Don't you know that you can count me out

The tea party and the loudest, most strident voices of anti-abortion politics love to flirt with the idea of armed revolution. This is, for the most part, just adolescent foolishness — a kind of fantasy play-acting that can be summed up in a single word: Wolveriiiiiines! By pretending to believe that America is on the [Read More...]

"Only a crazy person would take what we say seriously"

Violent language and violent rhetoric can be a problem, but I do not think it is the main problem afflicting our diseased political discourse.* The main problem, rather, is disingenuous rhetoric that coolly and calmly demands a violent response from anyone who believes it or takes it seriously. This talk may have nothing to do [Read More...]

"Humorless prig" is redundant

Is humor redemptive? Or, put another way, is not allowing oneself to have a sense of humor a sin? I think it can be. Or, rather, I think it can be the consequence of sin. Joylessness often is. What brings this up was a recent alert — I mean, ALERT!1! — that popped up on [Read More...]

Jackie at the crossroads

So you're sitting around with a group of friends talking, the conversation skipping cheerfully from one topic to another, turning eventually, somehow, to a discussion of the best and worst public restrooms you've each encountered. Your friend Jackie says that she is terrified of the bathrooms at the airport. Because of the spiders. Most of [Read More...]

‘The politics of envy’

JB: Let the one who has two tunics share with the one who has none. RWT: That's what I'm talking about! That's the politics of envy. JB: I don't see what envy has – RWT: I've got two tunics and you've just got one and now you envy me! JB: I used to have two [Read More...]

The Clod and the Pebble and the politics of resentment

"Blessed is anyone who takes no offense" — Luke 7:23 Here is a story from Sunday's paper that will make some people happy and some people unhappy. That's not quite it. What I mean to say is that it will be a source of happiness for happy people and a source of further unhappiness for [Read More...]

Scissors for Hitler

STEP ONE: Someone claims to be deeply offended that members of some minority are being treated just like members of the majority are. Equality under the law is portrayed as an attack on the majority, an insult and an affront to their way of life. Left-handed children need to assimilate. Our schools are bending over [Read More...]

L’affaire Waltke

This is a story about control. It is about, in the unintentionally candid terms of one of the main actors, “absolute authority” and the desire to wield that authority over a text so that the text, in turn, may be used to wield absolute authority over others. It is a story, in other words, about mortals who covet the [Read More...]


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