Mike Flynn on the Bright Ages

Anyone interested in a good overview of the events of the “Galileo affair” could do far worse than reading this clear and well-worded series of columns crafted by Mike Flynn, an author who combines wit and wisdom so well, that he is like one-eyed man in the country of the blind. Which is also the name of one of his books I looted for ideas. Sorry, Mike.


Likewise, in a bold effort to drive back the tide of ignorance with a sword more valiant than King Canute’s, he writes on the Crusades as well:


A series of videos on the same topic is also most entertaining and will banish what you thought you knew, if you were taught in a modern school about this ancient world from which you come. (Had it been as bad as they say, the modern world could not have arisen from it.) Everything we have now comes from no other source: even the pagan classics were baptized into Christian thought and preserved by the Church.

Dr. Thomas Woods Jr. will lead the curious out of the mazed woods of ahistorical attempts to minimize the Church’s contributions to civilization,  science, education, morality, law, economics, and much else besides.


The real dark ages, the time of the loss of a sense of morality in politics, the time of the French Revolution and the Terror, the time of a gradual loss of curiosity about divine things, devotion to decency, loyalty to ethical ideas of charity and self-command, and, in short, the benightenment of man, are called the Enlightenment. And this age is darker than that.

These bright ages, a period of more daring and lasting human progress both social and scientific than any other, is a period whose political aspirations exceed our own for reasons Gene Wolfe has well described here (http://scifiwright.com/2015/10/the-best-introduction-to-the-mountains-2/)

There is one very real sense in which the Dark Ages were the brightest of times, and it is this: that they were times of defined and definite duties and freedoms. The king might rule badly, but everyone agreed as to what good rule was. Not only every earl and baron but every carl and churl knew what an ideal king would say and do.

The peasant might behave badly; but the peasant did not expect praise for it, even his own praise. These assertions can be quibbled over endlessly, of course; there are always exceptional persons and exceptional circumstances.

Nevertheless they represent a broad truth about Christianized barbarian society as a whole, and arguments that focus on exceptions provide a picture that is fundamentally false, even when the instances on which they are based are real and honestly presented.