09/01/1992

What satire is to the writer, the reductio ad absurdum is to the logician. Confronted by the abuses of Jesuit moralists, Pascal wrote the Provincial Letters. Appalled by the antics of his time, Swift wrote Gulliver's Travels. These were literary devices used in the hope that their addressees would easily grasp their relevance. When Aristotle [...]

What satire is to the writer, the reductio ad absurdum is to the logician. Confronted by the abuses of Jesuit moralists, Pascal wrote the Provincial Letters. Appalled by the antics of his time, Swift wrote Gulliver's Travels. These were literary devices used in the hope that their addressees would easily grasp their relevance. When Aristotle [...]

In View

A Modest Proposal Both Bush and Clinton emphasize the need to discourage abortions and to reduce the number of abortions performed. These positions are consistent with those of the general American public, which views abortion as morally wrong whether or not it is legal. Amherst Professor Hadley Arkes, a CRISIS contributor, has drafted a proposal [...]

Roe v. Wade looked doomed. Both pro-choice and pro-life activists were convinced that the Supreme Court was on the verge of overturning the right to abortion on demand, legalized nationwide in 1973 by the infamous Roe decision. The perfect case for a re-examination of Roe seemed to be Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which hinged on [...]

I want to speak about liberalism and what happened in my city. And yes, it is my city: I don't want to be melodramatic, but just a short while ago the entire sky outside my house was black with smoke. If you have never had that sensation, then it is not possible for you to [...]

A new assistant at an old suburban parish in Baltimore talked to the eighth graders who were to be confirmed within the week. He asked them who or what the Holy Spirit was; of the 18 children in the class, two had some vague idea that the Holy Spirit was somehow God and had even [...]

Not one of them who took up in his youth with this opinion that there are no gods ever continued until old age faithful to this conviction. —Plato A little known fact is that all Ivy League institutions were founded by different Christian denominations for the education and preparation of their ministers. Indeed, the concept [...]

Among the increasingly uncivil wars tearing the fabric of this country is the war between those motivated by homophilia (affinity or fondness for homosexuals) and those loosely accused of homophobia (fear of or aversion to homosexuals). As always in war, truth is distorted or lost altogether, particularly the truth that there is a large middle [...]

A cartoon in the New Yorker puts us in the office of a "Mob Psychologist." The psychologist is dutifully sitting in his armchair, notebook in hand, rather innocent-looking in glasses. He turns slightly to the patient. There, horizontal on the proverbial couch, lies a middle-aged Mafioso in pin-striped suit, fedora, dark glasses, bearing a certain [...]

St. Patrick's Cathedral is just around the corner from a convenient little hotel where my husband and I stay on trips to New York. Whether we attend an early morning or a noon Mass, we can count on a reverential liturgy and, even during the week, a well-prepared homily. In the past year and a [...]

The New York Times called her a "kitchen Olympian." W.H. Auden called her, "the best prose writer in America." Sixty years ago, she created a genre and has since become the doyen—an icon—of the world which she created. Before M.F.K. Fisher (and, alas, still for those non-believers blind in both vision and palate) the obligations [...]

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