Abortion Talk

Decoding Abortion Rhetoric: Communicating Social Changeby celeste michelle condituniversity of illinois press, 236 pages, $24.95 Students of Western thought have long understood the correlation between public discourse, conviction, and practice. Even as far back as the fifth century B.C:. Democritus . . . . Continue Reading »

“Linguistic Injustice”: An Exchange

The University of Notre Dame To: My Colleagues in the Department of TheologyFrom: James F. White On December 13, 1982, the Department made an important step in approving a motion calling upon us to avoid sex-exclusive and sex-discriminatory language. I write you because as time progresses, I find . . . . Continue Reading »

At the Taj Mahal In Atlantic City

As I was splitting a pair of queens to double my sawbuck bet, someone said “He’s here,” and here he was—four bodyguards to part the waves, a blonde bimbo on each arm with whom to swim. I swiveled in my chair to greet him, held out my hand—brushed back by one of his goons. . . . . Continue Reading »

The Radical Paradigm and the New Racism

In confronting the race question in America today, we are faced with a paradox. On the one hand, our generation has lived through a political and cultural revolution that has no parallel. Discriminatory laws enforcing racial segregation have been declared unconstitutional and abolished, while the . . . . Continue Reading »

1789: A Requiem

Perhaps no English poem was more frequently cited during France’s 1989 Bicentennial year than William Wordsworth’s Prelude, in Book XI of which one finds “Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive, / But to be young was very Heaven!” Anyone unfamiliar with the poet’s biography might reasonably . . . . Continue Reading »

An Open Letter on Abortion

I intend these remarks primarily for a specific group of people: those persons of good will who say they are personally opposed to abortion but are prochoice. Though we hold opposed views, my hope is that we can still engage profitably in a rational discussion of the abortion issue, once we come to . . . . Continue Reading »

Nature's Call

In Tennessee Williams’ The Night of the Iguana the dissolute but not, he emphatically insists, officially “defrocked” Reverend T. Lawrence Shannon has been “collecting evidence . . . of man’s inhumanity to God.” When asked what he means by that. Shannon indicates that he refers to the . . . . Continue Reading »

The Uses of Homophobia

The best way to win an argument is to control the terms of discussion. Any high school debater knows that, and those of us who forget it do so at the risk of finding ourselves in awkwardly defensive modes of public discourse. Take the current and curious case of the term “homophobia,” a word . . . . Continue Reading »

Feminism: Beyond the Second Stage

Barbara Bush finally got to speak at the Wellesley commencement last June, despite protests from 150 seniors that she did not embody the qualities that Wellesley seeks to instill in its students because she had dropped out of Smith to become a wife and mother. At about the same time, another Smithie . . . . Continue Reading »