Discrimination Against Christians?

Christians are facing more and more difficulties in Western society. Every day, especially in Europe, churches and cemeteries are desecrated; blasphemy pretends to be an art for the general public; activists like Femen attack symbols of religion, and the media rarely miss an opportunity to belittle Christians and the Catholic Church. It is this latent hostility towards Christianity which explains the indifference, or even the complaisance, of our society towards the desecration of its religious heritage and the persecution of Christians throughout the world… . Continue Reading »

Catholic Churches and the Hard of Hearing

Catholic churches are hard on the hard of hearing. Part of the problem is architectural. Catholic churches are built for the eye, not the ear. Interior spaciousness is meant to elevate your vision, just as the priest elevates the host. The church is a sacred space that opens onto the heavens. Churches that aim toward the light, however, often end up burying the human voice. There is plenty of room for incense to waft but also for voices to disperse. Nevertheless, size alone isn’t the problem … Continue Reading »

Leaving Brooklyn

My family had been in Brooklyn (or, as I will ever call it, God’s country) for over a century, refugees from the Lower East Side and a Jacob Riis–style life in early-twentieth-century New York. My father didn’t speak much about his youth in Bensonhurst, but what he did say was enough to fill . . . . Continue Reading »

Ray Bradbury, the Pedestrian

In the month since Ray Bradbury died at the age of 91, a host of tributes have appeared, touching on almost every salient aspect of his long life and his exceptionally many-sided work. Yet one theme worthy of attention, so it seems to me, has been largely ignored. “Largely,” I say”not entirely… . Continue Reading »

God Save the Queen

On February 6, Queen Elizabeth II marked her diamond jubilee, an achievement that Great Britain will celebrate throughout 2012. I am not a monarchist, but I’ll happily join in saluting the Queen, who embodies several qualities that are in short supply among 21st-century public figures. In one of a slew of diamond jubilee books, author Robert Hardman reports that Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, is awed by the Queen’s “gravitas.” … Continue Reading »

Invisible Suicide Prevention Week

When I was practicing law full time from the mid 1970s into the 1980s, there was tremendous on emphasis suicide prevention.  Hotlines proliferated, anti suicide billboards were ubiquitous, and a great deal of attention was paid to the issue throughout society.Then, the assisted suicide movement . . . . Continue Reading »

A King in Israel

Israel is a Jewish state but has not succeeded in defining just what that means in a national constitution. Although the 1948 Declaration of Independence called for the enactment of a constitution within months of the state’s inception, nothing has been achieved beyond a fragmentary “Basic . . . . Continue Reading »

Jewish Survival in a Gentile World

There are only two possible strategies for Jewish survival in a gentile world. One is to be tolerated. The other is to be indispensable. The first strategy hopes that if every minority is tolerated, then perhaps even the Jews, the minority with the longest history of persecution, might also be . . . . Continue Reading »