Culture Wars, R.I.P.?

Only four years ago, the media were abuzz with the revelation that a fissure ran through America, dividing us into Republican red states and Democratic blue states, polarity as much cultural as political. Red states are NASCAR and barbecue, while blue states are NPR and brie. Red states are . . . . Continue Reading »

For Pro-Lifers, A New Day

The worst aspect of an Obama presidency, I have been telling friends for months, will be his Supreme Court appointments. They will set the so-called constitutional right to an abortion in concrete for years to come. While this remains true, Sen. Obama‚Äôs victory challenges pro-lifers in two ways.We . . . . Continue Reading »

Assisted Suicide: The Wind in Their Sails

Between 1994 and last Tuesday, the assisted-suicide movement in this country was moribund. After Oregon passed Measure 16 (the Death with Dignity Act) in 1994 and saw it go into effect in 1997—despite widespread expectations, myriad state legislative efforts, and two voter referenda (Michigan . . . . Continue Reading »

Three Movie Reviews

Apocalypto When Apocalypto was announced¯a film set in the waning days of the Mayan Empire, with a no-star cast speaking Yucatec Maya¯you could be forgiven for thinking Waterworld . Well, Apocalypto has been unveiled, and it is more Apocalypse Now Redux than the Kevin Costner debacle. In . . . . Continue Reading »

Rocky Is My Prayer Partner

In the sixth installment of the Rocky series¯which opens today¯a fifty-something-year-old Rocky Balboa sits nervously awaiting the call to enter the arena and take on the heavyweight champion of the world. It’s a spectacle rivaled only by his first shot at the title, thirty years . . . . Continue Reading »

Children of Men

Going to see a film based on a novel you’ve read and enjoyed is always problematic. The liberties taken in the name of adapting a book for the screen run the gamut. Some are restrained and straightforward translations, such as A Merry War (from George Orwell’s Keep the Apidistra Flying . . . . Continue Reading »


One always hopes that a new year will both usher in what’s truly new and show the door to what’s proven stale. An example of the latter would be yet more "new" revelations about the "real" Jesus. No such luck. Paul Verhoeven, the man who brought us Robocop, Basic . . . . Continue Reading »

Obama and the Bishops

In a few days, the American bishops of the Catholic Church will be holding their annual fall meeting in Baltimore. High on the agenda is how Catholic bishops can better communicate Catholic teaching on social justice both in the Church and in the public square. It is understood that the priority . . . . Continue Reading »

An Interview with René Girard

René Girard is one of the most important Christian intellectuals of our time. Beginning with the publication of Deceit, Desire, and the Novel (1961), Girard’s thought began making waves in a number of disciplines. His first work impacted literary criticism with a basic and revolutionary . . . . Continue Reading »