Something New Under the Sun

Anthony Esolen has a nice post at Mere Comments on how utterly the Christian understanding of charity has penetrated the West. His evidence? Ty Pennington, of all things! Reflecting on an episode in which a returning Iraq war hero has his house redone to accomodate his prostetic leg, Esolen notes:
It seems to me that we in the west take such charity for granted; we're impressed by it, true, but we are too used to it to reflect that the pagan world knew nothing of the sort, and those parts of our world now that are still pagan know nothing of it, either.

This is why if the ACLU ever emerges victorious in its battle with Christianity, everyone will be sorry. Esolen's conclusion:

There are no Father Damiens in Islam, no Mother Teresas in Hinduism. And the world, with its great wisdom, never knew a Saint Louis IX of France, who left his kingdom not to gain empire or plunder but to make safe for pilgrims the land where Jesus walked and taught and died and rose again. He was willing to lay his bones there in defeat if need be -- and in fact he died of the plague on the return voyage to France. That medic, that king -- the world calls the one a fool, and figures that the other had some self-promotion up his sleeve. But the world is old; and only Christ can knock a new thought into its head.