Get ready to repeat the past

To the editor:

“The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there” (L.P. Hartley).

Example: Those viewed as obstinate heretics could be put to death — even by being burned at the stake. After all, the cancer had to be rooted out, the imminent threat to society eliminated. And it was unthinkable not to be on the side of God. “Act of faith” (auto-da-fe) was the term applied both to the public announcement and the public execution of sentences of this kind. Rather foreign and unfamiliar territory, right?

Fast forward to Robert P. George’s analysis in “Marriage, Religious Liberty, and the ‘Grand Bargain.'” “Why should we [the champions of sexual liberation] respect religions and religious institutions that are ‘incubators of homophobia’? Bigotry, religiously based or not, must be smashed and eradicated. The law should certainly not give it recognition or lend it any standing or dignity.” Also: “You had better get on the right side of history ….”

Note also the comments on the college campus as a religious zone — a place that in the view of some on the extreme left is not to be defiled by conservative speakers — made by Jonathan Haidt about 16 minutes into “The Perilous State of the University — Jonathan Haidt and Jordan B. Peterson” on YouTube.

Remember Hillary Clinton’s statement that “deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs, and structural biases have to be changed”?

Is the past nearer than we think? Is it not quite so foreign after all?

“Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it” (Edmund Burke). “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” (George Santayana).

R.E. Wehrwein

New Ulm