Our Potemkin Life

From Web Exclusives

Several weeks ago, I was having dinner with friends in the town of Bridgewater, PA—a sliver of land at the confluence of the Beaver and Ohio Rivers northwest of Pittsburgh. As tends to happen whenever orthodox Christians gather, the conversation turned to cultural decline. As we discussed the latest outrages, though, I couldn’t help but observe our surroundings.We were on the patio of a casual restaurant within sight of the gentle Beaver River. Between us and the riverbank was a pristine lawn, crisscrossed by walking trails. The weather was mild and clear. Around us, people conversed contentedly while dining wholesomely and affordably, in perfect security. To all appearances, here was the very image of the good society: pleasant, safe, and prosperous. Continue Reading »

Liberal Limits—and Our Opportunity

From Web Exclusives

Never has a piece of writing spread across my social media niche as prolifically as Mark Oppenheimer’s Time essay arguing for an end to federal tax exemptions for religious organizations. In the past few days, more than two dozen Facebook friends shared the article, each one appending either . . . . Continue Reading »

Piling Cliché Upon Cliché

From Web Exclusives

In the past two days, federal courts have redefined marriage in two states: Oregon and Pennsylvania. No one should be surprised by this; though the Supreme Court’s decision in Windsor v. U.S., which struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act, could be shrewdly navigated so as to permit state definitions of marriage to survive scrutiny, it was unlikely that any federal judge would bring attention to himself by defying the accumulating mass of pro-same-sex marriage rulings. Continue Reading »