Art & Culture

A City Divided: How Israel’s Wall Is Splitting the Holy Land

I met my guide, Helmut Konitzer, at the airport. A German who visits the West Bank to assist the sisters, monks, and priests living there, Helmut had the look of a well-cut drifter. I wasn’t surprised when he told me his preferred mode of transportation was his motorcycle, especially when medicines have to be delivered quickly … Read more

What Might Have Been

Paris, Saturday, January 14, 2004. We are at Maillot Gate, a few steps away from the Champs Elysées and the business quarter of La Defense. On the left is the 34-story skyscraper of the Hotel Concorde La Fayette—a disruptive landmark amid the gorgeous town houses whose plush façades date back to the end of the … Read more

The Surrender of Catholic Higher Education

Last month, Jesuit Rev. Lawrence Biondi, president of St. Louis University, resigned from the board of directors of Tenet Healthcare Corporation. Biondi had served on the board since 1998, most recently as chairman of Tenet’s ethics committee, for which he was eligible for annual compensation of more than $100,000. Biondi, like many Catholic college presidents, … Read more

Dismantling The Da Vinci Code

“The Grail,” Langdon said, “is symbolic of the lost goddess. When Christianity came along, the old pagan religions did not die easily. Legends of chivalric quests for the Holy Grail were in fact stories of forbidden quests to find the lost sacred feminine. Knights who claimed to be “searching for the chalice” were speaking in … Read more

Against the Grain: A Day in the Life of Serrin Foster

Serrin Foster is bombing. All around the Temple University lecture hall, bored faces drift in and out of attention — expressionless college women staring and still, college men telegraphing their waning interest by twisting in their seats. A round woman’s tiny eyes glare coldly from beneath her eyebrow rings. I’ve been assigned to shadow Foster … Read more

Blood on Their Hands: Exposing Pro-abortion Catholic Politicians

“Pro-choice” Catholic politicians support abortion mostly for political reasons. The U.S. bishops say this is unacceptable. So why do they accept it?   “Do you know what the Negro is?” Leander H. Perez once asked in 1965. “Animals right out [of] the jungle. Passion. Welfare. Easy life. That’s the Negro.” As a state judge and … Read more

How Catholic Was Shakespeare?

Shakespeare stands as a wonderful anomaly. It could be argued that no artist in the history of the Western world enjoys both the critical and popular esteem of Shakespeare. His poems and plays continue to enchant generation after generation; his rich language saturates modern speech — whether we realize it or not. What accounts for … Read more

The Crescent and the Gun: Islam and Violence

It’s hard to watch Francis Bok remember. He speaks softly, haltingly. His piercing eyes stare out, sometimes at you, sometimes into space, but always to that morning 15 years ago in Sudan. He was seven years old and living with his family in a small southern village. His mother had sent him to the local … Read more

Philip Pullman’s Dark Materials

This past winter, the illustrious and venerable New York publishing house Alfred A. Knopf published the third and final volume of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy. Its title is The Amber Spyglass, and it runs 518 handsomely laid-out pages. The English-born, Oxford-educated Pullman had earmarked his first two volumes for the “young adult” market, … Read more

M. Night Shymalan’s Unbreakable Success

[Warning: This review contains spoilers] Shymalan’s 1999 blockbuster, The Sixth Sense, took the movie going public by surprise. His previous film, the bril­liant but underappreciated Wide Awake (1998), had gone straight from lacklus­ter reviews to video-store oblivion, so Shymalan well-deserved the success and acclaim The Sixth Sense suddenly brought him. It made more than $250 … Read more

How Abortion has Failed Women

Many like to pretend that abortion is a matter of no grave consequence to a woman. Abortion simply removes an obstacle to the real purpose of a woman’s life, whatever she takes that purpose to be. Yet as my friend’s experience suggests, women rarely take the experience of having an abortion lightly. For most, the … Read more

Domestic, but Tranquil?

Caveat lector: Domestic Tranquility is anything but a tranquil book. F. Carolyn Graglia may celebrate the virtues, satisfactions, and substantial rewards of women’s domestic roles as wife and mother, but her brief for the softer, gentler female persona is fueled by an impressively sharp lawyer’s mind that makes no concessions to the traditional womanly qualities … Read more

You’ve Gone the Wrong Way, Baby

Tobacco is dirty weed. I like it. It satisfies no normal need. I like it. It makes you thin, it makes you lean, It takes the hair right off your bean, It’s the worst darn stuff I’ve ever seen. I like it. —Published in the Penn State Froth, 1915.   The above poem, quoted by … Read more

Nine Perversions of Multiculturalism

The fraudulence of much that currently masquerades under the name “multiculturalism” results from gross perversions of what, in 1972, I called the new ethnicity. Multiculturalism is a profound betrayal of the fundamental principles of the new ethnicity. In the current culture wars on campus, however, an explicit indictment of the perversions of multiculturalism may be … Read more

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