Rupert Shortt and a Church Besieged

From Web Exclusives

As anxious as many Christians are about religious freedom in America, nothing we’ve experienced”and God willing, never will”comes close to the brutal persecution of Christians abroad. The stunning extent of this persecution is documented in Times Literary Supplement religion editor Rupert Shortt’s evenhanded and unsettling new book, Christianophobia: A Faith Under Attack… . Continue Reading »

The Temptation of Secular Conservatism

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If there is one silver lining to President Obama’s re-election”an event that fills many with apprehension”it is that it’s provided a clarifying moment for American conservatism. For years, the conservative movement has been carried along by its “big tent” philosophy, which welcomes conservatives of various types. In the wake of Obama’s victory, however, these differences have been accentuated… . Continue Reading »

Democracy and the Gospel of Christ

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Tomorrow, Americans will be flocking to the polls to decide their President for the next four years. When the election concludes, there will be a great deal of discussion about the blessings of democracy, our grand political tradition, and the precious freedoms Americans have”all of which we should be thankful for. Hand in hand with those blessings come hazards, though they aren’t likely to be discussed much, since questioning any aspect of a democracy, while living in one, is itself considered undemocratic… . Continue Reading »

St. Kateri’s Long Journey Home

From Web Exclusives

When Pope Benedict canonized Kateri Tekakwitha yesterday”making her the first Native American saint”he not only elevated an extraordinary Catholic woman; he lifted the entire community of Native American believers. Ever since the “Lily of the Mohawks” died in the seventeenth century, her indigenous supporters have believed what the Catholic Church now officially proclaims: that she was a bold and prophetic saint… . Continue Reading »

The Flight from Hell

From Web Exclusives

During the Second Vatican Council, a little-known moment occurred when Msgr Alberto Gori, the Patriarch of Jerusalem, rose to raise a question. Why, he wanted to know, was so little being said about “the eternity of hell” and the possibility of “personal damnation”? Twenty-five years later, a prominent Cardinal voiced similar concern: “Belief in eternal life has hardly any role to play in preaching today.” … Continue Reading »

Dorothy Day’s Dynamic Orthodoxy

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When Dorothy Day was born, in 1897, no one could have imagined her eventual religious standing”least of all her parents, who rarely attended church. But a full century later, in cities throughout the world, Day was proposed for sainthood, and celebrated for her heroic work. The Washington Post summed up that anniversary well … Continue Reading »

Romney’s Other Challenge: Social Issues

From First Thoughts

As he attempts to quell the controversy over his recent comments about the alleged dependency habits of nearly half of all Americans, Mitt Romney may have a bigger challenge ahead: inspiring social conservatives to vote for him. Ever since he entered the presidential sweepstakes, a segment of . . . . Continue Reading »

Cardinal Martini and the Timeless Church

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When Cardinal Carlo Martini, the former Archbishop of Milan, died on August 31st, many must have wondered what kind of leader the Church had just lost. “Progressive Catholic Icon … Dies After Saying Church ‘200 years’ Behind,” headlined CBS news on September 3rd. The following day, the Catholic News Service reported Pope Benedict’s tribute: “The late Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini was a ‘generous and faithful pastor of the church,’ who not only studied the Bible ‘but loved it intensely and made it the light of his life.’” … Continue Reading »

Is America Blessed by God?

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In 2008, Religion and Ethics Newsweekly released a survey on how Americans view their country’s relationship to God: “Sixty-one percent agree that America is a nation specially blessed by God,” it revealed, “and 59 percent believe the United States should be a model Christian nation to the world.” These are the kind of results that inspire many Americans—and make others shudder with fear. … Continue Reading »

Modern Films and the Enamel of Our Souls

From Web Exclusives

Of all the comments made following the tragic shooting in Aurora, perhaps the most piercing were those of Peter Bogdanovich, the Hollywood director: At first, some of the people [at The Dark Night Rises] thought it was part of the movie. That’s very telling. Violence on the screen has increased tenfold … Today, there’s a general numbing of the audience.Continue Reading »