Anthony Esolen appeared earlier this week on a Fox News program called “Fox & Friends” to talk about his wonderful book Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child. He took a risk, adopting for the interview the Screwtape-inspired perspective from which the book is written: up is down, black is white, left is right, the Left is right, etc. Evidently this proved too much for the hosts:
The befuddled looks and hasty retreat make his point for him. It’s a missed opportunity to promote an excellent book, and I am sure he was not pleased with the outcome — and, in fairness, he did stumble a little out of the gate — but I hope he laughed on his way home anyway.
Obviously this curtailed interview didn’t allow time for Esolen to say much of anything. Happily his pen has been busy:
- At Crisis Magazine, he has launched a projected series on Catholic social teaching:
I’m sick of it. I’m sick of hearing that Catholic teaching regarding sex and marriage is one thing, in that old-fashioned trinket box over there, while Catholic teaching regarding stewardship and our duties to the poor is another thing, on that marble pedestal over here. I’m sick of hearing that Catholic teaching regarding the Church and her authority is one thing, the embarrassing Latinate red-edged tome tucked away in that closet, while Catholic teaching regarding the laity is another, and pass that bread this way! No, it is all of a piece.
- Also at Crisis, a piece on cultivating a culture of courtship and romance within the Church:
It is irresponsible in us, then, to let our youth muddle and meander; to suppose that marriage will eventually “happen.” For my whole life, the ecclesially minded have asked, “What can we do to keep our youth in the Church?” And their attempts haven’t worked, because they have viewed young people as consumers of a churchly product, rather than as boys and girls, young men and young women, with obvious natures and needs.So then—I call upon every parish in the United States to do the sweet and simple and ordinary things.
- And at Front Porch Republic he has been writing a provocative series on education called “Life under Compulsion”:
Why do people invariably enjoy visiting old one-room schoolhouses? They are human places, on a human scale, for the education of little human beings. It isn’t just that one knows, without having to think about it consciously, that the planks and joists where pegged together by the hands of the same people whose children would go to school there. It’s that the whole idea of the school is founded upon their natural desires and intentions.
But I doubt Fox will have him back to talk about those things.