Classic & Contemporary Excerpts from February 03, 1997

1997This article is part of CT's digital archives. Subscribers have access to all current and past issues, dating back to 1956.

Farewell to heroes
Today our culture is far less likely to raise up heroes than it is to exalt victims, individuals who are overcome by the sting of oppression, injustice, adversity, neglect or misfortune. … Success, as well as failure, is the result of one's own talent, decisions and actions. Accepting personal responsibility for victory, as well as for defeat, is as liberating and empowering as it is unpopular today.

-U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas in a speech at Regent University, quoted in the Christian Leader (Oct. 1996)

Where real power lies
Spilt blood, broken body, signs, symbols, and facts of failure, suffering, powerlessness, disease, and death are the only things powerless enough to transform our power-constipated lives.

-Michael Dwinell in
Being Priest to One Another

What are friends for?
Religion and celebrity do not mix. Religion and fame might work well together, but celebrity is a different matter.

The distinction? Try this out: Celebrities do not have friends. They are surrounded by people, but are actually isolated. They have … people who tell the noted, soon to be notorious, cleric what he or she wants to hear until each begins to believe the publicity. Such friendless clergy take themselves seriously, lose perspective, put themselves above the law, and invent self-justifying rationales.

What are friends for? … Friends say to people who acquire power and position-and even the pastor of the humble parish has some of that-"Watch it, buddy," or "We knew you when … " or "This time you went too far."

-Martin E. Marty in the
Christian Century (Nov. 4, 1992)

True community The real community of man, in the midst of all the self-contradictory simulacra of community, is the ...

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