Assistant Professor Conly Speaks Again
See You On Sunday

The King's Cough

The king was hale and vigorous and greatly feared by his enemies. He had a little cough, not much to notice or to inconvenience him. But his old physician recognized in it the distant rattle of death.

The physician offered him the remedy, but the king would not accept it. "It has a bitter taste," he said. "And besides, I have no need of it." He would not be persuaded, and angrily dismissed the physician.

The physician, leaving the royal apartments, passed by the guards. "Sir," said one of them, "it is remarkable that you seem of late to be growing younger."

"Yes, it is" said the physician, looking down at his hands, upon which the skin was more smooth and clear than it had been the day before.



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I feel like someone told a joke that I should have got but didn't.

It's a little fable-type-thing. The king is the USA, the physician is the Church.

I wasn't sure whether it would make sense to anybody else.

Did to me.

I always hate it when other people are smarter than me.

Good fable-type-thing!

Not smartness, Robert. I've already talked to one very smart person who didn't know what I was talking about.

Well, I took the king to be secular power (thinking of Europe as much as the USA).

It certainly applies just as well. But the USA specifically was in my mind because of the "gay marriage" cases currently before the Supreme Court. We're going to hear a good deal of secular triumphalism in coming years, but clearly the nation in general and the state in particular are fatally ill.

I know. It is one of the sadnesses of life. This is the time to read St. Augustine's City of God.

I've been thinking of that, too. There is so much good in this country, and the potential for so much more, but I fear we've chosen a decline that won't be reversed.

Humanly speaking, any recover looks to be impossible to me. But nothing is impossible for God.


Very unlikely, I think. No, make that extremely unlikely. But you never know.

I'm also in the extremely unlikely camp.

But I have to say the recent demonstrations in France against same-sex marriage really surprised me, so maybe...

Very surprising. In France, of all places. The only place that would have surprised me more would have been one of the Nordics. Wonder what effect they'll have.

I was surprised how little coverage it got in the English press, but for an eyewitness account:

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