Art & Culture

Whenever we undergo another mass shooting or terrorist attack, I am struck by the stampede of blame that ensues in the media. The question that always surfaces for me in these moments is this: do we know how to make sense of such evil acts in this age of relativism? It has become commonplace to [...]

Whenever we undergo another mass shooting or terrorist attack, I am struck by the stampede of blame that ensues in the media. The question that always surfaces for me in these moments is this: do we know how to make sense of such evil acts in this age of relativism? It has become commonplace to [...]

What is the point of contemporary conservatism? Whatever one thinks of the victory of Donald Trump to the presidency, he is not a conservative of any expected kind. But he has thrown the various strands of conservatism into disarray and has caused a remarkable level of self-reflection and self-criticism. And his administration has opened up [...]

In his new book How to Think, Alan Jacobs brings up a 1944 lecture by the British writer C.S. Lewis that summarizes well the state of politics three-quarters of a century later and an ocean away—not surprising perhaps, given that his observation is one that humanity has experienced for millennia. In his lecture at King’s [...]

In a previous essay, I identified the ad lapidem fallacy as the one most commonly used in social media “debates” (I use that term very loosely). This is the tactic of responding to an argument not by addressing its substance, but by mocking it, scoffing at it, or otherwise denigrating it so that observers will [...]

Living in the Zombie Age

The Sutherland Springs shooter, who took the lives of 26 men, women, and children in a small Texas church, was, like scores of others before him, one of the living dead. Dylan Klebold, James Holmes, Adam Lanza, Stephen Paddock, and Devin Patrick Kelley represent what the apostle Paul warned would characterize the latter days: people [...]

Extreme freedom can’t be expected to lead to anything but a change to extreme slavery, whether for a private individual or for a city.   ∼ Plato’s Republic, Book VIII line 566 The capacity for self-criticism used to be a signature characteristic of the liberal mind, but clearly liberal introspection isn’t what it used to be. In looking [...]

Ronald Reagan once said that an economist is someone who sees something happen in practice and wonders if it could work in theory. The new book, Pope Francis and the Caring Society, appears like a team of economists forced to study the encyclical Laudato Si’ in theory and then wonder if it might work in [...]

I can forgive Protestants and Protestantism for most things. I can forgive Protestants for the Know-Nothing Party and their murderous Philadelphia Nativist Riot, the Intolerable Acts, Bloody Monday and the Orange Riots in New York City in 1871 and 1872. I forgive them for the "Blaine Amendments" which forbade tax money be used to fund [...]

“There are no statistics!” cried a critic of an article I wrote for Crisis a couple of weeks ago. I had asked a prominent Jesuit to open his eyes and look at the vast human misery caused by the breakdown of sexual mores in the West. Had I laced the piece with statistics, people would [...]

Naming Prince Charles as one’s favorite Royal is rather like choosing Ringo as one’s favorite Beatle: there are no wrong answers … except that one. The Left still hold him personally responsible for Diana’s death. (It was, of course, his fault that she ran off with Dodi Fayed. And he probably got Henri Paul drunk, [...]

Modern man is at a precipice. We all know it. The yearning for something more than empty selves, fleeting friendships, the “joyless quest for joy,” and a desire for the sublime are all indicative of the dimly lit flame St. Augustine says remains in us even after the Fall. Like Aristophanes’s separated man we are [...]

Nearly everyone knows the basics of the Reformation, the first being that 500 years ago, it began with Martin Luther nailing his Ninety-Five Theses to the Wittenberg castle door on October 31, 1517—except that scholars now think that what probably happened was that Luther mailed them, not nailed them, to his archbishop, Albrecht of Brandenburg. [...]

One of the big mysteries of our day is how so many supposedly enlightened Catholics have managed to get it so wrong about Islam for so long. It’s understandable that in the 1960s, when the Islamic world was relatively quiescent, Catholics might entertain the high hopes for Islamic-Catholic relations expressed in Nostra Aetate. But this [...]

The Protestant Reformation’s 500th anniversary is likely to inspire the usual appraisals of where Protestants and Catholics have lingering disagreements and where there is now common ground. In the former category are the Eucharist, Mary, and the pope, among other areas. In the latter often goes the doctrine of justification. It shouldn’t. The agreement over [...]

An ominous portent haunts the dissenting opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges. Chief Justice John Roberts, relying on the old maxim that it’s valid to infer from what has happened to what will happen, predicts the inescapability of sequels to the legalization of same-sex “marriage.” The SCOTUS, he avers, will be unable to discount future petitioners [...]

And He did not do many miracles there because of their unbelief. ∼ Matthew 13:58  Immediately the boy’s father cried out and said, “I do believe; help my unbelief.” ∼ Mark 6:6 On November 16, 2006, I was invited to engage in a public debate at The Ohio State University in my home city of Columbus, Ohio against [...]

The Media-Entertainment Complex claims to be “shocked, shocked, I tell you,” to learn that powerful Hollywood men like Harvey Weinstein engage in a systematic pattern of sexual assault. Those of us outside Hollywood are not the slightest bit shocked. In fact, a lot of us in Fly-Over Country are just waiting for other powerful men [...]

Talk to Your Father

In a recent article for Crisis, I took to task Fr. James Martin, S.J., for calling it a cause for celebration, when a teenage boy declared to his father, on Thanksgiving, that he was a homosexual. I said that it would be the worst day of the father's life, because he would know that he and his [...]

Recently, the word sacred was in the news, when White House Chief of Staff Gen. John Kelly lamented the fact that nothing is sacred anymore, especially in light of the brouhaha over the president’s phone call to a soldier’s widow. “When I was a kid growing up,” he said, “a lot of things were sacred [...]

Once in a while there is an article that defends the practice of Muslim women covering her hair. If they really want to be insulting, there is a picture of a nun in a habit right next to a beautiful woman in hijab. “What is the difference?” they ask. “It is the choice,” I answer. [...]

It came as a shock to Hollywood’s liberal establishment: the casting couch is still extant. The outrage at the alleged behaviors of an errant film producer is of course, justified. Nevertheless, the shock expressed by some over Harvey Weinstein’s alleged actions is the real surprise. Others who are closer to the source of the recent [...]

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