09/01/2001

I have often learned my most valuable lessons from my worst enemies. In graduate school I spent several years wrestling with the texts of the atheistic philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, who taught me one unforgettable lesson: Those who lack the tragic sense of life are apt to invent realities to replace the one they cannot face. [...]

I have often learned my most valuable lessons from my worst enemies. In graduate school I spent several years wrestling with the texts of the atheistic philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, who taught me one unforgettable lesson: Those who lack the tragic sense of life are apt to invent realities to replace the one they cannot face. [...]

The estimated Catholic population of the United States stands at 62.4 million, roughly 23 percent of the whole. Of the current 107th Congress, 150 members, or 28 percent, identify themselves as Roman Catholics (91 Democrats, 59 Republicans; 24 senators, 126 representatives). Proportionately, Rhode Island is the most populous Catholic state, at 64 percent; Massachusetts is [...]

The Church of St. Raphael, a handsome historic structure built in 1926, stands in the heart of South-Central Los Angeles, a bedraggled urban neighborhood long associated in the public mind with the most impoverished and troubled sector of the city's African-American community. St. Raphael's is only four blocks from the intersection where trucker Reginald Denny [...]

He arrived in the United States from Cuba all by himself at the age of 15, armed only with his Catholic faith. After living with foster families and working his way through college, Mel Martinez graduated from Florida State University's law school in 1973 and went on to a successful career as a trial lawyer [...]

The United Nations (UN) General Assembly is calling world leaders to New York City this month for the 2001 Special Session on Children, a ten-year follow-up to the UN's 1990 World Summit for Children. The purpose of this year's session is to "change the way the world views and treats children." The harsh reality awaiting [...]

Of the 250,000 young Catholics in America expected to enter college this fall, a conservative estimate is that half of them will lose their faith by next spring. But the good news is that this disturbing trend is being countered by a vibrant new movement that is spreading to many college campuses. A Catholic fellowship, [...]

There's a whiff of triumphalism in the air at the National Education Association's headquarters in Washington, D.C. Enemies of school-choice legislation believe they have their adversaries on the run. Discussions of a national voucher program were cut short early in the congressional budget battle this year, in part because voucher referenda in Michigan and California [...]

New Orleans. Wet bodies press close in the pit. Their faces red from the daylong parades, the tourists have come to usher in Mardi Gras with New Orleans musical royalty. Like the mosquitoes outside thirsting for a fresh taste of life, the drunk, the sober, and the merely tipsy crowd the House of Blues stage. [...]

Morality and freedom are related terms. It is impossible to conceive of a being who lacks freedom but also wonders what is the right thing to do. And what would moral freedom mean without competing moral choices? A free being without a moral dimension would be a bizarre beast. That is why the Christian tradition, [...]

One by one, the blockbuster movies of 2001 are proving to be giant squibs. First came Pearl Harbor, whose only resemblance to Titanic (1997) was the speed with which it sank. Then came A.I., which proved that not even Steven Spielberg's platinum-plated name is shiny enough to make moviegoers sit through two and a half [...]

Despite Hollywood's attempts to portray our lives as empty and ugly, there is such a thing as beauty in America, and those who do not know it are tone-deaf. Just listen to American music. A thread of beautiful music runs through the nation's entire history. The Naxos label has embarked on an extensive survey of [...]

A new academic year is beginning, and Trinity College in Washington, D.C., the nation's oldest Catholic institution of higher learning for women, is looking good—at least on the outside. Like most other Catholic women's colleges, Trinity went through a long cycle of hard times starting in the late 1960s, when single-sex education went out of [...]

The voice of Christ narrating the parable of the Sower resounds in Matthew 13, Mark 4, and Luke 8. Mark and Luke depict Him escaping the crush of the crowd. Given my estimation of the mass media, I relish the King James Bible’s word for that throng of people: Our Lord avoids "the press." Matthew [...]

While reporting on Pope John Paul II’s visits to Athens, Damascus, and Malta this past May, syndicated columnist Georgie Anne Geyer wrote: “His obvious and increasing ailments seemed to strengthen the mystical pull of his spirit. His physical weakness seemed to emblemize to the faithful the biblical admonition that God uses not only churchmen but [...]

It is difficult to derive spiritual profit from a public execution when the condemned is given the kind of media attention usually reserved for rock stars and presidential concubines. Popular sentiment reacts to the death sentence as if the courts and the justice system had invented mortality. A man executed for incredible crimes should function [...]

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