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Lies The Culture Tells Us (Part 2)

    

Published 2019-10-25


 

Lies our culture tells us


Lies the culture tells us (Part 2)

David Brooks is one of my favorite authors. You may have read his opinion column in KC Star. He also appears frequently on TV representing “the conservative” point of view in politi-cal analysis. Currently he has a great new book out called The Second Mountain. This is the final part of a column he wrote that appeared April 15 in the NY Times entitled, “5 Lies Our Culture Tells Us.”

You have to find your own truth. This is the privatization of meaning. It’s not up to the schools to teach a coherent set of moral values, or a society. Everybody chooses his or her own values. Come up with your own answers to life’s ultimate questions! You do you!

The problem is that unless your name is Aristotle, you proba-bly can’t do it. Most of us wind up with a few vague moral feel-ings but no moral clarity or sense of purpose.
The reality is that values are created and passed down by strong, self-confident communities and institutions. People absorb their values by submitting to communities and institu-tions and taking part in the conversations that take place with-in them. It’s a group process.

Rich and successful people are worth more than poorer and less successful people. We pretend we don’t tell this lie, but our whole meritocracy points to it. In fact, the meritocracy contains a skein of lies.

The message of the meritocracy is that you are what you ac-complish. The false promise of the meritocracy is that you can earn dignity by attaching yourself to prestigious brands. The emotion of the meritocracy is conditional love — that if you perform well, people will love you.

The sociology of the meritocracy is that society is organized around a set of inner rings with the high achievers inside and everyone else further out. The anthropology of the meritocra-cy is that you are not a soul to be saved but a set of skills to be maximized.

No wonder it’s so hard to be a young adult today. No wonder our society is fragmenting. We’ve taken the lies of hyper-individualism and we’ve made them the unspoken assumptions that govern how we live.

We talk a lot about the political revolution we need. The cul-tural revolution is more important.

 

 




Blog Archives

Lies The Culture Tells Us 2019-10-18     Published 2019-10-18

Blessing of the Animals 2019-10-11     Published 2019-10-11

The Cloud of Unknowing 2019-09-27     Published 2019-09-27

The Web 2019-09-20     Published 2019-09-20

Elizabeth Joy “Ellie” Gordon 2019-09-13     Published 2019-09-13

All Things New 2019-09-06     Published 2019-09-06

We Believe Take 2 2019-08-30     Published 2019-08-30

We Believe... 2019-08-23     Published 2019-08-23

August 16, 2019 2019-08-16     Published 2019-08-16

Reflections of sitting by a stream 2019-08-09     Published 2019-08-09

August 2nd 2019 2019-08-02     Published 2019-08-02

July 26th 2019 2019-07-26     Published 2019-07-26

The First Presbyterian on the Moon 2019-07-19     Published 2019-07-19

Reflection of Cynthia Bourgeault 2019-07-12     Published 2019-07-12

Pine Ridge History 2019-07-05     Published 2019-07-05

Highlands Presbyterian 2019-06-28     Published 2019-06-28

God alone is Lord of the conscience, part 2 2019-06-21     Published 2019-06-21

God alone is Lord of the conscience, part 1 2019-06-14     Published 2019-06-14

D-Day 75th Anniversary 2019-06-07     Published 2019-06-07

Rain 2019-05-31     Published 2019-05-31

It Is Time 2019-05-24     Published 2019-05-24

Seen any good movies lately? 2019-05-17     Published 2019-05-17

Prayer is... 2019-05-10     Published 2019-05-10

Where Does God Live? 2019-05-03     Published 2019-05-03

Expect Resurrection! 2019-04-25     Published 2019-04-25

Notre Dame 2019-04-18     Published 2019-04-18

Dying Before We Die (Part 2) 2019-04-11     Published 2019-04-11

The Golden Gate 2019-04-04     Published 2019-04-04

What is Lent? 2019-03-28     Published 2019-03-28

Nothing and Everything 2019-03-22     Published 2019-03-22

Saint Patrick 2019-03-14     Published 2019-03-14

Ash Wednesday 2019-03-07     Published 2019-03-07

I Love My Church 2019-02-28     Published 2019-02-28

Immaculee Ilibagiza 2019-02-21     Published 2019-02-21

I Had Forgotten 2019-02-14     Published 2019-02-14

Chagall Isaiah 2019-02-07     Published 2019-02-07

Happy Groundhog Day 2019-01-31     Published 2019-01-31

God Sightings 2019-01-24     Published 2019-01-24

Boxers for Jesus and MLK 2019-01-17     Published 2019-01-17

Peace On Earth 2019-01-10     Published 2019-01-10

New Year's Prayer 2019-01-03     Published 2019-01-03

After Christmas 2018-12-27     Published 2018-12-27

12-20-2018 2018-12-20     Published 2018-12-20

Busy Yet? 2018-12-13     Published 2018-12-13

Oh Christmas Tree! 2018-12-06     Published 2018-12-06

Happy Purple Sunday 2018-11-29     Published 2018-11-29

Happy Thanksgiving 2018-11-15     Published 2018-11-15

Help Thanks Wow 2018-11-08     Published 2018-11-08

Havdalah 2018-11-01     Published 2018-11-01

Homelessness 2018-10-25     Published 2018-10-25

Changing Leaves 2018-10-18     Published 2018-10-18

Savor The Sabbath 2018-10-11     Published 2018-10-11

World Communion Sunday 2018-10-04     Published 2018-10-04

Me Too 2018-09-27     Published 2018-09-27

100! 2018-09-20     Published 2018-09-20

From Thoughts in Solitude 2018-09-13     Published 2018-09-13

Yugen 2018-09-06     Published 2018-09-06

Mystics 2018-08-30     Published 2018-08-30

The Kids Were Amazing 2018-08-23     Published 2018-08-23

First Day 2018-08-16     Published 2018-08-16

Ask The Birds 2018-08-09     Published 2018-08-09

What Do They Really Need? 2018-07-26     Published 2018-07-26

A Moment of Grace 2018-07-19     Published 2018-07-19

Won't You Be My Neighbor 2018-07-12     Published 2018-07-12

Generosity 2018-06-28     Published 2018-06-28

Imago Dei 2018-06-21     Published 2018-06-21

A Heartfelt Thank You 2018-06-07     Published 2018-06-07

Starbucks 2018-05-31     Published 2018-05-31

Change in Worship 2018-05-24     Published 2018-05-24

Mike Dieleman, Chair of the Finance Committee 2018-05-17     Published 2018-05-17

Happy Mother's Day 2018-05-10     Published 2018-05-10

Death Cafe Goes to Sunday School 2018-05-03     Published 2018-05-03

National Pretzel Day 2018-04-26     Published 2018-04-26

Breathe In Knowing You Are Loved 2018-04-19     Published 2018-04-19

Resurrection Life 2018-04-12     Published 2018-04-12

Seeing Resurrection 2018-04-05     Published 2018-04-05

Happy Easter 2018-03-29     Published 2018-03-29

This is Palm/Passion Sunday 2018-03-22     Published 2018-03-22

Task Force Groups 2018-03-15     Published 2018-03-15

Spring Forward! 2018-03-08     Published 2018-03-08

Curling and Jesus 2018-03-02     Published 2018-03-02

I Don't Know What To Say 2018-02-23     Published 2018-02-23

Gratitude is the Heart of Prayer 2018-02-16     Published 2018-02-16

Jennifer's Departure 2018-02-01     Published 2018-02-01

One Sentence 2018-01-25     Published 2018-01-25

Day of Service on MLK Day at LAMP 2018-01-18     Published 2018-01-18

Never Waste A Good Crisis 2018-01-11     Published 2018-01-11

New Year Resolutions 2018-01-04     Published 2018-01-04

New Year Blessings 2017-12-31     Published 2017-12-31

Merry Christmas! 2017-12-20     Published 2017-12-20

An Oxymoron 2017-12-13     Published 2017-12-13

Blue Christmas 2017-12-06     Published 2017-12-06

Purple Sunday 2017-11-30     Published 2017-11-30

A Successful Trip 2017-11-12     Published 2017-11-12

Happy Halloween 2017-10-26     Published 2017-10-26

I Am The Vine 2017-10-19     Published 2017-10-19

The Warning Signs 2017-10-05     Published 2017-10-05

Creating Quiet Space 2017-09-28     Published 2017-09-28

You go girl! 2017-09-14     Published 2017-09-14

Out of Chaos, Hope x2 2017-09-06     Published 2017-09-06

Out of Chaos, Hope 2017-08-31     Published 2017-08-31

A Slippery Slope 2017-08-24     Published 2017-08-24

Live In Peace 2017-08-17     Published 2017-08-17

Caring for Creation 2017-08-10     Published 2017-08-10

The Bowl 2017-08-03     Published 2017-08-03

Journey of Our Soul; May It Be Long and Winding 2017-06-22     Published 2017-06-22

Loving Day 2017-06-15     Published 2017-06-15

Kindergarten Graduation 2017-05-25     Published 2017-05-25

The Beginning of Something Else 2017-05-18     Published 2017-05-18

Happy Star Wars Day, May the Fourth be with you! 2017-05-04     Published 2017-05-04

Happy Easter 2017-04-13     Published 2017-04-13

Warm Greetings from Genova, Guatemala 2017-04-06     Published 2017-04-06

International Day of Happiness 2017-03-23     Published 2017-03-23

Spiritual But Not Religious 2017-03-16     Published 2017-03-16

Night Prayer 2017-03-08     Published 2017-03-08

Lent 2017-03-01     Published 2017-03-01

Yūgen 2017-02-23     Published 2017-02-23

It's a Beautiful Day 2017-02-16     Published 2017-02-16

Jesus is in your boat! 2017-02-09     Published 2017-02-09

Happy Ground Hog Day! 2017-02-03     Published 2017-02-03

We All Are Constantly in Motion 2017-01-18     Published 2017-01-18

January Retreat 2017-01-11     Published 2017-01-11

Wishing You a Very Challenging New Year 2016-12-29     Published 2016-12-29

Mary Christmas 2016-12-21     Published 2016-12-21

It's Time to Put the X back in Christmas 2016-12-14     Published 2016-12-14

First Week in Advent 2016-11-30     Published 2016-11-30

Happy Thanksgiving 2016-11-16     Published 2016-11-16

"On Election Day 1884" 2016-11-09     Published 2016-11-09

First Ever Blessing of the Animals 2016-11-02     Published 2016-11-02