Prince of Darkness

As the calendar rolls over to 2018, we need to take stock of where we are as Americans, noting the dangers that lie ahead.  Those dangers involve politics, culture, economics, foreign policy, and religion, as well as our capacity as postmodern people for thinking in terms of unchanging moral truths and applying them.  For there is great evil occurring on the other side of the world, and we are playing a part in it.  And while we are fixated on the tawdry scandals and tweets of the news cycle, we may not be paying close attention to events that fit an all-too-familiar pattern, with a predictable outcome that, by now, we should have learned to avoid.

This time, the events are occurring in Saudi Arabia.

The Ritz-Carlton Riyadh prides itself on offering the greatest luxury amenities sharia can afford: immaculate accommodations, imported chocolates, piles of halal prawns, an “exclusive gentlemen’s-only” spa facility that looks like the interior of the penthouse at Trump Tower.  Prices aren’t terrible, and there are deals.  The Honeymoon Package starts at SAR 1,389 (under $400), for which you get “in-room American breakfast,” “sweet platter,” “sparkling juice,” and “rose petal turn down” for you and your first, second, third, or fourth bride, provided you show documentation that proves you are...

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