For 2011: Unwrap the Silence

From Web Exclusives

Christmas has, in too many ways, become the equivalent of an overdone theme-park vacation. By its end, one is knock-kneed with exhaustion and desperately in need of a genuine opportunity to rest. A Christmas snow, like the one we’ve just had, does wonders to cull the silence… . Continue Reading »

The Christmas Light in the Shopping Madness

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My friend James Martin, a Jesuit priest, each year gives over a portion of Advent to rightly despairing of the over-commercialization (and increasingly too-early) start to the “seasonal” music and shopping of Christmas. In his pleasant but pointed snark, he warns that soon we will be seeing Santa’s image in July, along with the first “pre-Christmas” bargains… Continue Reading »

A Global By-Pass of the Heart

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In vitro fertilization is not therapy because “it does not treat whatever pathologies are at the root of couples’ infertility,” writes Tim Muldoon on the Patheos website, taking issue with the Nobel Prize in Medicine awarded to Robert Edwards for his work in developing the techniques of human in vitro fertilization… . Continue Reading »

Ants on a Crucifix in Norman Rockwell’s America

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Last October, the Smithsonian Institute opened the “Hide/Seek” exhibit, which, as the Washington Post’s Blake Gopnik writes, “surveys how same-sex love has been portrayed in art, from Walt Whitman’s hints to open declarations in the era of AIDS and Robert Mapplethorpe’s bullwhips.” Gopnik praised the show hugely, calling it “courageous, as well as being full of wonderful art.” … . Continue Reading »

Rationing Bono & Other Gaia-Saving Ideas

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Eschewing teleconferences that could reduce their carbon footprints to almost nothing (assuming they all own computers and work in offices appropriately outfitted with vision-wrecking fluorescent overheads), the usual bureaucratic suspects have gathered in Cancun, Mexico, for another round of United Nations’ “talks on climate change””that malleable and useful crisis upon which every weather variant and geological shift may be blamed without proof, for as long as the scam can dependably line the right pockets, and infringe upon our daily living without discomfiting the elite… . Continue Reading »

With the Corpus in the Center

From Web Exclusives

Before tackling a freelance job this weekend, I placed myself before a standing crucifix which is at the center of my oratory. I needed a focal point”something to help me block out the incessant noise of the emails, the blog comments, the blaring headlines. The soft click of a keyboard is the writer’s soundtrack, but it can only be heard once the writer has managed to filter out the world of 10,000 things, in order to find a word in season… . Continue Reading »

Why Marxism Always Fails

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It was not the Marxist ideal in communism that was in error, really. It was that communism was compelled, rather than voluntary. Sometimes a sympathizer with classical Marxist ideology will write to me expounding on the compassionate and generous instincts that he believes are at the heart of Marxism … Continue Reading »

Who’s Sorry Now?

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Almost going unnoticed in the continuing analysis of last week’s election has been the absence of the sort of high-drama and neurotic self-indulgence that followed Democrat losses in 2004. Where is the “Sorry, Everybody” movement of 2010? … Continue Reading »

The Quiet Power of Our Sacred Honor

From Web Exclusives

A friend who teaches high school Social Studies recently lamented to me that her students come up from middle school with such a vague idea of what has made America unique among nations since its founding”and what its character has meant to the rest of the world”that she is forced almost to play Devil’s Advocate against the nation’s own history, in order to entice them to its defense… . . Continue Reading »