Joseph Sobran Comments on The Man They Still Hate

January 4, 2018.

“Jesus is Lord!” are the triumphant words with which Joseph Sobran ends the essay, “The Man They Still Hate,” which was first published in 1999 and reposted about a year ago. He begins his essay with these words:  “The world has long since forgiven Julius Caesar. Nobody today finds Socrates or Cicero irritating. Few of us resent Alexander the Great or his tutor, Aristotle.   No, only one man in the ancient world is still hated after two millennia: Jesus Christ.”  At first reading, that sounds strange to me: hated?

It has been said of great writers and philosophers that if you want to understand them, you must read them in their own words, rather than the words of the commentators and critics who seek to interpret and explain them.  So to understand Greek philosophy, read Plato and Aristotle. not the erudite commentaries; to understand the theory of relativity, read Einstein.  (And yes, his book is pretty straightforward and reasonably short.)

The same goes for Joseph Sobran: if you started in by reading the Wikipedia article about him (which you can, right here, right now), you would have a very different impression of Sobran and his thoughts than if you began by reading a double handful of his relevant essays.

I urge the reading (and re-reading) of his essay — it is a piece of good writing, and good sense — and satisfying like good soup on a cold day.



Joseph Sobran on The Incomparable One

January 3, 2018

Joseph Sobran was a Christian (Roman Catholic) essayist.  I noted his passing in 2010, but have hardly mentioned him since.  Some of his essays still appear from time to time on the website of Lew Rockwell, and here is a recent offering.  The essay itself is about twenty years old.  It is titled,

 The Incomparable One

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To Cam, Again

.     October 3, 2014
.      I think of you, Cam.
.     I think how you came forth from the Father, and how quickly you returned to Him.  I think about who you are, where you are, how you are.
.     It came to me, this morning, that it was for you — especially for you — that the world, the earth itself, was created.  As the Lord of All Worlds has said, and by saying, has decreed, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth,” it is a thing of certainty that you, the Little Meek Fellow, will inherit the very earth itself, and all that is in it.  If Cosmos itself must be restructured in order to receive you, then the Cosmos itself will be restructured.
.     I have called you meek.  By saying that I do not say, and I do not mean, that you were, or are, merely powerless or passive; though in a certain sense it must be granted that you were then, and still are, powerless and passive.  The Holy Scriptures attribute meekness to that strong servant of the Lord, Moses — meekness being that humility that comes with increasing clarity and reality as the knowledge of the Lord God Himself comes with increasing clarity and reality; and for some that humility only comes, or comes best, where the spirit recedes from the body.
.     You, like all the meek, must expect, and patiently await, the Resurrection.  It is surely He who will bring you to your inheritance.  He has promised this much:  Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

.     I have some other things to say to you, Cam.  But let that be for another time.

Sixty-Nine Years And Remembering

August 6, 2014


I’ve read history (especially military history) with great interest since I was a child, and I’m good with remembering dates, so I usually remember where I am in the annual military cycle. June 22 for Germany’s invasion of the Soviet Union, December 7 for Pearl Harbor, June 6 for the Normandy Invasion, and so forth.

Today, August 6, is the date for the Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima, and August 9 is the date for its companion event, the bombing of Nagasaki, sixty-nine years ago and counting.

You can understand some important things about military history from the dates, the maps, the photographs, and the published histories. Among my piles of books, I have many volumes of the official histories of World War II, published by the Army. Thus far the histories.

Then there are the people, the human beings, the incarnations of the Image of God — who have their own, and their more reliable, and their more significant, histories. When the massive edifice of the Pentagon has been long abandoned for something better — or worse — those other histories will go on. As C. S. Lewis truly said, “We shall live to remember the galaxies as an old tale.”

Such a story was lived out by Hiroshi Mori, who was a youngster living in Nagasaki on the Big Day.

His story — well really, its aftermath — is briefly recounted by Davydd Price, here, in a brief essay titled “Mr. Mori.” Mr. Price currently writes at his blog, “10 Miles From Everywhere.”