Manners

The Case of Trump v. Rainbow Mafia

Mark Joseph Stern, the resident LGBT scold at Slate magazine, is having a hissy fit over pronouns. Stern complains that a “transgender” pedophile in federal custody was not allowed to be called by his preferred pronouns. The case revolves around a man named Norman Varner, who, in 2012, was found to have sexual images of [...]

Peggy Noonan Calls for a Revival of the American Gentleman

While reading a recent Wall Street Journal column by Peggy Noonan calling for a revival of the American gentleman, I remembered an old episode of The Simpsons. They’re on the couch watching a public television fundraiser. Garrison Keillor reads a bit of Prairie Home Companion to the obliging laughter and applause from the studio audience. [...]

Why Treating Everyone Equally Is a Problem

I recently received an email from someone who questioned me on a comment I made about manners. I had said that manners presuppose distinctions. They call upon us to honor those who are excellent with special treatment. At the same time, they allow us to show compassion and consideration toward those who are lesser or [...]

Christ the Gentleman

King Charles II said that a gentleman is one who puts those around him at ease. Even on his deathbed he apologized to the courtiers in attendance: “I am sorry, gentlemen, for being such a time a-dying.”  The Society of Friends was a curiosity to him, especially because one of his admirals to whom he owed [...]

A Requiem for Manners

On April 9, 1865, General Robert E. Lee met General Ulysses S. Grant at the McLean House in Appomattox, Virginia, for the purpose of surrendering the Army of Northern Virginia. Lee had asked for the meeting and had prepared by putting on his finest uniform: a new, long dress coat with a high collar buttoned [...]

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