The Modern White House
The White House, the President’s House, symbol of a nation, architectural inheritor of the best that has been thought, said, done; a domestic house like other domestic houses, home to a family, father, mother, children, model of what it means to be American in virtue at liberty. Jefferson, an architectural stylist, recommended that buildings of our nation’s capital follow “…one of the models of antiquity which have had the approbation of thousands of years”.
The White House is in a style that grew naturally from antiquity, a style friendly to the body, easy on the eye, a style that suits the mind’s desire for order, the soul’s need of the beautiful. Part Roman, but not Roman. Part Renaissance, but not Renaissance. Part Venetian of the Palladian, but not by Palladio. The White House was designed by an Irish-American, James Hoban, a devout Catholic. You can see in the White House the Catholic sense, a continuity of faith in tradition, a sacredness, a clarity, a cleanliness, almost a holiness of a thing from a man created in the image of God.
Lincoln was a Christian, a close reader of the Bible, a book from which he drew inspiration, style, and quotes. As he said, “I believe the Bible is the best gift God has ever given to man. All the good from The Savior of the world is communicated to us through this Book.” At the beginning of his career, in the debate with Stephen A. Douglas which lifted him to the Presidency, Lincoln framed the argument which occasioned America’s Second Founding:
“Under the operation of that policy, that agitation has not only, not ceased, but has constantly augmented. In my opinion, it will not cease, until a crisis shall have been reached, and passed. ‘A house divided against itself cannot stand.’ I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved — I do not expect the house to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other.“
And so it was, and so it will be, one thing or the other. Just now there is an America of Classive tradition, of Bible-centered Christianity, of citizens who consider themselves created in the image of God. And there is the Progressive, those who would despoil our goods and spoil our house, a Godless, soulless, destructive people who smash statues, despise ancestry, and build cold steel-glass structures into an empty sky. Just now the confident, aggressive Progressive is casting out the passive Classive who fear and are silent. All is at hazard.
And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand: And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand? And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges. But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you. Or else how can one enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house. He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad. –Mark 3, KJV
Recently, Progressives at Arch Out Loud, an activist organization that gives “designers opportunities to create innovative solutions for issues facing our world,” called for a modern White House. A few of the winners are pictured above and below. You will notice that Progressive design and designers destroy all that came before, as do Jihadists inspired by self-righteousness, eager for wealth, power and property. You will remember that our Classive Founders considered self-evident that men are “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness,” and therefore constituted a representative republic suitable to man. The first building of that Republic: The White House (1792).
Perhaps you suppose that the White House will not be replaced. Have you lately seen Washington, DC? Yes, Progressive ideas embodied in buildings overbear Classive ideas embodied in buildings, because the Classives surrendered. That battle is over. The Founders lost. What is the Progressive idea: all is but atoms and the void in a universe of random change directed by creatures who express power through government, technology and a social organization which best suits self-regard and self-interest. And this change is not their fault, but the will of the Zeitgeist, the “Ghost of the Age”, a specter, a spirit, a phantasm that might take any face serviceable to pride.
Perhaps you noticed, each recent year the Modern White House has been illuminated in colors stolen from little girls, appropriated from the Bible, God’s symbol of Covenant with man who is to “go forth and multiply”, the rainbow, now a symbol not of promise but of pride. Mark also records that Christ said, “Wherefore I say unto you, all manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.”
The White House is not safe. Notice what has been proposed for Notre Dame. Notice Progressive additions to Classive buildings in your hometown. Notice the smashing of statues, the erection of twisting metal and cold light, the smarmy ironies. Lincoln was sincere. Jefferson was sincere. Washington was sincere. Reagan was sincere, as you know. Each was at home in the White House. Might some future Progressive President not be at home in the White House.
You might, if you choose, trust as Lincoln trusted: “Intelligence, patriotism, Christianity, and a firm reliance on Him, who has never yet forsaken this favored land, are still competent to adjust, in the best way, all our present difficulty.” Though if you trust, trust as did Don John, who in world altering victory at Lepanto urged, “Gentlemen, this is not the time to discuss, but to fight.”
* * *
The Modern White House
Related: Jefferson’s White House
* * *
* * *
Images and architect statements courtesy of Arh Out Loud.
Featured image: BREAK, by Yuntao Xu & Yutian Tang.
* * *