Selling Jesus Like a Chevy

As I was sitting alone in the cafeteria one afternoon, far from home, overwhelmed and lonely on a campus of 20,000 students, an older student walked up, smiled, and asked if he could join me. He took a seat as I prepared to engage him in a heady discussion of politics, philosophy, science. Thrilled to have the company, I was mentally preparing for anything he threw at me… . Continue Reading »

Welcoming the Strangers

When we consider the question of illegal immigration and border control, as we should if we are to be responsible citizens, we should remember that before all else we are disciples of Jesus who said, “Inherit the Kingdom of my Father, for when I was a stranger, you welcomed me.” … Continue Reading »

The Explanatory Sprawl of Natural Selection

Too many lazy authors take the principle of natural selection out of biology, where it belongs, and then apply it outside its proper sphere in ways that can only be regarded as completely preposterous. No, this is not another article on evolution, still less an attack on it. Provided that that unfortunately loose term evolution means strictly “descent with modification,” it hardly seems possible to deny it without denying the findings of genetics. Of course controversy still rages about how genuinely explanatory the term natural selection is inside the undisputed reality of evolutionary biology… . Continue Reading »

Rice’s Release

Poor Anne Rice. Always a day behind the fair. Always a beat behind the crowd. Mind you, that can be a very profitable position to hold: You can catch the popular wave, when you’re not too inventive, and you can ride it to good sales. As she did with her novels. Anyway, in 1998 she announced that she was returning to Catholic Christianity, and in 2010 she announced that she was leaving Christianity… . Continue Reading »

Fed Proposals to Counter “Deflation” Are Misguided

Senior officials of the Federal Reserve now warn that the United States faces a Japan-style deflation and a prolonged period of stagnation like Japan’s “lost decade” of the 1990s. TheNew York Times’ website reports: On Thursday, James Bullard, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, warned that the Fed’s current policies were putting the American economy at risk of becoming “enmeshed in a Japanese-style deflationary outcome within the next several years.” … Continue Reading »

Experts in Stupidity

On visiting San Francisco in 1968, Tom Wolfe stumbled across what he describes as a “curious footnote to the hippie movement.” Doctors at the Haight-Ashbury Free Clinic were treating diseases, Wolfe claims, that no living doctor had ever encountered before: “diseases that had disappeared so long ago they had never even picked up Latin names, diseases such as the mange, the grunge, the itch, the twitch, the thrush, the scroff, the rot.” … Continue Reading »

Solidarity and the Work of Free Men

As one member of Solidarnosc said to me with some bitterness in 1990, “If you socialized the Sahara, in two years people would be lining up to buy sand.” In fact, most of those associated with the early years of Solidarnosc”the great Polish liberation movement SolidarIty”had had all the collectivism, socialism, government-controlled economy, nanny state, and thugocracy they could stomach… . Continue Reading »

In Praise of Father Schall

One does wonder sometimes about God’s ways with his most devoted servants. Several years back, Father James Schall, S.J., one of the greatest of American Jesuits and the living embodiment of Catholic liberal learning at Georgetown, was struck by an illness that cost him an eye. This summer, Father Schall is recovering from some nasty surgery, which involved removing a cancerous jawbone and its attendant teeth and replacing the jaw with bone taken from Schall’s leg… . Continue Reading »

The Kids Are Not All Right

A scruffy man, tanned and good-looking, dressed in an old leather jacket and snug jeans, is on a motorcycle zipping through a neighborhood near you. He’s a restaurateur into “local” everything, a man whose produce vendor is one among many sexy women who want to hook up with him. He was also, years ago, a sperm donor who, unbeknownst to him, achieved reproductive success… . Continue Reading »

An Error Worse Than Error

For a long time as a young teacher, I believed the danger of prostituting their minds by believing falsehoods was the preeminent, or even singular, intellectual danger my students faced. So I challenged them and tried to teach them always to be self-critical, questioning, skeptical. What are your assumptions? How can you defend your position? Where’s your evidence? Why do you believe that? … Continue Reading »