All the Colors of the World by Anthony Esolen

Illuminations

All the Colors of the World

by Anthony Esolen

I am not the first to note with dismay that the rainbow, once the radiant and quiet pledge of God that he would never again deluge the world to wash away the filth of man, is now raised as the banner of New Sodom, bubbling up from the bituminous sands of the Dead Sea. Such as it is, the banner is an advertising ploy, bright and garish and belligerent, like much of the bad art of our time, ignorant of history, tradition, culture, and the bewildering shades of the human experience. It is not for barbarians. It is not innocent enough for the barbarian. It is for the mad and decadent and blind.

The response to bad post-Christian symbolism is not bad symbolism of our own. In the battle before us, the Lord has given us a gift of inestimable value. Our opponents, though clever, have no taste, know nothing of the West's heritage of art and poetry, and, being ill-read, are not used to considering the depths of man's despair and joy in his encounters with the divine. Let us not squander the gift. Let us not meet stupidity with stupidity. Let us learn from the masters.

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Anthony Esolen is a professor and writer-in-residence at Magdalene College of the Liberal Arts in Warner, New Hampshire. His many books include Sex in the Unreal City: The Demolition of the Western Mind, Life Under Compulsion: Ten Ways to Destroy the Humanity of Your Child, Out of the Ashes: Rebuilding American Culture, and The Hundredfold: Songs for the Lord. He is a regular contributor to Chronicles, Crisis Magazine, The Claremont Review, Inside the Vatican Things, The Catholic Thing, and American Greatness. He has translated Dante's Divine Comedy. He is a Roman Catholic and lives with his wife in New Hampshire. He is a senior editor of Touchstone.

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31.4—July/August 2018

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