Dr. John Gottman is a world-renowned social scientist who can watch a couple briefly argue about a topic and predict whether they will divorce with over 90 percent accuracy. What does he look for? Evidence of contempt. Marriage isn’t the only institution corroded by contempt, it is corroding American democracy.
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Could you redo a room in your home with items from Deseret Industries, $500, and five weeks? That’s the challenge the DI gave to four different households. Here are the results.
While the panelists and attendees were certainly radical, and often expressed contempt for the Democratic Party establishment, it was nevertheless clear how seamlessly they blended traditional Marxist thought with the agenda of what’s becoming the mainstream left. The culture war is being used as a launching point for genuinely socialist ideas, many of which are re-emerging in the 21st century.
Our politics, which once had at least a modicum of respect and consensus, has become a ritualized cycle of outrage and denunciation. Running for office seems to more of a performance art than an exchange of ideas. But there’s hope. Occasionally we can find a voice of reason. I found one such voice in Arthur C. Brooks. He gave a 12-minute graduation speech at Brigham Young University. It was the most articulate and reasonable plea I’ve heard for a return to comity in all our relationships.
Do you remember hearing as a kid, “Well, if you don’t…then, I won’t be your friend.” There’s a term for using that tactic: relational aggression. Some people learn early in life that threatening people with exclusion is a great way to attempt to get what you want. One may think that kind of behavior goes away with adulthood, but it turns out, it doesn’t. Instead, when you’re an adult, exclusion is used to enforce obedience to political dogma.
Did you sing patriotic songs in church lately? I admit that when the organ introduced “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the beginning of a Sunday worship service just preceding Independence Day my intellectual super-ego (I won’t say conscience), conditioned by years of exposure to politically correct academic opinion, set off a little alarm bell. What does national self-congratulation have to do with a gospel of personal repentance and universal love? I suspected that a few other sensitive souls — and perhaps our non-American friends in the congregation — might have experienced some discomfort.
BYU’s Honor Code Office updated the website HonorCode.BYU.edu today with additional student resources and information about Honor Code Office procedures. The update includes details about the appeals process, accompanying support persons, a title change for HCO employees and a statement of good faith.