First African American priest being considered for sainthood

Frances Cardinal George of Chicago announced yesterday that he is appointing a commission to gather information about Fr. Augustus Tolton, the first known African-American Catholic priest. Cardinal George said Tolton's prayer and assistance can help us be "a more united church." Tolton escaped from slavery at the beginning of the Civil War, and was baptized [...]

Seth Grahame-Smith has created a monster.

Last year, Seth Grahame-Smith altered the face of classic lit forever by releasing Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Knock-offs multiplied faster than... well, zombies, and the reading public was quickly introduced to Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, Mansfield Park and Mummies, and Queen Victoria: Demon Hunter. Now, Grahame-Smith is back with his latest, Abraham [...]

The Inescapability of the Gospel

  Here's a piece by a Lefty named Annalee Newitz about the insufficiently Lefty liberal power fantasy that energizes stories like Avatar:   These are movies about white guilt. Our main white characters realize that they are complicit in a system which is destroying aliens, AKA people of color -- their cultures, their habitats, and [...]

Rescuing Lincoln

Most Americans are familiar with the young Abraham Lincoln. Stories abound of his truth telling, rail splitting, candlelight reading, soil tilling, store keeping, and flatboat driving. Amazingly enough, James M. McPherson has managed to touch on all of them -- and a few more besides -- in this brief biographical essay written to coincide with [...]

Mr. Lewis and Mrs. Moore

Literature offers us a rich panorama of marriages in which the woman is a shrew and the husband a victim. Not every male is a Petruchio and can "tame" his conjoint. But while not a marriage, the mysterious partnership between the great C. S. Lewis and Janie King Moore, which lasted half of Lewis's life, [...]

Happy Birthday, Charles Darwin

  On February 12, 1809, both Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin were born, a rather interesting coincidence. There are other odd concurrences in their two lives: Both of their mothers died quite early, within a year of each other -- Charles's mother, Susanna, in 1817 and Abraham's mother, Nancy, in 1818. Both lost three children. [...]

Why Jefferson Davis Opposed Roe v. Wade

Okay, he didn't, really, because he never had the chance -- but it's as certain as magnolia blooms in the spring that if Jefferson Davis were to rise again and take his place as the extremely senior senator from Mississippi, he would make the Senate ring with his denunciations of Roe v. Wade. In fact, [...]

Caesar and Mammon: Together Forever

I don't know nothin' 'bout economics and high finance. But I have eyes and ears. The national conversation about the Great Wall Street Meltdown, such as it is, appears to be something that takes place in secret government chambers, with news bulletins to us trembling laity who do not speak or understand the strange hierophantic [...]

The Last Days of Jefferson

There have been so many books about Thomas Jefferson that it's hard to see what more can be said about him. But Alan Pell Crawford, in this elegant, elegiac book, suggests that looking at Jefferson's last years will help us understand his greatness as a Founder and as a president. Twilight at Monticello: The Final [...]

A Pro-Choice President Will Never End Abortion

As a practical matter, the argument that a pro-choice president will end abortion is far-fetched. Never in American history has a laissez-faire chief executive ended a great moral evil. Take slavery and de jure racial discrimination. Pro-slavery presidents did not end slavery; it was brought to its conclusion by Abraham Lincoln, who in his 1860 [...]

Why I Am a Catholic Libertarian

It's not always easy these days to tell which of our two major political parties is the Stupid Party and which the Evil Party. But it remains true, as a conservative wag once said, that from time to time the parties collaborate on something that's both stupid and evil and call it bipartisanship. Although I [...]

‘She Knows Who I Am’

On several evenings recently, my wife and I have gone around the corner to our son's flat overlooking the harbor in our small town here on the Massachusetts coast. He had invited us to watch a television series that takes us into the day-to-day workings of Windsor Castle over the course of a year. For [...]