David Brooks continues to be one of my favorite columnists in a the dying industry of journalism. In the past few years he has done more to raise solid moral questions for the culture and he does it without a shrill voice. (Shrill would describe a lot of the comments he gets in the “comments” section below his columns.)
THIS COLUMN is a “coming out” for him. He makes it clear that, yes, he is trying to ask moral questions for a culture. And for him, yes, it is necessary.
People sometimes wonder why I’ve taken this column in a spiritual and moral direction of late. It’s in part because we won’t have social repair unless we are more morally articulate, unless we have clearer definitions of how we should be behaving at all levels.
There are tough questions that can be asked of anyone in a particular society. They don’t have to be yelled out, but it is wise if we would somehow get our cultural guts back and ask them.
Next it will require holding people responsible. People born into the most chaotic situations can still be asked the same questions: Are you living for short-term pleasure or long-term good? Are you living for yourself or for your children? Do you have the freedom of self-control or are you in bondage to your desires?
Those are excellent question anywhere in the world. They are really necessary in our day and in our nation. We are rudderless at a very high speed and that isn’t a good situation. At some point, hard questions need to be gently asked… over and over.
We should start with the Church in America. And move from there.