Category Archives: Democracy and Western Civilization

A Letter to an Old Friend

by James C. Sherlock

This article is rendered as a letter responding to an old friend and mentor, the University of Virginia, my alma mater.

I can imagine the University’s response to my last article on its culture:

The changes we have experienced in the culture of the University, its pervasive progressivism, which some may see as toxic to a public university, are not unique to the University of Virginia, have been decades in the making and will be very difficult to change from within.

I note the pessimism, but do not share the conclusion. Change it must, and we must not shelter in place and hope it blows over.

I firmly believe that the University will not survive as a public institution, and will not deserve to survive, with a leadership structure monitored by a political Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) commissariat that tolerates no dissent from progressive orthodoxy.

I don’t believe it will survive hiring practices that render the faculty politically single-minded.

I don’t believe it will survive a student experience that has driven large majorities of students to respond to surveys that they feel afraid to engage in debate on topics related to progressive dogma.

How can we honestly say we promote diversity, but not diversity of thought?
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The “Occasional” Butchery of Children

By James C. Sherlock

Chloe Cole after childhood surgical transition to a boy (left) and de-transition to a girl (right) – Courtesy of Chloe Cole and the New York Post

The New York Post wrote recently:

At 12 years old, Chloe Cole decided she was transgender. At 13, she was put on puberty blockers and prescribed testosterone. At 15, she underwent a double mastectomy. Less than a year later, she realized she’d made a mistake.

Note the gracious acceptance of agency by this young woman, even though she made a “decision” at 12 that she was transgender.  Some clearly think that a child of twelve is mature enough to make such a decision.

We see no such agency proclaimed by her parents, pediatrician, endocrinologist or psychologist.  I am sure they were “supporting” that child.

No agency is apparently accepted by the state in which she lived.  The state in which her doctors were licensed.

Let’s examine the agency of the adult players in such matters in Virginia.

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Secular Authoritarian Religions Disgrace Virginia’s Left and Right

Russian crowd control

by James C. Sherlock

America’s freedoms, guaranteed by its Bill of Rights and its three-branch government, have been the keys to America’s success since its founding.

Individual freedoms, protected, unleashed the creativity of hundreds of millions of citizens to make America the most dominant nation in the history of the world.

Broadly common moral standards have sustained support for that government. As moral standards evolved, with new concepts of morality emerging from the churches, America’s constitution and laws changed with them.

America has defined evil within Judeo-Christian traditions. As other religions began to be represented in America, they brought with them many of the same understandings of right and wrong.

We have struck democratic agreements that are lasting because they have attained sufficiently balanced support. Our violent rupture, the Civil War, was fought to extend freedom and succeeded in doing so.

Our laws have not always been just, but opposition to unjust laws generally began in the churches and attained majority approval. The great civil rights movement in the 1950’s and 60’s marched out of churches into history.

All of this is changing with the precipitous decline of traditional religion in American life. This decline has created a vacuum into which extremists, both left and right, have stepped with new secular religions of their own design. Continue reading

Lessons in Education, Democracy and Western Civilization from a Great Man

by James C. Sherlock

I recommend that every reader view a one-hour teleconference discussion between Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and higher education leaders from around the United States.

You will watch a great and remarkably insightful man, in the middle of leading his country’s war for survival, speak and answer questions about preserving higher education, democracy and Western civilization in Ukraine and the world. Continue reading