Straining gnats

There was a time when we said “to each his own.” Or “you have a right to your opinion.” Or “we agree to disagree.”

But not now. Those times are gone. I wonder if we’ll look back and long for a return to the days before the times of The Perpetually Outraged About Something Or Other. The days before we looked for or manufactured grievances that led to an outrage and then the inevitable counter-outrage, both sides creating memes and images and endless Facebook or Twitter updates to display how outraged they are or support those who are outraged themselves.

What a waste of precious Time and Life and Gifts given by God.

In The Resurrection of Rome G.K. Chesterton said “It is the root of all religion that a man knows that he is nothing in order to thank God that he is something.”

Today’s man throws the weight of religion from his shoulders like a worn sweatshirt on a hot summer’s day because he thinks, no matter how contrarian, absurd or inane his outrage, he is something to be tolerated and stomps his feet and beats his fists in an epic tantrum in order to get his way.

“Tolerance” said Aristotle, “is the last virtue of a dying society.” History shows that it is often the vice that kills society as well.

I wonder…

Will we ever grow up?

Some of us call it it opinion.

Others call it diversity.

I thought those were good things.



Each In His Own Tongue
by William Herbert Carruth (1859-1924)

A fire-mist and a planet,–
A crystal and a cell,–
A jelly-fish and a saurian,
And caves where the cave-men dwell;
Then a sense of law and beauty,
And a face turned from the clod,–
Some call it Evolution,
And others call it God.

A haze on the far horizon,
The infinite, tender sky,
The ripe, rich tint of the cornfields,
And the wild geese sailing high,–
And all over the upland and lowland
The charm of the goldenrod,–
Some of us call it Autumn,
And others call it God.

Like tides on a crescent sea-beach,
When the moon is new and thin,
Into our hearts high yearnings
Come welling and surging in,–
Come from the mystic ocean
Whose rim no foot has trod,–
Some of us call it longing,
And others call it God.

A picket frozen on duty,–
A mother starved for her brood,–
Socrates drinking the hemlock,
And Jesus on the rood;
And millions who, humble and nameless,
The straight, hard pathways plod,–
Some call it Consecration,
And others call it God.


“Each in His Own Tongue” is reprinted from The Little Book of American Poets. Ed. Jessie B. Rittenhouse. Cambridge: The Riverside Press, 1915.

*Straining gnats taken from Matthew 23:24


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