10/01/1991

War is hell, as General Sherman rightly said. But if war is hell, then is playing at war any different from playing at hell? Is it all one, to give our children wooden swords or toy rifles, and to give our children little pitchforks, plastic shovels for fire and brimstone, and fake instruments of torture? [...]

War is hell, as General Sherman rightly said. But if war is hell, then is playing at war any different from playing at hell? Is it all one, to give our children wooden swords or toy rifles, and to give our children little pitchforks, plastic shovels for fire and brimstone, and fake instruments of torture? [...]

The morality of a great writer," says Chesterton, "is not the morality he teaches, but the morality he takes for granted." Part of the joy and mystery of Shakespeare lies in the morality he takes for granted. He is the least didactic of authors; he offers no special doctrine and seems to let his characters [...]

Mary Daly teaches theology at the Jesuit-run Boston College and is revered as one of feminism's most radical academics. She renounced Roman Catholicism after studying theology extensively in Europe during the '60s, foregoing her original plan of changing the Church from within to make it more progressive and, most importantly, less sexist. She decided that [...]

I should have known better. An extraordinary experience is rarely repeated. The film industry never learns; with certain exceptions II and III don't begin to approach the quality of the initial hit. We collectively wince reading about the projected Gone With the Wind II. It is better not to attempt an encore. That applies not [...]

Editor's note: This article was adapted from a speech videotaped by Human Life of Washington for distribution to Seattle parishes. In November, Washington state voters will decide whether to endorse a euthanasia bill, Initiative 119. I believe that this bill will be destructive of our culture, destructive of our political system, and destructive of you [...]

The scene is becoming a commonplace: scores, or even hundreds, of people silently sitting or busily marching before a hospital or an abortion clinic (euphemistically called a "women's health clinic" by its proprietors). If the people are marching, they may have signs that read variously: "Abortion Is Murder," "Stop the Killing," or "Choose Life." Among [...]

Some time ago, a friend and I were discussing his recent switch to the Republican Party. As a life- long black Democrat and civil rights activist, he said that the decision to switch was one of the most difficult he had ever made. When I asked what, finally, made him decide to change parties, he [...]

Next month, this journal begins its tenth year. It hardly seems possible, so fast has the time flown. In November, 1982, Ralph Mclnerny and I contributed $2,000 to put out the first, thin issue (14 pages) of what was then called Catholicism in Crisis. We chose for our first editorial several quotations from Reinhold Niebuhr's [...]

On my desk is a postcard I received several years ago from the Bodleian Library in Oxford. The imprint on the card is a most curious one. It shows Socrates sitting on a throne-like chair with a kind of dunce cap on. He is behind a writing table, with a stylus in each hand. Perhaps [...]

Frank Capra is now as inescapable at Christmastide as Dickens because he created a film classic that sums up the American Christmas as completely as A Christmas Carol crystallizes the British Yule. The Dickens novella is evangelical-Protestant; It's a Wonderful Life is democratic-populist and, despite the voice of God in its prologue and the intervention [...]

By opening Hackerman House, in the Walters Art Gallery in Baltimore has not only given its previously hidden Asian art collection a glorious setting but has accommodated itself as well to the upper-middle-class penchant for museums as highbrow entertainment: the Shaker Heights version of the Roman baths, the Ivy League equivalent of the shopping mall. [...]

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