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Mike Albo Is A Fine Christian Gentleman

My father’s favorite saying about his opponents is, “So-and-so is a fine Christian gentleman, but…”

Then he’d proceed to slam them.

I’m not going to slam Mike Albo. I’m too afraid.

The day I got humiliated by Mike Albo in the Lamplighter parking lot, I was reading Maurice Samuel’s 1950 classic The Gentleman and the Jew.

Throughout my life, I have sought consolation in literature.

From pages 48-49: “…I became convinced that the phrase “Christian gentleman” is a contradiction in terms, that one can be a Christian or a gentleman, but not both. Finally, as I became aware of the historical substance of the contradiction, I came to the conclusion that this is the center of the moral pathology of the western world.

“I have said that the Shakespearian or Elizabethan gentleman is the English version of the Italian Renaissance gentleman. This is not to imply that the surface villainies of the latter were transplanted to the former, though if I insist…that the gentleman is a killer, the distinction may seem unimportant. For what do kindness, forbearance, courtesy, courage, self-sacrifice — all the highest gentlemanly virtues — mean, if in the final account the gentleman must acquire honor? that is to say, he must find an enemy, so that he may display his physical courage in combat, that highest virtue of a gentleman. The virtues become the bawds of evil; they exist to give spice to the adventure; the demand for fairness in a fight is a demand not for goodness, but for more exciting conditions; the pretense at goodness helps to conceal the evil. And as to the maintenance of the Christian virtues in peacetime, what do these become but interim exercises, muscular flexions, between the essential occasions when the gentleman must kill? Must kill for honor, and must kill because life is combat.”

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