Sanctity

The New Secular Puritan Covenant

Thanksgiving brings back memories for Americans of the Pilgrims and Puritans, carrying out their “errand into the wilderness” to build a “city on a hill,” surviving that first bleak Massachusetts winter of 1620-21. As a kid, I remember that cutting out Puritan hats from black construction paper and taping them to the school windows was [...]

A Herd of Hookers

That’s what you do in a herd: you look out for each other.  ~ Manny the mammoth “Did he just say what I think he said?” The radio was on as background noise—I can’t remember if I was at my desk or driving somewhere. NPR’s Frank Langfitt was talking about money laundering in Macau, and [...]

The Moral Divide Between Progressives and Traditionalists

A recent account of moral sentiments, proposed by social psychologist Jonathan Haidt in his book, The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion (Pantheon, 2012), has attracted attention for its explanation of the difference between progressives and traditionalists. According to the account, moral judgments typically have to do with six dimensions [...]

Keeping Score: The Divine Meaning of Success

 Thou art indeed just, Lord, if I contend  With thee; but, sir, so what I plead is just.  Why do sinners’ ways prosper?  and why must  Disappointment all I endeavor end?                — Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J. If success in this world, never mind the numerous and noisy proponents of the health and wealth gospel, [...]

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