Art & Culture

segregation

I have to admit it: I’m an old white guy. In fact, I am a privileged old white guy. To be honest, I am a very privileged old white guy. I grew up in a middle class home with a successful businessman for a father. My mom was a “homemaker.” Mom and Dad both considered [...]

I have to admit it: I’m an old white guy. In fact, I am a privileged old white guy. To be honest, I am a very privileged old white guy. I grew up in a middle class home with a successful businessman for a father. My mom was a “homemaker.” Mom and Dad both considered [...]

Boys to Men

Many years ago, in an article for Touchstone called, “A Requiem for Friendship,” I wrote that the public acceptance of homosexuality would cast suspicion on physical expressions of friendship among males, and would make it more difficult for boys to forge strong friendships in the first place, especially if such boys were shy, or not [...]

On January 8, 2021, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey banned President Donald J. Trump for life. The opportunity for virtue signaling proved irresistible to Dorsey. After the debacle in the Capitol on January 6, Dorsey did what he had been wanting to do for years: cleansed his platform of dissent. Democracy means that the Democrats say [...]

COVID-19 experts prescribe that we should socially distance ourselves from our neighbors. In his time, Henry David Thoreau (writer, philosopher, and poet), encouraged another form of social distancing. Thoreau advocated distancing not to avoid contagious disease, but as a means to evaluate who and what the human person truly is. He observed that the modern [...]

We’ve been hearing it for weeks now: 2020 was a terrible year and we all can’t wait to shake its dust from our feet and move on to a better, brighter 2021. Between tense racial eruptions, the Covid stranglehold of fear and “socialist” distancing, and the flagrant fraudulence of our election system, 2020 was a [...]

Despite the persistent opposition and public protest of the architectural elites against a proposed executive order titled Making Federal Buildings Beautiful Again, first obtained and reported by the Architectural Record eleven months ago, President Trump, on December 21, signed the executive order titled Promoting Beautiful Federal Civic Architecture, which declares that “traditional and classical architecture” [...]

Come to the Table

For of the soul the body form doth take; for soul is form, and doth the body make… — Edmund Spenser As human beings, we are unified beings of body and soul. We are corporeal, and as such, our most fundamental, natural need is food and water. Food is therefore the beginning of human culture. [...]

The Shape of Love

“You can’t judge a book by its cover” is a truism. Nonetheless, that does not lessen the value of a book’s title. Selecting the right title is important, like giving the right name to your child. I chose The Shape of Love to introduce my book about the importance of moral virtue, and its rootedness [...]

It is axiomatic that nothing well-written ever comes from a committee. So, I regard as miraculous the recent report, Catholic Hymnody at the Service of the Church, put forth by the doctrinal watchdogs of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. It is incisive, intelligent, and precise, blessedly free of political correctness, and sensitive to [...]

Recently, I helped some friends decorate a parish church in our diocese for Christmas. The priest gave us a picture of their old nativity scene and instructed us to replicate it. If any figure was out of place from the year before, he warned, the parishioners would notice—and they would blame him. Our creativity was [...]

G. K. Chesterton, that archetypal Englishman—he really could not be imagined as any other nationality—wrote probably the best biography of another quintessential Englishman, Charles Dickens. Chesterton’s biography is so wonderful, and so brimming with insight and understanding of his subject, mainly because he moves thematically through the life of Charles Dickens, rather than year by [...]

Amid an otherwise estimable analysis of the Pilgrims’ early years and legacy, Christopher Caldwell makes a common mistake in the Claremont Review of Books, describing Myles Standish not just as “brave, erudite, underhanded, and so diminutive that he was known (though not to his face) as Captain Shrimp”—all true—but as “a secular mercenary” to boot. [...]

The Pilgrims first sighted land off Cape Cod on November 9, 1620, after spending sixty-five days at sea. They rejoiced, singing Psalm 100, a traditional song of thanksgiving. But as William Bradford recorded in Of Plymouth Plantation, it was winter when, “all things stand upon them with a weatherbeaten face.” “They had no friends to welcome them, [...]

A Crisis of Crèches

Today, religious art is the subject of an almost universal indifference. It’s no great task to see why. In September of 2019, Pope Francis (or, rather, Pope Francis’s coterie of managers, handlers, and other particolored eminences) installed a statue called Angels Unawares in Saint Peter’s Square on the snappily named World Day of Migrants and [...]

When I was a boy, every so often my father would take me to the National Press Building downtown for the gatherings of the Ottawa Chesterton Society. It was a merry, all-male club whose president used to say grinningly that GKC stood for “Girls Kan’t Come.” After enjoying a fine dinner with those well-dressed, garrulous [...]

What do Xi Jinping and Thomas Jefferson have in common? There may be a hundred interesting answers (which you can consider at your leisure), but as yet there is one that is both fairly substantial and sufficiently documented: both men set out to rewrite the Bible. Jefferson’s project—initially undertaken while president of the United States—was [...]

“We are victims of our century,” wrote one of the Carmelites of Compiègne before going to the guillotine in 1794, “and we must sacrifice ourselves that it be reconciled to God.” Attacks on Catholic churches, anti-Christian elites, and suffocating political correctness—the eighteenth century witnessed cultural conflict every bit as intense as our own today. Yet [...]

At the time of this writing (September 14, 2020) we are, by my count, in our third day of autumn. Without a jacket, the light breeze brings you a small shock, without the relief it might have brought a mere week ago when the humid lake air made your head and skin feel thick and [...]

Food for Thought

Some may be wary of the new book TerraFutura (“FutureWorld”) by Italian environmental activist Carlo Petrini, which features a series of conversations with Pope Francis about “integral ecology” five years after Laudato Si’. In these interviews, the pope comments very truly on something that will help our culture and our planet far more than eco-activism: [...]

Whither the WASP?

One of the disturbing things about the Cult of Wokeness is how many venerated institutions—educational, cultural, religious, and so on—have succumbed to it, as per our earlier published “Woke List.” One such that did not make that admittedly non-exhaustive numbering was the National Association of Independent Schools, the umbrella group for many of the most [...]

Living a Lie

Live Not by Lies: A Manual for Christian Dissidents Rod Dreher (Sentinel, 2020) Hardcover, $27.00 On September 18, Ruth Bader Ginsburg died at the age of 87. At once, this country was filled with the sound of progressives weeping and gnashing their teeth. From what I could gather, none of them knew Ginsburg personally. Most [...]

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