This passage comes from the excellent talk by Christopher Olaf Blum, available at ISI. The speech principally concerns the conservatism of Louis de Bonald, a foremost thinker in the French conservative tradition. You should listen to this speech, for conservatism should extend far past our politics, but into our church life as well. Bonald emphasized the importance of good work and the traditional mores that come from being tied to your agrarian community. He was also a politician who helped bring about a change from the legalization of no-fault divorce in France in the mid 19th century. Bonald said concerning divorce,

“When society has come to the point with the head-strong loves of the young: that inexstinguishable nourishment for the arts, have in countless ways become the concern of people of every age (women, old and young are obsessed with these things), when marital authority is the butt of jokes, when paternal authority thought to be tyrannical, when obscene books, displayed everywhere, sold or lended at so low a price they seem to be given away teach the child things that nature does not reveal to the grown man, when human nudity that distinctive characteristic of extreme barbarism, offers itself everywhere to our eyes in public places, and when the woman itself, clothed without being covered, has discovered the art of insulting modesty without offending good taste, when religion has lost all its terror, and when enlightened spouses see in their reciprocal infidelities only a secret to keep from one another or perhaps a secret to share, in times such as these, to tolerate divorce is to legalize adultery. It is to conspire with man’s passions against his reason, and with man himself against society.”

And to think that some conservative Christians are quickly willing to balk at this important issue of divorce in our society and churches. I say that we should instead be prophets in the midst of this dark land, as Bonald was in his, extolling the virtue of keeping our vows! In his talk, Blum has many memorable things to say, including this gem:

“The times are dark indeed, and in these times we conservatives especially need to cultivate the virtue of hope. . . . For marriage and family come from God, and in His providence God protects the good things that He ordains for our protection, our perfection, and our happiness. God is a conservative.”

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