Art & Culture

boy-scouts-gates

The Boy Scouts of America is a venerable institution. I can well remember when, as a Cub Scout in southern Louisiana, I learned the mysteries of initiation into the Scouts. It was exciting to become part of such a universally respected group. There were badges denoting achievement, uniforms indicating rank, handshakes conveying to other boys [...]

The Boy Scouts of America is a venerable institution. I can well remember when, as a Cub Scout in southern Louisiana, I learned the mysteries of initiation into the Scouts. It was exciting to become part of such a universally respected group. There were badges denoting achievement, uniforms indicating rank, handshakes conveying to other boys [...]

“I shall not today attempt further to define [hard-core pornography], and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it.”  ~ Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart “How about we go see the new Mad Max movie,” I suggested to my almost-twenty son, Ben. It hit a nerve. “I haven’t even [...]

Have a look at this article, whose nominal subject is academic freedom and whose implicit subject is the crudity and ineptitude with which a professor at a third tier state university can go about instructing his students: [Liberty Counsel's] complaint relates to Grace Lewis, a high school student enrolled at Polk State through the Florida [...]

Think again about documentaries. Once, the older, plainer sister to the more glamorous younger feature film, the genre has been quietly developing into something compellingly attractive. Only recently, films such as The Act of Killing, Finding Vivian Maier and The Drop Box have revealed yet again the depth and breadth of the best of such [...]

Why are so many straight people pro gay? Because the normalization of homosexuality is the premiere achievement of heterosexual ideology. “Gay” and “straight” are not taxonomies but ideologies. They are not orientations but disorientations: whether bi-, homo-, or hetero-, hyphenated sexuality makes us lose our sense of direction toward the truly sexual, and the victims [...]

You’ve probably heard about the cancellation of a showing of the film American Sniper at the University of Michigan. The film was cancelled in response to a student petition protesting that the film was racist and anti-Muslim. The initiator of the petition told the Detroit Free Press that she felt “uncomfortable” watching it. The university [...]

It is inevitable that advocates for the Sexual Revolution will say all we need is a bit more of it. More orgasms. More sex-ed. More abortion. More contraception. Less guilt. More freedom, man. But they will never acknowledge that their revolution has been tried and found wanting, wanting being a fairly benign way of saying [...]

There is a clash of mystical ideas in the world, which is often represented in mythical imagery—like superheroes. Though many hold superheroes as nothing to be taken seriously, Msgr. Ronald Knox wrote, “To the scholarly mind, anything is worthy of study.” Though the demigods of current culture are not as golden as the demigods of [...]

A few weeks ago Politico published an article by professional skeptic Michael Shermer—I think when you are the publisher of a magazine called Skeptic, you can be classified as a "professional skeptic," right?—called "Why Politicians Need Science," with the subtitle, "Remember: before the triumph of science, we burned witches at the stake and thought that kings [...]

“The least initial deviation from the truth is multiplied later a thousandfold.” Aristotle wrote this in the fourth century B.C. in a text called On the Heavens. Sixteen hundred years later Thomas Aquinas began his treatise On Being and Essence by paraphrasing Aristotle: “Because a small error in the beginning grows enormous at the end.…” [...]

Over a quarter century ago, Richard John Neuhaus coined the phrase “the naked public square” to describe efforts to drive religiously influenced values and their adherents out of public life and policy making. Neuhaus foresaw the intolerance of the “tolerant” hanging out a “practicing Christians/Jews please check your values here” sign. He also rightly pointed [...]

Steve Weidenkopf, lecturer at Christendom College’s graduate program, has written a readable, story-like book that provides a blow-by-blow account of the Crusades that simultaneously counters many of the myths that have sprung up around them. Yet he does so without ignoring the crusaders’ missteps. In the process, he makes a major contribution to addressing the [...]

In one of Baudelaire’s spleen poems called “The Generous Gambler,” a boulevardier is steered by a “Mysterious Being” into a subterranean casino. There they drink and chat till dawn, gambling all the while. The Mysterious Being proves an urbane and chatty devil, old fashioned in manners, but progressive in philosophy. The only time he’d ever [...]

Some say the world has gone mad, others that it is only now becoming sane. The disagreement shows that people disagree on what it is to be rational. It also reflects a widespread and very basic change in how people think. Joe Bissonnette notes that the change is visible in IQ test results. For decades [...]

Surrogacy became mainstream when in the 4th season of the popular sitcom, Friends, the ever-spacey Phoebe became the surrogate mother of her brother's children, in the episode titled "The one with the embryos." The episode's writer noted this had never before been seen on television—the story arc was considered "risky" and writers were concerned that [...]

If you’re in need of some comic relief this week, check out this piece from The Atlantic on “the sexually conservative Millennial.” In it, writer Emma Green sets out to show that Millennials (the generation of Americans presently between 18 and 35) are in fact far less libertine than is widely supposed. They are, in [...]

Do You Believe? is now in movie theaters across America. Released on March 20, it has done well at the box office—debuting on the weekend chart at number six. So what? Well, it is also a film about Christians, made by Christians and being watched by Christians in droves. But do we believe it’s any [...]

We often hear that there is no sense of shame anymore. For decades, that has been evident about sexual matters. Sexual behaviors, even perversions, which were once not only unmentioned but even unthinkable are now in the mainstream. Not only this, but opposing thinking—such as the value of chastity and sound sexual ethics—is held to [...]

What if I told you that a new law labeled as anti-gay by the New York Times and CNN was going to take effect soon. What if I also told you that Apple CEO Tim Cook compares it to Jim Crow laws, that Connecticut’s Governor has issued an executive order banning state-paid travel to Indiana [...]

“What is a cynic? A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.” —Oscar Wilde As I walked down the street, I noticed in the window of a shop a decal advertising the so-called “Human Rights Campaign,” the organization agitating for a redefinition of marriage to include homosexual unions. I was [...]

When was the last time anyone heard a sermon that condemned the evils of fornication, or adultery, or cohabitation, or divorce, or bearing children outside wedlock (let alone homosexuality)? Controlling these sins is a core Christian value. At one time a preacher could be expected to devote extended attention to these sins. And he could [...]

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