The Giving Society

Anyone traveling to Europe this summer will surely marvel at how different it is from the United States¯and how Europeans have trouble understanding the difference. “Individualists,” they call Americans, but the facts show far more personal social concern in the United . . . . Continue Reading »

Stop Reading This Now

What are you doing looking here on the Fourth of July? Go away. Set off some firecrackers. Recite some patriotic speeches. Watch the rockets’ red glare. Read about how the Peterkin boys , Solomon John, and Agamemnon made their disaster of “fulminating paste” from iron-filings and . . . . Continue Reading »

The Pregnancy Pact

Last month saw a flurry of interest in the reproductive goings-on in Gloucester, Massachusetts. Time magazine reported a spike in teen pregnancies at Gloucester High School¯from 3 or 4 last year to 17 this year (see June 18, 2008, “Pregnancy Boom at Gloucester High”). That’s what . . . . Continue Reading »

The Human Experience

“If he wakes me up today, God has something he wants me to do.” “I’m your sister, you’re my brother.” “We are all the same”that’s why we need to love everybody.” Truisms get their name because they are, well, true. But not the sort of truth that is . . . . Continue Reading »

Scalia and the Lure of the Natural Law

Scenes from a dinner in Washington ten years ago: Irving Kristol: “What was in the Second Amendment, again?” Paul Cantor: “Irving, you don’t remember? You wrote it.”There has often been a faint recollection of the Second Amendment, because it had rarely been before the courts. The rights . . . . Continue Reading »

A Pilgim’s Progress: Corpus Christi 2008

An excited group of girls behind me¯ages five to eight, I think, walking with their mothers: some of them dribbling, others flinging, handfuls of rose petals drawn from their little white baskets. Next the censers, wafting smoke, and then the Sacrament itself, in its monstrance: a great golden . . . . Continue Reading »

The Myth of the “Evangelical Crackup”

In this hour of “new day” presidential politicking, it is difficult to distinguish prophecy from wishful thinking, especially among those in the electronic and print media. Take, for example, the purported radical shift in alignment among religious conservatives that was reported as a . . . . Continue Reading »

Yellow Science

In the late nineteenth century, William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer developed what would come to be known as yellow journalism. By disregarding what had been standard journalistic methods, particularly in regards to the verifying of sources, these two publishers were able both to push their . . . . Continue Reading »