Sounding Brass

“Charity begins at home” was one of the most telling proverbs in the English language.  I say “was” because the English language is deader than Latin, and its post-English/post-American replacement, while it contains sound sequences remarkably similar to the old words, charity and home, has put both words in bondage to liberal propaganda.  Home is now used as a more seductive synonym for house: Real-estate salesmen never sell houses any more, only homes—which, by definition can neither be bought nor sold.  Home once designated the semisacred spot where the family memories were kept; where children were born and reared and the old people died; where you could still see the pencil marks on the kitchen wall, charting the growth of each of the children; the place to which the prodigal son returned; “the place where, when you had to go there, they had to take you in.”  The substitution of home for house, however, accepted by the great mass of Americans, can only mean that we now regard a home to be a building purchased on a 30-year mortgage, where we consume, usually in separate rooms, the things we buy and hold on to, one of a series of way stations on the road to bigger and more expensive.

The degeneration of charity is even more complex.  The most obvious corruption has been the reinterpretation...

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