All posts by bradbirzer

By day, I'm a father of seven and husband of one. By night, I'm an author, a biographer, and a prog rocker. Interests: Rush, progressive rock, cultural criticisms, the Rocky Mountains, individual liberty, history, hiking, and science fiction.

Why It’s Preposterous To Say Western Civilization Is About ‘Whiteness’

Every vital question the Greek philosophers asked, St. Paul answered in his letter to the Christians of Colossae.

Indeed, Christ came not at any point, but in the “fullness of time,” when three distinct cultures intersected, again proving that history was vital to God’s plan. Christ, coming in the “fullness of time,” was born into a Hellenistic Jewish culture, controlled militarily and politically by the Roman Empire, and divided, theologically, among several Jewish schools of thought.

The Incarnation allows the church, the representative of the City of God on earth, as Cardinal John Henry Newman put it, “to gather His Saints.” Christian loyalty, then, can be to no nation primarily, but to the universal, Christian church, no matter how divided its body might be. Among those saints, there is neither male nor female, neither Greek nor Jew, neither black nor white, but all made one in His unity.
— Read on thefederalist.com/2019/07/11/preposterous-say-western-civilization-whiteness/

The Imaginative Conservative at Age 9

This essay is dedicated to the genius of William Winston Elliott III, co-founder, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of The Imaginative Conservative. Long may it continue to grow under his inspiration and our perspiration.

Kirk, of course, never fought the fight alone. Not only did he rely on the inspiration of Babbitt and More, but he took further advice (directly and indirectly) from T.S. Eliot, Flannery O’Connor, Willa Cather, Jacques Maritain, J.R.R. Tolkien, Zora Neale Hurston, Gabriel Marcel, Romano Guardini, Josef Pieper, John Paul II, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, C.S. Lewis, and a myriad of others, all dedicated to preserving and conserving the most dignified aspects of humanity against Demos, Mars, and Leviathan.

After 468 weeks of life, Winston Elliott, Editor Stephen Klugewicz, every author of The Imaginative Conservative, and I take seriously (and with great confidence) the wisdom of our beloved T.S. Eliot: “We fight for lost causes because we know that our defeat and dismay may be the preface to our successors’ victory, though that victory itself will be temporary; we fight rather to keep something alive than in the expectation it will triumph.”
— Read on theimaginativeconservative.org/2019/07/imaginative-conservative-9-bradley-birzer.html

“Vital Remnants” at 20 ~ The Imaginative Conservative

When I read Vital Remnants, an entirely new world opened up to me. And, not merely because I had been so immersed in one aspect of the Founding, but because Vital Remnants made me fully aware just how profoundly deep the Founders were, in their minds and in their souls. Reading “When in the Course of Human Events” strikes any patriot at the heart. But, when one realizes—as is so well expressed in Vital Remnants—that the Founders themselves knew the very course of human events, something seismic in the soul shifts.

Interestingly enough, Dr. Gregg, as editor, follows the mode of the Founders, as Founders. Just as the Founders saw themselves as new Romans, behaving classically, so Dr. Gregg proposed seeing the Founding as the Founders saw it, not as we wish them to have seen it. In this, Dr. Gregg went directly against the reigning historiography of the 1990s and its fetishist obsession with social justice, class, and gender, and instead embraced the Whig and republican philosophy of history as found in Russell Kirk’s John Randolph of Roanoke, Caroline Robbins’s The Commonwealth Men, Douglas Adair’s Fame and the Founding Fathers, and Trevor Colbourn’s Lamp of Experience. Many books from the 1990s have failed to age well, but Vital Remnants has.
— Read on theimaginativeconservative.org/2019/07/gary-gregg-vital-remnants-bradley-birzer.html

Friendship Among the Inklings ~ The Imaginative Conservative

To be sure, though, the greater question one should ask is not at what answers did the group arrive, but, rather, what questions did they ask? It was their very questions—and the trust that comes with asking questions—that defined them. As such, they asked about the limits of heroism, the nature of beauty, the connection of the pagan to the Christian, the relationship of holiness and sanctity, the interplay of technology and magic, and the connectedness of flesh and soul. They discussed mythos (story) and logos (idea), and they shared with one another their most intimate thoughts and questions.
— Read on theimaginativeconservative.org/2019/07/friendship-among-inklings-bradley-birzer.html

Justin Amash: Our politics is in a partisan death spiral. That’s why I’m leaving the GOP. – The Washington Post

But we owe it to future generations to stand up for our constitutional republic so that Americans may continue to live free for centuries to come. Preserving liberty means telling the Republican Party and the Democratic Party that we’ll no longer let them play their partisan game at our expense.

Today, I am declaring my independence and leaving the Republican Party. No matter your circumstance, I’m asking you to join me in rejecting the partisan loyalties and rhetoric that divide and dehumanize us. I’m asking you to believe that we can do better than this two-party system — and to work toward it. If we continue to take America for granted, we will lose it.
— Read on www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/justin-amash-our-politics-is-in-a-partisan-death-spiral-thats-why-im-leaving-the-gop/2019/07/04/afbe0480-9e3d-11e9-b27f-ed2942f73d70_story.html

Let’s party like it’s 1399: The story behind Jethro Tull’s Songs From The Wood | Louder

“That book was a very useful gift,” Anderson says now. “But it wasn’t the only one that I read back then on the general topic of Britain’s history of folklore. The countryside too provided me with some influence. Our countryside is quite rich in different traditions and cultures, and elements of fantasy and fable. Songs From The Wood also drew on my background of listening to other kinds of music than rock. I’ve never really been a fan of rock music. I was trying to stick to musical references that arose when classical composers fooled around with the vulgar folk music forms. Beethoven, for one, knew a good folk tune when he heard it.”
— Read on www.loudersound.com/features/lets-party-like-its-1399-the-story-behind-jethro-tulls-songs-from-the-wood

The Roots of Political Correctness ~ The Imaginative Conservative

In graduate school—at Indiana University-Bloomington—I first encountered the dreadfully dull and dreary political correctness of the New Left. Prior to IU, I had encountered a number of left-wing academics, but they had all been interesting, on fire, and ready to listen to a variety of viewpoints. Indeed, they still believed in free exchange and the free and open debate of ideas. At Indiana, though, I found something quite different. There, certain opinions—sometimes explicitly stated and sometimes implicitly—were becoming orthodox. Those students who defended them did so with sincerity but not verve. This became especially obvious when the politically-correct leftist debated an anarchist or a black power supremacist. Usually, the more radical tore apart the PC, recognizing intellectual weakness for what it was. The politically-correct of IU had become so comfortable in their own opinions that they failed to develop them with any serious standards. I found them boring, frankly, but pervasive. Few things can be duller than a number of similarly-minded folks sitting around a table for two-and-a-half hours to agree and disagree upon all of the same things… but to do so with what could only be considered the Scandinavian white sauce of the culinary world!
— Read on theimaginativeconservative.org/2019/06/roots-of-political-correctness-bradley-birzer.html