Tag Archives: Owen Strachan

Strachan: Mugged by Reality


Irving Kristol famously defined a neo-conservative as “a liberal who has been mugged by reality.” Philosophical commitments crumble when the hardness of everyday life in a fallen world intrudes.

Recently a couple in St. Louis made headlines when they brandished guns against a mob that broke the gate to their private community. Such instances reveal an ironic cultural moment in which talking heads and moralizing activists tell us it is bad for the police to defend us even as they menace public property, cops, and even peaceful citizens.

Law enforcement is not perfect, and every institution must be accountable to the people. Yet we cannot miss today that too often the same people who are telling us the cops are bad are the people who want to do bad things.

Here’s expecting many around us today to be mugged by reality—to watch their ideas give way before hard truths and human depravity.

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Owen Strachan: Strange Scenes In Our “Tear it Down” Moment

The riots cascading across the world have included many strange scenes, but few stranger than this: a Washington, D. C. plaque honoring Fredrick Douglass spray-painted with an expletive. The plaque celebrates Douglass’s heroic efforts to lead a bank for freed slaves.

Like statues of abolitionists John Greenleaf Whittier, Ulysses Grant, and Matthias Baldwin, “anti-racist” rioters treated Douglass’s memorial as if he was complicit in racism simply for living in the past. This erasing of history may have played well in the moment, when the police staggered, and the windows cracked, but it will not play well in the long term. History can be attacked, but it cannot be deleted.

Long ago, Douglass said this: “The soul that is within me no man can degrade.” What is true of his soul is true of his legacy. Anarchist rioters may have tried to degrade Douglass’s contributions, but no one can deface his memory.

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Owen Strachan: The Critical Role of Fathers

It was heartwarming to see: many of the planet’s toughest and best athletes telling their children on social media how much they love them. In short videos, fathers played games with their kids, bearhugged them, and told them jokes—all in a tribute to dads on Father’s Day.

In a society that does little to encourage fathers, the NBA’s efforts did not go unnoticed. Families are the essential building block of society, and fathers are the essential building block of the family. A home led by a father, especially a father with a spiritual focus and strong character, places flourishing within reach.

Gender-neutral children do not need gender-neutral parents. Boys and girls need fathers and mothers bound by lifelong commitment. This isn’t a prejudicial belief. Downplaying fatherhood sets us all up for disaster.

Social-media support is great. But we need more: we need a society that celebrates, honors and ennobles fathers.

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Owen Strachan: Police Protection is Not Privilege

A call is going out now for the “dismantling” of the Minneapolis police department. The President of the city council said this when asked about what to do in the case of a break-in:

“Yes, I mean I hear that loud and clear from a lot of my neighbors, and myself, too, and I know that that comes from a place of privilege… calling the police may mean more harm is done.”

There’s no doubt that our cities and communities need restoration, including greater peaceful engagement between police and citizens. Yet the idea that wanting protection is “privilege” is not sound. In fact, it’s absurd and won’t restore anything.

Police who act unjustly are accountable to the rule of law, and must be. But there is no need to qualify what a society without police will look like: more harm will surely be done.

May coming days bring greater safety—and meaningful restoration.

I’m Owen Strachan.

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Owen Strachan: President Trump Was Right on Antifa

The recent events across America have reminded citizens that freedom, peace, and safety are fragile things.

The death of George Floyd in Minnesota calls for justice through our system of due process. The officer who suffocated Floyd had numerous citations for bad conduct. Unfortunately, police unions make it very hard to remove bad cops. Following Floyd’s death, peaceful protests were held. But then depraved rioting, looting, and destruction unfolded.

In the midst of this lawlessness, the group that calls itself Antifa has wreaked havoc. Antifa is evil, a movement of nihilism cloaked in the tones of liberation.

Thankfully, President Trump labeled Antifa a “domestic terrorist group,” one of the more important domestic decisions thus far of his presidency. Attorney General William Barr publically reinforced this stance in force.

In riled times, we seek freedom, peace and safety. And we seek justice—justice in Floyd’s case, and justice to end Antifa’s reign of terror.

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Owen Strachan: Churchill: A Master Class in Statesmanship

Whether we remember our heroes or not tells us much about who we are as a people.

On this week 80 years ago—May 10, 1940—Winston Churchill became prime minister of Great Britain. In the midst of the worst crisis in one thousand years of Western history, he took the seals of office and began staging a master-class in statesmanship.

Churchill took the full force of his enemy, absorbing Hitler’s attacks psychically for the British people. The man’s greatest hour was the time of England’s greatest trial: the weathering of the terrifying aerial blitzkrieg, vicious U-boat hunting in the Atlantic, and much more besides.

Winston Churchill was no perfect man. But in the week marking the eightieth anniversary of the beginning of his prime ministerial effort to save Britain and Western civilization, we remember him.

We speak peace to his ashes and honor to his memory.

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Owen Strachan: In Appreciation of Mothers

In a tough time, here is something worth saying: Happy Mother’s Day.

Mother’s Day is a throwback to an era when it was clear that biology drove identity. With fatherhood, motherhood shaped personal existence. Motherhood was also distinct from fatherhood; mothers bless their families in countless ways, cooking, nurturing, teaching, and loving.

Motherhood has suffered many attacks of late. But it is not extinct, and we need it greatly. In a pandemic, many around us are watching mothers do even more than normal, with little time for release, relaxation and rest. Yet in such trying circumstances, gold is refined, and emerges all the brighter for it.

Some today do not adequately appreciate motherhood and womanhood. But many of us do; at least we try to. We watch mothers work their craft every day. We celebrate them; we thank them; with the deepest affection, we say that we love them.

Happy Mother’s Day.

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