Persuasion Anxiety

Our country, being democratic, sends its cultural elites through cycles of high anxiety that the people will be duped into making some spectacularly bad decisions. This anxiety has led to an obsession with the methods of public persuasion.

Remembering James Foley

Of all the images symbolizing our post 9/11 world, few are more searing than the video of American journalist James Foley, moments before his execution by ISIS. With his head shaven, and hands bound, clothed in an orange jump suit, Foley is forced to kneel and recite jihadist propaganda, as a . . . . Continue Reading »

Christian but Not Religious

Recently, a pastor at an Evangelical church in New York City (we have them) told me about a young man in his congregation who had joined an online dating site. The young man was a Christian believer who wanted to find a woman with the same values. Yet when it came to telling prospective mates about . . . . Continue Reading »

​Delivered from Sheol

The title character of Tolstoy’s novella The Death of Ivan Illych is a government lawyer who devotes himself to his career. He lives and thinks conventionally, saying just what’s expected, doing whatever he’s supposed to do.It doesn’t make him happy. He married to advance socially and . . . . Continue Reading »

After Justice Scalia

The death of Justice Antonin Scalia on February 13 – unexpected and, for many reasons, tragic – draws a curtain on the life and public service of one of the most important Catholic figures in America over the past half-century. Justice Scalia was regarded, by admirers and detractors alike, as . . . . Continue Reading »

The Breath of Mercy

A mother shouldn’t have favorites, but I have often observed that she inclines more to the child who is sick or more vulnerable than the rest. The more fragile the child, the fiercer the love of the mother. The strong and healthy ones outgrow her solicitous nurturing, and she can do no more for . . . . Continue Reading »

Funeral Homily for Justice Antonin Scalia

We are gathered here because of one man. A man known personally to many of us, known only by reputation to even more; a man loved by many, scorned by others; a man known for great controversy, and for great compassion. That man, of course, is Jesus of Nazareth.It is He Whom we proclaim: Jesus . . . . Continue Reading »

Justice Scalia on Funeral Sermons

When Jessica Mitford first published The American Way of Death in 1963, she unleashed a broadside against the entire funeral industry in this country. She criticized the way funerals were done in America, including cosmetic excrescences and high expenses stemming from the greed of morticians. Some . . . . Continue Reading »

Trumpageddon!

The Republican establishment has swung into DEFCON I, maximum force alert. Last month I contributed to a widely publicized symposium at National Review. Our hope was to stop his rise. The liberal establishment is, if anything, even more agitated. Trump transgresses the rules of political engagement, to say nothing of political correctness. A stream-of-consciousness, reality TV show insult machine leads the race for the Republican Party nomination. How did we come to this point?


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