Religion and Violence

From Web Exclusives

On January 29, 2008, the editors of First Things graciously posted an article of mine called “Atheism and Violence.” It attempted to puncture the thesis of the New Atheists that religion is an anthropological phenomenon that uniquely leads unsuspecting and otherwise super-nice human beings to unmotivated acts of pointless violence. Tied to that notion is its correlative thesis, which the New Atheists also preposterously defend: that the demise of religion and the spread of atheism will inevitably lead to a future earthly eschaton of peace and harmony”nothing to kill or die for, no religion too… . Continue Reading »

The Politics of Selective Indignation

From Web Exclusives

The online edition of The Chronicle of Higher Education for August 10, 2009 carries an article by Carlin Romano called “The Shame of Academe and Fascism, Then and Now.” I’m hoping that this essay will cause some pangs of conscience among the privileged classes of administrators, professors and students in our nation’s elite universities in regard to its eerie silence surrounding the crushing of the pro-democracy demonstrators in Iran, although it probably will not… . Continue Reading »

Shades of Infallibility

From the Aug/Sept 2009 Print Edition

Papal Infallibility: A Protestant Evaluation of an Ecumenical Issue by Mark E. Powell Eerdmans, 226 pages, $40 Everyone, popes included, ad­mits that the Catholic doctrine of papal infallibility represents a major stumbling block to ecumenical relations. Paul VI, for example, said in 1967, . . . . Continue Reading »

Can Barack Obama Be Converted on Abortion?

From Web Exclusives

The short answer to that question is: probably not. In a news conference on April 29, a reporter asked President Obama this uncomfortable question: As a candidate, you vowed that one of the very first things you wanted to do was sign the Freedom of Choice Act, which, as you know, would eliminate . . . . Continue Reading »

Richard’s Book Club

From the April 2009 Print Edition

Some virtues may be learned, others are inborn. Punctuality, for example, can be taught, at least in the sense that the costs for procrastination can be made too high. I suspect every West Point cadet shows up for class on time, but such a cadet never enrolls in an elective course called . . . . Continue Reading »

Benedict’s Vatican II Hermeneutic

From Web Exclusives

A March 10 letter to Catholic bishops from Benedict XVI explains why he decided to seek reconciliation with the schismatic Society of St. Pius X. The Vatican lifted the excommunication of four bishops illicitly ordained by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre in 1988. The letter reveals the pain the pope felt . . . . Continue Reading »

Liberal Creep

From Web Exclusives

The intense rollercoaster ride of last year’s presidential campaign reminded me (as all elections do) of Alasdair MacIntyre’s famous lines in After Virtue : Liberalism is often successful in preempting the debate . . . so that [objections to it] appear to have become debates within . . . . Continue Reading »

The Body of the Church

From the January 2009 Print Edition

Can These Bones Live? A Catholic Baptist Engagement with Ecclesiology, Hermeneutics, and Social Theory by Barry Harvey Brazos, 318 pages, $24 .99 When the Vatican published Dominus Iesus late in the summer of 2000, reactions were generally hostile. I doubt its main author, Joseph Cardinal . . . . Continue Reading »