cultural trends /fashions

Social Conservatism and the New Nationalism

Jack Fowler, a longtime publishing executive at National Review, sat alone and lonely at the way back during the conference. A National Review writer sat among the press and wrote a first-day story. She reported it as straight news, no comment. To be sure, National Review editor Rich Lowry spoke to the crowd and did [...]

Can Catholics be Minimalists?

In his brilliant Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine, Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman writes eloquently of the power of the Catholic Church to assimilate non-Christian, and even heretical, beliefs into her own Tradition. He writes about the Church as being able to stand firm among various philosophies, dogmas, and cultures as one who [...]

The World Has Little of Value to Teach the Church

I recently commented on the signs of the times, and noted that they tell us to pay more attention to eternity. The topic deserves further discussion. In the 1960s, it became common for Catholics to look to the world for guidance. This attitude inspired the widespread false belief that Saint John XXIII said the Second Vatican [...]

Sin Redefined in the PBS Detective Series Unforgotten

Moral relativism is so widespread that it is even beginning to ruin murder mysteries. The sin of cold-blooded murder, one of the last sins left standing in liberalism, is disappearing before our eyes from where one would think it could not disappear, namely, a genre owing everything to the blatant violation of the fifth commandment. [...]

Catholicism and Celebrity Culture at the Met

Catholicism and haute couture made a gauche fashion statement at the recent Met Gala, a major fundraising event for The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute. The event, celebrated annually on the first Monday in the Blessed Mother’s month of May, is the hottest ticket in New York City’s world of fashion. This year’s Met [...]

The Real Source of Sexual Misconduct in Hollywood

If you had James Franco in your office pool as the next Hollywood mogul who would be accused of sexual misconduct then, congratulations, you win! Five women, in interviews with the Los Angeles Times, accused Franco “of behavior they found to be inappropriate or sexually exploitative.” About the allegations, Franco said on the Stephen Colbert [...]

Why Nothing is Sacred Anymore

Recently, the word sacred was in the news, when White House Chief of Staff Gen. John Kelly lamented the fact that nothing is sacred anymore, especially in light of the brouhaha over the president’s phone call to a soldier’s widow. “When I was a kid growing up,” he said, “a lot of things were sacred [...]

The Day the Music Died

One day, out of curiosity, I Googled “symphony orchestras in the Muslim world.” The results were rather dismal. One site—“About Symphony Orchestras in the Arab World”—contained the following (badly translated) information: Symphony of Saudi Arabia: “Non-existent…” The Orchestra of Emirate of Qatar: “This orchestra has no clear identity…100% of foreign elements” [i.e., none of the [...]

Is It Immodest to Wear Deliberately Ripped Clothes?

Perhaps one of the more sensitive personal issues you can raise with people is that of dress. How you dress has become a purely personal affair. Most are left to their own opinion as to what is appropriate. There are, of course, some limits. Most Catholics will admit in theory that there is something that [...]

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