Art & Culture

Classical Virtues

Accounts vary, and a few say that the story about our civil Founders is apocryphal, but it would seem that the story is true. As one of the more jovial national patriarchs, Gouverneur Morris, a native of New York City, but representing Pennsylvania, willingly accepted a challenge from Alexander Hamilton during the Constitutional Convention in [...]

Accounts vary, and a few say that the story about our civil Founders is apocryphal, but it would seem that the story is true. As one of the more jovial national patriarchs, Gouverneur Morris, a native of New York City, but representing Pennsylvania, willingly accepted a challenge from Alexander Hamilton during the Constitutional Convention in [...]

February 15 marks the date of one of the most regrettable episodes in the history of World War II, the bombing and destruction of the abbey of Monte Cassino in Italy in 1944. The Battle of Monte Cassino has been described as one of the longest and bloodiest engagements in the war, and the destruction [...]

Anyone who knows anything about the Judeo-Christian tradition (an increasingly small group, I know) is aware that the Hebrew law “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” was intended to limit the bloodthirsty drive for vengeance. As Saint Augustine observed, “For who will of his own accord be satisfied with a [...]

Historical television dramas usually aren’t my cup of tea. They’re too preachy. Political correctness is irksome enough now; the last thing we need is to fight today’s culture wars yesterday. I realize how infuriating it must be for liberals that they are unable to bring deceased reactionaries back to life for their much-deserved tongue-lashings. Historical [...]

Is the social revolution approaching its Thermidor, the point at which its progress stops or reverses? It's difficult to be optimistic, but recent developments raise the possibility. Until very recently, effective opposition to globalism, open borders, and lifestyle liberalism—that is, for traditional local ties over global markets, regulatory bureaucracies, and recent understandings of human rights—had [...]

In 7th grade, I started acting up. My father died suddenly near the end of 6th grade and when he was gone, my behavior changed. One fine day in 7th grade, Mr. Mac, my language arts teacher, whose first name was Harry, came into my social studies class to convey something to our teacher, Mrs. Gooding. [...]

One of the most common attitudes I encounter with today’s college students is a kind of blasé non-judgmentalism—or, worse, a passively nihilistic relativism. They are reluctant to label any behavior or belief bad, even if, in the most extreme thought experiments, it involves killing innocents. This attitude seems to get worse every year; it’s as [...]

Silence is all the talk. And it should be. It is a stellar work of cinematography. That should come as no surprise with Scorsese as director. Then too the film touches on themes of perennial relevance. There is the drama of living the faith in unbearable circumstance, its total censure, as in the case of [...]

“If a pope were only ever applauded, he would have to ask himself whether or not he was doing things right.”  ∼ Benedict XVI, Last Testament, 2016. “The bishops (at Vatican II) wanted to renew the faith, to deepen it. However, other forces were working with increasing strength, particularly journalists, who interpreted many things in a [...]

For the last five decades and more, youth culture has been a driving force in our society. As young people gained increasing amounts of discretionary spending power, purveyors of products and entertainment became increasingly interested in “what the kids like these days,” to the point that much of our popular culture—music, movies, television, web content—is [...]

It is alarming the overwhelming support Death with Dignity is receiving and how quickly the American people have embraced it. In fact, it is infuriating. Just quickly scanning through the content of Death with Dignity’s website and reading the “testimonies” and support from misguided individuals will leave one quite disturbed. Death with Dignity promotes physician [...]

The parsing of literature to support any given political, economic and social agenda is not an uncommon practice, but one that, nevertheless, must be done with great care. Viewing high culture through a reductive critical and ideological prism often risks diminishing the contribution literature makes to culture by viewing the entirety of an artist’s work [...]

Hardly a day passes when some barbarous act does not jump to the headlines. Barbarous—there is no other word to describe these vile deeds. Thus, whether it be the sadistic torturing, terrorist beheadings, mass shootings or truck ramming murder sprees (not to mention genocide and war), these acts are becoming ever more common. There is something [...]

The official trailer for the newly released Martin Scorsese film Silence gives the impression this movie is about missionaries in Japan and how Catholics bravely endured persecution for the sake of the Faith. That however is not the real focus of this very disturbing movie and movie-goers should not be lured into believing they are [...]

America has weathered the most divisive presidential election in recent memory, and the first round of family gatherings since then, with many Thanksgiving meals expected to have been free-for-all food fights, with turkey drumsticks flying, no doubt. But we are getting along in the new reality, for the most part, and most friendships and family [...]

“When the sense of God is lost, there is also a tendency to lose the sense of man, of his dignity and his life.” ∼ Evangelium Vitae, 21 It is a perplexing fact of history that one of the world’s most prolific mass murderers, Adolf Hitler, was also a vegetarian who abhorred cruelty to animals. This [...]

“The point of transhumanism is to achieve what Marx promised at history’s end not through political revolution, but through technological manipulation.”  ∼ Peter Augustine Lawler, American Heresies and Higher Education (2016) From the perspective of a professor at a small, but excellent private Christian college in North Georgia, Peter Augustine Lawler somehow manages to see the [...]

The December 28 New York Times reported another “oops!” in vitro fertilization (IVF) moment. A technician in Utrecht may have mixed up sperm used to fertilize eggs, leading to the members of 26 couples perhaps not being the parents of the babies they contracted to produce. I admit that last sentence is a bit awkward: [...]

Your perversity is as though the potter were taken to be the clay: As though what is made should say of its maker, “He did not make me!” (Isaiah 29:16) These words are as pertinent today as when they were first spoken by the prophet Isaiah (ca 740-681 BC). If there is a God today, [...]

A middle-aged man wheels his disabled daughter through a public park. They have enjoyed their visit there. The young woman likes to look at the flowers. For a moment, their shared pleasure of the beauty all around unites them. This is especially precious given her limited ability to communicate. In recent years, however, the visits [...]

Tis the season to attack traditional Christianity by pedaling, through social networks and the mass media, speculative theories that contradict orthodox Christian beliefs. On Christmas Eve (predictably), the Washington Post revived a 2014 article promoting the discredited theory that the "historical Jesus" never even existed. Yet even the agnostic New Testament scholar, Bart Ehrman, famously [...]

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