Published June 23, 2022
In John Milton’s “Paradise Lost,” Lucifer—who only yesterday had been God’s favorite—consoles himself with this thought: “The mind is its own place and in itself / Can make a Heav’n of Hell, a Hell of Heav’n.” The United States of America, another of God’s erstwhile favorites, now and then performs the same trick of the mind. At the moment, the country seems committed to the second option, as if united in a natural preference for hell.
It’s happened before. The American theme now is violence and the promise of violence (a mirror of the pandemic, perhaps). Homicide rates are dramatically up, not merely because of the mass shootings but in the routine, even ritualized weekend carnage in Chicago and other cities.
Lance Morrow is the Henry Grunwald Senior Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. His work focuses on the moral and ethical dimensions of public events, including developments in regard to freedom of speech, freedom of thought, and political correctness on American campuses, with a view to the future consequences of such suppressions.
Image: Duk via Wikimedia