Gods and Gopniks

Journalism is the art of translating abysmal ignorance into execrable prose. At least, that is its purest and most minimal essence. There are, of course, practitioners of the trade who possess talents of a higher order—the rare ability, say, to produce complex sentences and coherent . . . . Continue Reading »

So You Believe in “Marriage Equality”? Why Not For throuples?

The story of a female throuple in Massachusetts (with a baby on the way) provides further confirmation, as if any were needed, of the proposition that “ideas have consequences.” Once one has abandoned belief in marriage as a conjugal bond (with its central structuring norm of sexual complementarity) in favor of a concept of “marriage” as a form of sexual-romantic companionship or domestic partnership (“love makes a family”), then what possible principle could be identified for a norm “restricting” marriage to two-person partnerships, as opposed to polyamorous sexual ensembles of three or more persons? Continue Reading »

Prisoners Are Calling. Who’s Answering?

Prisons, at the very minimum are intended as quarantine; keeping cities and towns safer by removing criminals from their midst. But, in the opinion of one prisoner in Brazil, he’s more at liberty behind bars than out on the streets. Marcos Willians Herbas Camacho told one reporter, “It is you who are afraid of dying, not me. As a matter of fact, here in jail you cannot come in and kill me . . . but I can order to kill you out there.” Continue Reading »

The Conservative Road to Serfdom?

George Will argues that American politics is divided between conservatives, “who take their bearings from the individual’s right to a capacious, indeed indefinite, realm of freedom” and progressives “whose fundamental value is the right of the majority to have its way in making rules about which specified liberties shall be respected.” For Will, real conservatives favor an activist judiciary that will aggressively defend our “capacious, indeed indefinite realm of freedom” from the majority. Continue Reading »

Beat the Establishment

The divorce papers of Democratic lobbyist super couple Tony and Heather Podesta show that for a certain class of people government is not a public service or a field for settling partisan disagreements so much as an opportunity for self promotion: “As a married couple who both lobbied they . . . . Continue Reading »

Yale’s Agony Over Social Justice

Last night Yale’s campus pro-life group—after a year in which they participated in meetings and even helped raise money for the organization—became the first group in living memory to be denied membership in the Social Justice Network of Dwight Hall. Billing itself as an . . . . Continue Reading »

How Do You Say “Nones” in French?

From a French post describing my work on the Nones :

Est-il important de donner une définition au mot “religion”? Mark Movsesian, professeur de Droit à l’Université St. John a récemment publié un article sur la montée de la population des “Sans”, ces Américains qui se déclarent sans appartenance religieuse. Selon certaines évaluations, ils seraient 20% des adultes et, parmi les “millénaristes”, atteindraient 30%.

So it’s “les Sans.” I’d have thought it was “les Riens,” or maybe “les Aucuns.” Que sais-je? You can read the whole post in French here .

The Marriage that Made America

Why do we remember Martha Washington as Lady Washington? Isn’t this the kind of aristocratic pretension that Mister Jefferson taught us to reject? No. Very simply, the wives of the American generals were known as the Lady Washington, the Lady Knox, the Lady Greene, etc., simply as a way of . . . . Continue Reading »