The Moral Turn

For some conservatives, bracing themselves on the night of the election, the evening offered nothing less than a miracle unfolding. But that sense of things was even more pronounced for young lawyers defending religious plaintiffs in the courts, and for the small band of conservatives on the Supreme . . . . Continue Reading »

What the Novelist Knows

The novelist and diarist Julien Green described in his diary a conversation he had with a French priest, a Fr. Couturier, about the novelist’s necessary complicity with evil: If he is a believer, the difficulty begins when he sits down at his table to write, for he is obliged to become each one of . . . . Continue Reading »

Francis’s Argentine Letter and the Proper Response

The real problem with the Argentine norms is their deviation from this larger and more fundamental principle: that grace truly sanctifies and liberates, and that baptized Christians are always free to fulfill the moral law, even when they fail to do so. Jesus Christ holds us to this standard in the Gospel. It is presumptuous of Francis—however benign his intentions—to decide that his version of “mercy” trumps that given by God himself. Continue Reading »

Is There No Moral Law?

In point of fact, there is no such thing as theological neutrality, just as there is no such thing as moral neutrality. There are many things, to be sure, both morally and theologically, that the state does well to leave to civil society, neither legislating nor making the basis for legislation. Unfortunately, assisted suicide and euthanasia are not among them. Continue Reading »

Britain is Coming Apart, Too

Over at the Guardian, Paul Mason writes about the disintegration of Britain's working class. The occasion is the publication of a report on educational achievement, analyzed in terms of the ethnicity of pupils. It turns out that white British kids fall behind during their school years, with . . . . Continue Reading »

Deliver Us From Innocence

God preserve us from all innocence,” Querry tells Mother Agnes in Graham Greene’s 1960 novel A Burnt-Out Case. It’s a jarring assertion. Moral purity isn’t usually cast as dangerous, and people don’t ask God for protection from it. But Querry means it. He has another kind of innocence in . . . . Continue Reading »

You Are Not an Ape

Pedro Pozas, a Spanish animal-rights activist, made international headlines in 2006 when he declared, “I am an ape.” Pozas was speaking as an advocate for the Great Ape Project (GAP), the brainchild of Princeton utilitarian bioethicist Peter Singer and Italian animal-rights philosopher Paola . . . . Continue Reading »

Weird Lessons from Macbeth

Justin Kurzel’s new film adaptation of Macbeth benefits from gorgeous cinematography and a highly effective—even overpowering—soundtrack. The scenery and costumes are luscious without seeming showy, and the whole production moves along at a neat clip, clocking in at just over one hundred . . . . Continue Reading »