Death to the Copulative and Long Live the Queen!

Some centuries ago, someone (a politician, I suppose) disconnected theology from the rest of the academy, hustled it down a dark hallway, and locked it in a basement office with stern warnings to “Stay put” and “Behave.” Theologians, by and large a meek race, complied. They have spent their time holding long seminars and filling shelves of books with monographs on details of Scripture, on historical studies, on the arcana of systematic theology”many of them of great erudition and enduring value for the church… . Continue Reading »

The High Holidays and Reason’s Limits

I do not know how common it is for an individual, who has failed to view a single football game from September until January, to suddenly sit in rapt attention while watching the Super Bowl. And for that same person to sit through the pre-game shenanigans and post-game interviews, and, during the game itself, to stand up and cheer at all the right moments… . Continue Reading »

Like a Real Memory

“They can tell you everything about the battle as if it happened to them,” said a commentator, referring to some residents of Sharpsburg, Maryland, descendants of those who eight generations previously were swept up in the great Battle of Antietam Creek. The battle just passed its one hundred-fiftieth anniversary, yet has recently been described as “a gash in history that is still healing.” … Continue Reading »

A Christian Partnership Bears Fruit

It was an extraordinary moment at the Republican convention last month when Mike Huckabee, a Baptist preacher turned politician, criticized Barack Obama for insisting that people have to “violate their faith and conscience in order to comply with what he calls health care. Friends … let me say it as clearly as possible, that the attack on my Catholic brothers and sisters is an attack on me.” … Continue Reading »

Campaign 2012: The Future of Marriage

Back in the day, altar boys loved to serve weddings because it involved ready cash: minimally, $5 (which in those days meant something), often a ten-spot. Once in a great while, an exceptionally generous best man would slip each server an envelope with $25”a small fortune to a boy in the early 1960s… . Continue Reading »

A Curriculum of Life

What if your child died at the age of 8 or 10? What would her eulogy be about? Perfect school attendance? What wonderful grades she got? How well-behaved she was in school? No. It would be about her smile, her love, the way she laughed. Sadly, many children who are simply prepared for adulthood”just as adults who merely prepare for retirement”find the time and space of their lives monopolized by what is not most important… . Continue Reading »

U.S. Press Plays Pravda

Almost exactly one year ago in this space, I offered anecdotal evidence of a previously unthinkable development: the growing distrust among senior citizens for a mainstream press whose credibility was, until very recently, so sterling that arguments among their set were definitively settled with the declaration, “It has to be true! It’s in the paper!” … Continue Reading »

Dorothy Day’s Dynamic Orthodoxy

When Dorothy Day was born, in 1897, no one could have imagined her eventual religious standing”least of all her parents, who rarely attended church. But a full century later, in cities throughout the world, Day was proposed for sainthood, and celebrated for her heroic work. The Washington Post summed up that anniversary well … Continue Reading »

Invisible Suicide Prevention Day

When I was practicing law from the mid-1970s into the 1980s, there was tremendous emphasis given in the popular media and within the bar association to the cause of suicide prevention. Hotlines proliferated, anti-suicide billboards were ubiquitous, and a great deal of attention was paid to saving the lives of despairing people… . Continue Reading »