11/01/1998

The conventional wisdom among politicians and journalists for much of the past half-century has been that Catholics, 44 million currently of voting age, comprise a swing vote. As the 1950s began, Catholics were departing their traditional home in the Democratic Party to support Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower for president. That was followed by a massive [...]

The conventional wisdom among politicians and journalists for much of the past half-century has been that Catholics, 44 million currently of voting age, comprise a swing vote. As the 1950s began, Catholics were departing their traditional home in the Democratic Party to support Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower for president. That was followed by a massive [...]

Catholics may be the most maddening electoral group in American politics, the demographic block that drives pollsters, pundits, and politicians of all stripes to distraction. Lately, Catholics—at 50 million strong and growing—have emerged as the Holy Grail of coalition politics, and they have the distinction of clustering in states rich in electoral votes, like Florida, [...]

EDITOR'S NOTE: The following is excerpted from the ground-breaking "Report on the Catholic Vote in America," commissioned by Crisis. To receive the full report, call 202-861-7790. Ralph Reed had a vision. The former executive director of the Christian Coalition was a central participant in the forging of a conservative political identity for the nation's growing [...]

At the end of the Second World War, some political analysts began to detect cracks in the coalition that gave FDR his four-term lease on the White House. Although Roosevelt handily carried the Electoral College in 1944—432 votes to Dewey's 99—he received only 53 percent of the popular vote. Even in his home state, New [...]

The American century is ending on a bad note. In the last two presidential elections, we knew exactly what we were doing: electing a whiz kid at whose center there was (and is) a moral black hole. Sixty percent of the voters who elected him said that he was not honest. What mattered was competence, [...]

The Bible says that in the last days our sins will be shouted from the rooftops. Well, a millennium of sorts has already arrived for some Washington politicians, both friend and foe. The brave new world of the media, fed relentlessly by the Internet and 24-hour cable news, has made that scenario almost literally possible. [...]

This fall, some 2,400 men returned from summer months spent studying, working, ministering, or simply vacationing to resume the road to the diocesan priesthood in America's seminaries. How prepared are these men to undertake the studies that will lead them to the altar of God? A decade-old report from the National Conference of Catholic Bishops/United [...]

Several weeks after the Starr report revealed to the nation the sort of man it has twice elected president, public opinion remains a study in equivocation. Whatever your point of view, you can probably find it reinforced by some significant segment of the people. Give or take change, about 30 percent of the public would [...]

At the time this column had to be filed, the Senate had just failed once again to overturn Bill Clinton's veto of the bill on partial birth abortion. Senator Rick Santorum, who managed the effort in the Senate, was now preparing to catch off-stride the last holdouts, the last defenders of Clinton's position, by offering [...]

Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975) was widely touted as a "Soviet" artist because he was the first significant Russian composer to have been completely educated under the new communist regime. In some sense, Shostakovich may have agreed with this description. Nevertheless, he was in a state of constant tension with the Soviet Union, which alternately celebrated and [...]

As part of its game plan or the Third Millennium, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has sanctioned cremation. Previous Church practice had been against this, except in emergency situations, such as the much-exaggerated Spanish Inquisition. The bishops predict an increase in the number of dead people. With greater specificity, the Scottish poet Thomas [...]

Big-budget studio movies, like the Clinton administration, are monsters of majority rule. Concocted by committee, they are painstakingly engineered to appeal to the largest possible number of potential viewers, a goal that necessarily precludes such superfluous adornments as wit, eccentricity or a strongly individual point of view; for the same reason, anything that might tend [...]

To paraphrase Wodehouse's Bertie Wooster slightly, it is November and another election is at our throats. At the best of times, going to the polls in modern democratic countries is a bittersweet affair—bitter because choosing our leaders has increasingly narrowed to mostly second-order disputes about economic prosperity, sweet because the old greatness of popular self-governance [...]

My daughter first entered our parish church in my arms, to receive the sacrament of baptism. This August, again in a long white gown, she walked on the arm of her Dad to the sacrament of matrimony. There had been sacraments in between. As she came down the aisle a bride, I saw momentarily a [...]

In the Fifth Sermon, entitled "Equanimity," in the fifth book of his Parochial Sermons, delivered mostly in the 1830s, Newman speaks of the preparation for Christmas. Sometimes in Scripture, Newman points out, Christ's coming seems a fearful thing. A "holy" fear or the "fear of the Lord," no doubt, has its useful place, not only [...]

Nothing the Supreme Court held in its last term—including its ruling on the president's frenetic maneuver to evade the law—was exceptional constitutionally. But for its new term, which opened October 5, the Court has before it Jackson v. Benson, in which the Court may review a challenge to the Wisconsin Supreme Court's June 10 decision [...]

Before Jacques and Raissa Maritain met Leon Bloy, they had read high praise of the novelist by Maurice Maeterlinck, who thought that Bloy truly had the mark of genius. This prompted the Maritains to read Bloy's novel, The Woman Who Was Poor. The story drew them imaginatively and spiritually into a world for which they [...]

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