and the Unreal City
Welcome to the unreal city where meaning is
magically changed by a wave of our subjective hands. Esolen masterfully
dissects the philosophy known as rationalism, a philosophy whose
purpose is to destroy reason. If there is no such thing as objective
truth, there can be no place for moral discourse. What is good for you
is not good for me. What you call an unborn child, I call an unwanted
pregnancy. What you refer to as a man, I refer to as a woman. What you
claim to be a marriage, I claim to be an impossibility.
There is something quite mystifying about being told that there are no real differences between men and women but differences do arise when men start feeling that they are women.
But surely, it is argued, is it not wonderful to have so many different choices now in our brave new world? Alas, as we know by now, some choices are more equal than others. That is why Dr Esolen was unjustly forced out of Providence College. To even question political correctness is wholly unacceptable to the liberal establishment.
While those great singers of the Blues "woke up this morning",
we are commanded to stay "woke"
morning, noon and night. The unreal city is a cesspit of irrationality
and nihilism. What was at one time regarded as common sense is now
attacked as bigotry. How long will this fantasy world last? As Pope
Benedict warned us in his Regensburg Lecture, while faith without
reason risks superstition, reason without faith risks being irrational.
That is why the only real city is the City of God. As one might expect from such a superb teacher, Esolen draws on Shakespeare, Milton and Dante, among others, to argue his point: the Catholic Church has the answer. The greatness of Western civilization is rooted in Christianity.
Is this book too pessimistic? I think that it gives
us such an appalling depiction of the unreal city that we will
eventually turn back to the real one. Sooner, we hope, rather than
later. I also believe that it is an eloquent plea for the restoration
of Christian culture.