The past

“The past is dangerous, not least because it cannot go away. It is simply there, never to change, and in its constancy it reflects the eternity of God. It presents to the young mind a vast field of fascination, of war and peace, loyalty and treason, invention and folly, bitter twists of fate and sweet poetic justice. When that past is the past of one’s people or country or church, then the danger is terrible indeed, because then the past makes claims upon our honor and allegiance. Then it knocks at the door, saying softly, ‘I am still here.’ And then our plans for social control – for inducing the kind of amnesia that has people always hankering after what is supposed to be new, without asking inconvenient questions about where the desirable thing has come from and where it will take us – must fail. For a man with a past may be free; but a man without a past, never.” (Esolen, Ten Ways, p. 123)

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