A Gloomy View of Culture

A gloomy view of culture leads to meanness. If we believe we are on the losing side of history, we slide into the rage of those who know their time is short. We have no reason to be fearful or sullen or mean. We’re not the losers of history.

Onward pp. 203–204

I don’t think meanness is the only result of knowing one’s time is short. Apathy, excess, and positive productivity can all stem from a time-is-short view—even when that view has no god to cushion the blow, so to speak. But certainly rage is one manifestation of feeling like one is on the losing side of things. And this ultimately stems from pride. Pride tells us that we believe we deserve better. Pride knows it’s unfair how things are shaking out: the wrong side is winning while the right side is being pushed aside, marginalized, made to feel inferior. Nothing rouses pride’s fury like feelings of inferiority. 

But Moore is right: “We’re not losers of history.” Regardless of what cultures says, history is actually on our side. Novelty is not history. Both on the basis of what has been considered proper biblical behavior for centuries and what will be in the future (God’s eternal reign), we need not slip into rage or despair or apathy or excess. We can keep on keeping on with love and justice and righteousness where we are with what we have for as long as we breathe. That is the response to the temptation toward a gloomy view of culture. 

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