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Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to Spain

The recent visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Spain exposed the schizophrenic psyche of the Spanish nation. While more than a million faithful Spaniards, including King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia, attended the pope’s valedictory Mass in Valencia, the country’s prime minister, Jose Luis . . . . Continue Reading »

St. John of the Cross

Allow me to pick up a thread I began to weave in our last conversation . My experience is that believers and unbelievers live in a darkness that is remarkably the same. More than once I have been in conversation with a respected scholar who confessed to me that he would like very much to believe in . . . . Continue Reading »

Linton: A CCM Star Goes Traditional

I’m a stringer for one of those “major American newspapers”—it’s fun to see your byline as long as you remember it’s lining a bird cage tomorrow—and as part of an assignment last week I interviewed a pretty successful gospel/country/pop singer, “pretty . . . . Continue Reading »

ABCs, liberals, and conservatives

Why do so many people these days sound like conservatives but still insist they are liberals? I recently had a conversation with a female lawyer who spoke as if she had just finished reading Oswald Spengler. When she learned that I was a college professor, she unleashed a torrent of vitriol against . . . . Continue Reading »

Is Islam an eastern or western religion?

I spoke last week of the fictions of relativism and concluded with one of E.M. Cioran’s typically laconic aphorisms about the East’s greater honesty toward the absolute. Well, maybe. But maybe not. I once read a marvelous book by Dava Sobel called Longitude: The True Story of a Lone . . . . Continue Reading »

Living as an atheist

Writers who call themselves atheists have often surprised me by their reasons for not believing in God. In the long history of humanity, of course, their unbelief is an anomaly, a distinctly minority position. Even Clarence Darrow once said that he certainly did not believe in the Jewish or . . . . Continue Reading »

America’s prettiest Catholic churches

Thanks for all the help finding those churches¯brick, modern, disappointing; too empty of ideas even to be awful¯that seem to mark too much of Catholic architecture in the United States. The emails have come pouring in, and it’s going to take me a day or so to sort them out before I . . . . Continue Reading »



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