An Integrity: A Volga is Not a Mercedes

A very popular post-modern excuse for something rather shabby continuing to exist, is the excuse of such-and-such having "an integrity." I say post-modern, because whatever it is in question is not being defended on grounds of superiority, but rather on the grounds of coherence and mere existence.

Let me give an example: Mr Jones and I are walking through a typical American cathedral, and I remark to Jones that the cathedral is a prime example of Bauhaus and, "if only America's Cram were the workhorse that Pugin was!" Jones then replies agreeing he much prefers Gothic revival, or even better still, Baroque, but still, "this cathedral has an integrity"; the implication is that because it is, then it should be respected.

It's kind of like Chesterton's analogy in Orthodoxy: "A small circle is quite as infinite as a large circle; but, though it is quite as infinite, it is not so large."

Don't let anyone defend a bad practice by saying it has "an integrity." We all know a Volga has "an integrity," but it doesn't mean it's really a Mercedes.


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