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How Should We Fight the Culture War?

October 14, 2016

John Goerke argues that tone is important.

“Right intention” means holding to an ideal of peace, to an ideal of the finer things in life. It is a striking feature of J.R.R. Tolkien that the smallest and most vulnerable of Middle-Earth’s inhabitants rise to be the bravest knights and the boldest spies. Hobbits are not warriors by trade; they are plump homebodies who would sooner polish off another pint of ale than polish the edge of a sword. Yet to keep the ale and the cheese and the merriment of a family around the fireplace, these tiny hobbits will outlast even the fiercest man on the battlefield. Even in the midst of war these hobbits sing songs the night before battle. The shrillness of the weekly mailings I have written of above undermines this common sense principle. To speak amongst ourselves in the harsh tones of protest and anger actively undermines the values for which we started speaking in the first place.

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