Seven Deadly Sins

Social Conservatism and the New Nationalism

Jack Fowler, a longtime publishing executive at National Review, sat alone and lonely in the way back of 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 [...]

Why the Left Is So Seductive

Much has been written in recent decades, and with good reason, about the institutions that shape culture (academia, the mainstream media, the entertainment industry), their liberal bias, and how they can be effective evangelists for the Left. However, this essay will explore forces within the human person—formidable but not irresistible—that go back to the Garden [...]

A Tsunami of Mercy

Two stories come to mind when thinking about a Christian’s protracted struggle with sin. One is about a woman who goes to Confession, and, with frustration tells her priest, “Well, Father, I feel a little bit embarrassed. I’m here again to confess the same three sins.” Without pausing the good reverend replies, “Would you feel [...]

The Anatomy of Sloth

Among the capital sins, sloth easily captures the pride of place as being the least offensive. Great, notorious heroes of lust, anger, greed, pride, and the other capital sins will easily come to mind—Don Juan, Achilles, Midas, Satan, etc. But who would we characterize as a hero of sloth? Nero, for fiddling while Rome burned? [...]

Chastity: The Seventh Lively Virtue

When Satan, in Milton’s Paradise Lost, insinuates himself into the garden of Eden, he encounters a perfect riot of beauty: lush grapevines hanging over grottoes and heavy with fruit, grassy meadows full of browsing cattle and sheep, streams splashing their way over the rocks, and flowers literally pouring forth at the bidding not of dainty [...]

Getting a Grip on Envy

Envy is one of the most potent causes of unhappiness. It is certainly the most joyless of the Seven Deadly Sins. It was envy of God that caused the fall of the angels and the devils come into existence. It was envy that brought on the fall of our first parents. The devil envied their happiness, [...]

Seven Deadly Sins, and Those Who Love Them: A Conversation with John Zmirak

There is only one John Zmirak. A prolific author, popular literature professor, gadfly critic of culture and politics, and out-and-proud beagle enthusiast, John leaves an impression. And gives a memorable interview. He spoke with Brian Saint-Paul about his latest book, The Bad Catholic's Guide to the Seven Deadly Sins. ♦          ♦     [...]

Cancel My Mental Reservations

I was recently delighted by the sting operation performed against Planned Parenthood by Live Action, whose members posed as a pimp and a prostitute, intending to test the organization's willingness to enable the exploitation of underaged girls and expose its cynical disregard of the human dignity of women. None of this should surprise those of [...]

Do You Renounce Kennedy and All His Works?

Two weeks ago I ventured into enemy territory: the Harvard Club in Boston. In all the time I've lived in New England, I've turned down every chance to visit Harvard's prim, Georgian campus, though I've window-shopped in swanky Harvard Square. Out of loyalty to its rival, my alma mater, I've steered clear of Harvard, displaying [...]

Put the ‘Mag’ Back in Your Animus

  I'm finishing up a book on the Seven Deadly Sins and their "contrary virtues" -- finishing writing one, that is. I'd much rather do that than read one, just as I'd rather talk than listen. (I find this argument reassures my freshmen rhetoric students.)   Tracing the spectrum of virtue to vice requires a [...]

Psychomachia: Qu’est-ce Que C’est?

  As my dogged readers know, this year I've been fitfully trying to work on a book about the vices and virtues. It has morphed a few times, as projects will, but took its final form as The Bad Catholic's Guide to the Seven Deadly Sins. I meet with my publishers today to design a [...]

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