Generous Orthodoxy  

Friday, July 25, 2008

Botox nation

A big article in The New York Times yesterday describes only a small percent of the population, I suppose, but all the same, it is truly frightening. This is part of an overall trend that affects absolutely everyone. Here is the link:

Compare David Brooks' column of July 22, "The Culture of Debt." Here is the relevant section:
"Decision-making — whether it’s taking out a loan or deciding whom to marry — isn’t a coldly rational, self-conscious act. Instead, decision-making is a long chain of processes, most of which happen beneath the level of awareness. We absorb a way of perceiving the world from parents and neighbors. We mimic the behavior around us. Only at the end of the process is there self-conscious oversight.

"According to this view, what happened to...the nation’s financial system, is part of a larger social story. America once had a culture of thrift. But over the past decades, that unspoken code has been silently eroded.

"Some of the toxins were economic. Rising house prices gave people the impression that they could take on more risk. Some were cultural. We entered a period of mass luxury, in which people down the income scale expect to own designer goods. Some were moral. Schools and other institutions used to talk the language of sin and temptation to alert people to the seductions that could ruin their lives. They no longer do."
We might add that churches are among those "other institutions" that no longer talk the language of sin and temptation.

Shouldn't we be rethinking this?