Monday, December 17, 2018

"within me, around me, mounts up like a clamor the universal vegetation"

"What I then perceive is like a pure activity, a consistency, but superior to the whole order of the imaginable, a vivid tenacity, at once precarious (it is nothing for me to crush a gnat) and fierce (within me, around me, mounts up like a clamor the universal vegetation) by which things surge up against me and triumph over a possible disaster, stand there, and not merely there, but in themselves, and by which they shelter in their thickness, in the humble measure meted out to what is perishable, a kind of glory demanding to be recognized."

     Jacques Maritain, The peasant of the Garonne:  an old layman questions himself about the present time, trans. Michael Cuddihy and Elizabeth Hughes (New York:  Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1968 [1966]), 111, on "the intuition of the actus essendi."

No one could buy or sell unless he had the mark

"Public annexation of the marketplace under nondiscrimination and other public norms not qualified by religious accommodation" "brings to mind features of the ancient struggle between Christians and pagan authorities.  As we saw in chapter 6, 'as a prerequisite to engaging in any commercial transaction [Christians] had to give specific divine honours to the Caesars.  Without doing so they would not have been able to secure provisions for their daily needs, as all goods could only be bought or sold through the authorized markets in a first-century city.'  Subjects had to be certified for economic activity:  'then, and only then, could they sell or purchase essential commodities.'  A similar logic is being applied, it seems, to pharmacists, doctors, marriage counselors, wedding photographers, florists, bakers, and others who are told:  accept requirements that put you in violation of your religion or else get out of your business or profession."

     Steven D. Smith, Pagans and Christians in the city:  culture wars from the Tiber to the Potomac (Grand Rapids, MI:  Eerdmans, 2018), 341-343, italics mine.