Bulletins from a Second-Order Society

Mitt Romney was having a bad week. This, as anyone familiar with the 2012 election’s proceedings can attest, does not really narrow things down.That year’s primary saw President Obama and his opponent Governor Romney trade so many awkward, embarrassing blows that countless weeks from that season could be called “bad.” But this week had been particularly brutal. While traveling overseas to burnish his foreign-policy credentials, the hapless Republican had managed to seriously offend vast swath … [Read more...]

The New Privacy: How the NSA Protects Our Right to Be Isolationists

  Constant surveillance by an impersonal power preserves a modern society more autonomous and secretive than any that came before. You have never been watched more than you were today. The parking meter you paid with a credit card, the camera at the café’s door, the gift card you used to buy your coffee, the emails you sent from your laptop, and the status you posted on Facebook have tracked you, tagged you, placed you, recorded you, spotted you. Your information has … [Read more...]

Jesus and Privilege

The word “privilege” is tossed around a lot, often as a cudgel to casually dismiss someone’s opinion (e.g. “You’re only saying that because of your privilege”) or to ratchet up pity-points for one’s victimhood. This is why it tends to be viewed with a measure of wariness by many people. Despite its misuse, however, there can hardly be any denying the inequalities in power that the discourse of privilege illuminates. How might a Christian think creatively about “privilege” in a way that takes it s … [Read more...]

The Elite and the Elect

College decisions season has arrived, and this year, one student took a very public approach to her bad news. She wrote a letter to the colleges that turned her down and submitted it for publication to the Wall Street Journal. Suzy Lee Weiss’ editorial letter satirically lambasts the college application process. She critiques its preference for applicants who are diverse, do-gooders, or who have helicopter parents that ensure their children submit perfectly well-rounded applications. It is easy t … [Read more...]

Lent: Why the Language of Self-Control Falls Short

 A group of us were gathered around dinner, discussing what we could give up for Lent together. Someone suggested, “Vegetarian dinners?” There was a silent pause.As fellows at the Trinity Forum Academy, we rotate cooking dinners for everyone between the twelve of us, so any dinner decision had to be a communal one. Halfway through the discussion, someone asked, “What would be the point of giving up meat?”“Self-control” was the main consensus. A reminder that all good things are g … [Read more...]