culture

Armenian Church - Trabzon - 1918 - Auction House

Return Our Churches: Murder, Theft and Denial

Property restitution is an indispensable step to right the wrongs of the past and, thus, to legitimize one’s system as free and just; hence a democracy. The Republic of Turkey projects itself as a modern democracy, a state that has successfully fused secular and religious elements and aspires not only to represent the Muslim world [...]

Acceptance of Drugs: A Challenge to Culture and Evangelization

I recently gave a talk entitled “Beer and the Renewal of Catholic Culture.” Based on the Roman Ritual’s traditional blessing for beer, my argument was that beer is both a work of God given to gladden our hearts (along with wine) and an important work of human culture, a shaping of the goods of the [...]

Obama Administration Scandals and the Danger of Cynicism

Some conservatives, and our libertarian friends in particular, have been rather enjoying hearing about recent Obama Administration scandals. I would not begrudge anyone a certain amount of perverse pleasure in the discomforts of an administration that has been seeking to undermine our culture, way of life, and economic freedom since day one. But I honestly [...]

Soberheroes: A Critical Look at Modern Mythology

Comic book heroes have recently become less comic—which is of both cultural and Christian concern. After the brooding superhero films of the last few years, many are asking the question made famous by the late Heath Ledger’s truly menacing, anything-but-funny Joker: “Why so serious?” The motivation behind this trend—largely spearheaded by Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy [...]

The New Meaning of “Cultural Competence”

The absurdity of the mantra “don’t judge” is lost on the ideologues. Ideology is the worship of an idea and as such it is the worship of self because in deciding what ideas to worship, the ideologue makes himself the arbiter of truth and in doing so increases in his own sight.  We Catholics worship [...]

When Culture Abandons Reason (and Faith)

For reasons that are both unfathomable as well as perplexing, the vast majority of young Canadians are champions of Barack Obama. I was informed that when a certain teacher asked her students who preferred Obama to Romney, all hands shot up. The entire class expressed unhesitating enthusiasm for the now re-elected President. Yet, no student, [...]

Romney, Israel, and the Centrality of Culture

Governor Mitt Romney seems to have stirred up some controversy by the remarks he made to a gathering in Jerusalem the other week. Contrasting Israel and the Palestinian territories, he said, "You notice a stark difference in economic vitality. And as I come here and I look out over this city and consider the accomplishments [...]

So Where’s the Social? – Recovering Words and Culture in the Unsociety

“Where,” asks the editor, “will your town get the money to build new school rooms, and pay better salaries to more teachers?  Thousands of communities are wrestling with this problem, or will soon be faced with it.  We offer a suggestion.”  It is really quite simple.  Everyone, from the PTA to the local Rotarians, should [...]

What’s Behind Our Girl-harming Culture?

No one would guess it from even a passing acquaintance with popular television shows, but there is increasing concern among parent and professional groups about the sexualization of girls. Responding to this concern the American Psychological Association appointed a taskforce to study the problem in 2006. The resulting report shines a light on a real [...]

The Urgent Need for The Next Great Idea

Robert Nisbet's (1913-1996) The Present Age is a jeremiad arguably more potent now than when it was published. Written in 1988, this excerpt is in part a call for the genius with the next great idea to please step forward, the revolution is dangerously overdue. When he wrote it, Reagan's second term was ending not [...]

Building the New Rome

In 2005 I spent three months in Rome. In some ways I have never left. Perhaps it sounds like a commonplace to say that I “left part of myself” in the Eternal City. But the fact is, I did. I returned to Rome once more, in the spring of 2007, when I proposed to my [...]

The Well-Sheltered Catholic

In 1971, a group of distinguished individuals -- artists, writers, musicians, intellectuals -- sent an appeal to Pope Paul VI requesting that he preserve the classical Roman Rite of the Mass. This group, composed of Catholics and non-Catholics alike, had as their aim not the maintenance of a particular theological mode of worship so much [...]

Of Female Bondage

Here’s something strange. Just when you thought women had cast off the last of their chains, it turns out that they are rushing headlong back into bondage. Female enthusiasm for a sadomasochistic “romance” called Fifty Shades of Greyhas seen tens of thousands of suburban mums downloading copies from Amazon and now snapping up hard copies [...]

The Culture Behind the Cartagena Scandal

President Obama has called them “knuckleheads”.  A CNN columnist says the actions of a dozen Secret Service agents in Colombia amounted to “stupidity”. United States Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said the episode, also involving military personnel, was a “huge disappointment”. The official message seems to be that consorting with prostitutes in Colombia while on [...]

Two Cheers for Hollywood

When it comes to corporate social responsibility Hollywood occasionally gives us cause to cheer. For example, the 2006 film Blood Diamond successfully drew attention to modern day slavery and exploitation in Africa, which is usually funded by blood diamonds – diamonds mined in conflict countries and often used to finance brutal wars and dictatorships. Or [...]

The Speed of Change in the Republic of Rights

“I grew up in Kansas. When I began my book Render Unto Caesar in 2006, I had in my mind the America I always knew—or thought I knew. But that America, I admit, has been passing for fifty years, and probably longer.” —Charles Chaput, September 2010 The Catholic thinkers, in the past century or so, [...]

Zombies, Zelda, and the Natural Law

Rescuing the princess. Punishing unjust oppressors. Liberating a people from slavery. International gamers across the world live out these fantasies on a daily basis. These fantasies don’t make themselves, however. Grown men and women have to sit down at computers and think them up. Most video games these days have some kind of pre-packaged narrative [...]

Trekking for Tournemire: An Aussie Heads to Florida’s Gregorian Chant Convention

Last February, Australia’s R. J. STOVE went in search of America. He found a Marine boot-camp for organists, and a church music congress which felt like a Star Trek convention. When former National Interest editor Owen Harries looked back upon his early-1980s stint as Australian ambassador to UNESCO – in particular upon how he and [...]

Kuehnelt-Leddihn and American Conservatism

Let us begin with what is most excellent and lasting in the work of the late Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn—his profound understanding of, and unyielding opposition to, the Left.  According to the Austrian-born polymath, the Left has its roots planted firmly in democracy.  In its modern form, that object of near worship owed its birth to [...]

The Catholic “Ghetto” as a Last Resort

The Department of Health and Human Services has mandated that even health plans of religiously affiliated employers must include the coverage of contraception, abortifacient drugs, and sterilization. Hundreds of Catholic hospitals, colleges and universities, and social service organizations will have one of three choices: Cave in and accept what is morally repugnant; Face heavy fines [...]

The Age of the Laity…or the Latte?

So what will it be? A grande Latte... or Western Civilization? A scone with that... or the meat of doctrine? An extra shot of espresso… or the survival of families? A Moccachino... or the Mystical Body of Christ? Today, the price is the same.  Tomorrow the terms change.  Tomorrow there may be silence, apart from the [...]

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