My second earthquake.

At 5:00AM this morning, I woke for no apparent reason. Four seconds later, the house began to rattle. It was like a huge truck had driven by, shaking our home... except there was no truck, or anything like it. Earthquake, I thought. That was an earthquake. It was brief and didn't continue so I promptly [...]

From Europe to Eurabia

In New York City, if you ask someone his nationality, there's only one way he's going to answer "American": If he's black. Everyone else I've ever known will volunteer something like, "Irish, County Mayo," "Half-Irish, a quarter German, a quarter Polish," or "Sicilian -- you got a problem with that?" You see, we keep track [...]

Does Israel’s attack trigger NATO action?

Does Israel's recent attack on the Turkish ship, MV Blue Mamara, trigger NATO action? The Daily Kos has the relevant passages from the NATO charter. Article 5: The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently [...]

The Need for Dialogue

It is not always easy to live under Islamic rule, or even under Islamic "influence." Yet we share a planet, and with no other habitable planets within easy journey, we must find ways to get along. Consider for a moment: There are more than a million Arab Muslims in Israel. There are zero Jews in [...]

A Changing Church?

  The Future Church: How Ten Trends Are Revolutionizing the Catholic Church John L. Allen Jr., Doubleday, 480 pages, $28   According to the Gospels of Matthew and Mark, at the conclusion of His time on earth Jesus entrusted to the apostles and those who would come after them a mandate that was, and still [...]

Five Myths about Christianity, Islam, and the Middle Ages

Does Islam need a Reformation? Not unless you think it would benefit from additional dollops of Puritanism; further encouragement to smash altars, stained glass, and other forms of "idolatry"; prodding to ban riotous celebrations like Christmas and Easter; and support for fundamentalist Islamic schools that insist on sola Korana and sola Sunnah. Indeed, it would [...]

Patience, for Christ’s Sake!

  Having come back from a two-week trek through Europe, I return this week to the subject of the virtues -- this time, it's Patience. Regular readers of mine might complain that here I'm preaching to the choir: Surely they of all people have mastered this virtue, if only by working their way through my [...]

The Actual Constitution

The president, I have decided, is a genius. He knew that by receiving Notre Dame's honors, he would solidify the wisdom of the 54 percent of Catholics who voted for the most anti-life candidate ever. He also understands that the best way to counteract the so-called Catholic influence on the present Supreme Court is to [...]

Why Hitler Stole the Art of Europe

    Adolf Hitler aspired to be a painter, and he became a tyrant. As a painter he was mediocre, but his understanding of art's power was second to none. Hitler knew that conquering Europe would require more than war; it would call for a complete domination of the culture, especially its art and architecture. [...]

The House of War

Islam at the Gates: How Christendom Defeated the Ottoman Turks Diane Moczar, Sophia Institute Press, $17.95, 256 pages Once upon a time in the West, our ancestors clashed with peoples from the East. Europe was born at Marathon in 491 B.C., when Athenian hoplites defeated an invading Persian army. The defeat of Darius and his [...]

The Fall of Secularism

Recently, the influential German philosopher Jürgen Habermas spoke of the emergence of a "post-secular" society. It had long been thought that as societies grew in technological and economic power, and as the risks of daily life that had been so common for generations faded beneath the safety of plentiful food, a social welfare system, and [...]

Blood in August: On Avoiding World War III

Students of history will always find the month of August a little ominous. In August 1920, the Red Army invading Poland (led by neoconservative hero Leon Trotsky) nearly captured Warsaw and spilled into central Europe, whence it might well have conquered a prostrate Germany, Austria, and Hungary -- just for starters. The heroic Polish defeat [...]

London, 1947

The diamond wedding anniversary of Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh last November brought pages of nostalgic images in the British press. The people of 1947 look so physically different from those of modern Britain: thinner, more cheerful, more formally dressed, more active, the faces less inert, the features somehow more defined. Is it [...]

Holy Land

God's Continent: Christianity, Islam, and Europe's Religious Crisis is a rather scary book if you happen to be reading it on the island where I live, off the coast of North West Europe.     God's Continent: Christianity, Islam, and Europe's Religious Crisis By Philip Jenkins Oxford University Press, 2007 $28.00     God's Continent: [...]

Waiting for Christmas With Hilaire Belloc

For some years, I have set aside time during Advent to read Hilaire Belloc's short essay, "A Remaining Christmas." First published 80 years ago next year, it has been worth my annual rereading. It is an extended reflection on the mystery of the Incarnation and of each person's earthly journey. Even now, Belloc (1870-1953) arouses [...]

Who Are The Neoconservatives? A Conversation With Michael Novak

Prominent writer, thinker, and Crisis Magazine co-founder Michael Novak sat down with Italian scholar Alia K. Nardini to discuss neoconservatism, Catholicism, and the future of the West. ♦ ♦ ♦ Alia K. Nardini: Professor Novak, generally people in Italy and the rest of Europe want to know how much American neoconservatives share with the Republican [...]

Finding the Balance Between Church and State

  For the past three decades, I've been blessed to travel to almost every continent. But particularly, I have always felt a pull to visit Egypt and to see—with my own eyes—its ancient history and impressive ruins, and to visit the people who continue this 3,500-year-old civilization. My longing became a reality recently when I [...]

What Divides America From Europe? The Rule of Law.

There is something particularly exhilarating in looking at one's own country as it is reflected in the mirror of another culture. And there are special opportunities for such enhanced vision when an American is overseas during a turbulent episode in the political life of the United States. I was in Italy for most of December [...]

Allocution to European Jesuits Engaged in the Worker Mission

Let me first of all thank you for welcoming me J among you. I was glad to receive your invitation because I have a strong desire to know the Worker Mission, not only from without, but also — even if two days cannot suffice for it — from within. I want to convey to you [...]

Making Deterrence Work

THE EFFORT BY the National Conference of Catholic Bishops to go into stragtegic specifics on questions of nuclear war may have consequences are different from those the bishops intend. It is not always those who cry "Peace, peace!" who actually bring peace. The opposite has frequently been the case. The second draft of the statement prepared by the bishops (October 1982) [...]