Art & Culture

Washington, DC, July 29, 2009 -- NLE'09 in the FEMA Sim Center.  FEMA/Bill Koplitz

In 1886 a terrible drought turned the plains of Texas to a vast expanse of dust. The United States Congress responded by appropriating $10,000 for seed for Texas farmers, who were in dire straits. This proposal was not folded into some enormous all-or-nothing bill, but was its own thing, to be voted for or against, [...]

In 1886 a terrible drought turned the plains of Texas to a vast expanse of dust. The United States Congress responded by appropriating $10,000 for seed for Texas farmers, who were in dire straits. This proposal was not folded into some enormous all-or-nothing bill, but was its own thing, to be voted for or against, [...]

I am here now, in your room, your last room… It was here the doors were opened and He came in person to meet you… So starts a quite remarkable book: Chiara Corbella Petrillo: A Witness to Joy by Simone Troisi & Cristiana Paccini, just translated into English and published by Sophia Institute Press. Indeed, the publishers [...]

This semester I am teaching a basic undergraduate class in social theory, and the text we use (Contemporary Sociological Theory and Its Classical Roots, The Basics, Ritzer and Stepinsky) presents many “key concepts” in the field. The “definition of the situation,” is one such concept. This idea comes to us via American Pragmatism, and means [...]

When the church historian Owen Chadwick died last July at the age of 99, still writing almost to the end, still with ideas to share, still pondering the historical and moral lessons of a lifetime, he seemed a figure from an earlier, more heroic age of Christian scholarship. His life had been laden with honors—at various [...]

There really is something charming about Bill Nye the Science Guy. I’ve never been a fan by any measure: for one thing, I’m too old. But Nye’s screen persona has genuine appeal, and he really did help a generation of American kids develop an interest in science. So I was a bit upset when he [...]

Jefferson’s wall of separation has many friends. People who grew up in a nation with a strict separation of church and state are often very proud of that system, which they consider modern, and best-suited for democratic societies today and in the future. This includes both skeptics of all (organized) religions and many religious people [...]

France as a whole—if we can speak that way of a high culture whose chief unity consists in a shared distaste for consensus—has behaved irrationally only in those historic moments when called upon to defend reason. When a true Frenchman has lost an argument on the basis of its merit, his last recourse and gravest [...]

Melinda Selmys thinks that I have entirely missed the point of Spiritual Friendship, the blog to which she contributes, along with several other same-sex attracted Christians. Her response to my essay (found in this now-available volume and profiled here by Austin Ruse) declares that I am quite wrong to suppose that she, or her fellow [...]

"The lamp of the body is the eye. If your eye is sound, your whole body will be filled with light; but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be darkness. And if the light in you is darkness, how great will the darkness be.”  ∼Matthew 6: 22 – 23 I recently had [...]

A Generation Raped

With students off-campus for the summer, the “campus rape crisis” enjoyed a similar hiatus. At the time of this writing the hiatus continues but the underlying crisis remains. The crisis is not in the competing true/false allegations of the parties involved, nor in the inability to define rape, but in the underlying hopelessness of lives [...]

There is a scene in one of my favorite movies, John Ford's How Green Was My Valley, that I find myself recalling as I survey the moral soot that has descended and thickened upon the land of my birth. The patriarch of the family, Gwilym Morgan, has come home from a day in the coal [...]

Ryan T. Anderson’s new book Truth Overruled achieves all the polemical aims that the accompanying promotional material claims that it does. It dissects the opinions and dissents of the Supreme Court justices who decided Obergefell v. Hodges; then the work explains how sexual orientation involves a more fundamental distinction than race. Anderson next offers compelling [...]

“[T]he direct and pure experience of reality in its ultimate root is man’s deepest need.” ∼ Thomas Merton Among the many confusions in our modern-secular culture is the fundamentally incoherent idea—which is also a promise, a hope, and a dream—that true happiness is possible without truth, but instead can be had with more freedom and [...]

Sanity becomes arguable when insanity becomes attractive. Only a sound mind can assess an unsound mind, and the traditional assessment of insanity is that it is a tragedy. The progressive diagnosis is slightly different. Some forms of insanity pertaining to human identity are now considered wholesome and admirable. This cultural stance of endorsing people who [...]

Unreal Nation

Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own; for he is a liar, and the father of [...]

Planned Parenthood has had a very bad summer. This is the consequence of videos produced by David Daleiden of the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) in an under-cover sting operation that provide convincing evidence that Planned Parenthood clinics sell body parts of aborted babies for profit. Daleiden and members of CMP passed themselves off as [...]

At last, here is an easy-to-follow guide for identifying a real marriage that exposes the new imitations to be, well, imitations. Essential for the 321 million Americans who have a biological mother and father, this new guide includes stunningly accurate illustrations, important field marks and behaviors, plus expert advice on identification basics that will help [...]

In his new book Moral Matters, Irish Catholic philosopher Mark Dooley presents a lucid appraisal of the ongoing calamity of liberal modernity, and a passionate and often moving account of the world of meaning that liberalism has so extensively eroded and threatens to completely destroy. At the heart of Moral Matters is the idea of home; homebuilding [...]

In the last months, particularly after the Supreme Court decision on homosexual marriage in late June, I’ve noticed a pronounced malaise in many of my friends and family. For some, this looks awfully close to despair, for others a scornful anger, with a kind of dazed escapism haunting yet others hoping they are in a [...]

What will be the outcome of the social and legal changes that have led to the recent Supreme Court holding that fundamental constitutional principle requires the sex of the parties to be treated as irrelevant to marriage? We can’t be sure of all the details. Yogi Berra points out that “it’s tough to make predictions, especially [...]

Planned Parenthood has been caught selling baby parts and the headlines and talk show hosts are screaming with outrage. But not about that. About a guy who shot a lion in Zimbabwe. It turns out that the guy who shot the lion is a dentist. His office is just down the road from my home [...]