks the calm surface of clover and turns over the soil. 


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