• Dabney's Blind Spot
    Polemics & Exchanges
    February 30, 2020

    Dabney's Blind Spot

    I read with interest the article by Zachary Garris on Robert Lewis Dabney (“Remembering R. L. Dabney,” December 2019). Having myself graduated from Hampden-Sydney College, where he taught, and being Presbyterian, I have had some interest in his...
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  • Religious Discrimination, Real and Imagined
    Correspondence
    November 1, 2019

    Religious Discrimination, Real and Imagined

    As I was scrolling the news one August day, my attention was drawn to an article recounting the story of a woman wearing a niqab who was ejected from a bus in the Netherlands, a country that enacted a partial ban on the full veil. The prohibition...
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  • Notre Dame and the Lost ‘Means of Culture’
    Correspondence
    June 17, 2019

    Notre Dame and the Lost ‘Means of Culture’

    The fire that gutted Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris during Holy Week was no doubt caused by nothing more banal than negligent builders doing restoration work on the roof. Nevertheless it compelled all of us to search for a deeper explanation.
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  • Protectionism as a Path to Piety
    Views
    May 4, 2019

    Protectionism as a Path to Piety

    Frédéric Bastiat’s Candlestick Makers’ Petition, an open letter to the French Parliament written in 1845, gets trotted out by free-trade fundamentalists every time anyone says the word tariff.
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  • Winter of Our Discontent
    Column
    March 7, 2019

    Winter of Our Discontent

    As fall turned into winter, there were unmistakable signs of paleoconservative dissatisfaction with President Trump.
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  • From Such Turn Away
    Reviews
    March 7, 2019

    From Such Turn Away

    Dr. Daniel Mahoney, the Augustine Chair in Distinguished Scholarship at Assumption College, has written a most scholarly and challenging book, in which he argues that “humanitarianism” without grounding in faith is a danger to our civilization.
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  • Obama’s Pope
    Reviews
    December 8, 2018

    Obama’s Pope

    Mr. Neumayr’s comprehensive and exhaustive work, a fine example of investigative journalism, should deeply worry Catholics, laity and clerics alike.
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  • The Church Afire
    Editorials
    October 6, 2018

    The Church Afire

    As of the start of September, it seemed no week was complete without another scandal breaking within the Church of Rome, considered by Her members to be the Mystical Body of Christ.
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  • How the Crusades Were Won
    Column
    July 7, 2018

    How the Crusades Were Won

    The Christian Crusades of the Middle Ages are today deployed for a wide range of political and rhetorical purposes—to make claims about the Church’s betrayal of Christ’s teaching, the evils of European imperialism, or the inextricable link...
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  • Jordan Peterson and the Unknown God
    Reviews
    July 7, 2018

    Jordan Peterson and the Unknown God

    To some, Jordan Peterson is a breath of fresh air. To others, a guru. Many find him and his ideas to be dangerous. Still others see him as a sign of the times. In a sense, they’re all right.
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  • <em>Books in Brief</em>
    Reviews
    June 10, 2018

    Books in Brief

    This excellent and timely book is of great interest as informed speculation on the future of the United States; at a secondary level, it is a meditation on empire in history.
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  • Speaking of Hell
    Column
    May 5, 2018

    Speaking of Hell

    Did Pope Francis deny the existence of Hell? If previous episodes in this pontificate are any guide, those who earnestly seek a definitive answer will likely discover that, much like the natural fate of the Tootsie Pop, the world may never know.
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  • Hour of Decision
    Column
    April 8, 2018

    Hour of Decision

    Looking objectively at the legacy of Billy Graham in the wake of his passing is virtually impossible, especially for me personally. I know several people who answered the altar call at a Graham crusade, “just as I am without one plea, but that...
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  • Shepherd in a Strange Land
    Reviews
    February 11, 2018

    Shepherd in a Strange Land

    “I’m a pastor, not a scholar,” Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, head of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia since 2011, said when I interviewed him earlier last year for Catholic World Report about his new book. “A bishop’s job is helping people get to...
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  • Chained Bible
    Correspondence
    February 11, 2018

    Chained Bible

    The Church of England is now a citadel of advanced liberalism. It went over to secularism long ago, and its zealots intensify their hold upon doctrine and practice. The charge sheet includes, but is not confined to, support for the transgender...
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  • Cult of America, Part I
    Column
    February 11, 2018

    Cult of America, Part I

    Whether or not America is or ever was a Christian nation is hotly debated. It is fashionable today on the left to ascribe whatever currently is deemed by it to be unacceptable to the legacy of privileged patriarchal white men whose Christianity...
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  • No Time for Indulgences
    Column
    November 5, 2017

    No Time for Indulgences

    [W]e cannot afford to set aside our differences: We need to rediscover them, defend them vigorously and magnanimously, teach them to our children, celebrate them in worship and festival, and nail them to the church door when necessary.
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  • Leftists, Creationists, and Useful Idiots
    Correspondence
    October 7, 2017

    Leftists, Creationists, and Useful Idiots

    Not everyone here in the Bluegrass State was delighted by the 2007 opening of the Creation Museum in Boone County. “There’s been such a push in recent years to improve science education,” a representative of the Kentucky Paleontology Society...
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  • Remembering the Old Russia
    Column
    September 3, 2017

    Remembering the Old Russia

    This Fall marks the centennial of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution. Although few commentators today are likely to glorify that event or its aftermath, most will assume that the revolution was a regrettable necessity, which swept away a repressive...
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  • A Long Way Behind
    Reviews
    August 29, 2017

    A Long Way Behind

    Yale’s Little Histories represent an admirable project, whereby true experts perform the exceedingly difficult task of summarizing a large field of knowledge in a short space, and in an accessible manner.
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  • Blurred Lines
    Society & Culture
    May 6, 2017

    Blurred Lines

    Public culture today is atheistic. It excludes God, natural law, and higher goods; bases morality on individual preferences; and views reason as a way of simply fitting means to ends.
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  • Wrestling With God
    Editorials
    April 2, 2017

    Wrestling With God

    In the prison yard, we’re told, men who sexually abuse children are given special attention, and not the favorable kind. In Euless, Texas, at a public school that bears the unlikely name Trinity, sexual abuse is a celebrated part of the program.
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  • The Gift of Limitations
    Correspondence
    April 2, 2017

    The Gift of Limitations

    When he was little, Rick Curry was the first of his friends to tie his own laces. That may not seem like such a big deal unless you know that he was born without a right forearm. He was brought up to believe he was completely normal.
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  • Ut Plures Sint
    Views
    April 2, 2017

    Ut Plures Sint

    For the last three months I have been asking people at my college what the phrase cultural diversity means, if it does not mean “a diversity of cultures thriving all over the world” or “the study of a broad diversity of cultures spanning four...
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  • Southern Baptists Versus the South
    Society & Culture
    March 2, 2017

    Southern Baptists Versus the South

    The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) has over 15 million members. With over 46,000 churches, they are present in all 50 states (as well as several foreign countries). It is the largest Protestant denomination in the United States.
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  • Incalculable Rewards
    Column
    October 8, 2016

    Incalculable Rewards

    While Mother Teresa was still alive, few who knew of her doubted that she would eventually be inducted into the canon of saints of the Catholic Church.
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  • Palm Sunday
    Correspondence
    May 8, 2016

    Palm Sunday

    On Palm Sunday, I took a walk. It’s the first day of spring, and the sky is china blue, decorated with small cotton-like puffs of clouds. Flowers are blooming, and the ducks at the pond have laid their eggs.
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  • The Chief and His Men
    Reviews
    March 4, 2016

    The Chief and His Men

    On June 1, 1945, Pope Pius XII met for three hours in private audience with his co-conspirator, the German lawyer Josef Müller. “I had hardly crossed the threshold into his study when the Holy Father approached me, and embraced me,” Müller later...
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  • Effeminate Synod
    Correspondence
    January 11, 2016

    Effeminate Synod

    The synod of Catholic bishops, convened to discuss the ailments of the family in the present time, is ended. Let us go in peace, thanks be to God.
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  • The First American Pope
    Editorials
    November 8, 2015

    The First American Pope

    Americans invented modern advertising, publicity, and celebrity, three dubious accomplishments of Homo sapiens rapidly adopted by the rest of the world.
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  • Church and State
    Editorials
    September 7, 2015

    Church and State

    The strongest parts of Laudato Si’, the latest papal encyclical, are the first sections of Chapter Three, “The Human Roots of the Ecological Crisis,” where Pope Francis addresses the quest for limitless power that has been the dominant...
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  • <em>Laudato si</em>
    Editorials
    August 2, 2015

    Laudato si

    The release of Pope Francis’s second encyclical (and the first that can truly be called his alone, since Lumen fidei was essentially cowritten with his predecessor, Benedict XVI) was anticlimactic.
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  • Out With the Old
    Cultural Revolutions
    July 8, 2015

    Out With the Old

    The 1.67 million member Presbyterian Church (USA) has voted to redefine marriage from “between a woman and a man” to “between two people, traditionally a man and a woman.”
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  • Remember the Nazarenes: An Interview With Bishop Warduni
    News
    April 6, 2015

    Remember the Nazarenes: An Interview With Bishop Warduni

    According to the latest available figures, no fewer than two million Iraqis, many of them Christians, have been chased out of their homes by the militiamen of the Islamic State, and now their tragic plight may fall into oblivion amid the...
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  • Dealing With the Devil
    Vital Signs
    February 12, 2015

    Dealing With the Devil

    Ralph Sarchie exudes an aura of intense strength when he walks into a room. A fit, middle-aged man with heavily tattooed arms (pictures of his daughters and tough cop tattoos, like one that reads New York Untouchables) and a buzz cut, who speaks...
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  • A Different Drum
    Perspective
    February 12, 2015

    A Different Drum

    You turn on the radio for the weather report: “Sunny and warm today, with a high near 80. Light breeze out of the south at five miles per hour. Chance of rain less than ten percent.”
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  • Church, Immigration, and Nation
    Views
    January 12, 2015

    Church, Immigration, and Nation

    In the realm of the spirit, there are few prospects more terrifying than meeting God—the Father, the Creator, the unconditioned Absolute Whose essence is His existence.
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  • Holy Ghosts and the Spirit of Christmas
    Vital Signs
    December 6, 2014

    Holy Ghosts and the Spirit of Christmas

    It has been argued that, after Shakespeare, Charles Dickens is the finest writer in the English language.
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  • Dante’s <em>Human</em> Comedy
    Views
    December 6, 2014

    Dante’s Human Comedy

    Prima sedes a nemine indicator: “The First See is judged by no one.” Thus reads Canon 1404 of the current Code of Canon Law of the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church, and Canon 1556 of the previous code.
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  • The Machinery of Equality
    American Proscenium
    October 12, 2014

    The Machinery of Equality

    Christians objecting to assisting with homosexual “marriage” ceremonies continue to suffer defeat in various state courts. The most recent example comes out of New York, where a Christian couple declined to host a homosexual wedding and...
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  • The Monk From Mt. Athos
    Correspondence
    October 12, 2014

    The Monk From Mt. Athos

    Our Greek host on Santorini, a young hotelier and newly married tour promoter, is trying to sell us a Mount Olympus excursion. “Half the German tourists frown, they are unhappy, and you wonder why,” he explains.
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  • (Not) The Age of Aquarius
    Column
    September 1, 2014

    (Not) The Age of Aquarius

    I may be stereotyping Chronicles readers unfairly, but I suspect that not many read witches&pagans. If your subscription has lapsed, I draw your attention to a recent feature that actually has far-reaching consequences for more...
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  • Songs of Innocence and Experience
    Column
    August 7, 2014

    Songs of Innocence and Experience

    The personal is the political: This 1960’s catchphrase defiantly bandied by leftists and feminists has always seemed to me childishly peevish. It’s as if, in a fit of collective pique, those on the left had been stamping their feet, demanding...
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  • Unshattered
    Reviews
    August 7, 2014

    Unshattered

    Admittedly, I approached Amanda Bell with a degree of caution. I am, to say the least, wary of fiction, especially fiction centered around a female protagonist who is on a path of self-understanding and realization.
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  • Let Us Pray (But to Whom?)
    American Proscenium
    July 9, 2014

    Let Us Pray (But to Whom?)

    In May, the Supreme Court held that the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause is not offended when a city council opens its meetings with a short prayer (Town of Greece v. Galloway).
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  • Picturing a Lesbian Wedding
    American Proscenium
    May 7, 2014

    Picturing a Lesbian Wedding

    Americans are getting a taste of unintended consequences from overly broad public-accommodation laws enacted in the past half-century. Christian business owners are especially burdened when individuals practicing what once was considered...
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  • Botched Efforts
    Reviews
    May 7, 2014

    Botched Efforts

    To paraphrase Sir Christopher Wren’s admirer: If you seek the Reformation’s monument, the chaos and rubble are all around you.
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  • Restoring the Earth to the Living
    Views
    April 3, 2014

    Restoring the Earth to the Living

    When speaking to Moses on Mount Sinai, Jehovah gave explicit instructions on the Year of Jubilee. Once the people came into the Promised Land, every 50 years they were to observe the Jubilee.
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  • Suicide State
    Correspondence
    March 3, 2014

    Suicide State

    “We don’t divorce our men; we bury them,” instructs Stella Bernard, played by a loony Ruth Gordon, in Lord Love a Duck (1966). That’s certainly better social policy than America has pursued since 1970, with no-fault divorce shattering...
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  • The Pathology of Postmodernity
    January 9, 2014

    The Pathology of Postmodernity

    According to the Viennese doctor, the fundamental problem, or “discontent,” of a civilization is the unrealistic demands it makes of the id, in particular Christian society’s command to love others as we love ourselves.
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  • The God With Feet of Clay
    Reviews
    December 1, 2013

    The God With Feet of Clay

    Liberty: The God That Failed is Christopher Ferrara’s second 90-caliber salvo against liberalism, left and right.  His first, The Church and the Libertarian: A Defense of the Catholic Church’s Teaching on Man,...
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  • Conservatism at Midwinter Spring
    Views
    December 1, 2013

    Conservatism at Midwinter Spring

    The first step, they say, is to admit you have a problem. That’s true of saints on the Romans Road and of drunks on the Road to Sobriety.
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  • Returning to Reality
    Views
    December 1, 2013

    Returning to Reality

    On February 28, as Pope Benedict XVI was leaving office, the magician Penn Jillette was interviewed on CNN by Piers Morgan, a nominal Catholic.
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  • The Pope, the "Poor", and the World
    November 1, 2013

    The Pope, the "Poor", and the World

    A reader not of the Faith who happened, since the installation of Pope Francis, to glance through almost any issue of L’Osservatore Romano, Vatican City’s official newspaper, might well conclude that the conclave that met in the Sistine...
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  • Do Homosexuals Exist? Or, Where Do We Go From Here?
    Views
    July 1, 2013

    Do Homosexuals Exist? Or, Where Do We Go From Here?

    In March of this year over a million Frenchmen demonstrated on the streets of Paris against the legal institutionalization of gay marriage.
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  • The Honest State
    European Diary
    May 1, 2013

    The Honest State

    In the shadow of St. Peter’s in Zurich, a beautiful church with the largest clock face in Europe, I found myself chatting with a German tourist. Curious to hear that I lived in Sicily, he asked me what I thought of Zurich. “I love it,” I said....
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  • The Hind and the Panther
    May 1, 2013

    The Hind and the Panther

    No one expects to discover in a drug dealer the character of Johnny Appleseed or Santa Claus, overflowing with compassion and the milk of human kindness, scattering sweetness and light wherever he goes.
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  • Paganism, Christianity, and the Roots of the West
    Views
    May 1, 2013

    Paganism, Christianity, and the Roots of the West

    I remember being taught as a student of the considerable, if not unbridgeable, gap between the polytheistic pagans and the monotheistic Christians who, though they may have borrowed from their predecessors, eventually delivered a civilization...
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  • Granny and Jesus
    Stories
    March 1, 2013

    Granny and Jesus

    Granny had been brought up in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and went to church once every two or three years, usually on Mother’s Day, hoping my father would join her and learn to appreciate her innumerable virtues. He never went.
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  • That Hideous Absolutism
    Reviews
    March 1, 2013

    That Hideous Absolutism

    To the modern mind, religion and magic are related. Both are based on superstition, and both have been proved false by science. C.S. Lewis thought otherwise: Magic is more closely related to science.
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  • Back to the Catacombs
    Correspondence
    February 1, 2013

    Back to the Catacombs

    The small neo-Gothic chapel in the confines of St. John’s cemetery in the New York City borough of Queens was filling up quickly on that brisk autumn Sunday.
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  • Freedom From Religion
    Perspective
    December 1, 2012

    Freedom From Religion

    As the presidential campaign came to a close, religious questions sneaked surreptitiously into the national debate.
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  • Classical Liberalism and Christianity
    Views
    December 1, 2012

    Classical Liberalism and Christianity

    If asked to choose one word to define the basic creed and catchword of Western modernity, I would not hesitate: That word would be freedom, provided one understands that, for a modern, there can be no freedom where there is no equality.
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  • Surprised by Believers
    Column
    November 1, 2012

    Surprised by Believers

    The original building, Old St. Patrick’s, is down the street from the usurper, crouching in the shadows, dreaming of the days when a Roman Catholic church could never have been mistaken for a flying saucer.
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  • Golden Standards
    News
    November 1, 2012

    Golden Standards

    The golden calf was not cited by William Jennings Bryan at the Democratic National Convention in 1896 when he employed other biblical imagery to condemn the gold standard in support of bimetallism. “You shall not press down upon the brow of...
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  • It's Ryan
    American Proscenium
    October 3, 2012

    It's Ryan

    As a Catholic from the Midwest, Ryan embodies the type of voters the GOP ticket must win to capture the White House. It is difficult to see how Romney wins if he fails to gain the Catholic vote or to win a number of major Midwestern states.
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  • Maistre in the Dock
    Reviews
    October 3, 2012

    Maistre in the Dock

    In September 2010, Émile Perreau-Saussine, age 37, was rushed to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, U.K., with chest pains. The junior physician on staff misdiagnosed his condition and thus failed to prevent his death hours later of a massive...
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  • Attack the Symbols
    News
    October 3, 2012

    Attack the Symbols

    By any chalk, Pussy Riot are marginal extremists. The pregnant woman, Nadezhda Tolokhinnova, now convicted, has a disturbing look in her pretty eyes, which suggests either drug abuse or a personality disorder: The scene with the cockroaches is...
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  • Strange Conventions
    Cultural Revolutions
    September 1, 2012

    Strange Conventions

    There’s a lot to be said—though as a conservative I hate to admit it—for the sheer passage of time. Change can elevate as well as degrade.
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  • Rediscovering the <i>Verbum Domini</i>: An Interview With Steve Green
    News
    September 1, 2012

    Rediscovering the Verbum Domini: An Interview With Steve Green

    A unique exhibition was held from March 1 to April 15 in the Vatican’s Braccio di Carlo Magno (Charlemagne wing) next to St. Peter’s Basilica. Entitled Verbum Domini, it was dedicated to telling the story of the Bible amid a mounting...
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  • Utopia Forestalled
    Column
    August 2, 2012

    Utopia Forestalled

    Are you familiar with the Cristeros? They were Mexican Catholics who rebelled against their secularist government in 1926. I knew very little of them myself until I saw For Greater Glory: The True Story of Cristiada.
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  • Islam in the City of Light
    Correspondence
    August 2, 2012

    Islam in the City of Light

    On the day of our visit the descendants of the heroes of the Vendée were nowhere to be seen. Instead, the base of the several hundred feet of steps leading to the basilica was occupied by short, leather-clad, and menacing West African drug dealers.
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  • And Pastures New
    Column
    April 1, 2012

    And Pastures New

    Suppose you had to choose the single motion picture that dealt most seriously and challengingly with religious matters. What might it be? Offhand, I can think of a dozen or so possible answers from various countries, and probably most...
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  • A Cardinal in Full
    Reviews
    April 1, 2012

    A Cardinal in Full

    In his Testament politique, Armand-Jean du Plessis, Cardinal Duc de Richelieu, wrote, “A capable prince represents a great treasure in a state. A skillful counsel . . . is no less a treasure.” Surely Richelieu had himself in mind, as...
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  • Obama and the Bishops
    April 1, 2012

    Obama and the Bishops

    The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has had a rough time of it lately, and I won’t say they don’t deserve it. Barack Obama is their President, after all, when it comes to most political issues; for example, immigration and immigrants’...
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  • Crusader in the Crossfire
    News
    March 1, 2012

    Crusader in the Crossfire

    In January, I was tasked by the London Daily Telegraph to track Rick Santorum through the wilds of New Hampshire. Following his impressive gains in Iowa, many were giving Santorum good odds for winning the Granite State’s presidential...
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  • The Christian in the Cave
    Column
    January 5, 2012

    The Christian in the Cave

    Given contemporary cultural debates, it is scarcely surprising that such myths commonly focus on religious themes, usually to the massive disadvantage of religion, in general, and Christianity, in particular.
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  • A New Church and a New Country
    American Proscenium
    December 1, 2011

    A New Church and a New Country

    Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles tirelessly advocates for illegal aliens. A native of Mexico, he has an ardent love of his homeland and his people. He testifies frequently on Capitol Hill in favor of various amnesty-related issues, always...
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  • China's Lord of Heaven
    Correspondence
    December 1, 2011

    China's Lord of Heaven

    I have been spending my spring sabbatical in China. As I am a sinologist, specializing in traditional Chinese poetry, there is nothing surprising in that, except that I have not been here since 1981, when I led a tour group for less than three...
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  • Despair, Detachment, and the West
    Views
    December 1, 2011

    Despair, Detachment, and the West

    Then as now, the pagan critic sees the fall of the great city (Rome, Constantinople, New York) and fingers Christian “universalism” as the agitating force that cracked the city walls.
    Read More
  • Communities and Strangers
    Views
    December 1, 2011

    Communities and Strangers

    According to many Christian theologians, Jesus, the moral Will of God, descended from a state of perfection to take on flesh and blood, with all the pain that goes with living and dying in time.
    Read More
  • Christian Democracy? No Such Thing
    Views
    November 3, 2011

    Christian Democracy? No Such Thing

    Everyone hails democracy as the government of the people, by the people, and for the people, but very few realize—or dare realize—that democracy actually represents one of the most perfect forms of tyranny, because it is one the average citizen...
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  • Wisdom and Science
    Column
    October 1, 2011

    Wisdom and Science

    Societies live by their mythologies, which become so passionately held that it’s usually risky to challenge them. Having said that, one major component of contemporary secularist mythology really has to be confronted, because it is so...
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  • Ayn the Antichrist
    Vital Signs
    October 1, 2011

    Ayn the Antichrist

    “Who is John Galt?” again rings throughout the land. Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand’s doorstop novel chronicling a general strike of the productive against the “looters,” gains resonance during times of increasing government control.
    Read More
  • Breivik: No Patriot, No Christian
    American Proscenium
    September 1, 2011

    Breivik: No Patriot, No Christian

    As of this writing, stories describing the horrifying bombing and shootings committed in Norway by Anders Beh­ring Breivik are still coming in, but there is enough information available for an attentive reader to draw some preliminary...
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  • Faith of Our Forepeople
    Vital Signs
    September 1, 2011

    Faith of Our Forepeople

    A lot of used to be’s mark English usage in an age grown too comfortable with the presumed need to conform language to the ideology of feminism, with its cultivated disdain for words that savor of male dominance or whatever.
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  • Of Martyrs and Men
    Polemics & Exchanges
    September 1, 2011

    Of Martyrs and Men

    George McCartney (“The First and Final Command,” In the Dark, June) seems to believe that the Trappists of Tibhirine died as Christian martyrs. I do not.
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  • Charities Off the Dole
    Cultural Revolutions
    August 1, 2011

    Charities Off the Dole

    As of June 1, residents of the Land of Lincoln are free to enter into civil unions, which allow same-sex couples to enjoy the benefits, protections, and responsibilities under Illinois law that are granted to spouses.
    Read More
  • Serial Killer
    American Proscenium
    August 1, 2011

    Serial Killer

    Jack Kevorkian assisted in about 130 suicides—most of them women—from 1990 to 1998. Kevorkian’s modus operandi was to leave the bodies in a public place; a telephone call to authorities would then lead to a macabre discovery and the media...
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  • Calvinism Without God
    Reviews
    August 1, 2011

    Calvinism Without God

    Forget the “culture wars” and the assault on Christianity. The real conflict in America is thoroughly secular—between environmental and ecological “religions”—or so says Robert Nelson.
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  • The Enchanted Orchard
    Column
    August 1, 2011

    The Enchanted Orchard

    I moved to the northern reaches of California’s Sonoma County, known as the Russian River, in 2008 and eventually settled in a house, built in 1930, in the midst of an ancient orchard.
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  • Keeping History
    Cultural Revolutions
    July 1, 2011

    Keeping History

    Ever since Hugo Black succeeded in incorporating his anti-religious prejudices and Thomas Jefferson’s “Wall of Separation” into Supreme Court jurisprudence, Americans have known how a story like this is supposed to end: A parent who comes into a...
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  • A Saint Is Born: An Interview With Roland Joffe
    News
    June 2, 2011

    A Saint Is Born: An Interview With Roland Joffe

    The brilliant new movie There Be Dragons was not made as a corrective to The Da Vinci Code, yet its portrayal of St. Josemaría Escrivá, founder of Opus Dei (“Work of God”), is sure to generate wholesome interest in him, the Church...
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  • Our Sacred Anticanon
    Beyond the Revolution
    June 2, 2011

    Our Sacred Anticanon

    “Been to church?” he asked. Dressed in a suit at 10:30 on Sunday morning, I was forced to admit the fact. “I’ve read the Bible; I’ve read both bibles,” he said in a tone that suggested he was just making conversation.
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  • The King James Bible at 400: Love's Labor's Lost
    Views
    June 2, 2011

    The King James Bible at 400: Love's Labor's Lost

    I was in seventh grade, and we were downstate for the annual Bible Bowl. Our little fundamentalist school fielded a team every year. We were the most conservative of fundamentalists, which mean that we were King James Only (affectionately KJVO).
    Read More
  • The Triumph of Nice
    Views
    June 2, 2011

    The Triumph of Nice

    Imagine reading an interview with the founder of a new Christian church. As the interviewer points out, new denominations are scarcely a surprising story, so what makes yours so different and noteworthy? Well, explains the prophet, we have a...
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  • Cathedral or Mosque-Cathedral?
    Correspondence
    May 1, 2011

    Cathedral or Mosque-Cathedral?

    On March 10, 2010, a group of tourists, reputedly “students from Austria,” entered the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption in Córdoba and started a Muslim prayer. Private guards and, later, police arrested them.
    Read More
  • Christophobia and Its Discontents
    Vital Signs
    April 1, 2011

    Christophobia and Its Discontents

    The rise of multiculturalism and the rise of hostility to Christianity are related. And while Scruton is correct that the precise contours of multiculturalism are ill defined, we do know that it involves an exaltation of non-Western culture and...
    Read More
  • Unto Them a Child Was Born
    Column
    April 1, 2011

    Unto Them a Child Was Born

    Normality is a fragile concept, and that observation is nowhere more true than in sexual matters. In making that point, I am not questioning the existence of absolute moral standards—quite the contrary.
    Read More
  • Bruised Reeds
    Reviews
    March 1, 2011

    Bruised Reeds

    What is revealed is a man at once engagingly straightforward and wholly bound up with bearing witness to the “truth, the love and the joy that comes from conversion to Christ,” as George Weigel writes in his Foreword.
    Read More
  • Interview With The Archbishop of Kirkuk
    News
    March 1, 2011

    Interview With The Archbishop of Kirkuk

    In his Apostolic Exhortation Verbum Domini, on “The Word of God in the Life and the Mission of the Church,” Pope Benedict XVI challenged Islamic countries to offer the same religious freedom that Muslims usually enjoy in predominantly Christian...
    Read More
  • Christophobia, Communist and Otherwise
    Vital Signs
    January 1, 2011

    Christophobia, Communist and Otherwise

    Orthodox Archbishop Hilarion Alfeyev has recently warned Europeans of the dangers of building a completely atheist and secularized society. That was the situation in Eastern Europe under communism.
    Read More
  • The Five Good Reasons
    Beyond the Revolution
    January 1, 2011

    The Five Good Reasons

    By the standards of civilized life, both sides were guilty of cold-blooded murder, but, if we look at it from the killers’ perspectives, they all had reasons that amounted to justification according to the Code of the West.
    Read More
  • Five Really Good Reasons
    Perspective
    December 1, 2010

    Five Really Good Reasons

    Atheism is once again the rage. These religious fads come and go like skirt lengths or medical trends. When I was a child, everyone I knew had had his tonsils out.
    Read More
  • The One Civilization
    Views
    December 1, 2010

    The One Civilization

    Popular culture in the West, and especially in North America, is an illusion, mostly electronic, that does not feed the soul. Indeed, it claims to do nothing but feed the senses, and as such it tends toward universal barbarism, fostering...
    Read More
  • The Necessity of Christianity
    Views
    December 1, 2010

    The Necessity of Christianity

    To prove the necessity of Christianity in a few paragraphs would be an entirely foolish—if not preposterous—undertaking, were it not that volumes are not necessary to present a simple idea.
    Read More
  • The Benedict Bounce
    Correspondence
    November 1, 2010

    The Benedict Bounce

    About an hour into the papal vigil in Hyde Park, I turned to one of my companions, a musical genius with bipolar disorder, and said, “You know what I think? I think this is pagan.”
    Read More
  • Mormon Apocalypse, Part II
    Column
    November 1, 2010

    Mormon Apocalypse, Part II

    When Glenn Beck took the podium at his Restoring Honor rally, he began by listing off the names of American heroes and identifying their motivation to fight for their country: “You cannot coexist with evil.” If evil has reared its ugly head, an...
    Read More
  • Anarcho&mdash;Utopia Revisited
    Reviews
    November 1, 2010

    Anarcho—Utopia Revisited

    Because a man owns himself, the late Austrian economist Murray Rothbard said, he may do anything to himself he wishes (thus suicide and abortion are not moral abominations), but he may do no physical violence to, or steal from, another. I...
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  • Freedom From Religion
    Perspective
    November 1, 2010

    Freedom From Religion

    The recent “flap” over the Ground Zero Mosque is the meaningless debate we have come to expect from American political debates, which are a mere exchange of platitudes. The only interesting part is the common ground occupied by both sides.
    Read More
  • Broken Windows
    Letters to the Bishop
    October 1, 2010

    Broken Windows

    My schedule this past summer gave me the opportunity to attend daily Mass. Nearly every noon found me seated in the pews, garnering the gifts—fewer distractions, the bare-bones order of worship, the solace of quiet prayer—often missing on...
    Read More
  • Give Me Back My Frock!
    Column
    September 2, 2010

    Give Me Back My Frock!

    Pastors are sinners in need of redemption, like everyone else. A pastor must forgive and be forgiven, and this is something that the flock must be taught and must embrace, or subtle Donatism will creep in with the latest gossip.
    Read More
  • Caring in Colorado (and Everywhere)
    September 2, 2010

    Caring in Colorado (and Everywhere)

    Not long ago I attended a dinner hosted by a Catholic laymen’s organization in the social hall of a church on Colorado’s Front Range. The meal was followed by after-dinner speeches and concluding remarks by an official representing the...
    Read More
  • Newsweeklies In Hell
    Cultural Revolutions
    August 1, 2010

    Newsweeklies In Hell

    Every Easter and Christmas at least one of America’s three newsweeklies—Time, Newsweek, and U.S. News & World Report—includes articles trashing Christian dogmas.
    Read More
  • Sex and Post&mdash;Christian Arithmetic
    Column
    August 1, 2010

    Sex and Post—Christian Arithmetic

    What is a school? Today, we think of school as an institution or even as a building. But school comes from the Greek skho­le, “leisure”—i.e., clear your schedule of mundane tasks and make time to contemplate what matters.
    Read More
  • Where the Demons Dwell: The Antichrist Right
    Views
    August 1, 2010

    Where the Demons Dwell: The Antichrist Right

    Those blissfully ignorant of right-wing soap opera will have never noticed the Antichrist Right, a loose coalition of writers who regard the Church as the worst thing that ever happened to Western civilization.
    Read More
  • Calling Dr. Johnson
    Column
    July 1, 2010

    Calling Dr. Johnson

    Barack Obama seems to hate calling anyone our enemy. It isn’t nice. It’s not Christian, as he understands Christianity. Well, Christ enjoins us to love our enemies.
    Read More
  • Give Me That Old-Time Religion
    Correspondence
    July 1, 2010

    Give Me That Old-Time Religion

    I know that my criticisms of the present-day Church will be viewed by some as the crabbed grousings of just another rosary-praying Jansenist longing for the good old days.
    Read More
  • The Bishops' Quest for Amnesty
    Vital Signs
    June 3, 2010

    The Bishops' Quest for Amnesty

    In January, when the Catholic Church in the United States was supposedly devoting all of Her efforts to preventing taxpayer funding of abortion in ObamaCare, America’s Catholic bishops took a distracting detour, announcing a nationwide “Justice...
    Read More
  • Grades and Passes
    Letters to the Bishop
    May 1, 2010

    Grades and Passes

    This past season of mortification was my most wretched of Lents. The Ash Wednesday promises made to myself and to God lie behind me like spiritual road kill.
    Read More
  • The Center Cannot Hold
    Correspondence
    April 1, 2010

    The Center Cannot Hold

    The Church of England is made up of three parts: evangelical Protestants, Anglo-Catholics, and liberals. They have long been at war, and soon this war will lead to the final rending of that Church.
    Read More
  • The Art of Spanking
    Column
    April 1, 2010

    The Art of Spanking

    The story appeared at Salon.com, and it was about parents spanking children, so right there from the get-go you’re bracing yourself for another left-wing diatribe against what my parents, and their parents, and, well, a fair number of the...
    Read More
  • Ave Maria
    Correspondence
    March 1, 2010

    Ave Maria

    Tammy Ormson gave much of herself to Catholic education, both as a student and as a teacher. And yet so much was taken from her.
    Read More
  • On the Quai at Smyrna
    Reviews
    March 1, 2010

    On the Quai at Smyrna

    The literature in the English language on various long-established communities eradicated by the horrors of the 20th century is largely dominated by the Jewish holocaust.
    Read More
  • Cicero's Legacy
    Reviews
    February 1, 2010

    Cicero's Legacy

    Once a believer in the blessings of modernity and classical liberalism, Dutch philosopher Andreas Kinneging now considers himself a “convert” to traditional thinking.
    Read More
  • Leaving the ECLA
    Cultural Revolutions
    December 1, 2009

    Leaving the ECLA

    The recent decision by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) to ordain active homosexuals and adopt a more permissive attitude toward fornication has put many parish churches in the difficult position of choosing whether to remain in...
    Read More
  • Christmas With the Devil
    Column
    December 1, 2009

    Christmas With the Devil

    “The true meaning of Christmas gets lost when we believe contrary worldviews,” the prisoner writes. “Our beliefs determine our views in a world where absolutes are fading away.” The prisoner is dictating this for his newsletter.
    Read More
  • Ubuntu!
    Reviews
    December 1, 2009

    Ubuntu!

    William Murchison gets right to the point in his eloquent account of mainline Protestantism’s near-terminal degeneration, written poignantly from an Anglican’s perspective.
    Read More
  • Fighting for Orthodoxy Among the Methodists
    Views
    December 1, 2009

    Fighting for Orthodoxy Among the Methodists

    The Episcopal Church, with two million members, drove off the cliff in 2003 by electing its first openly homosexual bishop. In 2005, the United Church of Christ (1.1 million members) officially endorsed same-sex “marriage,” though the UCC had...
    Read More
  • Recovering the Dignity of Truth
    Views
    December 1, 2009

    Recovering the Dignity of Truth

    We Episcopalians—we’re just so special, don’t you know? We worship in such special ways. Our churches look so special, as do we ourselves—an indication of our social gifts.
    Read More
  • Nestorius of Constaninople
    Reviews
    January 1, 2010

    Nestorius of Constaninople

    At a time when many historians have become much more interested in long-term trends and processes, Giusto Traina reminds the reader of the centrality of events to the study of any historical period.
    Read More
  • The Peter Principle
    Letters to the Bishop
    January 1, 2010

    The Peter Principle

    All across America this Valentine’s Day platoons of men will stand at the counters of flower shops and grocery stores, clutching cards, chocolates, and roses to their chests, tokens of affection for their wives and lady friends (and sometimes, no...
    Read More
  • The Democratic Religion
    October 1, 2009

    The Democratic Religion

    A half-century ago, a politically ambitious intellectual celebrity named Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., defined liberalism’s role as that of offering solutions to problems and solving them. Even in the heyday of the Vital Center, that was far from...
    Read More
  • The Necessity of Christianity
    Vital Signs
    October 1, 2009

    The Necessity of Christianity

    According to an increasingly popular and influential narrative, the Founding Fathers were mostly crypto-atheistic deists who, as Christopher Hitchens is fond of pointing out, did not mention God in the Constitution, and gave us a First Amendment...
    Read More
  • Adventurous
    Letters to the Bishop
    October 1, 2009

    Adventurous

    October and November in these mountains often seem to me a time of melancholy and bereavement, of Demeter grieving the loss of Persephone, the good earth receding into itself.
    Read More
  • Christian No More
    Column
    September 1, 2009

    Christian No More

    C.S. Lewis wrote about the “death of words.” In essence, he suggested that, whenever we feel compelled to append a noun with the adjectives true or real, it is safe to say that the noun has lost its meaning, or died. “No, no,...
    Read More
  • Freedom and Action
    Reviews
    September 1, 2009

    Freedom and Action

    In this rich and dense book, Michael Allen Gillespie is self-consciously trying to correct the “standard” understanding of the origin of modernity. Rather than being the “victory of secularism,” modernity, he says, is a series of attempts to...
    Read More
  • Educating for Faith and Community
    Views
    September 1, 2009

    Educating for Faith and Community

    Few realize that the largest Protestant school system in the United States is operated by the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. With 1,018 elementary schools and 102 high schools sharing a combined enrollment of 149,201 students, it is an...
    Read More
  • The School of History
    Views
    September 1, 2009

    The School of History

    The seven founders of the abbey had fled their native kingdom of Hungary in 1950 when the anti-Christian reprisals and “land-reform” initiatives of the new communist regime finally moved to close down their 660-year-old mother abbey of Csorna...
    Read More
  • Stepping Backward
    Perspective
    September 1, 2009

    Stepping Backward

    When Jefferson Davis was a boy, he told his father that he did not wish to go to school. The Yankee schoolmaster, although a kindly man, demanded a great deal of memory work and threatened to punish young Jeff for his failure.
    Read More
  • Looking Backwards
    Column
    August 3, 2009

    Looking Backwards

    Hard cases make bad law, and since 2002 the exposure of some ugly criminal cases has stirred legislators in several states to contemplate dreadful legal innovations. However far removed these crimes may appear from regular mainstream American...
    Read More
  • Fr. Stanley Jaki, R.I.P.
    Cultural Revolutions
    July 1, 2009

    Fr. Stanley Jaki, R.I.P.

    When the 18-year-old Stanley Jaki entered the archabbey of Pannonhalma in western Hungary to become a monk, he would have seen over the great entrance to the conventual complex an image that still may be seen there today, a summary of the...
    Read More
  • Breast Implants and Barbarians
    Column
    July 1, 2009

    Breast Implants and Barbarians

    When Miss California’s assets were revealed to be fakies, I immediately thought of a line from Roland Bainton’s excellent and concise history The Medieval Church: “The real point,” he wrote, “was . . . ” Well, first, the story.
    Read More
  • The Distributist Alternative: A Voluntary Safety Net
    Views
    July 1, 2009

    The Distributist Alternative: A Voluntary Safety Net

    As an economic concept, distributism refers to a broad, voluntary distribution of wealth in land, labor, and capital. The idea has its origins in Pope Leo XIII’s 1891 social encyclical Rerum novarum, which rejected Marxism and...
    Read More
  • The Bishop Takes a Stand
    Cultural Revolutions
    May 1, 2009

    The Bishop Takes a Stand

    In recent years America has seemed to lack the sort of bold churchman who is willing to put his penny-loafered foot down and say enough is enough. But according to recent press reports, the shoe has dropped. Even in these degraded times, there...
    Read More
  • Antifascists on the March
    Correspondence
    May 1, 2009

    Antifascists on the March

    All over Britain and Ireland, including the unpleasing town where I live, which is run by a left-wing junta, there are memorials to those who fought in the International Brigades on the Red Republican side in the Spanish Civil War (1936-39).
    Read More
  • Preparing for Battle
    Letters to the Bishop
    May 1, 2009

    Preparing for Battle

    May is once again upon us, bringing that mad dash in which you sprint from parish to parish, rubbing oily crosses on the smooth foreheads of gawky teens, confirmandi mentally and spiritually armed to do battle with the dragons facing God’s...
    Read More
  • A Pearl and Some Swine
    Column
    April 1, 2009

    A Pearl and Some Swine

    It’s Lent, so naturally I’m thinking about Barack Obama. Well, specifically, about his inauguration. You remember, don’t you—the day that hope became sight?
    Read More
  • What God Has Joined
    Reviews
    April 1, 2009

    What God Has Joined

    Seventeenth-century French philosopher René Descartes (1596-1650) believed that God moderates reason. That is to say, faith prevents man from falling deeply into error.
    Read More
  • Luck and the Mass Man
    Polemics & Exchanges
    March 2, 2009

    Luck and the Mass Man

    Why was Christ put to death? Because Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, had told the Sanhedrin, “Ye know nothing at all, nor consider that it is expedient for us that one man should die for the people.”
    Read More
  • Moonstruck Morality Versus the Cosmos
    Views
    March 2, 2009

    Moonstruck Morality Versus the Cosmos

    January 25 of this year marked the 50th anniversary of the surprise announcement of Pope John XXIII that he intended to convoke a general council. From 1959 to 1962, the soon-to-be-jettisoned constitutions and decrees that would have been...
    Read More
  • Mainline Marital Mélange
    Views
    March 2, 2009

    Mainline Marital Mélange

    We know the stereotype, do we not? Eyes like marbles, jaw clinched tight as a bear trap; icy baritone voice; accusatory finger slashing the air. Yea, brothers and sisters, hear the word of the Lord, Who condemns . . .
    Read More
  • Patriarch Alesky, R.I.P
    Cultural Revolutions
    February 2, 2009

    Patriarch Alesky, R.I.P

    Aleksy II, Patriarch of Moscow and head of the Russian Orthodox Church, died of heart failure on December 5, 2008, at the age of 79.
    Read More
  • America's Coldest Winter
    Letters to the Bishop
    February 2, 2009

    America's Coldest Winter

    To illustrate how Christians must live in both this world and the next, our parish priest recently quoted a Jesuit who once said: “In our right hand we carry the New York Times. In our left hand we carry the Bible.”
    Read More
  • The Smoke of Satan
    Reviews
    February 2, 2009

    The Smoke of Satan

    Before Vatican II, the Roman Catholic Church appeared to be a fortress against the raging tide of modernity, a supremely self-confident institution that attracted converts of the caliber of Evelyn Waugh, G.K. Chesterton, Ronald Knox, and...
    Read More
  • Home Church
    Views
    January 1, 2009

    Home Church

    With the election of Democrat Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States, I’ve watched a number of friends, family members, and acquaintances—conservative Christians, every one—come unglued. It would seem that this is the end of...
    Read More
  • Merry Christmas, Pinhead
    Column
    December 3, 2008

    Merry Christmas, Pinhead

    Twelve long months ago, America was in the throes of Holiday Shopping Season ’07. It was a simpler time. The Dow was safely over 10,000, and we were all wondering whether it would be Hillary or Giuliani in the White House come January ’09.
    Read More
  • Christmas Nightmares
    Perspective
    December 3, 2008

    Christmas Nightmares

    Like many children growing up in the 1950’s, he looked forward to Halloween even more than to Christmas. It was, admittedly, a difficult choice, because at Halloween, all he got was candy or a disappointing piece of fruit, while Christmas was a...
    Read More
  • How to Win the War Against Christmas
    Views
    December 3, 2008

    How to Win the War Against Christmas

    In the seven years since my first essay on the War Against Christmas appeared in Chronicles, I have had no trouble writing at least one such essay per year, because each year brings new and outrageous attempts to suppress the public...
    Read More
  • <i>Sola Scriptura</i>: The Case for the Crusades
    Views
    December 3, 2008

    Sola Scriptura: The Case for the Crusades

    Confronted by the rise of insurgent Islam and the political reality of jihad, many Christians, eager to formulate a response, have turned to the Crusades. Can the rationale for the Crusades be transferred to, or imposed on, the “War on...
    Read More
  • Muslim Pressure and Christian Appeasement
    Views
    December 3, 2008

    Muslim Pressure and Christian Appeasement

    In Britain, where, despite the efforts of our government to curtail them, freedom of speech and freedom of religion still exist, the Muslims have every right to their stall and their vile literature. What is more disturbing is that Christians...
    Read More
  • Catholics and Sarah Palin
    Cultural Revolutions
    November 1, 2008

    Catholics and Sarah Palin

    John McCain’s selection of Sarah Palin as his running mate was surprising, but the surprise pales in comparison to the reaction of conservative Christians, especially Catholics.
    Read More
  • Election Hangover
    Letters to the Bishop
    November 1, 2008

    Election Hangover

    I don’t know about you, but I am ready for this campaign season to be as dead as Scrooge’s doornail. For the last month, political commercials have crowded television screens and websites, interrupting even Mayberry reruns and the latest scoop...
    Read More
  • Obamianity 101
    Cultural Revolutions
    October 1, 2008

    Obamianity 101

    An understanding of sin is central to our embrace of Christianity and the saving work of Jesus Christ. Scripture clearly teaches that “the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).
    Read More
  • The Bishop's Hot Tub
    Cultural Revolutions
    September 1, 2008

    The Bishop's Hot Tub

    The American Catholic Church has leaned left for so long that it’s hardly news any more. This began way back when Cardinal Gibbon overruled Pope Benedict XV’s plea for peace during the Great War and pledged to President Wilson the undying...
    Read More
  • Britain's Fiery Furnace
    Cultural Revolutions
    September 1, 2008

    Britain's Fiery Furnace

    Last month, two brave British schoolboys were given detention because they refused to kneel down and pray to Allah during a religious-education lesson. The boys attend classes at Alsager High School near Stoke-on-Trent, situated approximately...
    Read More
  • Lighting Candles
    Column
    September 1, 2008

    Lighting Candles

    I cannot remember when I first met Mary Ann Aiello. I know, of course, that it had to have been sometime after I moved to Rockford in the last week of 1995, and I suspect that it may have been another three or four years later.
    Read More
  • Walking Distance
    Column
    September 1, 2008

    Walking Distance

    This is an age in which news of a tragedy garners a response such as this: “Well, our thoughts are with you.” Happy thoughts full of Pelagian grace.
    Read More
  • Yang and Soap Suds
    Letters to the Bishop
    August 1, 2008

    Yang and Soap Suds

    Right now the weather here is hotter than those vestments Pope Benedict refused to wear for World Youth Day. By noon the sidewalks wiggle with waves of heat, and the very air leaks terrestrial perspiration.
    Read More
  • Kennedy Catholicism
    Reviews
    August 1, 2008

    Kennedy Catholicism

    The indifference of Catholic elected officials to Church teachings is so common that it rarely attracts attention, but there are occasional exceptions. When at least five fervently pro-abortion politicians took Communion at papal Masses this...
    Read More
  • Out With the Old
    Column
    July 2, 2008

    Out With the Old

    I sometimes wish he would have joined me in going over to the Lutheran church, but Gramp is a hardcore Baptist and just never was interested in learning why we do all of that standing up and sitting down, why we say some of the same words every...
    Read More
  • Pickwickian Popery
    Column
    July 2, 2008

    Pickwickian Popery

    I’ve been reading Garry Wills for more than 40 years now, with mixed admiration, delight, and alarm. In the early 60’s he wrote for National Review, the youngest of its many brilliant contributors.
    Read More
  • My MSM Rules
    Cultural Revolutions
    June 1, 2008

    My MSM Rules

    When it comes to understanding the Mainstream Media (MSM), I have two simple rules. Rule One: Take off 50 IQ points whenever the MSM cover religion, and bump that up to about 100 points whenever the religion is Catholicism.
    Read More
  • The Pope and the Anti-Christ
    Cultural Revolutions
    June 1, 2008

    The Pope and the Anti-Christ

    At midday on April 16, a crowd gathered outside the White House to catch a glimpse of Pope Benedict XVI entering the grounds for his elaborate welcoming ceremony. Supporters of the pontiff—mostly families and people from neighboring office...
    Read More
  • If My Daddy Could See Me Now
    Column
    June 1, 2008

    If My Daddy Could See Me Now

    September 11, 2001, we are often told, “changed everything.” In Washington, D.C., and Baghdad, Iraq, that may have been true. President George W. Bush and a handful of his advisors, who had been itching for a fight with Iraq since before the...
    Read More
  • Return to Short Creek
    Column
    June 1, 2008

    Return to Short Creek

    Recently, the state of Texas undertook a police action that amply demonstrates the radical transformation of public attitudes to family, children, and the role of the state over the past half-century.
    Read More
  • The Bishops’ Tale
    Vital Signs
    May 1, 2008

    The Bishops’ Tale

    Last December, Anglican Archbishop Rowan Williams was roundly criticized for publicly denying the Christmas story. “Archbishop Says Nativity a Legend,” the Daily Telegraph headline screamed, igniting a transatlantic controversy over the...
    Read More
  • Black Like Me
    Letters to the Bishop
    May 1, 2008

    Black Like Me

    I know May is a monster on your calendar, a whirl of confirmations requiring your presence in the backwater outposts of the Faith. The physical demands alone—the hours in the car, the parish suppers, the compliments and complaints—must weigh...
    Read More
  • <i>Instaurare</i>!
    Reviews
    May 1, 2008

    Instaurare!

    On being taken to Mass in the underground basilica at Lourdes, the late Msgr. Alfred Gilbey, that most courteous of men, was moved to comment, “It reminds me of nothing so much as a Nazi rally.”
    Read More
  • Cross Kerfuffle
    Cultural Revolutions
    April 3, 2008

    Cross Kerfuffle

    If you want know what’s wrong with higher education, look no further than Gene Nichol, the recently ousted president of Virginia’s College of William and Mary.
    Read More
  • National Religion
    Column
    March 1, 2008

    National Religion

    Americans are a people of deeply held religious conviction. If any has doubts, let him look on the most serious of our sacred holidays and believe.
    Read More
  • “Here—This Is it!”
    Reviews
    March 1, 2008

    “Here—This Is it!”

    In the Catholic Church, apologetics—explaining the Faith—was on its way to becoming a lost art during the post-Vatican II era. But thanks to Mother Angelica’s efforts on EWTN and the many classic publications emanating from Ignatius...
    Read More
  • Who Votes Catholic?
    Cultural Revolutions
    February 1, 2008

    Who Votes Catholic?

    Quite a few years ago (1977, to be exact), a colleague tried to convince me that the best way to make our college conservative was to set up a curriculum and a program in Christian studies that would appeal to conservative Catholics.
    Read More
  • Enemies of the <i>Motu Proprio</i>
    Vital Signs
    February 1, 2008

    Enemies of the Motu Proprio

    In a private conversation before the release of the motu proprio “Summorum Pontificum,” a leading personality of U.K. Catholicism predicted that the reinstatement of the Traditional Latin Mass would grant again such an abundant flow of graces...
    Read More
  • The Words of Muhammad (PBUH)
    Column
    February 1, 2008

    The Words of Muhammad (PBUH)

    When confronted with an American convert to Islam who has studied overseas, it’s hard not to think today of the celebrated case of John Walker Lindh, “the American Taliban” captured by U.S. troops in Afghanistan and brought back to the United...
    Read More
  • Atheism
    Reviews
    February 1, 2008

    Atheism

    Strange as it may sound, one of the best antidotes to the angry atheism of such disaffected Britons as Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins is the recent science-fiction novel Eifelheim by Michael Flynn.
    Read More
  • Unsettling Accounts
    Letters to the Bishop
    February 1, 2008

    Unsettling Accounts

    One Sunday in September, about 60 adults gathered between Masses in the sanctuary of the basilica to hear a professor from our local university speak on the history of Islam.
    Read More
  • Bible-Belt Baroque
    Correspondence
    January 3, 2008

    Bible-Belt Baroque

    For some time, my friends Jeff and Rebecca Calcutt (a pair of Southern patriots sans pareil), had urged me to pay a visit to Bob Jones University in Greenville. I have no interest in driving to Greenville, I told them. I don’t like mountains,...
    Read More
  • Cartoon Enlightenment
    Column
    January 3, 2008

    Cartoon Enlightenment

    Two years ago, Europe was in the middle of its cartoon jihad, as thousands of Muslims protested images believed to insult Muhammad. At the time, despairing observers saw the affair as yet another milestone in Europe’s descent into Eurabia, a...
    Read More
  • Jesus’ Simple Message
    Column
    January 3, 2008

    Jesus’ Simple Message

    When you get intimately familiar with any artist’s work, you become delightedly aware of the development of his style. I was reminded of this lately while working on a book about Shakespeare; more than ever, I was impressed by the vast...
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  • A Crackdown On Christians
    Cultural Revolutions
    December 1, 2007

    A Crackdown On Christians

    Nursultan Nazarbayev’s regime in Kazakhstan, a recipient of U.S. foreign-aid funds, is cracking down on religious groups it disapproves of, as the congregations associated with Grace Presbyterian Church discovered firsthand this past August, when...
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  • Inside the Gates
    Column
    December 1, 2007

    Inside the Gates

    Fr. Brian A.T. Bovee, the rector of Saint Mary’s Oratory in Rockford, sometimes calls his church Santa Maria Inter Carceres—Saint Mary’s Among the Jails. It’s a (half-)joking reference to the oratory’s location just to the west of the Public...
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  • Throne and Altar
    Views
    December 1, 2007

    Throne and Altar

    My father, God rest his soul, was very fond of Thai food, with its quickly sautéd noodles and peppery élan. Not far from his condominium in the Rossmore section of Los Angeles, there was a practically endless selection of Thai places.
    Read More
  • The Conversion of a Culture: Crisis and Resolution
    Views
    December 1, 2007

    The Conversion of a Culture: Crisis and Resolution

    Can an entire culture “be converted”—i.e., turn away from entrenched patterns of selfishness and self-indulgence and replace them with patterns of altruism?
    Read More
  • Evangelical Antifederalists
    Cultural Revolutions
    November 1, 2007

    Evangelical Antifederalists

    The Arlington Group, a powerful association of Christian Right leaders, is, to borrow from the author of the Book of Virtues, picking a pony.
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  • Materialist Dogmatism
    Vital Signs
    November 1, 2007

    Materialist Dogmatism

    We all know that religious believers are fools who will tell themselves anything to prop up their preconceived notions, while atheists are hard-headed rationalists who look the evidence in the face and follow the Truth no matter the cost.
    Read More
  • All Saints?
    Letters to the Bishop
    November 1, 2007

    All Saints?

    November brings us All Saints’ Day, November 1, that feast when the Church celebrates Her saints, known and unknown, who are with God in His Heaven. Sainthood, Your Excellency, is why I am writing to you.
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  • Some Thoughts on <i>Motu Proprio</i> Mania
    Vital Signs
    October 3, 2007

    Some Thoughts on Motu Proprio Mania

    I am gratified that the long-awaited moth proprio from Pope Benedict, urging a wider celebration of the Tridentine Rite, is out. I’m happy for those, including my son, who love to worship in that way.
    Read More
  • The Last Laugh
    Reviews
    October 3, 2007

    The Last Laugh

    In Ironies of Faith: The Laughter at the Heart of Christian Literature, Anthony Esolen argues that Christianity introduced into European literature a new understanding of irony, an understanding found neither in the classical literature of...
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  • Hitchens’ Hubris
    Reviews
    October 3, 2007

    Hitchens’ Hubris

    In July 1941, a political prisoner escaped from Auschwitz. As punishment, ten other prisoners were chosen by the Nazis to be killed in a starvation bunker. One of these men, Franciszek Gajowniczek, began lamenting what his death would mean for...
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  • Is The Pope Catholic?
    Cultural Revolutions
    September 1, 2007

    Is The Pope Catholic?

    In July, the Pope endorsed a statement that ruffled some feathers in the Protestant aviary, and it turns out that the statement actually revealed that a number of Protestants aren’t all that Protestant anymore.
    Read More
  • Evangelical Theologian
    Column
    September 1, 2007

    Evangelical Theologian

    Harold O.J. Brown fell asleep, as Our Lord puts it, on July 8, just two days after his 74th birthday. This magazine’s religion editor since 1989, he was a contributor before that.
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  • Italy’s Push for Euthanasia: An End to “Pointless Suffering”
    News
    September 1, 2007

    Italy’s Push for Euthanasia: An End to “Pointless Suffering”

    Thanks, in part, to the presence of the Roman Catholic Church, Italy has remained one of the least secularized countries in the European Union.
    Read More
  • The Atheist’s Redemption
    Column
    September 1, 2007

    The Atheist’s Redemption

    In my last appearance in this space, I wrote erroneously that Christopher Hitchens had favored both Anglo-American wars on Iraq. In fact, he strongly opposed the first one, back in 1991.
    Read More
  • Statement of Confusion
    Cultural Revolutions
    August 2, 2007

    Statement of Confusion

    “Catholic Members of Congress Express Concern Over Church Sanctions,” the press-release headline blared. Finally, I thought, Catholic politicians are waking up to the increasingly tight legal restrictions being brought to bear on religious groups.
    Read More
  • Children of a Lesser God?
    American Proscenium
    August 2, 2007

    Children of a Lesser God?

    The plight of Iraq’s Christian community—as followers of the Prince of Peace flee from the country they have lived in since ancient times, their homes and churches burned, their children kidnapped and raped, their priests murdered—has elicited...
    Read More
  • Letter From a Monastery: Engulfed in Solitude
    Correspondence
    August 2, 2007

    Letter From a Monastery: Engulfed in Solitude

    Br. Anthony Weber is a Trappist monk at the Abbey of the Genesee in Piffard, New York, near Geneseo, where I serve as the Catholic Campus Minister at a SUNY liberal-arts college.
    Read More
  • Abysmal Answers
    Letters to the Bishop
    August 2, 2007

    Abysmal Answers

    In June, I began reading The Inferno. This is my first excursion into Danteland, as I like to call it. I intended to finish the entire work by summer’s end, but my progress is slow, in part because I keep dozing off.
    Read More
  • The Sea Gave Up the Dead
    Column
    July 1, 2007

    The Sea Gave Up the Dead

    “Lord, he looks so peaceful,” Miss Alice said tearfully. I braced myself for a long two hours at my post—and that was before the funeral started.
    Read More
  • The Atheist Renaissance
    Column
    July 1, 2007

    The Atheist Renaissance

    Atheists are feeling their oats these days. Three militant unbelievers—Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Christopher Hitchens—have recently hit the best-seller lists and talk shows.
    Read More
  • Ted’s <i>Timor Mortis</i>
    Perspective
    July 1, 2007

    Ted’s Timor Mortis

    It was the second night of RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults), and Ted, the amateur catechist in charge of the class, was on a roll. The students were an odd lot of fallen-away Catholics, disgruntled Protestants who wanted to become...
    Read More
  • Letter From England: A Time to Stand
    Correspondence
    June 1, 2007

    Letter From England: A Time to Stand

    A non-Christian friend of mine recently announced that she is thinking of getting married. I would usually greet such news with joy, but, in this case, I was aware that my friend had married before.
    Read More
  • The Revolt of Islam
    Column
    June 1, 2007

    The Revolt of Islam

    In 1899, Winston Churchill expressed his concern about the “militant and proselytizing faith” of Islam. “Were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science,” he said, “the science against which it had vainly struggled, the...
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  • The Business of Souls: When Experts Attack, Part II
    Views
    June 1, 2007

    The Business of Souls: When Experts Attack, Part II

    Here’s what I can’t figure out: How in the world did Saint Patrick evangelize all of those Druid priests and clan chieftains without a mission statement? After all, history and tradition tell us that he walked around preaching and performed an...
    Read More
  • Establishing Christian America
    Perspective
    June 1, 2007

    Establishing Christian America

    We Americans like to think of our country as the most religious, the most Christian nation on the face of the earth. In an irritating article I wrote for the Spectator (“America: Not A Christian Country,” August 27, 2005), I demonstrated...
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  • Just an American Boy
    Column
    June 1, 2007

    Just an American Boy

    Five years ago, Aaron Wolf and I first heard these lines being sung by Muslim children as young as six years old when we spent a day at the Muslim school and mosque here in Rockford.
    Read More
  • Protestantism, America, and Divine Law
    Views
    June 1, 2007

    Protestantism, America, and Divine Law

    Since the time of the Founding Fathers, Protestantism appeared to be the default religion in the United States.
    Read More
  • Americanism, Then and Now: Our Pet Heresy
    Views
    June 1, 2007

    Americanism, Then and Now: Our Pet Heresy

    On January 22, 1899, Pope Leo XIII addressed an encyclical (Testem benevolentiae nostrae) to James Cardinal Gibbons, archbishop of Baltimore, intended “to suppress certain contentions” that had arisen in America “to the detriment of the...
    Read More
  • Guts and the Grace of God
    Letters to the Bishop
    May 2, 2007

    Guts and the Grace of God

    It’s the lusty month of May, and you are doubtless zipping from parish to parish, dabbing chrism oil onto the foreheads of gawky teenagers. (Incidentally, would you ever consider restoring the slap on the cheek that once accompanied this rite? ...
    Read More
  • Immanentizing the Eschaton
    Column
    April 1, 2007

    Immanentizing the Eschaton

    Around this time every year, I find myself in the strange circumstance of writing a column before Ash Wednesday that won’t appear until after Easter Sunday. If the overarching theme of my column were something other than Rockford as a microcosm...
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  • The Springtime That Wasn’t
    Reviews
    April 1, 2007

    The Springtime That Wasn’t

    The Second Vatican Council (1962-65) was arguably the most significant event in the Catholic Church in the 20th century. No other issue has had such wide-ranging effects on Catholics throughout the world, and none (excepting, perhaps,...
    Read More
  • Dead Monkeys and the Living God
    Perspective
    April 1, 2007

    Dead Monkeys and the Living God

    Sir Elton John would like to “ban religion completely” because it stirs up “hatred toward gay people.” Like so many giants of the entertainment industry, Elton John probably does not hate religion per se but only Christianity.
    Read More
  • The Cardinal Vicar
    Views
    April 1, 2007

    The Cardinal Vicar

    Twenty-one centuries will have passed since He promised to come in His glory, 21 centuries since His prophet wrote, “Behold, I come quickly.” For centuries, then, men had beseeched Him with faith and fervor, “O Lord our God hasten Thy coming.”
    Read More
  • Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
    Views
    April 1, 2007

    Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

    Strange as it may seem today, once upon a time, Hollywood respected Christianity. Many movies had biblical themes—some were box-office blockbusters—but, more importantly, many others had scenes depicting religion as an integral part of American...
    Read More
  • When Experts Attack
    Views
    April 1, 2007

    When Experts Attack

    For over 30 years, the churches of America have been declining; their numbers, plummeting. Each year, a new set of numbers emerges from the various denominational headquarters, telling the tale.
    Read More
  • <i>Ecrasez L’infame</i>: The Persistence of Christophobia
    Views
    April 1, 2007

    Ecrasez L’infame: The Persistence of Christophobia

    Examples of Christophobia may be found in many other precincts of opinion journalism. Just before Christmas, in a column criticizing Episcopalians intent on maintaining orthodox Christian teaching on homosexuality, the Washington Post’s...
    Read More
  • Waste of Space
    Letters to the Bishop
    February 1, 2007

    Waste of Space

    Is the winter hiatus between Christmastide and Lent regarded by you men of the cloth as a sort of midterm break, a chance to loosen your clericals and put your feet up, so to speak?
    Read More
  • A Son of Saint Dominic
    Reviews
    January 1, 2007

    A Son of Saint Dominic

    The appellation “monstre sacré” for Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P. (1877-1964), was coined by François Mauriac, an influential Catholic litterateur and contemporary of Garrigou, suggesting the ill feelings harbored by those who found their...
    Read More
  • Nationalism or Patriotism?
    Views
    January 1, 2007

    Nationalism or Patriotism?

    Those who know C.S. Lewis’s short book The Four Loves will remember that Lewis speaks of the four different kinds of love: affection, friendship, eros, and charity.
    Read More
  • When Incarnation Is Considered Idolatry
    Vital Signs
    December 1, 2006

    When Incarnation Is Considered Idolatry

    In 1917, one year before his courageous brother, Cecil, died in France, Chesterton published A Short History of England. It was written in response to “a sort of challenge,” and he calls it, with characteristic modesty, merely “a popular...
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  • Christianity and the Movies
    Vital Signs
    December 1, 2006

    Christianity and the Movies

    Several things have worked against the development of serious Christian films in the United States. From its beginnings, the American film industry has included some, but very few, Christian filmmakers.
    Read More
  • A Plea for Clarity
    Letters to the Bishop
    November 2, 2006

    A Plea for Clarity

    I trust you are in robust spirits as you face the rigors of the Christmas season. Surely, nowhere is there greater evidence that sin is a good wrongly twisted than in the manner in which we Americans celebrate Christmas.
    Read More
  • For Zion’s Sake
    Column
    September 1, 2006

    For Zion’s Sake

    “For Zion’s sake will I not hold my peace,” declares the LORD, through his prophet Isaiah, “and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth.”
    Read More
  • Is Ann Coulter Among the Prophets?
    Reviews
    September 1, 2006

    Is Ann Coulter Among the Prophets?

    Signs and omens have been everywhere this year. Amid wars and rumors of wars, one occasionally glimpses evidence that truth is now being revealed in ways that might astonish even battle-scarred veterans of the culture wars.
    Read More
  • The Supreme Court, Globalization, and the Teaching of Religion
    Views
    September 1, 2006

    The Supreme Court, Globalization, and the Teaching of Religion

    Public figures talk about globalization as if it were the Rapture. We are told that, unlike Marco Polo and Christopher Columbus, we live in an era of international trade; so these days, we must worry more about what the world thinks and does.
    Read More
  • Church Business
    Cultural Revolutions
    August 3, 2006

    Church Business

    Church conventions are the business of summertime in democratized Christian America.
    Read More
  • The <i>I</i>-Word
    Letters to the Bishop
    August 3, 2006

    The I-Word

    This past May, I attended commencement ceremonies at Christendom College, where James, the oldest son of my oldest friend, was graduating with a degree in philosophy. Some of our fellow countrymen would declare such a degree about as useful as...
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  • Church Shopper
    Column
    July 1, 2006

    Church Shopper

    Like the French, we Americans live in, to borrow from Claude Polin, a “me-first” society. Each and every man is the measure of all things, his own arbiter of that which is beautiful, true, and of good report.
    Read More
  • An American Dilemma
    Views
    July 1, 2006

    An American Dilemma

    In 1976, the Episcopal Church, U.S.A., met in General Convention to consider, among other things, two questions: the adoption of a new Book of Common Prayer and the ordination of women.
    Read More
  • A Few Bad Men
    Column
    June 1, 2006

    A Few Bad Men

    The results of two extensive studies were released too late for me to consider them in my column (“Truth and Consequences”) last month.
    Read More
  • Everybody Loves Paul
    Column
    June 1, 2006

    Everybody Loves Paul

    These are the days of shame for American Christians. Not the sort of shame, like Isaiah’s, that results from coming face to face with a holy God.
    Read More
  • God, Country, Notre Dame
    Reviews
    May 3, 2006

    God, Country, Notre Dame

    It must surely embarrass John Miller and the other Francophobic neocons to realize that one of the quintessential American institutions was founded by an intrepid French missionary, who offered this vision for his action: “I have raised Our Lady...
    Read More
  • Love on the Rocks
    Views
    May 3, 2006

    Love on the Rocks

    If George Barna, by far the most prominent head counter among American Christians, is correct, 35 percent of “born-again Christians” have experienced (to borrow from Tammy Wynette) “pure h-e-double-l.”
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  • The Perpetual Family
    Views
    May 3, 2006

    The Perpetual Family

    The first time I ever visited Saint Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican, it was in the company of a pretty Irish-American girl from Massachusetts named Evelyn. Her father was some kind of Democratic politician back home.
    Read More
  • Christians in Iraq
    Cultural Revolutions
    April 1, 2006

    Christians in Iraq

    Christians in Iraq have faced continuous attacks since the U.S. invasion. On January 29, three people died and more than twenty were injured when bombers targeted six churches in coordinated attacks in Baghdad and Kirkuk as Sunday evening...
    Read More
  • Methodists and Sex
    Vital Signs
    April 1, 2006

    Methodists and Sex

    The United Methodist Church, having declined from 11 to 8 million members in the United States, spent millions on a television and newspaper ad campaign called “Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors.”
    Read More
  • The Right to Blaspheme?
    Correspondence
    April 1, 2006

    The Right to Blaspheme?

    The vociferous and, at times, incendiary uproar that suddenly erupted in early February with the publication in Paris of 12 “satanic drawings,” supposedly caricaturing Muhammad, offered the world one more proof of the extent to which, thanks to...
    Read More
  • Oyster Supper
    Correspondence
    March 1, 2006

    Oyster Supper

    As a nonnative from a cold-weather climate, I have observed that there are four seasons in Arkansas’ Delta: warm, hot, scorching, and malarial.
    Read More
  • Property Rights Redefined
    News
    March 1, 2006

    Property Rights Redefined

    Years ago, a Christian evangelist friend of mine complained about doing the Lord’s work in the South. Everyone is a Christian there, he lamented, whether or not they really are one.
    Read More
  • A Trip to Smart-Mouth College
    Views
    February 2, 2006

    A Trip to Smart-Mouth College

    Over the years, there have been many errors identified in the various printings of the so-called Authorized Version (it was never officially “authorized” by anyone) of the Bible, the most beloved translation of the Scriptures into English.
    Read More
  • Seminary Boot Camp
    Letters to the Bishop
    January 1, 2006

    Seminary Boot Camp

    Please forgive my extended holographic hiatus. What with the “priestly scandals,” the “bishop scandals,” the decline and death of one pope and the election of another, I assumed you and your fellow shepherds had your hands full.
    Read More
  • The Beauty of Holiness, the Holiness of Beauty
    Perspective
    December 1, 2005

    The Beauty of Holiness, the Holiness of Beauty

    The psalmists never tired of praising the beauty and majesty of the Lord's house. Solomon was so eager to build a fitting temple that he traded a good part of Galilee to Hiram of Tyre in exchange for building materials, and the description of the...
    Read More
  • Pugin and the Gothic Dream
    Views
    December 1, 2005

    Pugin and the Gothic Dream

    When peace came to Europe in 1815, Britain was in the unique position of possessing empire, wealth, and power, which would make possible a century of commercial and industrial growth and prosperity.
    Read More
  • The Loving Look
    Views
    December 1, 2005

    The Loving Look

    One warm, late-summer afternoon in Eastern North Carolina, a few hundred primary-school children poured out of their classrooms and waited for their buses to take them far and wide around the county.
    Read More
  • Drifting Away
    Cultural Revolutions
    November 3, 2005

    Drifting Away

    As America drifts away from orthodox religious belief, God becomes less and less personal and more and more political. The secular world surrounds and absorbs the spiritual.
    Read More
  • <em>Habemus Papam</em>
    Reviews
    October 1, 2005

    Habemus Papam

    In response to the badgering of reporters during the interregnum about whether the new pope would be a liberal or a conservative, Justin Cardinal Rigali of Philadelphia responded that the next pope will be Catholic.
    Read More
  • Christians Against Terrorism
    Perspective
    October 1, 2005

    Christians Against Terrorism

    Tony Blair is mad—really mad. Nasty people keep blowing up things in his London, and he is going to do something about it.
    Read More
  • The Communion of Saints
    Views
    September 1, 2005

    The Communion of Saints

    I wish I could say I remember laughing when I first read that story in The Children’s Book of Saints, published in 1940 and reprinted six times before the 1952 edition that I still have on my shelves.
    Read More
  • The Real Issue With the <em>Newsweek</em> Koran Fib
    American Proscenium
    July 1, 2005

    The Real Issue With the Newsweek Koran Fib

    The obvious moral of the Newsweek affair is that journalists, and leftist journalists (the common type) in particular, are habitual liars unworthy of respect. To those of us interested in Balkan affairs, the whole Koran to-do elicits a...
    Read More
  • Effeminate Gospel, Effeminate Christians
    Views
    July 1, 2005

    Effeminate Gospel, Effeminate Christians

    Every definition of masculinity into which our Lord Jesus Christ does not fit belongs in the rubbish heap. Indeed, there could be no greater example of a man than He.
    Read More
  • For Fear of the Wolves
    Cultural Revolutions
    June 2, 2005

    For Fear of the Wolves

    Pope Benedict XVI, in an appeal to the sheep newly his own on the day of his enthronement, said, “Pray for me that I may not flee for fear of the wolves.” We can be sure he knows who these wolves are after a quarter-century as head of the Holy...
    Read More
  • Becoming Extinct
    Cultural Revolutions
    June 2, 2005

    Becoming Extinct

    Iraq's Christians may be on their way to extinction, thanks to the Bush administration’s decision to topple Saddam Hussein’s regime.
    Read More
  • The Christian Zionist Threat to Peace
    Views
    May 1, 2005

    The Christian Zionist Threat to Peace

    In assessing the political conditions necessary to establish a lasting peace in Israel-Palestine, Americans are confronted with a theological question: Does the Bible insist that Christians take a certain view regarding the treatment of the...
    Read More
  • Of Masons, Magic, Monks, Medicine, and Marriage
    Views
    March 1, 2005

    Of Masons, Magic, Monks, Medicine, and Marriage

    My maternal grandfather was a very practical man, an entrepreneur with a self-made fortune, a local mayor, philo-Dixiecrat, devoted to his wife and three daughters. His habitual reading was the Raleigh paper and the local small-town daily...
    Read More
  • No Graven Images
    Views
    March 1, 2005

    No Graven Images

    In the fourth chapter of St. Matthew’s Gospel, Satan tempts Jesus with the offer of “all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them.”
    Read More
  • Saints and Pilgrims
    Correspondence
    February 3, 2005

    Saints and Pilgrims

    Marie’s walk was an act of prayer for her brother, who had leukemia. Alessandro had recently endured a divorce and was walking to find peace. Klaus was taking time out to decide what to do with his life after losing his job.
    Read More
  • It’s a Wonderful Racket
    Vital Signs
    December 1, 2004

    It’s a Wonderful Racket

    Q magazine once regularly asked rock musicians the question, “How do you react when you see a nun?”
    Read More
  • A Southern Legacy
    Views
    December 1, 2004

    A Southern Legacy

    In all Eastern Orthodox Churches, this troparion or prayer is spoken or sung frequently in worship: “O Lord, save Thy people and bless Thine inheritance. Grant victories to the Orthodox Christians over their adversaries; and by virtue of Thy...
    Read More
  • The Plight of the Homeless
    Perspective
    December 1, 2004

    The Plight of the Homeless

    In one of Douglas Adams’ very silly books, Zaphod Beeblebrox, the egocentric two-headed president of the universe, is condemned to undergo the ordeal of the Total Perspective Vortex.
    Read More
  • The Wand of Youth: A Story
    Fiction
    December 1, 2004

    The Wand of Youth: A Story

    When Francis Majewski escorts my sister to our back porch, he bows to her like a Polish nobleman, then hobbles home on walking crutches with hard leather cuffs that circle his forearms.
    Read More
  • Tocqueville’s America and America Today
    Views
    October 1, 2004

    Tocqueville’s America and America Today

    At the time of Alexis de Tocqueville’s writing, the French Revolution still loomed over minds and, with it, memories of a bloodbath and of a new kind of tyranny. The American Revolution seemed to offer grounds for rosier hopes about democracy.
    Read More
  • There Once Was a New England
    Views
    October 1, 2004

    There Once Was a New England

    A few years ago, I was talking about Timothy Dwight to an audience of people old enough to appreciate both his Christian orthodoxy and his old-fashioned patriotism.
    Read More
  • Omnigendered Christianity
    Vital Signs
    September 2, 2004

    Omnigendered Christianity

    By some measures, the influence of feminist theology peaked in the 1990’s. It is still around, however, acting as a supporting pillar for liberal religion’s latest preoccupation: the elimination of “gender.”
    Read More
  • The Untold Story Behind <em>The Passion of the Christ</em>
    Views
    September 2, 2004

    The Untold Story Behind The Passion of the Christ

    What could a world-famous multibillionaire Hollywood star like Mel Gibson have in common with an unknown, cash-strapped, freelance journalist based in Rome? Virtually nothing, it would seem.
    Read More
  • The Triumph of Tradition
    Vital Signs
    August 1, 2004

    The Triumph of Tradition

    “When violence breaks out, Mel Gibson will have a much higher authority than professors and bishops to answer to.” So predicted Boston University’s Paula Fredriksen in one of the opening salvos in the year-long campaign to kill Mel Gibson’s film...
    Read More
  • How Many Priests?
    News
    April 1, 2004

    How Many Priests?

    For over a decade, the Roman Catholic Church has been in deep crisis over the issue of sexual abuse by Her clergy. That some priests had molested or raped children was indisputable, but just how many had offended?
    Read More
  • Gibson's Passion
    Cultural Revolutions
    March 2, 2004

    Gibson's Passion

    Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ opens in theaters on Ash Wednesday (February 25). It is too early to tell whether Gibson has achieved his aim of creating an artistically compelling account of the last 12 hours of Christ’s life...
    Read More
  • Liturgical Flora
    Letters to the Bishop
    February 1, 2004

    Liturgical Flora

    Two months ago, the priest in our parish removed six candles from the back altar of our church—the one that’s still against the wall—and replaced them with potted plants on either side of the tabernacle.
    Read More
  • The Triumph of the Secular
    Column
    February 1, 2004

    The Triumph of the Secular

    Having failed to establish much of a numerical presence in American society, the Episcopal Church, USA, succeeds in attracting attention by the continuing antics of a long parade of outrageous ecclesiastics.
    Read More
  • Charity Begins at Church
    Perspective
    February 1, 2004

    Charity Begins at Church

    December can be a difficult month for American Christians, forced to look on passively as their sacred holy days are turned into a generic “holiday season.”
    Read More
  • The Church and NGO’s  Shall I Crucify Your King?
    Views
    February 1, 2004

    The Church and NGO’s Shall I Crucify Your King?

    “I hope a stamp from this place works for America.” So reads a postcard that my mother, as a girl of 20, sent her parents from the Vatican in 1950. I remember teasing her about her doubts when, as an undergraduate, I unearthed the postcard in...
    Read More
  • Naked in the Public Square
    Reviews
    December 3, 2003

    Naked in the Public Square

    The recent battle over the removal of a 5,280-pound monument to the Ten Commandments placed in the lobby of the Alabama Supreme Court by Chief Justice Roy Moore has deep religious and civil roots stemming from the Protestant Reformation and...
    Read More
  • Sociology of the Gods
    Reviews
    December 3, 2003

    Sociology of the Gods

    Rodney Stark is considered by many to be the greatest living sociologist of religion. Generations of English-speaking students have used his textbook Sociology, now in its eighth edition.
    Read More
  • Place and Presence, Holy Hills and Sacred Cities
    Views
    December 3, 2003

    Place and Presence, Holy Hills and Sacred Cities

    In classical times, the city was a sacred place, bounded by a wall, in which civilization occurred, and to live outside the city was to be uncivilized.
    Read More
  • Eucharistic Seconds
    Letters to the Bishop
    November 1, 2003

    Eucharistic Seconds

    Recently, having finished my post-Communion prayers at Mass, I was sitting along with everyone else, listening to our priest make a few announcements and deliver his last joke of the day, when I noticed my young neighbor in the pew—she was 15 or...
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  • Thomas More’s <em>Supplication of Souls</em>
    Views
    November 1, 2003

    Thomas More’s Supplication of Souls

    In his informative and consoling masterpiece of historical research The Stripping of the Altars, Eamon Duffy drew the conclusion that the most distinctive characteristic of late-medieval English piety on the eve of the 16th-century...
    Read More
  • Divided Loyalties, Misplaced Hopes
    Views
    November 1, 2003

    Divided Loyalties, Misplaced Hopes

    “By their fruits, ye shall know them,” our Lord once warned. Too often, however, when it comes to the promise of power or the allure of success, Christians are easily swayed to align themselves with those who cry, “Lord, Lord,” yet are, in...
    Read More
  • <em>The Passion</em>
    Cultural Revolutions
    October 1, 2003

    The Passion

    Mel Gibson’s movie “on the last 12 hours of Jesus’ life” has stirred up all sorts of passions among interested observers the world over. The Passion, directed by Gibson and produced by Gibson’s film company, Icon Productions, is...
    Read More
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street
    Column
    October 1, 2003

    A Nightmare on Elm Street

    A year ago, on the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Bishop Thomas G. Doran of the diocese of Rockford elevated a church downtown on Elm Street, St. Mary’s Shrine, to the status of an oratory.
    Read More
  • An Interlocking Directorate
    Reviews
    October 1, 2003

    An Interlocking Directorate

    Anti-Catholicism is far from new to America, but there certainly is a new anti-Catholicism in America.
    Read More
  • In a Strange Land
    Reviews
    September 1, 2003

    In a Strange Land

    There will always be tension between America’s experiment with democracy and hierarchically structured Roman Catholicism, because the two proclaim different concepts of freedom.
    Read More
  • Sophocles&rsquo; <em>Antigone</em>
    Views
    September 1, 2003

    Sophocles’ Antigone

    Sophocles’ Antigone is a drama about a young woman who defies orders because she believes them to be wrong. Her uncle Creon, the ruler of Thebes, had proclaimed that no one was to give the rites of burial to Antigone’s brother...
    Read More
  • Fax for Pax
    Letters to the Bishop
    August 1, 2003

    Fax for Pax

    Recently you offered Mass at our church. In your homily, which was quite inspirational, you urged parishioners to avail themselves more frequently of the Sacrament of Penance.
    Read More
  • The Ancestry and Legacy of the <em>Philosophes</em>
    Views
    July 2, 2003

    The Ancestry and Legacy of the Philosophes

    Edmund Burke records that two thirds of the Anglican clergy initially supported the French Revolution. He wrote Reflections on the Revolution in France to show that the Revolution was not merely an understandable effort at reform but an...
    Read More
  • Imitation of Life
    Perspective
    June 1, 2003

    Imitation of Life

    Pagans and Christians alike instinctively sense there is a kind of immortality offered by children, who carry on their parents’ lives (or genomes, if you prefer more scientific language) into the future.
    Read More
  • Hating Babies, Hating God
    Views
    June 1, 2003

    Hating Babies, Hating God

    When I sat down to write this article, Google reminded me that, when it comes to the issue of contraception, the stakes are very high. To check the date of publication of Dr. Charles Provan’s important work The Bible and Birth Control,...
    Read More
  • Rending the Seamless Garment
    Views
    June 1, 2003

    Rending the Seamless Garment

    People often ask me, “What is wrong with our priests?” or “Why don’t our bishops say more about abortion? They seem to have no trouble whatsoever speaking out quite freely when it comes to war or capital punishment.”
    Read More
  • The Path of Less Resistance
    Reviews
    May 1, 2003

    The Path of Less Resistance

    Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (formerly the Holy Office) since 1983, has exercised enormous influence within the Catholic Church.
    Read More
  • How Thomas Jefferson’s “Wall of Separation” Redefined Church-State Law and Policy
    Views
    May 1, 2003

    How Thomas Jefferson’s “Wall of Separation” Redefined Church-State Law and Policy

    No metaphor in American letters has had a greater influence on law and policy than Thomas Jefferson’s “wall of separation between Church and State.”
    Read More
  • <em>Philokalia</em>
    Vital Signs
    April 3, 2003

    Philokalia

    “He was a wicked man, but the Lord forgave him.” One fine spring day in my sophomore year of college, I joined my paternal grandmother on her more-or-less daily walk from her house out to the cemetery of my parent’s hometown in Eastern North...
    Read More
  • Apocalypse Now
    Views
    April 3, 2003

    Apocalypse Now

    American evangelicals, according to former Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, “are the Israelis’ best friend in the whole world.” In return, they dubbed him “the Ronald Reagan of Israel.”
    Read More
  • Heavenly Windows
    Vital Signs
    March 3, 2003

    Heavenly Windows

    Saint Macarius’s words illustrate how this new and heavenly man finds visual expression in the art of the icon. In the icon, the Orthodox Church sees an important expression of our Faith in its totality.
    Read More
  • News From the Christmas Front
    Vital Signs
    March 3, 2003

    News From the Christmas Front

    It has been over a year since Chronicles published my piece "Happy Holidays? Bah! Humbug!" (Vital Signs, December 2001) and Vdare.com used it to announce its 2001 War Against Christmas Competition.
    Read More
  • The Third Iconoclasm
    Views
    March 3, 2003

    The Third Iconoclasm

    The two roots onto which Western Christendom was grafted proposed very different notions about depicting the gods. The Greeks famously made images of Athena and Zeus, always depicting them as man writ large, and were untroubled by this glaring...
    Read More
  • A Psalm Makes Us Love the Future
    Views
    December 1, 2002

    A Psalm Makes Us Love the Future

    “God granted that the life of this holy man should be a long one, for the benefit and happiness of holy Church, and he lived seventy-six years, nearly forty of them as priest or bishop."
    Read More
  • My Hometown
    Views
    December 1, 2002

    My Hometown

    Saint Augustine did not originally desire to be a pastor. When, in 387, he finally surrendered to the Holy Ghost in the garden of his “philosophers’ estate” in the countryside outside Milan, he intended to follow the example of Saint Anthony and...
    Read More
  • God, Man, and Family
    Vital Signs
    November 1, 2002

    God, Man, and Family

    The first chapter of the Bible forms the basis of the Christian understanding of the nature and dignity of man—and woman: “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him, male and female created he them” (Genesis 1:27).
    Read More
  • Of Priests and Peducators
    Column
    November 1, 2002

    Of Priests and Peducators

    Over the past decade, I have been involved in public debate over the problem of sexual abuse by Catholic priests, and that experience has taught me a great deal about the way people come to understand—or, rather, misunderstand—social problems.
    Read More
  • The Bells of St. Mary’s
    Column
    October 2, 2002

    The Bells of St. Mary’s

    From the outside, St. Mary’s Oratory in Rockford resembles scores of other Catholic churches built in the Midwest in the late 19th century, with its red-brick exterior, steep roof, stained-glass windows, and a bell tower that reaches for the sky.
    Read More
  • Archbishops of Canterbury
    Cultural Revolutions
    September 1, 2002

    Archbishops of Canterbury

    Archbishops of Canterbury, for all their essential powerlessness in worldly terms, are never as inconsequential as might be supposed. How about those great English accents, for instance?
    Read More
  • The Pledge of Allegiance
    Cultural Revolutions
    August 1, 2002

    The Pledge of Allegiance

    The Pledge of Allegiance’s ban by a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit will probably have been reversed and the public furor will have faded away by the time this issue of your favorite journal reaches you.
    Read More
  • Taking God Out of School
    Cultural Revolutions
    August 1, 2002

    Taking God Out of School

    The Pledge of Allegiance, as this issue goes to press, is illegal for children in the public schools of Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington state to recite, because it contains the words “under God.”
    Read More
  • Eating With Sinners
    Perspective
    August 1, 2002

    Eating With Sinners

    These familiar sentences from Luke’s description of the Last Supper (which occur in parallel passages of Matthew and Mark) are quoted within the central act of Christian worship, when the mystery of He who was both God and Man is revealed in the...
    Read More
  • Memo to Worship Leaders: Shut Up
    Vital Signs
    July 3, 2002

    Memo to Worship Leaders: Shut Up

    It is often said that former Princeton president Jonathan Edwards, the man credited with setting fire to the tinderbox that became the First Great Awakening, was a fiery preacher. His message was certainly incendiary, but by modern standards he...
    Read More
  • Palestinian . . . Lutherans?
    Cultural Revolutions
    June 1, 2002

    Palestinian . . . Lutherans?

    Palestinian . . . Lutherans? To many American Christians following the conflict in the Holy Land, this moniker sounds as oxymoronic as the more general “Palestinian Christians.”
    Read More
  • All Roads Lead to Florence
    Views
    June 1, 2002

    All Roads Lead to Florence

    The monastic choir stalls of the Church of Santa Maria degli Angeli in Florence were occupied not by the hermit-monks of the Camaldolese Order to whom they belonged but by laymen, members of the Platonic Academy.
    Read More
  • Little Pink Churches for You and Me
    Views
    May 1, 2002

    Little Pink Churches for You and Me

    For pietist Lutheran pastors in America, it was an embarrassment that would not go away. Since the Reformation, it had always been one of the people’s favorite hymns, penned by Martin Luther himself—second only to “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God.”
    Read More
  • Lepanto: A Category of the Spirit
    Views
    April 1, 2002

    Lepanto: A Category of the Spirit

    There are days and places in history when time seems to stand still and, in the space of a moment, the fate of future centuries is decided.
    Read More
  • He Whose Loss Is Laughter
    Views
    April 1, 2002

    He Whose Loss Is Laughter

    Around the turn of the 20th century, the hieromonk Arsenios, parish priest of Farasa in Cappadocia, had secretly baptized one of the wives of a Turk living in his Christian village.
    Read More
  • Two Trails of Blood
    Views
    April 1, 2002

    Two Trails of Blood

    The spread of Christianity was marked by a trail of blood, shed by myriad martyrs during the first three centuries of the Christian era. Another trail of blood followed: that of the Christian defenders of the Roman Empire, shed by Arabian...
    Read More
  • Mexican Mosques, Brazilian Buddhists
    Reviews
    January 3, 2002

    Mexican Mosques, Brazilian Buddhists

    Diana Eck has produced some of the most valuable modern work on Indian religion. Her best-known book is probably Banaras (Columbia University Press, 1998), a wonderfully detailed examination of the sacred geography of the holy city that...
    Read More
  • The Problem With Religious Secular Zealots
    Cultural Revolutions
    December 1, 2001

    The Problem With Religious Secular Zealots

    Since September 11, I've heard it more than once and will likely hear it again. The argument goes like this: Yes, all this banal talk about Islam being a "religion of peace" is, of course, a lot of nonsense.
    Read More
  • Happy Holidays? Bah! Humbug!
    Vital Signs
    December 1, 2001

    Happy Holidays? Bah! Humbug!

    In 1938, Whittaker Chambers broke with the Communist Party. In Witness, Chambers describes his Christmas that year as one of great joy, in which he first told his children the Christmas story.
    Read More
  • Tolerance, Finally
    Correspondence
    December 1, 2001

    Tolerance, Finally

    The implosion of the right-wing official opposition Alliance Party under its young evangelical leader Stockwell Day dominates the headlines of most of Canada's papers and feisty tabloids: Will the "gang of eight" dissident Alliance MPs be hung...
    Read More
  • A Message for Boys
    Correspondence
    December 1, 2001

    A Message for Boys

    The steamy morning reminded the congregation that Baltimore is on the shore and was once considered part of the South. The heat and the elderly substitute for the vacationing rector made the service informal and cozy, but if I had known the small...
    Read More
  • In the Footsteps of St. Francis
    Correspondence
    December 1, 2001

    In the Footsteps of St. Francis

    I only believed myself close to death once on my Holy Year pilgrimage in the footsteps of St. Francis of Assisi.
    Read More
  • A Winter's Tale
    Correspondence
    December 1, 2001

    A Winter's Tale

    The funeral home looked better on the outside. The solid, dignified impression given by the white pillars standing guard outside the large double doors disappeared when you stepped inside and walked on old carpeting into a dimly lit room with...
    Read More
  • From Here to Eternity
    Column
    December 1, 2001

    From Here to Eternity

    "Weapons—guns, knives, brass knuckles, cigarette lighters . . . " The young man's voice trails off. If he were not waving his metal-detector wand at us, I might think that he was offering to sell us a gun or two, not asking us if we were carrying...
    Read More
  • “Bless the Lord, All You Works of the Lord”
    Views
    December 1, 2001

    “Bless the Lord, All You Works of the Lord”

    In one of the first episodes of the latest Star Trek series, Enterprise, the crew, a few weeks out from Earth on the ship's maiden voyage, has become homesick. Suddenly, an inhabitable planet appears off of the port side.
    Read More
  • A Tender, Unitarian Christmas
    Views
    December 1, 2001

    A Tender, Unitarian Christmas

    Appropriately, it was 1984. The Reagan-Bush ticket had won reelection. The U.S. Olympic team had destroyed everyone else at the Summer Games in Los Angeles. The HIV virus had been identified, and a cure for AIDS would surely follow.
    Read More
  • Causes and Catapults
    Views
    December 1, 2001

    Causes and Catapults

    For over a thousand years, Western civilization was defined by the shifting religious frontier between Christianity and Islam, and the Muslim religion was the ultimate enemy.
    Read More
  • Gods of Inclusion
    Vital Signs
    November 1, 2001

    Gods of Inclusion

    Although America remains overwhelmingly Christian in affiliation (if not necessarily in practice), the connoisseurs of multiculturalism like to pretend otherwise—often rather insistently.
    Read More
  • A New Christian America
    Round Table Discussion
    November 1, 2001

    A New Christian America

    Have you made any special place for Quincentennial Day? It promises to be a huge even, conceivably even more spectacular than the overblown Y2K phenomenon a couple of years back. I am referring, of course, to December 12, 2031.
    Read More
  • Oriental Fumin'
    Vital Signs
    October 1, 2001

    Oriental Fumin'

    It was not what we have come to expectwhen John Paul II arrives in a Christian country—or in any country, for that matter.
    Read More
  • "This Is An Hard Saying: Who Can Hear It?"
    Vital Signs
    October 1, 2001

    "This Is An Hard Saying: Who Can Hear It?"

    Not too often these days does a church service offer me a moment of startling revelation, a line of scripture that stops me in my tracks. This past Easter, though, I was attending an Episcopal service, when I heard a line—or, more exactly, did...
    Read More
  • Church and Democracy
    Vital Signs
    October 1, 2001

    Church and Democracy

    There is no documentary evidence of any period in the history of the Church when dignitaries such as bishops would have been "democratically" elected by the assemblage of "voters."
    Read More
  • Harvest Moon
    Correspondence
    October 1, 2001

    Harvest Moon

    I first noticed it as I drove past, heading for one of those small-town Wisconsin festivals, this one celebrating the largest earthen dam in the Midwest (by their claim, of course) nestled in the stanitsa of Spring Valley.
    Read More
  • American Handgunners Seek Vatican Recognition
    Correspondence
    October 1, 2001

    American Handgunners Seek Vatican Recognition

    From time to time, the Catholic Church has to address the thorny problems caused by those liberal faithful who challenge her principles and tenets.
    Read More
  • New Skins, Old Wine
    Reviews
    October 1, 2001

    New Skins, Old Wine

    For almost 2,000 years, Christians have been confessing Jesus Christ as God and Savior in the assurance that they knew enough about Him to justify making this confession.
    Read More
  • Church and State
    Cultural Revolutions
    September 1, 2001

    Church and State

    President Bush wants to do for churches and Christian charities what the Department of Education has done for pubUc schools; Attach them so firmly to the teat of big government that it would be impossible to unlatch them without financially...
    Read More
  • Missed Opportunities
    Reviews
    September 1, 2001

    Missed Opportunities

    The Defamation of Pius XII recounts the heroic efforts of Pope Pius XII and members of the European Catholic hierarchy, clergy, religious, and laity to save hundreds of thousands of Jews from Hitler's "final solution."
    Read More
  • <em>Sic et Non?</em>
    Views
    September 1, 2001

    Sic et Non?

    A number of years ago, when I was teaching a ninth-grade religion class (in Switzerland, where religion is taught in public schools), one of the boys said to me, "All religions teach the same thing."
    Read More
  • The Future of Christendom
    Cultural Revolutions
    August 1, 2001

    The Future of Christendom

    The future of Christendom, according to the Population Reference Bureau's 2001 annual report, is likely to be pretty bleak. The report's chief conclusion is that population growth in the West has ground to a halt, while the Third World is...
    Read More
  • At a Crossroads
    Cultural Revolutions
    August 1, 2001

    At a Crossroads

    The Missouri Synod of the Lutheran Church (LCMS) is at a crossroads, and not for the reasons most might think. Conservatives and liberals within the 2.6-million-member synod have bickered and postured over their presidential election, held during...
    Read More
  • Invasion of the Organ Snatchers
    Vital Signs
    August 1, 2001

    Invasion of the Organ Snatchers

    The heated discussion of human cloning and related genetic issues is overshadowing another, equally crucial, debate, on organ donation and transplantation.
    Read More
  • Gift of Finest . . . Rice?
    Correspondence
    August 1, 2001

    Gift of Finest . . . Rice?

    As a rabbi once accused of being "too soft on the Catholic Church"—liking Catholicism too much to make that particular Lutheran comfortable—I read with special sensitivity the report on a young girl and her family who left the Catholic Church for...
    Read More
  • CHRISTENDOM
    Anniversary
    July 1, 2001

    CHRISTENDOM

    . . . [T]here is a fundamental point of intersection between the theory of a just government and much of the underpinning of what we know as Western civilization.
    Read More
  • Duke Chapel, Then and Now
    Vital Signs
    June 1, 2001

    Duke Chapel, Then and Now

    In December, the dean of the chapel at Duke University in North Carolina, along with the school's president, announced that same-sex "weddings" could be celebrated at Duke's imposing Gothic chapel.
    Read More
  • The New Anti-Civilization
    Vital Signs
    June 1, 2001

    The New Anti-Civilization

    Vaclav Havel has said that we are undergoing "the brutal destruction of a cultural landscape that has taken centuries to develop"; within this decaying global civilization "is in essence the first atheistic civilization in the history of mankind."
    Read More
  • Church Arsons: The Real Story?
    Vital Signs
    May 1, 2001

    Church Arsons: The Real Story?

    It was one of the biggest stories of 1996: Black churches were burning all across the South, the seeming victims of a nationwide upsurge in racial hatred. Tens of thousands of horrified Americans rushed to contribute money toward the...
    Read More
  • Catholic Rome
    Vital Signs
    May 1, 2001

    Catholic Rome

    St. Thomas Aquinas maintains that our intellect cannot grasp anything except through our senses. Recognizing this truth is essential to understanding the city of Rome and—beyond Rome—the Catholic Church, because Rome means nothing without the...
    Read More
  • Collision Course
    Reviews
    May 1, 2001

    Collision Course

    The polemics engendered by the beatification of Pope Pius IX are unlikely to go away. When all the false charges of antisemitism are set aside, the fact remains that this one man may have done more to stem the tide of liberalism than all the...
    Read More
  • Roman Spies and Spies in Rome
    Views
    May 1, 2001

    Roman Spies and Spies in Rome

    In the summer of 1943, as Allied forces reached Italy, U.S. Army counterintelligence warned GIs, "You are no longer in Kansas City, San Francisco, or Ada, Oklahoma, but in a European country where espionage has been second nature to the...
    Read More
  • Faith in the Hour of Trial
    Views
    May 1, 2001

    Faith in the Hour of Trial

    Christianity had enjoyed an initial status of religiu licita in the eyes of the Roman government, during the reigns of Tiberius (under which our Lord was crucified), Gaius Caligula, and Claudius.
    Read More
  • Liberal Slander
    Vital Signs
    March 1, 2001

    Liberal Slander

    At events such as the Episcopal Church's General Convention, held last July in Denver, traditional believers get slandered in all sorts of ways, most of them indirect but effective.
    Read More
  • Debating the "Gentile Vice"
    Vital Signs
    March 1, 2001

    Debating the "Gentile Vice"

    At its annual "Ministers Week" lectures last year, the theological school of Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas provided a revealing window into the contemporary debate within mainline church circles over homosexuality.
    Read More
  • Left Behind: Coming Soon
    Cultural Revolutions
    January 1, 2001

    Left Behind: Coming Soon

    Left Behind: the movie is coming soon to a theater near you—maybe. Supporters of the multi-million dollar evangelical end-times film are attempting to sponsor it in theaters across the nation.
    Read More
  • Law, Morality, and Religion
    Round Table Discussion
    January 1, 2001

    Law, Morality, and Religion

    A paleoconservative thinks about the law the way Edmund Burke did. The basis of all law is the will of God or, to use the term employed by Blackstone (another hero of paleoconservatives), "natural law."
    Read More
  • Christianity and the Legitimacy of Government
    Round Table Discussion
    January 1, 2001

    Christianity and the Legitimacy of Government

    The late Paul J. Tillich (1886-1965)—not exactly a hero to conservative Christians, Protestant or Catholic—spoke of the rival impulses that cause agony in personal and community decisionmaking, which he defined as the clash between autonomy and...
    Read More
  • Causing a Stir
    Cultural Revolutions
    December 1, 2000

    Causing a Stir

    The Onion caused quite a stir a couple of weeks ago when it was read by an unsuspecting Christian.
    Read More
  • Hand-Me-Down Truth
    Perspective
    December 1, 2000

    Hand-Me-Down Truth

    In 1912, a group of Oxford fellows began meeting to work out a minimalist common creed that would be acceptable to all Christians.
    Read More
  • A Politically Incorrect Beatification
    Reactionary Radicals
    December 1, 2000

    A Politically Incorrect Beatification

    Few people have been so hated that their enemies have disrupted their funeral processions in an attempt to throw their coffins into a river, but that is precisely what happened to Pope Pius IX on the night of July 12, 1881.
    Read More
  • Calvinism and Culture
    Views
    December 1, 2000

    Calvinism and Culture

    The most important element in the formation of a culture is the predominant faith of its people. The foundation of Western culture is Christianity; in this country, Reformed Protestant Christianity.
    Read More
  • Ethiopia Lifts Her Hands
    Views
    December 1, 2000

    Ethiopia Lifts Her Hands

    In a classic book of humor entitled The Experts Speak, we find an impressive collection of failed prophecies and wildly inaccurate predictions: Television would never catch on, nobody needs a personal computer, and so on.
    Read More
  • Tradition, Old and New
    Views
    December 1, 2000

    Tradition, Old and New

    As a starting point, we must distinguish between tradition as container and tradition as content. This is a difference between the positions of the two great confessional bodies which appear equally devoted to preserving their traditions.
    Read More
  • Leadership Skills
    Cultural Revolutions
    October 1, 2000

    Leadership Skills

    President Clinton slid to the edge of his chair and clasped his hands together. "Polls can be tricky," he said, an eager glint in his eye. Finally, the other Bill—the Rev. Bill Hybels—had stopped asking those "tough" questions about Clinton's...
    Read More
  • A Methodist Revival
    Vital Signs
    October 1, 2000

    A Methodist Revival

    Methodism, America's third-largest religious denomination, eagerly embraced the Social Gospel nearly a hundred years ago. It supported labor unions, civil rights, and a moderate welfare state.
    Read More
  • Dare to Be a Daniela
    Vital Signs
    October 1, 2000

    Dare to Be a Daniela

    In early July, the United States Supreme Court, acting on a plea brought by two unidentified families, one Mormon and one Roman Catholic, ruled the practice of prayer at high-school football games unconstitutional.
    Read More
  • Pope Garry the Great: Bare Ruined Choirs?
    Reviews
    October 1, 2000

    Pope Garry the Great: Bare Ruined Choirs?

    What shall we say of Garry Wills who, with a doctorate in the classics, once purportedly showed promise as a conservative intellectual, only to become the historian-icon of the deconstructionist left?
    Read More
  • After the Avalanche
    Views
    September 1, 2000

    After the Avalanche

    When C.S. Lewis wrote that there was more distance between us and Jane Austen than between Jane Austen and Plato, he was remarking on a cataclysm that colleges and universities had not escaped.
    Read More
  • False Christs
    Cultural Revolutions
    August 1, 2000

    False Christs

    "False Christs shall arise," warned our Lord, "insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect."
    Read More
  • A Christian Critique of American Foreign Policy
    Vital Signs
    July 1, 2000

    A Christian Critique of American Foreign Policy

    My last (and only other) visit to the United States was early in 1986. I was visiting the Capitol at the invitation of a friend who, at the time, was working for a Republican member of the Senate.
    Read More
  • Offering Religion on a Silver Platter
    Cultural Revolutions
    June 1, 2000

    Offering Religion on a Silver Platter

    The Episcopal Church used to offer salvation—on the inevitable silver filigreed platter from Tiffany's, served up with a spot of sherry and proffered with immaculate taste and manners.
    Read More
  • The Growing Irrelevance of the NCC
    Vital Signs
    June 1, 2000

    The Growing Irrelevance of the NCC

    The National Council of Churches (NCC) is the Hugh Hefner of the religious world: aging and not dealing well with it, trapped in the fashions of the 1960's and 1970's, financially troubled, and still offensive but no longer shocking
    Read More
  • Fueling Culture Wars
    Cultural Revolutions
    May 1, 2000

    Fueling Culture Wars

    "Discrimination" is one of today's buzzwords, and laws and regulations prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation are fueling some of the sharpest skirmishes within America's culture wars.
    Read More
  • BJU, R.I.P.
    Cultural Revolutions
    May 1, 2000

    BJU, R.I.P.

    Although the Greenville, South Carolina, haven of fundamentalism is still holding classes, the New World Order's steamroller has flattened the life out of Bob Jones University.
    Read More
  • Since I’m Jewish, This Must Be Judaism
    Correspondence
    March 1, 2000

    Since I’m Jewish, This Must Be Judaism

    When religion becomes a matter of personal opinion, culture—which by definition is public and corporate—no longer defines what is eternally at stake in man's relationship to God.
    Read More
  • Stylish Mendacity
    Reviews
    March 1, 2000

    Stylish Mendacity

    A wash in reviews of Cornwell's portrait of Pius XII, I felt surfeited by the book even before it arrived in the mail. To call this biography unflattering is meiosis.
    Read More
  • The Goddess and the Bride
    Vital Signs
    February 1, 2000

    The Goddess and the Bride

    The distribution of rights, responsibilities, and roles between the sexes has proved very hard to establish by civil law. If we look only at laws and social conventions, we may misunderstand reality.
    Read More
  • Of Rights and Rabbits
    Reviews
    January 1, 2000

    Of Rights and Rabbits

    James Bohan, a Pennsylvania attorney, believes he has elevated the abortion debate above the pedestrian levels of both medicine and religion.
    Read More
  • A Postmodern Yahweh for Episcopalians
    Vital Signs
    December 1, 1999

    A Postmodern Yahweh for Episcopalians

    I had expected to find a small gathering of eccentric Episcopalians in a basement lecture hall. Instead, the National Cathedral was overflowing with a Christmas Eve-sized crowd.
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  • Interpreting Compassion
    Vital Signs
    December 1, 1999

    Interpreting Compassion

    For the NYT so oblivious in its isolation, so confident in the act of judgment, politics in the form of social values always trumps religion; often it defines religion; sometimes it is religion.
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  • The League Against the South
    Correspondence
    December 1, 1999

    The League Against the South

    York, Alabama, is a sad little Southern town. Though it is small, it lacks the typical charm of the South.
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  • The Coining of the Third Age
    Views
    December 1, 1999

    The Coining of the Third Age

    In the early winter of 1999, much of the world is looking forward with eager anticipation or uneasy apprehension to the dawning of the Third Millennium.
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  • New Faiths for Old
    Views
    December 1, 1999

    New Faiths for Old

    Religion is a very sturdy creature. For two centuries, various atheist regimes have tried to eliminate religious practice in their societies and, without exception, have ended up restoring the forms of the old worship, but with newer and far...
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  • X2K: <em>aut Christus aut nihil</em>
    Perspective
    December 1, 1999

    X2K: aut Christus aut nihil

    "Put Christ back in Xmas" was the slogan of a popular campaign to cloak America's prime commercial holiday with Christian decency.
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  • Our Cultural Disorder
    Cultural Revolutions
    August 1, 1999

    Our Cultural Disorder

    Our cultural disorders weren't caused by the Supreme Court's prayer decisions. The implication that school prayer, by fortifying Young America, might have forestalled the rampage at Columbine High School, and those rampages preceding it.
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  • That New Time Religion
    Views
    August 1, 1999

    That New Time Religion

    Americans in the 19th century had a confident pride that they would dominate the coming age, not only because of the immense economic power of the new nation, but as a natural outcome of its moral and religious strength.
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  • Pitirim Sorokin: A Prophet of Our Present
    Vital Signs
    June 1, 1999

    Pitirim Sorokin: A Prophet of Our Present

    The desire to know what tomorrow will bring, to know the future, is as old as the human race itself But how? Who among us has the "gift of prophecy"?
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  • The "Silent Majority"
    Cultural Revolutions
    May 1, 1999

    The "Silent Majority"

    Abortion has been a part of the American national religion for several decades, and in February a federal court in Oregon decided that it was blasphemy to criticize the ritual sacrifice of unborn children.
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  • Clinton and the Clergy
    Vital Signs
    April 1, 1999

    Clinton and the Clergy

    "We ought to string up Clinton and Monica by their feet, just like the Italians did to Mussolini and his mistress at the end of World War II." This comment came from a caller to Wisconsin Public Radio, on which I was a guest last fall.
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  • Gleichschaltung
    Principalities & Powers
    April 1, 1999

    Gleichschaltung

    When a new religion displaces an old one, the gods of the old faith become the demons of the new.
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  • The Christian Challenge in Islamic Africa
    Vital Signs
    February 1, 1999

    The Christian Challenge in Islamic Africa

    Moreno Religious persecution in Africa is particularly interesting since countries there go from one extreme to another in terms of religious tolerance. The growth of Islam is reconfiguring Africa's religious landscape—at the cost of religious...
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  • Papal Soap
    Correspondence
    February 1, 1999

    Papal Soap

    Naive as this may seem to anyone who has made a day trip to Florence or owns an encyclopedia, I do not want to name the princely family.
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  • In Our Own Image
    Reviews
    February 1, 1999

    In Our Own Image

    The greatest value of Charlotte Allen's book is the question it leaves eloquently unspoken. In the full etymological sense of the word, it is a crucial one; Are we here to find Jesus in ourselves, or to find ourselves in Jesus?
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  • Vol. 1 No. 2 February 1999
    February 1, 1999

    Vol. 1 No. 2 February 1999

    Plundering the treasures of conquered lands has always been a fair game, from Neolithic herds and Sabine women to works of art: Byzantine statuary adorns St. Marco's in Venice, and Elgin's marbles are in London to stay.
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  • Self-Loathing in Abundance
    Cultural Revolutions
    December 1, 1998

    Self-Loathing in Abundance

    Pope Paul VI, whose encyclical Humanae Vitae turned 30 this year, predicted that the proliferation of artificial contraception would bring "conjugal infidelity and the general lowering of morality."
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  • Revolution and Natural Law
    Vital Signs
    December 1, 1998

    Revolution and Natural Law

    To what extent (if at all) does natural law entail religious liberty? To put it another way, is religious liberty a natural right? An attempt to answer this question should elucidate the long and sometimes equivocal tradition of natural law.
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  • Be Fair to the Liberals
    Vital Signs
    December 1, 1998

    Be Fair to the Liberals

    After some years of ecclesiastical combat (Episcopal battlefield), I think I know why so many conservative Christians do not respond to liberalism as strongly as one would expect.
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  • One World, One Leader, One god
    Perspective
    December 1, 1998

    One World, One Leader, One god

    The unity of Christendom and the restoration of the American republic are themes that have intertwined their way through the numbers of this magazine, like the twin strands of the DNA double helix.
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  • Preaching to a Strange Nation
    Views
    December 1, 1998

    Preaching to a Strange Nation

    The Law on Religion passed this year by the Russian State Duma restricts the activities of "non-traditional" religions (Russian Orthodoxy, Judaism, Islam, and Catholicism were accorded "traditional" status), requiring a religious group to have...
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  • That They May Be One
    Views
    December 1, 1998

    That They May Be One

    In this century, several different groups of Protestant churches have sought a measure of organizational unity: There have been a number of church mergers and there are ongoing discussions between officials and theologians of different...
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  • The Great Schism
    Views
    December 1, 1998

    The Great Schism

    In August 1994, I was happy to be one of the many Latin clerics who over the years, in divisa or in borghese, have made a pilgrimage to the Holy Mountain of Athos, the Garden of the Mother of God.
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  • Dorothy Day and the American Right
    Views
    November 1, 1998

    Dorothy Day and the American Right

    The title "Dorothy Day and the American Right" promises a merciful brevity, along the lines of "Commandments We Have Kept" by the Kennedy Brothers.
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  • Why Evangelical Colleges Aren't
    Vital Signs
    September 1, 1998

    Why Evangelical Colleges Aren't

    Two separate educational movements exist within the evangelical world, one old and one new, and they are clearly on a collision course. One thing does lead to another, and he who says A must say B.
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  • Against the Racketeers
    Reviews
    August 1, 1998

    Against the Racketeers

    In January and April, Wistrich—a highly polemical writer with few scholarly accomplishments—castigated Lindemann in Commentary as an apologist for anti-Semites and Cambridge University for putting "its imprint on so biased and ignominious a work."
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  • A Traditionalists' Alliance
    Vital Signs
    February 1, 1998

    A Traditionalists' Alliance

    Seldom has a piece of foreign legislation elicited such an outcry among America's bien pensants as did a recent Russian bill designed to regulate the activities of the many religious sects that have been setting up shop in Russia since the fall...
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  • E'en Though It Be a Cross
    Reviews
    January 1, 1998

    E'en Though It Be a Cross

    Unbelievers, Flannery O'Connor remarked, think that faith for be- Hevers is a big electric blanket, when of course it is the Cross. William Buckley, regretting at the outset of his book that he is unable to convey a sense of his own personal...
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  • The Chastity Amendment
    Vital Signs
    December 1, 1997

    The Chastity Amendment

    The appearance of an article about American church life on the front page of the Washington Post is a rare occurrence. But the approval by the Presbyterian Church (United States) of a church law requiring celibacy of its non-married clergy gained...
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  • Religious Rights and Wrongs
    Perspective
    December 1, 1997

    Religious Rights and Wrongs

    The Vice President was in Russia in September, trying to persuade Boris Yeltsin to amend legislation giving the Russian Orthodox Church a privileged position. Al Gore was just the man to explain religious toleration to the Russians.
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  • A Good Report
    Views
    December 1, 1997

    A Good Report

    Forty years ago, merely identifying oneself as a minister, priest, or rabbi was a virtual guarantee of respectful treatment, and perhaps of a discount in stores or even "professional courtesy" from doctors and dentists as well.
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  • The Last Respectable Bias
    Views
    December 1, 1997

    The Last Respectable Bias

    The anti-Catholicism that marked our nation's founding was directed at both individual Catholics and the institutional Church. Somewhat later, it became colored by an anti-Irish impulse.
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  • If God Ran the State Department
    Views
    December 1, 1997

    If God Ran the State Department

    "In the Name of the most Holy & undivided Trinity." A Thus begins the Treaty of Paris (1783) by which Great Britain formally conceded the existence of the independent United States of America.
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  • Church Arson Mania
    Vital Signs
    November 1, 1997

    Church Arson Mania

    A recent report by the federally appointed National Church Arson Task Force has confirmed that there never was any evidence of an upsurge in racist, fiery attacks upon black churches, despite the media spotlight of last year.
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  • White Self-Hatred and the Christian Spirit
    Vital Signs
    November 1, 1997

    White Self-Hatred and the Christian Spirit

    The Samaritan Project, according to a report in the Washington Times, was launched earlier this year and is funded by the Christian Coalition's "donor base." The Reverend Jackson's group received a grant of some $850,000 from the project to...
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  • City of Man, City of God
    Reviews
    September 1, 1997

    City of Man, City of God

    This rich and complex book is on one level the summing up of a controversy over a properly Christian, specifically Catholic, view of politics which has pitted the author, a theologian, against certain "neoconservative" thinkers, notably Richard...
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  • Continental Judaism, R.I.P.
    Correspondence
    August 1, 1997

    Continental Judaism, R.I.P.

    Religions may explode in human history—Christianity conquering Rome in scarcely 300 years, Islam the Mediterranean basin in scarcely a century. But they die only here and there, only now and then, and renew themselves in times and circumstances...
    Read More
  • Pedophiles, Ephebophiles, Ecclesiophobes
    Reviews
    June 1, 1997

    Pedophiles, Ephebophiles, Ecclesiophobes

    Surveying the clergy sex scandals of the past decade, one is reminded of Christ's prediction that "from him who does not have, even that which he seems to have shall be taken away" (Matthew 25:29).
    Read More
  • A Face-Off
    Cultural Revolutions
    May 1, 1997

    A Face-Off

    Archbishop William Levada, the Roman Catholic ordinary of San Francisco, and the city's leftist mayor, Willie Brown, squared off last February, and though the debate may continue over who drew more blood, it's clear who was left staggering at the...
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  • The Future of the Christian Right
    Views
    April 1, 1997

    The Future of the Christian Right

    Like a cold front, you could feel the defeat coming; and you did not need Dan Rather or George Gallup to prepare you. You knew it in your bones as you listened to the sound bites on the evening news: Clinton saying nothing and saying it well;...
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  • Pravoslavophobia
    Vital Signs
    February 1, 1997

    Pravoslavophobia

    One of the shibboleths of contemporary Western thought is multiculturalism: an exaggerated, if condescending, affirmation of the worth of other races and nations, religions and cultures.
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  • Teaching Religion and Religious Teaching
    Views
    December 1, 1996

    Teaching Religion and Religious Teaching

    Some years ago, I was in Washington, D.C., for the annual convention of the American Academy of Religion, a vast gathering of college professors teaching in the area of Religious Studies, when an astonished cabdriver asked me who all these hordes...
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  • The Rise of the Profane
    Views
    December 1, 1996

    The Rise of the Profane

    At some point in their development, civilizations cease believing in the sacred and plunge into a new set of absolutes. No community likes to speak of decadence and its usually harsh symptoms; no one may even grasp the meaning of such an upheaval.
    Read More
  • Confirmation and Indoctrination
    Views
    December 1, 1996

    Confirmation and Indoctrination

    Institutions survive because the old teach the young. The Quakers who founded Haverford and Swarthmore colleges in Pennsylvania had to admit that the Holy Spirit could use the help of explicit teaching to back up His direct conversation with the...
    Read More
  • Sacraments of Death
    Views
    December 1, 1996

    Sacraments of Death

    Sacraments no longer symbolize the promise of God to preserve thy body and soul unto life, but simply mark the end of a road, "No Exit," as Jean-Paul Sartre wrote.
    Read More
  • Sacramental Parodies
    Views
    December 1, 1996

    Sacramental Parodies

    "What do you expect of a spiritualist? His mind's attuned to the ghouls of the air all day long. How can he be expected to consider the moral obligations of the flesh? The man's a dualist. No sacramental sense."
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  • The Sacraments of Anti-Christ
    Perspective
    December 1, 1996

    The Sacraments of Anti-Christ

    "A Republican marriage," said a French actress of the 18th century, "is the sacrament of adultery." This bon mot is recorded by Sir Walter Scott in the description of the French Revolution with which he begins his Life of Napoleon.
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  • Burn, Baby, Burn
    Vital Signs
    October 1, 1996

    Burn, Baby, Burn

    For several months, the nation has been wracked by the widespread perception that black churches across the South were under widescale attack by racist arsonists. President Clinton dutifully visited a victimized South Carolina congregation, and...
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  • Mistreatment of Religious Minorities
    Cultural Revolutions
    September 1, 1996

    Mistreatment of Religious Minorities

    Robert Hussein, a Kuwaiti citizen, may be wishing for another Iraqi occupation. After converting to Christianity, Hussein was put on trial for apostasy in an Islamic court, which quickly found him guilty.
    Read More
  • The Unbanable Book
    Views
    September 1, 1996

    The Unbanable Book

    A recent full-page advertisement in the Chicago Tribune, which no longer calls itself "The World's Greatest Newspaper," listed four documents that supposedly are foundational: the Magna Carta, the Treaty of Versailles, the Declaration of...
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  • Liberals Rediscover Religion—Again
    Vital Signs
    August 1, 1996

    Liberals Rediscover Religion—Again

    Those earnest "neoliberals" at the Washington Monthly have again gotten religion, which, every few years, seems to be their wont. The putative convert this time is Amy Waldman, who writes that the left (her term) has needlessly neglected to "draw...
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  • Treason Against the New Order
    Perspective
    August 1, 1996

    Treason Against the New Order

    If I am going to be tried on Christian charges, I demand to be given a jury of my Christian peers. But this Tribunal of yours, as is well known, was set up originally by Muslims and is now being run by a very un-Christian bureaucracy that is the...
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  • The Divinization of the Devil
    Vital Signs
    May 1, 1996

    The Divinization of the Devil

    The need for God is a characteristic of our time. The difficulties and the uncertainties of daily life; the dangers that impinge both on individuals and the entire human species; . . . all make human beings feel the need for an assistance that...
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  • Shakespeare, A Closet Catholic?
    Reviews
    May 1, 1996

    Shakespeare, A Closet Catholic?

    For the ongoing revolution against traditional authority it is often difficult to know whom to blame the most, but certainly the academic community's skepticism, suspicion, and mockery of traditional values is one cause.
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  • Conflicting Beliefs
    Cultural Revolutions
    April 1, 1996

    Conflicting Beliefs

    When Christians invite Muslims into their homes, it sometimes happens that the guests wish to perform their ritual prayers at the specified "prayer time." This may be intended as a witness of their Muslim commitment, but it is not a religious...
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  • Demonizing the Orthodox
    Vital Signs
    April 1, 1996

    Demonizing the Orthodox

    I teach seventh- and eighth-graders at the St. George Orthodox Church School in West Roxbury, Massachusetts, a purely volunteer task that takes 45 minutes out of my Sunday and two hours out of the rest of the week.
    Read More
  • Colleges Against Christ
    Vital Signs
    April 1, 1996

    Colleges Against Christ

    Do Christian sensitivities on college campuses count? Apparently they do not—at least at Franklin and Marshall, where I teach.
    Read More
  • The Twilight of the Sacred
    Views
    April 1, 1996

    The Twilight of the Sacred

    At the center of the contemporary pagan/Christian controversy are the nature, the localization, and the psychological-mythological motivation of the sacred. The last one dominates the debate because as the transcendent God becomes less focused...
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  • The Revival of Russian Paganism
    Vital Signs
    April 1, 1996

    The Revival of Russian Paganism

    "The predisposition to religious belief," wrote sociobiologist Edward O. Wilson, "is the most complex and powerful force in the human mind and in all probability an ineradicable part of human nature."
    Read More
  • Does God Believe in Gun Control?
    Vital Signs
    April 1, 1996

    Does God Believe in Gun Control?

    "You are doing God's work," Brady Bill sponsor Charles Schumer remarked to Sarah Brady at a congressional hearing. And perhaps one could argue that if it took God seven days to make the world, people should not be able to buy a handgun in any...
    Read More
  • Evangelicals on the Durham Trail
    Vital Signs
    April 1, 1996

    Evangelicals on the Durham Trail

    What do Billy Graham and Stanley Fish have in common? According to most assessments of the ongoing culture wars, the answer is an emphatic "not much!"
    Read More
  • Out of Whole Cloth
    Reviews
    April 1, 1996

    Out of Whole Cloth

    Satan's Silence is critical for understanding current debates over issues as diverse as feminism, the social position of children, the growth of therapeutic values and beliefs, and the status of American civil liberties.
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  • Politicized Christianity
    Vital Signs
    April 1, 1996

    Politicized Christianity

    Today, the social democracy gospel is not only the mainstream opinion among the ecclesiastical elites. It is the prevailing orthodoxy of virtually every organized religious body in the United States.
    Read More
  • State-Sponsored Prayer
    Correspondence
    April 1, 1996

    State-Sponsored Prayer

    For practicing Christians, Judaists, and Muslims, what is at stake in state-sponsored prayer in public schools is whether the particularities that make us what we are make a difference.
    Read More
  • Monotheism vs. Polytheism
    Views
    April 1, 1996

    Monotheism vs. Polytheism

    Can we still conceive of the revival of pagan sensibility in an age so profoundly saturated by Judeo-Christian monotheism and so ardently adhering to the tenets of liberal democracy?
    Read More
  • Ancient Greek Religion
    Views
    April 1, 1996

    Ancient Greek Religion

    The religion of the ancient Greeks is startlingly different from Christianity. It has been misinterpreted by people who think that since it is a religion it must be like Christianity, and also by people who think that because it is not like...
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  • Up From Television
    Reviews
    December 1, 1995

    Up From Television

    In order to mark the 15th anniversary of Pope John Paul II's election to the Papacy, Italian Radio and Television commissioned Vittorio Messori to conduct a live television interview with the Pope.
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  • Jesus!
    Reviews
    July 1, 1995

    Jesus!

    The latest "Quest for Jesus" owes its origins to the discovery of two major texts and a host of lesser ones. The first key source is unknown to us as a document, but can be reconstructed from any New Testament.
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  • America's Christian Heritage
    Views
    July 1, 1995

    America's Christian Heritage

    One need not be a professing Christian, or even merely a generic or nominal Christian, to have received and benefited from what we call America's Christian heritage.
    Read More
  • Descent into the Episcopal Church
    Vital Signs
    June 1, 1995

    Descent into the Episcopal Church

    Effective January 1, 1994, the right Reverend Clarence Pope, Episcopal Bishop of Fort Worth, not only retired but left the Episcopal Church for Rome. He is the highest-ranking Episcopalian to leave the denomination.
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  • Sins of Omission
    Reviews
    April 1, 1995

    Sins of Omission

    The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind is that, as Mark Noll puts it, "there is not much of an evangelical mind"; that, despite all their other virtues, "American evangelicals are not exemplary for their thinking, and they have not been for several...
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  • What Atheists Know
    Reviews
    April 1, 1995

    What Atheists Know

    In response to the charge of obsession with a "single issue," pro-life activists contend that the abortion debate is really paradigmatic. As Joseph Sobran suggested several years ago, "The debate about abortion is really the kind of debate...
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  • Virulent Propaganda
    Cultural Revolutions
    December 1, 1994

    Virulent Propaganda

    "There is no God, and if there was. She made a mistake." That statement came from a colleague of mine during a class in philosophy. That is also the extent to which most public college students will hear the "G" word mentioned during their years...
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  • A Lot to Be Desired
    Cultural Revolutions
    December 1, 1994

    A Lot to Be Desired

    As an orthodox Bible-believing Christian, I find that much of what is said by the so-called "religious right" and "religious left"—to put it charitably—leaves a lot to be desired and is, ironically, un-Christian.
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  • Affirmative Action and the Lubavitcher Rebbe
    Vital Signs
    December 1, 1994

    Affirmative Action and the Lubavitcher Rebbe

    As if it wasn't bad enough that the 92-year-old Menachem Schneerson, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, died without an heir, or that he sorely disappointed a considerable faction of his most zealous disciples by refusing to cheat death and thus show himself...
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  • Religion and the Workplace
    Vital Signs
    December 1, 1994

    Religion and the Workplace

    Harassed any hirelings lately? Don't think so? Let's see. Do you refer to the office Christmas party as a "Christmas party"? Sing carols and say grace? Invite your employees to join you for church?
    Read More
  • Episcopal Follies
    Views
    December 1, 1994

    Episcopal Follies

    We have heard many debates recently about the undermining of moral and cultural traditions in contemporary America, a trend sometimes epitomized by the phrase "political correctness."
    Read More
  • Justice and Its Harvesters
    Views
    December 1, 1994

    Justice and Its Harvesters

    Nobody, except the New York Times and its worldwide allies, questions the right and duty of Catholic bishops to raise their public voice on moral issues, and on social issues intertwined with problems of a moral nature.
    Read More
  • The New Scapular
    Views
    December 1, 1994

    The New Scapular

    For the Christian, AIDS is a summons to conversion, not merely for those who have the disease, but for the whole corrupted mass of society, drunk with pride and lust and the love of power that comes with technology.
    Read More
  • The Missionary's Son
    Reviews
    October 1, 1994

    The Missionary's Son

    Henry Luce both created and dominated a new form of national journalism between 1930 and 1960. Founder and editor-in-chief of Time, Life, and Fortune, he is best remembered for his 1941 Life essay "The American Century," a robust call for the...
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  • Catholic Moments
    Reviews
    May 1, 1994

    Catholic Moments

    Patrick Allitt's study of Catholic intellectuals and their relationship to postwar conservatism is clearly presented and full of stimulating perceptions. Basic to this book is the contrast between two generations of American Catholic thinkers...
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  • The Gospel of Pluralism
    Reviews
    March 1, 1994

    The Gospel of Pluralism

    It is fitting that the most confused and confusing legal tradition in America today is First Amendment case law regarding religious liberty.
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  • New and Old Catholicism
    Correspondence
    December 1, 1993

    New and Old Catholicism

    The Archdiocese of Milwaukee is keeping pace with the rest of the Church in America as it embraces the usual causes and crusades under the banners of "community" and "equality" while all but shedding Catholic inconveniences like Mortal Sin and...
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  • Arguing With Jesus
    Reviews
    November 1, 1993

    Arguing With Jesus

    Professor Neusner, one of the world's most accomplished scholars in the field of religious studies, begins by proclaiming that as a practicing and believing Jew he says a polite "No" to another practicing and believing Jew—but one who made...
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  • Who Needs the Historical Jesus?
    Reviews
    July 1, 1993

    Who Needs the Historical Jesus?

    I have never heard of a book about "the historical Moses," and while philosophers study the thought of Sophocles and Plato, few bother to tell us what the historical Sophocles really said, as distinct from what Plato says he said.
    Read More
  • Chicken Little Is a Christian
    Reviews
    June 1, 1993

    Chicken Little Is a Christian

    The chief victim to date in the so called Culture War is neither George Bush nor the Republican Party but "the Environment," or what Christians used to call Creation.
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  • Doing Well; Done Better
    Reviews
    March 1, 1993

    Doing Well; Done Better

    According to the jacket copy of Doing Well and Doing Good, Richard John Neuhaus is "one of the most prominent religious intellectuals" of our time (which helps explain our time).
    Read More
  • Cultural Lunacy
    Cultural Revolutions
    December 1, 1992

    Cultural Lunacy

    What do you get if you cross six Catholic bishops with five "Christian feminists"? The answer: economic ignorance and cultural lunacy. In what has to qualify as the meeting from Purgatory, the bishops and the feminists met for eight and a half...
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  • Religion as a Social System
    Vital Signs
    December 1, 1992

    Religion as a Social System

    To study any vital religion is to address, as a matter of hypothesis, a striking example of how people explain to themselves who they are as a social entity. Religion as a powerful force in human culture is realized in society, not only or even...
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  • Letter From Russia Orthodoxy and Nationalism
    Correspondence
    December 1, 1992

    Letter From Russia Orthodoxy and Nationalism

    Early in my first Russian-language course, our professor noted that the word for "Sunday" is the same as the word for "resurrection." Somebody asked her how that word had managed to survive under 70 years of totalitarian atheism.
    Read More
  • Sanctity & Sanctuary
    Correspondence
    December 1, 1992

    Sanctity & Sanctuary

    From the barrio of South Tucson, the Tucson Mountains appeared clean and sharp like hammered copper on a clear morning following the equipata or winter rains, nearly the season's last; the glassy towers downtown held the sky reflected in squares...
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  • The Pilgrimage of Malcolm Muggeridge
    Views
    December 1, 1992

    The Pilgrimage of Malcolm Muggeridge

    By the time he died in November 1990, Malcolm Muggeridge had become the most widely read Christian apologist since C. S. Lewis— much to the disgust of his peers in the press, who had been irritated with him since he first rejected his family faith.
    Read More
  • Priests and Pedophiles
    Views
    December 1, 1992

    Priests and Pedophiles

    "Catholic priests claim to be celibate, but we know what they're really up to. Most of them seduce women, the rest like little boys. Priests trap them in the confessional, and when the priests are found out, the bishops let them off with a slap...
    Read More
  • The Ten Commandments
    Perspective
    December 1, 1992

    The Ten Commandments

    A round table discussion of the Ten Commandments.
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  • Ignorance and Freedom
    Views
    September 1, 1992

    Ignorance and Freedom

    Important educators, including Benjamin Rush, attacked the traditional classical education, but the example and precept of Jefferson and other Founders kept America's leaders educated for freedom and creativity by maintaining their direct contact...
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  • Strange Days
    Reviews
    July 1, 1992

    Strange Days

    The wide-eyed declamations of Shirley MacLaine to the contrary, there is nothing particularly new about the so-called New Age, that hodgepodge of religious borrowings from diverse sources ranging from the genuine to the quackish.
    Read More
  • The Dead Sea Scrolls Controversy
    Cultural Revolutions
    April 1, 1992

    The Dead Sea Scrolls Controversy

    The Dead Sea Scrolls controversy is not—as some have argued—about Christianity fearing for its life in the face of new and dreadful facts. The claim that the Scrolls contain information that calls into question Christian verities is pure poppycock.
    Read More
  • Suspending Relations
    Cultural Revolutions
    January 1, 1992

    Suspending Relations

    The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, with a membership of some two million under the leadership of Archbishop Iakovos, suspended its relations last June with the National Council of Churches.
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  • Running the Psychosocial Gauntlet
    Vital Signs
    January 1, 1992

    Running the Psychosocial Gauntlet

    To prepare couples for the sacrament and life of matrimony, Roman Catholic canon prescribes sensible requirements for "Pastoral Care and What Must Precede Celebration of Marriage."
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  • Causing Divisions
    Cultural Revolutions
    December 1, 1991

    Causing Divisions

    AIDS, like abortion, seems to have divided the religious community along conservative and liberal lines. One might suppose, in a reasonably rational society, that the increasing availability of contraceptives would reduce the incidence of abortion.
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  • The Seventh World Council of Churches
    Cultural Revolutions
    September 1, 1991

    The Seventh World Council of Churches

    The World Council of Churches convened its Seventh Assembly at Canberra, Australia, early in February 1991, just in time to pronounce a verdict on the Persian Gulf War.
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  • No Place for Strict Adherence
    Cultural Revolutions
    August 1, 1991

    No Place for Strict Adherence

    The Hopi Indian Reservation of northeastern Arizona is no place for strict adherents to the doctrine of the separation of church and state.
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  • Receiving "Moral" Support
    Cultural Revolutions
    May 1, 1991

    Receiving "Moral" Support

    Bishop Spong's agitation for the ordination of practicing homosexuals received "moral" support last February from the Special Task Force on Human Sexuality of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
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  • Ancient Texts and Modern Readers
    Reviews
    May 1, 1991

    Ancient Texts and Modern Readers

    "Begin at the beginning," was the King's suggestion to Alice. "Go on to the end. Then stop." Kurt and Barbara Aland of the Institute for New Testament Textual Research in Münster, Westphalia, Germany, begin their book on the New Testament with...
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  • Reinventing the Wheel
    Reviews
    May 1, 1991

    Reinventing the Wheel

    Two Jesuits have recently written books on social ethics, the humane economy, and on liberating the poor. I know what you're thinking: two more liberation theologians using Marxist criteria for their analysis, and ruthlessly criticizing the free...
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  • Piety and Meaning
    Reviews
    April 1, 1991

    Piety and Meaning

    Walter Sullivan is professor of English at Vanderbilt University, the author of two novels, and, most recently, of Allen Tate: A Recollection. He is also a frequent and long-standing contributor to the Sewanee Review, in which four of the ten...
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  • Progressive Pilgrims
    Reviews
    April 1, 1991

    Progressive Pilgrims

    "It is risky to write about an ongoing series of events, in this case the Catholic church's history in the second half of the twentieth century," writes Thomas Molnar in the introduction to The Church, Pilgrim of Centuries.
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  • Sociology and Common Sense
    Vital Signs
    March 1, 1991

    Sociology and Common Sense

    The "Common-Sense Sociology Test" made its first appearance in the mid-1960's. The test is now a familiar fixture in introductory sociology courses and textbooks, but in the beginning its exciting novelty instantly captured the hearts and minds...
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  • Wills' Way
    Reviews
    March 1, 1991

    Wills' Way

    Garry Wills is, of course, the talented apostate conservative whose interpretative political reporting avoids the usual journalistic cliches. No one will disagree that Wills penetrates events more deeply than do, say, the editorial writers for...
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  • Freedom of Religion
    Cultural Revolutions
    December 1, 1990

    Freedom of Religion

    Freedom of Religion is important to Americans. So is freedom of expression. Both freedoms are traditionally guaranteed by the First Amendment, which prohibits government interference in religious freedom either by establishing a religion or by...
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  • A Man for Distinctions
    Reviews
    May 1, 1990

    A Man for Distinctions

    Jacob Neusner's bibliography is as long as the laundry list of a professional football team. Only in his mid-50's, Neusner has published more than two hundred books, and several hundred scholarly essays.
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  • The Christian Question
    Reviews
    March 1, 1990

    The Christian Question

    David Novak, Professor of Modern Jewish Thought at the University of Virginia, sets out to argue the case for what is called Jewish-Christian "dialogue."
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  • Make a Joyful Noise. Awomen.
    Correspondence
    December 1, 1989

    Make a Joyful Noise. Awomen.

    Two years ago, because it felt inevitable and right, I took the happy leap of faith that I had been approaching for years and became a Catholic. The reasons why are perhaps fodder for another letter at another time.
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  • Everyone Knows
    Cultural Revolutions
    September 1, 1989

    Everyone Knows

    Everyone now knows what the Methodists have done to their hymnal. Inclusive language once again triumphs over not only tradition and elegance, but even reason. Economists arc not exempt from such folly.
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  • The God Biz
    Correspondence
    July 1, 1989

    The God Biz

    For some reason (perhaps God knows why) I recently started receiving packets of postcard advertisements from Media Management's Ministry: Values for Growing Churches. "Dear Pastor," the top card began.
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  • In Search of a Biblical Philosophy of Politics
    Reviews
    May 1, 1989

    In Search of a Biblical Philosophy of Politics

    Just what is a truly Christian, or biblical, view of politics and government, and what difference does it make for public policy?
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  • Holding the Fort
    Reviews
    May 1, 1989

    Holding the Fort

    John Cardinal O'Connor, the distinguished and controversial head of the archdiocese of New York, has played an important role in affecting American politics, both inside and outside the Catholic Church.
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  • The New Eschatology of Peace
    Views
    April 1, 1989

    The New Eschatology of Peace

    The relations of religious faith with political life in the modern world are riddled with paradoxes. In the Middle East, rapid secularization has provoked a fundamentalist revulsion, which seeks vainly to stem the tide of modernity that, at the...
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  • Worshiping the Golden Self
    Reviews
    December 1, 1988

    Worshiping the Golden Self

    Are religion and psychology enemies or allies? Can religion and psychology peacefully coexist? Can religion and psychology work together for the sake of social progress? Man and Mind, an anthology of thought-provoking essays, seeks to provide...
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  • The Dinosaur
    Reviews
    December 1, 1988

    The Dinosaur

    Lewis was fond of referring to himself as an Old Western Man, one of a soon-to-be-extinct species: a veritable dinosaur. As a classically educated member of the Anglo-Irish middle class, one born at the turn of the century, his opinions to most...
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  • In Search of Absolutes
    Reviews
    November 1, 1988

    In Search of Absolutes

    Caveat lector—shortly after glancing through the early pages of James J. Thompson, Jr.'s accurately but flamboyantly titled Fleeing the Whore of Babylon, I wondered how in this vale of tears I could complete the job assigned to me by Chronicles.
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  • Rights of Clergy
    Perspective
    September 1, 1988

    Rights of Clergy

    I saw my old friend Browne recently. The subject eventually turned to the politics of religion and the religion of politics. I asked him what he thought about the current Anglican debate over homosexuality, and I wondered aloud if it had anything...
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  • The Church in Sweden's Welfare State
    Correspondence
    August 1, 1988

    The Church in Sweden's Welfare State

    As this is written, the annual Council of the Church of Sweden is meeting here, proceedings which will last to the end of the month of August. As the name implies, Sweden has a state church which is Lutheran in confession.
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  • Sex and the Clergy
    Cultural Revolutions
    July 1, 1988

    Sex and the Clergy

    Sex and the clergy have never made a good combination, and when the nation's Catholic bishops wrote a draft letter on the status of women, we could just about predict the outcome.
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  • The Religion of Neoconservatism
    Correspondence
    June 1, 1988

    The Religion of Neoconservatism

    Did you ever wonder why Jewish neoconservative thinkers never argue "from" Judaism, in the way in which Michael Novak argues from Roman Catholicism, and Richard Neuhaus argues from Lutheran Christianity?
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  • An Unpeaceable Kingdom
    Reviews
    June 1, 1988

    An Unpeaceable Kingdom

    It was one of those Saturday nights that spills over into Sunday morning. Invited into the home of a main-line Protestant couple in split-level northern New Jersey, the 40ish group was made up of Jews and Roman Catholics from the neighborhood and...
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  • Bleary-Eyed for Christ
    Correspondence
    May 1, 1988

    Bleary-Eyed for Christ

    Anxious to be liked, mainstream Churches roll over and piddle on the floor regularly these days, and seem to do so with the greatest vigor in the spring, when the pasqueflowers sprout on virgin soil and the "renewal" comes to town.
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  • Pluralism in Miniature
    Views
    May 1, 1988

    Pluralism in Miniature

    Science was a sacred cow in the United States in the 1950's. The words "Science says . . . " came with all the force of an imperial command. Pluralism has taken on the same status in the late 1980's.
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  • The Fear of Crisis
    Views
    March 1, 1988

    The Fear of Crisis

    In the November 1986 Encounter, the Princeton University economist Harold James sets out to tell us "Why We Should Learn to Love a Crisis." His explanation is not quite what we would expect from a champion of a market economy.
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  • The Christian and Creation
    Views
    February 1, 1988

    The Christian and Creation

    Where does man fit into nature? What is his response to the created universe? Lynn White has argued that the Christian position is at the very heart of the environmental crisis.
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  • Reason and the Ethical Imagination
    Reviews
    December 1, 1987

    Reason and the Ethical Imagination

    More than 50 years after his death, Irving Babbitt continues to evoke a sympathetic response horn minds and temperaments attuned to the ethical world view fostered by classical and Christian thought.
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  • A Second Opinion
    Reviews
    July 1, 1987

    A Second Opinion

    This profoundly conservative book forms a powerful personal argument against the liberal dogma that "modernity" destroys religion. Much of the left, militantly secular as it is, has attempted to make it "self-evident" that no reasonable person...
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  • Catholic Church USA
    Reviews
    June 1, 1987

    Catholic Church USA

    Three histories of the Catholic Church in the United States have become available within a two-year period—books by James Hennesey, S.J., Martin Marty, and now Jay P. Dolan, the bitterest of the three.
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  • A Myth In A Garden
    Views
    June 1, 1987

    A Myth In A Garden

    Born the day after Christmas, 1902, like a wet firecracker, as my mother remarked, I entered a world that lived with and by other creatures. My grandchildren and their ilk are unaware that they are creatures.
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  • The Padre From Chicago
    Reviews
    February 1, 1987

    The Padre From Chicago

    Exhibitionism is a sin yet to be legitimized in Father Andrew Greeley's ongoing excursion into soft porn (or those novels which he euphemistically christens his "comedies of grace").
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  • The Pope and the Press
    Typefaces
    December 1, 1986

    The Pope and the Press

    When the Extraordinary Synod of the Roman Catholic Church ended (December 1985), thousands of words were written about the event by religious journalists of every variety.
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  • Factious Fundamentalists
    Vital Signs
    December 1, 1986

    Factious Fundamentalists

    To judge by the tone, content, and amount of recent media coverage of Protestant Fundamentalism in general and television evangelists in particular. Fundamentalists
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  • Why I Am an Episcopalian
    Correspondence
    December 1, 1986

    Why I Am an Episcopalian

    A friend of mine was having a theological discussion with his cleaning lady one day (people do that sort of thing in the South), and the subject of the End of Time came up. They agreed that the signs are all in place, and that it must be coming...
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  • Renaming God
    Correspondence
    December 1, 1986

    Renaming God

    We were ambushed last Christmas Eve by a gang of politicians disguised as Presbyterian clergy and elders. The scene was a sanctuary; the occasion a candlelight service.
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  • Rendezvous With Billy
    Correspondence
    December 1, 1986

    Rendezvous With Billy

    The established church in Washington didn't know what to make of Billy Graham. By "established church," I don't mean the main-line Protestant churches: They were too busy trying to convert their churches into instruments of Democratic foreign...
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  • Second Adam
    Reviews
    December 1, 1986

    Second Adam

    Most persons now living can expect to witness the turning from the second to the third millennium of the Christian era. The year 2000 anno Domini looms as a seeming tower in time, commanding our attentive awe as we approach it.
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  • Sons of Jacob
    Reviews
    December 1, 1986

    Sons of Jacob

    The Jews Under Roman and Byzantine Rule has already appeared in German and Hebrew editions by the same polyglot author who has now produced the English translation.
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  • The Search For the Sacred
    Views
    December 1, 1986

    The Search For the Sacred

    Religion is inseparable from the sacred, the channel through which the divine transcendent communicates with man, according to man's sensate nature. Any object, natural or man-made—a Gothic cathedral or the lapis negra excavated on the Roman...
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  • Unconstitutional
    Reviews
    November 1, 1986

    Unconstitutional

    Not long ago Time magazine celebrated America with a special issue. Among the ornaments of this production was an essay by an ersatz "Tocqueville," purporting to provide an account of what that wise observer would say today, were he to update his...
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  • Save the Children
    Correspondence
    September 1, 1986

    Save the Children

    Joining a particular church is like marrying: One doesn't get a divorce just because one's husband's relatives lack aplomb—and the Bridegroom is ever constant.
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  • Rendering Unto Caesar
    Reviews
    September 1, 1986

    Rendering Unto Caesar

    That some Protestant theologians meshed Christianity with Nazism and became ardent supporters of Hider should surprise no one familiar with the activities of theologians who support a Marxist-Leninism dedicated to destruction of religion.
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  • The Virgin and the Paparazzo
    Vital Signs
    August 1, 1986

    The Virgin and the Paparazzo

    The battle lines are drawn. On one side, Pope John Paul II and the French National Federation of Catholic Family Relations, along with numerous religious groups in this country.
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  • Bashing the Baptists
    Reviews
    August 1, 1986

    Bashing the Baptists

    "Who are these people?" someone asks about evangelicals in the early pages of Redemptorama, a book billed as an exploration of Christ and contemporary culture. Despite years of research and her own Southern Baptist upbringing, the author, Carol...
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  • Monkeys and Machine-Guns: Evolution, Darwinism, and Christianity
    Views
    August 1, 1986

    Monkeys and Machine-Guns: Evolution, Darwinism, and Christianity

    It often happens that when a Greek or Latin word is given a new lease on life in one of the major modern languages, and especially in English, the original meaning of the word may be replaced by a rather different one.
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  • Pastor to the Pariahs
    Reviews
    July 1, 1986

    Pastor to the Pariahs

    Dramatic conversions happen. F.F. Bruce, the noted New Testament scholar, is not alone in insisting that no one can understand Paul of Tarsus without considering his experience on the road to Damascus.
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  • Trojan Asses
    Views
    July 1, 1986

    Trojan Asses

    On April 22, 1950, I published in the London Tablet an article entitled "The American Catholics Revisited," which provoked an avalanche of letters to the editor, wildly protesting against my observations.
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  • Dr. Bob's Unusual University
    Correspondence
    May 1, 1986

    Dr. Bob's Unusual University

    Bob Jones University. Isn't that the segregationist place down in South Carolina someplace?
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  • The Chapel and the Voting Booth
    Reviews
    May 1, 1986

    The Chapel and the Voting Booth

    I am sure it is possible to praise too highly James Reichley's Religion in American Public Life, but it would take some doing. Reichley, a Senior Fellow at The Brookings Institution, has produced a superb historical and analytical survey of...
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  • Rights of Clergy
    Typefaces
    April 1, 1986

    Rights of Clergy

    Any sensible kid in America wants to be a newsman when he grows up or, better still, when he doesn't. Politicians may have the power to make laws and budgets, but it's the journalists who make the politicians.
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  • Psychology Today, Psychology Tomorrow, Psychology Forever
    Typefaces
    March 1, 1986

    Psychology Today, Psychology Tomorrow, Psychology Forever

    Psyche haunted the Romantic poets and their successors. Coleridge celebrated "the butterfly the ancient Grecians made the soul's fair emblem and its only name." Coleridge was a Christian.
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  • Before the Big Bang
    Reviews
    March 1, 1986

    Before the Big Bang

    These days orthodox Christians and skeptical physicists disagree over nothing—yet their disagreement is literally of the first importance. For the "nothing" that is at issue is the void that immediately preceded the Big Bang, the cosmic explosion...
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  • Science and Religion
    Correspondence
    January 1, 1986

    Science and Religion

    I gather that the Texas Board of Education has done something commendable, but I don't know exactly what because the Washington Post (my source) was too busy deploring it to describe it. I assume it was something great because it reduced the Post...
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  • Money and Mammon
    Reviews
    January 1, 1986

    Money and Mammon

    Christian moral thinking has always had to harmonize with New Testament texts such as "the love of money is the root of all evils," and "blessed are the poor."
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  • War, Peace, and the Church's Teaching
    Views
    January 1, 1986

    War, Peace, and the Church's Teaching

    The amazing thing about the nuclear debate and the Catholic bishops' participation in it is that the accumulated wisdom and experience of mankind, as well as the Church's pronouncements on peace and war, are so completely ignored.
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  • Religion is out, fashion is in
    Cultural Revolutions
    August 1, 1985

    Religion is out, fashion is in

    What a picture of life in America!
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  • A Brief Encounter With Bigotry
    Polemics & Exchanges
    August 1, 1985

    A Brief Encounter With Bigotry

    A religious philosophy, which is so insecure that it can thrive only on a diet of hostility toward all other religions is a terribly weak reed to use as a staff as we move along the pathway of life.
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  • "A Scientific Faith's Absurd"
    Typefaces
    August 1, 1985

    "A Scientific Faith's Absurd"

    The scientific method is itself value-free, beyond good and evil. That, at least, was the theory. In practice, however, scientists are not always so pure.
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  • Mormons and Modernism
    Opinions & Views
    July 1, 1985

    Mormons and Modernism

    Even Mormonism's political allies have doubts about a faith that seems centuries out of step.
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  • Commendables
    Reviews
    June 1, 1985

    Commendables

    Thinking Clearly About War, Clear-Eyed Southerner, From the Wilderness to the White House, Satire In and Out of Season.
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  • Waste of Money
    Reviews
    June 1, 1985

    Waste of Money

    Not a Prayer, Snake in the Garden
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  • Progressive Pilgrim
    Imported
    May 1, 1985

    Progressive Pilgrim

    Everyone, it seems, is appealing to the authority of American history, of American tradition, to settle the question of religion and politics.
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  • Letter From North Carolina
    Imported
    May 1, 1985

    Letter From North Carolina

    In the world according to NPR, it seems, mass murder gets more respect than religious belief.
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  • Church +/- State (Part 2)
  • Church +/- State (Part 1)
  • Perceptibles
    Reviews
    December 30, 1984

    Perceptibles

    Howard Thurman, Robert V. Hine
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  • The American Proscenium
    American Proscenium
    December 1, 1984

    The American Proscenium

    Politics and Prayer, Fame: I'm Going to Live Forever, Center for Christian Studies
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  • Comment
    Comment
    November 1, 1984

    Comment

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  • Commendables – Of Devotion and Democracy
  • Ideologues in Search of a Faith
    Imported
    October 1, 1984

    Ideologues in Search of a Faith

    Western intellectuals have projected their personal sense of loss and their discontent onto the societies of which they are members.
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  • Partial Prognoses
    Imported
    October 1, 1984

    Partial Prognoses

    Marxist ideology sees history as a panorama of class struggle.
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  • Finer Fleet of Clay
    Views
    September 1, 1984

    Finer Fleet of Clay

    Throughout their careers, Singer and Malamud have served as careful diagnosticians, not merely as makers of refined entertainments.
    Read More
  • Liberal Worship and Conservative Judgment
    Views
    September 1, 1984

    Liberal Worship and Conservative Judgment

    While Ms. Oates leads the nauseous public chorus of liberal critics hailing narcissistic artists as gods, Dr. Lynn stands as a courageous blasphemer who stills the hosannas with a confident and resounding verdict: “This is nonsense, and there’s...
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  • Liberal Worship and Conservative Judgment
    Views
    February 1, 1984

    Liberal Worship and Conservative Judgment

    While Ms. Oates leads the nauseous public chorus of liberal critics hailing narcissistic artists as gods, Dr. Lynn stands as a courageous blasphemer who stills the hosannas with a confident and resounding verdict: “This is nonsense, and there’s...
    Read More
  • Faltering Christian Soldiers
    Imported
    December 1, 1983

    Faltering Christian Soldiers

    As modern Christianity itself becomes increasingly fragmented and secularized, publishing books that try to represent the whole of it, as these two volumes do, becomes increasingly problematic.
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