2005

Hispanic yet also quintessentially American, santero art is found in the western and southwestern parts of the United States. It takes its name from the santero or santera—literally the saintmaker who creates images of Jesus Christ, the Blessed Virgin Mary, the angels, and the saints. These images come in different forms, mainly as crucifijos (crucifixes), [...]

Hispanic yet also quintessentially American, santero art is found in the western and southwestern parts of the United States. It takes its name from the santero or santera—literally the saintmaker who creates images of Jesus Christ, the Blessed Virgin Mary, the angels, and the saints. These images come in different forms, mainly as crucifijos (crucifixes), [...]

Since the Iron Curtain fell in 1989, the British novelist John le Carre (born David Cornwell) has been obliged to shift his primary focus from Cold War moral equivocation to more ordinary topics of leftist political correctness. Why Cornwell, a man who served with the British Foreign Service (both MI5 and MI6) in Germany—where he [...]

If you are tired of the endless CD duplication of the basic repertoire and wonder what musical treasures may remain unheard, do I have a new label for you. On his 50th birthday this last September, music critic and musicologist Martin Anderson formally launched the Toccata Classics label in London, where this Scotsman lives. I [...]

We French are prone to forget that, not so long ago, we experienced the same kind of violence that Middle Easterners must deal with today. The younger generations tend to suffer most from this sort of amnesia. Because they witness manslaughter and terrorist attacks daily on television, they come to believe that these barbaric acts [...]

A woman who sang on television in 1937 can be said to have had a long career. A priest at St. John's Cathedral High School in Milwaukee had told Hildegarde Sell (1906-2005) to give up thoughts of the convent and, when lack of funds thwarted the Marquette University student's classical music studies, she played the [...]

One Saturday in July, I was at the Jesuit community at Loyola-Marymount University in Los Angeles, where a number of my old classmates dwell. On one of the campus lawns that afternoon was a display of vintage classic automobiles—Packards, Daimlers, Stuts, Delahayes, Lincolns, Duisenbergs, Cords, Cadillacs, Willis, Rolls-Royces, Pierce-Arrows. Some of these touring cars, cabriolets, [...]

A jolt is very often salvific, especially if it joggles in us the Deadly Sin of superbia (pride, if your Latin is in tatters). Some months ago I was asked by a British company if I would agree to appear on camera as a sort of commentator in connection with a dramatic television documentary they [...]

The United Nations has a problem. A laundry list of recent corruption allegations and scandals has created a credibility gap in the 60-year-old organization that now worries even its staunchest supporters. Seasoned UN employees quietly admit that they hope United States ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, "feared but not revered," will bring order to [...]

This is my last film column for Crisis. I'm closing up shop in order to grapple with two daunting tasks that will take up much of my time for the foreseeable future. (One is my biography of Louis Armstrong; the other, "Sightings," a column about the arts in America that I'm writing for the new [...]

The cry, 'That violates the separation of church and state!" has been the centerpiece of the secularist drive to marginalize Christianity in the public sphere since the 1940s. The real—and often neglected— question is what precisely that separation means and how it should be interpreted and applied. The secularists' interpretation of the establishment clause—the line [...]

“Many people discount the power of the so-called ‘cultural issues’ – and especially the abortion issue. I see it the other way around. These issues are central to the resurgence of the Republicans, central to the national implosion of the Democrats, central to the question of whether there will be a third party… [The] Democrats’ [...]

“You cannot act for twenty-four hours without deciding either to hold people responsible or not to hold them responsible. Theology is a product far more practical than chemistry. Some Determinists fancy that Christianity invented a dogma like free will for fun—a mere contradiction. This is absurd. You have the contradiction wherever you are. Determinists tell [...]

On February 7, 2001, in the Camden Town district of London, I stopped in front of a formidable old house surrounded by a gated wall, pressed the button next to an intercom, identified myself, and was instructed to enter. Inside I was warmly greeted by Anna Haycraft, better known as the writer and Catholic commentator, [...]

Several years ago, a group of pro-abortion demonstrators showed up at the March for Life here in Washington. While that itself is not uncommon, the display they brought was. In one corner of the Capitol Mall, they had erected a set of enormous, 20-foot-tall puppets. I can't remember offhand what they had on display, though [...]

In my day job as a political columnist, I have found myself riveted to the question of Iraq's constitution. I do hope that, by the time this column appears, there will still be some prospect of one, for leaving the country in the condition of Somalia can be in no one's interests except those of [...]

If I can curb my logorrhea, I will attempt to cover more new releases in capsule reviews in this article than ever before. The number of new CDs from my favorite labels belies the mourning over the demise of the classical music business, and I must catch up with them. The major labels may be [...]

Praising is profoundly misunderstood in our culture. We tend to think of it in terms of either therapy or power. On the one hand, we praise children in order to guard their fragile egos. On the other, we condemn sycophantic praise for the tyrant—the invincibly moronic Big Cheese surrounded by underlings who praise him as [...]

Odd it seems to see a historical marker on the house of Richard Eberhart (1904-2005). My English class met there weekly in the early 1960s before the pillars of our firmament were pulled down by the cultural chaos of ugly years panting to break forth. As Poet-in-Residence at Dartmouth, having been Poet Laureate at the [...]

“Social justice" can be a dangerous phrase. How so? Justice is to render each his due. Justice is always in motion from an inner source, but never complete or automatic. Classically, justice is a moral, practical virtue. I must acquire it and practice it toward others. No one can make me just. I can always [...]

One could be forgiven for finding that the above title gives him a start. Bob Jones University in the columns of Crisis? What ho? What ho, indeed. And the et al. there: To whom might that refer? Well, Dallas Theological Seminary, for one. And Wheaton College in Illinois. And probably all Assemblies of God institutions, [...]

An important function of history, as opposed to antiquarianism, is to make the past intelligible to the present. Current questions and values can so distort our study of the past that we enact our own version of the "cadaver synod." In this infamous trial, held in Rome in the ninth century, Pope Stephen VII exhumed, [...]

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