Timothy Buchanan
Vanity in the third degree
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By Timothy Buchanan
February 12, 2020

The Academy Awards were handed out last weekend and since then, newscasters have engaged in nearly non-stop promotion of this year's Hollywood offerings in hopes of stimulating ticket sales. In most cases, the Motion Picture Academy honors its own with pompous acclaim for dazzling the world with artificial representations of life in films that are heavily doped with sex and violence but which contain little or no redeeming quality.

Upon receiving their participation trophies, celebrities briefly feign humility before engaging in tiresome onslaughts of self-righteous condemnation of the culture and people that their craft defiles and ridicules, but upon which it also depends. Actors, producers and directors who possess the moral code of ancient Sodom preach their nihilistic sermons, extolling the phony values of "giving back" and "making a difference" to one another and television audiences.

For all its faults (and they are many), Hollywood's obscene award season is also a mirror. Film-making is not the only industry ruined by liberalism though it is the most extreme. Education is another spectacular illustration of its self-destructive influence.

Most Americans think we're smart. We're not. History proves it. The academy of minds that wrought our nation and founded our government earned degrees in law, science, arts and philosophy often in only fourteen years of formal schooling. Many were multi-lingual. In addition to academic knowledge, they acquired historical perspective, wisdom and understanding of human nature.

Today, public schools take twelve or more years to produce graduates who cannot read or write in their native language, who have never had an original thought, who excel in arrogance under the false label of self-esteem, unable to distinguish between truth and fallacy. Many of these will spend another four to ten years in college classrooms to obtain advanced degrees, mortgaging their futures but becoming no wiser. Why? Because education is profitable and vanity provides the allure.

Now Showing! If your kids aren't bright enough to get into the best college or university, don't worry! Hollywood insiders, Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin, have shown us that for as little as $500,000 you can bribe admissions officials to accept your dumbest offspring into the prestigious university of their choice.

America produces Ph.Ds who lack common sense, discernment and the ability to reason, but make up for it in hubris; who promote grave sins rebranding them as virtues, and who theorize that wrong can be made right and consequences evaded if only enough people suspend reason and trust them. Education is a joke and we are the punch-line.

Educational failure and emotionalism have given us lawmakers who tell us that disarming the innocent will protect them from mass murderers. In a nearby theater, courts of law fail to adequately punish crime because the main characters entertain endless, bizarre excuses for criminal behavior. Unless the victims are politicians, celebrities or athletes, their lives are quickly forgotten. "What's done is done," we tell ourselves, "Nothing can bring them back."

On the big screen to your left, Democrats reject the death penalty as cruel and unusual and then, pretend to be saddened and surprised when murder rates explode in bloody brutality. Progressives encourage women to kill their unborn babies as a remedy for moral weakness or the coercive pressure of men who lack self-control. In the closing scene, they congratulate one another for caring about women.

Political leaders proffer assisted-suicide in order to dispose of the aged and terminally-ill under the cunningly deceitful device, death with dignity. In other venues, American diplomats have the audacity to lecture foreign nations on the evils of genocide, ignoring our own. Unfortunately, real life is not a Hollywood movie from which we can simply walk out. Neither was it always this kind of horror show.

In his short 56 years of life on earth, the eighteenth-century evangelist, George Whitefield, set Great Britain and the American colonies ablaze with saving faith and a passion for righteousness. The era was the Great Awakening. Although modern Methodism has retained little of the life-changing power that Whitefield brought to the movement he co-founded, the great evangelist ignited the hearts of men and women with passion and promise proclaiming the god-ordained dignity and worth of every member of the human race. Without his influence, it's difficult to conceive how the American Revolution could have gained enough support to succeed.

Nineteenth-century Danish theologian and philosopher, Soren Kierkegaard, compiled more wisdom in his 42 years of life than one hundred of his contemporaries. His profound insights have largely been relegated to the dustbin of history by foolish modern academics.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. changed the hearts and minds of a nation before being murdered in his 39th year. Those who followed, co-opted his movement for political advantage, making a mockery of his purpose and profaning his mission.

Perhaps, great minds cannot exist apart from great hearts. Francis Schaeffer noted, "Modern man has both feet firmly planted in mid-air." As America applauds itself on scholastic and technological accomplishments, every sector of our society testifies against the vain professions. The Church offers little hope or clear direction. How can it when church leaders and members are seduced by enemies masquerading as friends?

From our political debates and news coverage, it would appear that while half of America sees the world right-side-up with crystal vision, nearly half view the world as through cheap 3-D glasses, distorted by vanity. Who are the dummies, really?

Society is the proving ground for ideas – whether they be healthy or hateful. The United States is losing its collective mind. If America survives as a free nation, it will only do so because brave souls reclaim its heart. And that will require renewed respect for the timeless truths of the word of God.

© Timothy Buchanan

 

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Timothy Buchanan

Timothy Buchanan is a US Navy veteran, a former defense contractor and broadcast engineer. He's the author of two published books and a regular contributor to BarbWire.com. Timothy and his wife live among the Blue Ridge mountains of Virginia.

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