ACT III: American Fall – The Revolution

michelle-obama-fist

Michelle Obama did tell us "Barack Obama will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual". Specifically, she said:Barack Obama will require you to work. He is going to demand that you shed your cynicism. That you put down your divisions. That you come out of your isolation, that you move out of your comfort zones. That you push yourselves to be better. And that you engage. Barack will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual, uninvolved, uninformed.Oh, irony. The most … [Read more...]

That Atheist Girl with her Catholic Boyfriend UPDATED

Patheos has picked up another new blog, and in keeping with this age of hybridism I think we could call it a kind of hybrid, too.Leah Libresco is a smart young cookie and a lifelong atheist, who has managed to find herself a devout Catholic boyfriend, and she runs the whole topic of religion through her wringer at Unequally Yoked, where she writes:I grew up with atheist patents in a pretty secular neighborhood (when we learned about the Reformation in AP Euro, one student asked if … [Read more...]

"One More Innocent…"

When my son Buster was a small toddler he would make up these epic, anthemic songs that made sense only to him. One of them, as I recall, had a refrain that went, "bear's not, bear's not, bear's not dead..."Sing it to Amy Grant's "Every Heartbeat." Somehow it works.Another of his songs -- and it was the show-stopper, full of emotion and broad, dramatic arm gestures -- included the interesting sentiment that there was "one more innocent to go..."He was like, three years old. So I have to … [Read more...]

Exquisite and Excruciating

There is a great scene in A League of Their Own: Tom Hanks is railing at Geena Davis for quitting the Women's Baseball League just when they need her the most."It got too hard," Davis says."Of course it's hard; that's what makes it great!" Hanks responds.For most writers, opening up a wound and pouring it out for a reader is a very difficult thing. It's easy to opine, and it is easy to instruct when the opinions and the instructions are culled from our brains and our passions, and cost us … [Read more...]

Ground Zero: Out of Darkness UPDATED

My column at First Things is not meant to rile anyone, but I am sure some will be riled and for that I am sorry:At the 1964 Democratic National Convention, Robert Kennedy—finding kinship with a doomed heroine of fiction—referenced the loss of his brother, President John F. Kennedy, by quoting Shakespeare’s Juliet:When he shall die, take him and cut him out in little stars and he will make the face of heaven so fine that all the world will be in love with night and pay no worship to the gari … [Read more...]

The Monster, Human

File this under Evil, or The Dignity of the Human Person, and wince while you read this horrific story brought to you by David Mills, over at First Things:Dr. John C. Cutler was a monster. A monster who died after a long and successful life in government and academia, with scholarships and lectures created in his memory. As readers may know, in the mid-1940s he experimented upon poor Guatemalans, including mental patients and orphans as young as nine, trying to find a cure for syphilis. The … [Read more...]

Krugman, 9/11 and Absolutes: "What if I am wrong?" UPDATED

Yesterday, someone sent me a link to Paul Krugman's already-infamous 9/11 Vomit O' Venom, launched at all of his favorite boogeymen, and I duly posted it to facebook but didn't think much beyond what I wrote back to my friend: "the man seems a wreck. A small fellow feeling impotent; so much of what he is sure of, he is not sure of, at all. This says so much more about him than it does anyone else."And because I was busy, I put it out of my mind.This morning, though, Glenn Reynolds has a … [Read more...]

On Clergy, NYFD, Bloomberg Not Budging

A couple of weeks ago, I noted that Mayor Mike Bloomberg was inviting neither clergy nor First Responders to the 9/11 Memorial service in NYC.I thought public outcry might move the mule, but without any push from mainstream media, he is comfortably sticking to his guns. No clergy, no prayer, and there's no room for the First Responders, either. Only a few will be there, by special invitation.Making the point that the first recorded death at the WTC was Franciscan Father Mychal Judge, and … [Read more...]

Five Little Words

My column at First Things this week brings me back to a retreat experience that I am still processing and learning from:How does one assist at adoration and not feel inclined to bash all anger, all fear, all frustration, temptation, hopelessness, upon the cross of Christ—which can bear all things—and simply consent; simply allow him to recreate, revive, restore to make everything, everything, new.His majesty will do it; He will not wait to discuss all the ways you have failed him—there is tim … [Read more...]

Moments "After America"

On Sunday I'd mentioned that I was reading Mark Steyn's After America.Finding the book less "LOL funny" than Steyn's previous book, America Alone, I was nevertheless unable to put After America down, and I write more about it in my column at First Things:I thought of Chesterton a great deal while reading After America. Steyn quotes de Tocqueville liberally throughout the book and makes great, relevant references to H. G. Wells’ Eloi and Morlock populations, but in reading about the sort of … [Read more...]


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