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Camille Paglia on

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Very interesting (as she often is). Here are some more bits that jump out at me....

I am a secular humanist. I am a lapsed Catholic and an atheist. However, I believe, as much as the new pope, that secular humanism is sick, it is spiritually empty. Part of the problem is that the left has tried to elevate politics ... over all other aspects of culture....

What I would say to conservatives is that it's really incorrect for you to laud the canon and demand for its reintroduction without embracing the other part of the canon in Western culture, and that is the visual arts tradition in the Greco-Roman line ... where the nude and where the eroticism of the body are very, very important...

But then to the left, I want to say, you have vandalized art in this period of identity politics, another part of the legacy of the 1960s. Politics began to feel that art was merely a servant of its own agenda on campus. That is when the universities went very seriously astray, when the humanities began to become corrupted, and that's how they marginalized themselves....

Identity politics has to go. We've got to bring back the idea that all of art belongs to all people. And that we don't want a situation where young women are being encouraged to read only works by women. What is the end result of that? A lot of bad poetry....

A Catholic in the old style, if you are a Mediterranean-style or Latin Catholic, will see imagery of nudity in your church. But it's a fact that since the 1950s, American Catholic churches have been Protestantized. They've been remodeled. These gory statues are considered tasteless and have been removed to the cellar or donated. The new churches all look like airport waiting stations. Even the visual nurturing of young Catholics has been cut off. That's why there was so much interesting comment about Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ," because he was bringing back all the blood and the guts that were part of the old working-class ethnic view of the story of Christ.

This really underscores that genuine humanism, even in its secular form, is a touchstone of truth. Some Christians talk as if "secular humanism" were the enemy, but the real enemy is post-humanism, not humanism, secular or otherwise.

Edited by SDG

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