I spent a bit of the morning writing up a project priority list for one of my employers, which list leans rather hard towards the pragmatic side. Reflecting on it, I once again came to the conclusion that it is probably a very good thing I am not in academia. Because my approach to history is definitely not in-keeping. I hit a quote once, something along the lines: ‘if the only thing a civilization left was some broken pottery, than it can’t have been a very important civilization’ In today’s academia where cultural relativism rules, that isn’t just a heretical idea, it is flat out devil worship.*
On a personal, spiritual level, I believe that all lives are of interest, of worth, to God and are equal before Him. But…. I am not God! So priorities. To take one of the nastier potsherd arguments: is Thomas Jefferson historically more important than Thomas Jefferson’s slave or are they equally important to history? They are, theologically, equally important; but for the study of history, I’m always going to say that Thomas Jefferson is the more important. It is lovely to have the leisure to study the less important and laudable to have the interest to do so. But, if I have to choose, then I have to rank them. And I do have to choose. So does the person paying me. Which, of course, is why I also have to be able to explain the rationale for the choice.**
*Though devil worship, of course, one would have to hasten to add, is perfectly acceptable multiculturalism.
** Now if my bosses agree with the list…. I Hate emails that go ‘Thanks for this. We will discuss.’!!