RJN: The Times and the Church

Those sixteen words have taken a terrible beating in the past fifty years. For most of our history, they occasioned little controversy. That was when our culture and our polity seemed to be on more or less amicable terms. There are several possible datings of the change, but I think we can settle . . . . Continue Reading »

Judge William Pryor and Lee Silver

Judge William H. Pryor is on U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. I count him a friend and we had dinner last week when I was in Birmingham, Alabama. The Democrats gave him a very hard time when he was nominated by President Bush and he had to serve under a recess appointment until . . . . Continue Reading »

Jane Austen and Park Honan

I don’t have the computer skills, let alone the patience, to set up my own blogsite. So I am especially grateful to the editors of First Things for their ecumenical hospitality in opening their cyber-pages to voices other than their own during this month of August. In my first foray into this . . . . Continue Reading »

What It’s Like To Be a Christian

Truths are one thing, the way they are set forth is another. These words express what many have judged, for good or ill, to be the particular spirit of the Second Vatican Council. The words come, in fact, from the Council itself, from John XXIII to be precise. They are found in his opening . . . . Continue Reading »

The Marriage Amendment

Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this Constitution or the constitution of any state, nor state or federal law, shall be construed to require that marital status or the legal incidents thereof be conferred on unmarried couples or groups. . . . . Continue Reading »

Eric Voegelin: The Restoration of Order

First, the basics: born in Germany in 1901, Eric Voegelin received a doctorate in political science from the University of Vienna, carried on several years of postdoctoral study in England, America, and France, and hem took up an academic career in Austria. He drew the hostility of the Nazis with . . . . Continue Reading »

Films of the Spirit

It is a truth seldom acknowledged that the most delightful art is also the most didactic. Jane Austen comes readily to mind, as does the best of children’s literature. Supposed counterexamples only prove the rule. Oscar Wilde is celebrated for his dictum that “bad art is always sincere,” but . . . . Continue Reading »

Aquinas and the Big Bang

One day a little boy asked his mother where he came from. His mother, pleased to have the opportunity to discuss such an important matter with her son, began by offering an elementary account of human biology, even introducing some references to the theory of evolution. Lest she restrict her . . . . Continue Reading »