Secular Gnosticism and “The New York Times”

That's the title of my latest entry over at The Catholic Thing. Here's how it begins: Just this past week, Bill Keller of the New York Times opined about the religious beliefs of several Republican presidential candidates, suggesting clusters of questions that he would like to ask each of them. Keller’s column has been justly criticized and ridiculed by many writers, including the folks at Get Religion. Not only because of the factual errors that pepper Keller’s epistle, but the crude and uncha … [Read more...]

Another Christian “Dominionist”?

With all this talk of certain Republican Christians and their alleged connection to Dominionism--a view inaccurately ascribed to several Christian writers in articles published in the New York Times and the New Yorker--there's one Christian that our East-of-the-Hudson betters seemed to miss. Here are his shocking comments, where he explains how America's laws should reflect God's eternal law: Just as the prophets of the eighth century B.C. left their villages and carried their "thus saith the … [Read more...]

Paul Cella on Sean Wilentz’s “Bob Dylan in America”

Over at What's Wrong With the World, Paul J. Cella reviews the book Bob Dylan in America, authored by Princeton University historian Sean Wilentz. Here's how the review begins: The fact that Bob Dylan became a Christian is still very much controversial among many of his fans. It is not too much to say that when he began recording directly evangelical, even apocalyptic evangelical albums of rock music, beginning in 1979, he delivered a shock comparable to that delivered to the folk movement in … [Read more...]

Mormonism, Catholicism, and the Romney Candidacy

That's the title of my latest entry over at The Catholic Thing. It begins this way: In a piece recently published in the Catholic and Evangelical portals of the Patheos website, Warren Cole Smith explains why he cannot support Mitt Romney’s candidacy for President of the United States.  “A Vote for Romney is a Vote for the LDS Church” reminded me of the sort of anti-Catholic screeds that were widely published during the presidential candidacy of Senator John F. Kennedy.Catholics conversant wit … [Read more...]

Newsweek’s offensive cover

Imagine it is the summer of 2000 soon after presidential candidate Al Gore chose Senator Joseph Lieberman, an Orthodox Jew, to be his vice-presidential running mate. Newsweek does a cover story on Lieberman's historic selection. Blazed across the cover are the words, "The Jewish Moment," with a photograph of Lieberman, though the image is photoshopped. The face is clearly Lieberman's, but in the image he is bearded in full rabbinic garb sitting at a desk preparing a sermon.  And over his left s … [Read more...]

And that the ladder of the law has no top and no bottom: Bob Dylan’s lyrics find their way into many judicial opinions

(HT: Bill Glennen)From the LA Times: On summer nights in the mid-1960s, while black-and-white television crackled elsewhere in his Staten Island home with news of Southern violence and Vietnam, Bobby Lasnik would stretch out in his bedroom to let the righteous soundtrack of the civil rights movement waft into his impressionable teenage soul.Tuned in to WBAI-FM, coming across the water from Manhattan, he heard baleful laments about injustice that he would carry with him for a … [Read more...]

Now we know why Donald Trump has so much hair…

He needs it to protect his thin skin. … [Read more...]

The National Day of Reason Doesn’t Have A Prayer

That's the title of my latest column over at The Catholic Thing. It begins this way: May 5, 2011, is the National Day of Prayer. It has been an annual American observance since Congress enacted it in 1952. The law simply states: “The President shall issue each year a proclamation designating the first Thursday in May as a National Day of Prayer on which the people of the United States may turn to God in prayer and meditation at churches, in groups, and as individuals.”Since 2003, secular grou … [Read more...]

Will Herberg’s 1949 “Commentary” review of Paul Blanshard’s notorious “American Freedom and Catholic Power”

There is much that those of us in 2011 can learn from Will Herberg's important 1949 review of Paul Blanshard's famous (or infamous) tome, American Freedom and Catholic Power (1949). Long before Christian conservatives were called "American Taliban" by secular progressives, and long before the United States had to wrestle with controversies surrounding its Muslim citizenry, American Catholic Christians were confronted by a truly vile form of bigotry and suspicion that was embraced by both elite … [Read more...]

Ronald Reagan’s 100th Birthday, and my modest connection to the Reagan legacy

Today is the 100th birthday of our 40th President, Ronald Wilson Reagan.Most people are unaware that in 1983 during his first term President Reagan published an article in the Human Life Review, "Abortion and the Conscience of the Nation." It was eventually published as a small book a year later with afterwards by Surgeon General C. Everett Koop and Malcolm Muggeridge. To commemorate the  20th anniversary of the article and subsequent book, in 2004 Human Life Review published a special issue … [Read more...]


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