Livestream — David Brooks Talk on Character

Wanna do lunch tomorrow?

New York Times columnist and bestselling author David Brooks will be speaking at a town hall forum on “The Role of Character In Creating an Excellent Life.” The talk is largely based on his new book, The Road to Character. (Read the Times review here.)

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If you live in the Minneapolis, you can attend the event for free, but you can livestream Brooks’ talk tomorrow (May 14th) at 12:00 PM (noon) CST here. (Just click the “On Air” box on the top right.)

I’ll add a link of Brooks’ talk when it’s available.

Charlie Hebdo, Blasphemy and Modern Civilization

Ross Douthat of The New York Times:

…the kind of blasphemy that Charlie Hebdo engaged in had deadly consequences, as everyone knew it could … and that kind of blasphemy is precisely the kind that needs to be defended, because it’s the kind that clearly serves a free society’s greater good. If a large enough group of someones is willing to kill you for saying something, then it’s something that almost certainly needs to be said, because otherwise the violent have veto power over liberal civilization, and when that scenario obtains it isn’t really a liberal civilization any more. Again, liberalism doesn’t depend on everyone offending everyone else all the time, and it’s okay to prefer a society where offense for its own sake is limited rather than pervasive. But when offenses are policed by murder, that’s when we need more of them, not less, because the murderers cannot be allowed for a single moment to think that their strategy can succeed.

Douthat concludes:

Must all deliberate offense-giving, in any context, be celebrated, honored, praised? I think not. But in the presence of the gun — or, as in the darker chapters of my own faith’s history, the rack or the stake — both liberalism and liberty require that it be welcomed and defended.

Read Ross Douthat’s “The Blasphemy We Need” here.