Coates's Lost Cause

B etween the World and Me has been received with great fanfare. It won the National Book Award in nonfiction for 2015, and its author, Ta-Nehisi Coates, was recently awarded a MacArthur “Genius” Grant. Our liberal establishment is aflutter, hailing Coates as his generation’s spokesman for . . . . Continue Reading »

A Quiet Ideological Initiation

In mid-summer 2007 a package arrived in the mail containing the reading assignment for Yale’s freshman orientation week. The assigned book, by Beverly Daniel Tatum, had quite a title: “Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?” And Other Conversations About Race. Tatum was . . . . Continue Reading »

Liberal Racism Bares Its Fangs

Given the politically-correct hysteria that typically surrounds any discussion of racism these days, I hesitate to use the term. But it’s hard to find another that fits certain reactions to Synod-2015 from the port side of the Barque of Peter. Exhibit A: Shortly after the Synod concluded, the Web . . . . Continue Reading »

The Road to Nostra Aetate

Of all the documents of Vatican II, few have been more discussed and written about than Nostra Aetate. The official text, the shortest of the council’s documents, is only five paragraphs long, containing forty-one sentences. The fourth paragraph, on the Church’s relationship with the Jewish . . . . Continue Reading »

Seeking Justice in the Wake of Tragedy

A horrible tragedy occurred earlier this week, when a young white male walked into Emanuel A.M.E. church in historic Charleston, South Carolina, and killed nine congregation members. Unfortunately, many common responses to the massacre threaten to undermine efforts to seek real, substantive . . . . Continue Reading »

Faith, Fatalism, and Freddie Gray

One recent day at the Baltimore clinic where I care for the homeless, I spoke with a patient about the death of Freddie Gray. He prefaced his thoughts—as many people do when they discuss police brutality—with the caveat that there are good police officers, those who honor the law as they work diligently to enforce it in neighborhoods like Sandtown-Winchester, where Gray was injured. He then showed me scars on his body from his encounters with the police over the years— some of which had occurred after he was already in custody. He described how officers would raid his home and take half of his drugs and his money, then charge and arrest him for the remainder. “They’re a necessary evil,” he said. “If they weren’t out there, it would be total chaos.” Continue Reading »