Bread Upon the Waters

The death of Richard John Neuhaus shocked and saddened me. I learned of it by calling to express concern and assure him of my prayers in his fight against that cancer of unknown origin. It was too late. He had died the previous morning. . . . Continue Reading »

Little Sisters in the Political Madhouse

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor has blocked the administration’s mandate that the Little Sisters of the Poor contract to provide contraception coverage to their employees. That the case has gone this far illustrates the sickness of the left, the complacence of our popular media culture, and the weakness (partly self-inflicted) of President Obama’s political opponents. . . . Continue Reading »

Evening Prayer

The Richard I knew and loved was a man of prayer and of liturgy. He knew that the greatest gift we could offer to God was not our words, not our ideas, not our projects, but a heart ablaze with the fire of love. “Honor and glory belong to God alone,” said St. Bernard, “but God will receive neither if they are not sweetened with the honey of love.” . . . Continue Reading »

The Poorest of the Poor

Pope Francis has ignited a useful and necessary conversation about our responsibilities to the poorest of the poor—those who some may be tempted to write out of the script of history as hopeless cases. That conversation would be enhanced if participants in it took a close look at Paul Collier’s suggestive book, The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries Are Failing and What Can Be Done About It . . . Continue Reading »

Conservatism, Evangelii Gaudium, and the Social Market

Liberal commentators, both religious and secular, have cheered what they take as the recent comeuppance Catholic and other religious conservatives received in the sections of Evangelii Gaudium, the Pope’s recent apostolic exhortation, that touch on market economics. While the cackling is partly unjustified, it is also partly justified. . . . Continue Reading »

Truncating the Politics of Jesus

John Howard Yoder’s now-classic The Politics of Jesus sparked a revolution. For centuries, Jesus’ lordship had been foundational to Western political thought. By the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Jesus had become irrelevant. Locke doesn’t use the name “Jesus” in either of his two treatises on government. Adam Smith mentions Jesus only once in Wealth of Nations, in a footnote reference to the “compagnie de Jesus.” There isn’t even a footnote reference to Jesus in Theory of Moral Sentiments. . . . Continue Reading »

Marriage Is a Matter of Definition

November 18 marked the 10th anniversary of the landmark decision by the Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) of Massachusetts which resulted in that state becoming the first to issue civil marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Chief Justice Margaret H. Marshall’s ruling for the Court got just about everything wrong . . . Continue Reading »

Impeach Obama 2014

I cannot think of anything more disastrous for the Republican Party than an attempt to impeach the president. Yet there are scenarios being put forth, along with what I regard as a lot of irresponsibly loose talk, some of it getting ginned up by Democrats. . . . Continue Reading »

The Drama of Ukraine

My fascination with Ukraine began in 1984, during a sabbatical year at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. There, one of the first friends I made among my fellow Fellows was Dr. Bohdan Bociurkiw, a Ukrainian-Canadian professor at Carleton University in Ottawa. We first connected through a mutual interest in religious freedom behind the iron curtain; within a few weeks, Bohdan was giving me private tutorials in the history and culture of his native land, including an in-depth introduction to the story of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC). . . . Continue Reading »


PhariseesIn “Marriage Matters” (“Public Square,” November), R. R. Reno wondered how such a display of “public” immorality—same-sex marriage—could be greeted without comment. He worried that, in the presence of a gay married couple, acting as if . . . . Continue Reading »