To Resist or Rise Above?

I find myself in a disorienting dilemma. Everything about Donald Trump repels me – to the point that, quite frankly, I can’t even bring myself to legitimize his presidency by referring to him by the title, a feeling reinforced every time a bratty, self-absorbed tweet is reported as news.  During his improbable campaign, I vacillated [Read More…]

1950 Hollywood on the Buyout of Democracy

I’ve been thinking this week about an old movie I saw recently: Born Yesterday, in which a boorish, unscrupulous business tycoon goes to Washington to wreak some havoc and perhaps make a few ill-gotten bucks.  If only that pesky press would stop bothering him with little annoyances like facts and ethics… Oh, and his trophy [Read More…]

Practicing the Virtue of Hope

This will not be about voting. It is, however, about lying awake imagining all the possible quasi-apocalyptic outcomes and after-effects of the impending election.  I am truly hard-pressed to think of any realistically possible good outcome – of the election itself, of the probable backlash, or of the one or the other set of scandals and indiscretions that [Read More…]

Two Literary Perspectives on US Racism: Citizen by Claudia Rankine and Americanah by Chimamanda Ngoza Adichie

I vividly recall the autumn of 2008. I had just moved from the US to Canada to start my Master’s degree in Toronto. Eager to vote in my second US presidential election, I ordered my absentee ballot well in advance and set to work informing myself about the candidates and their stances on issues that [Read More…]

OPEN THREAD…Polarization in the U.S. Catholic Church: Naming the Wounds, Beginning to Heal

Vox Nova is pleased to welcome the following guest post by reader Mike McG… At 4:30 Eastern today, April 27th, Notre Dame is opening a conference entitled Polarization in the U.S. Catholic Church: Naming the Wounds, Beginning to Heal. A full explanation is available at Also, the conference has a Twitter feed:  #UnaEcclesia. This thread serves as [Read More…]

Being Poor in the Third World

Nine years ago the science fiction writer John Scalzi published a blog post entitled Being Poor.    It became very popular and was reprinted in a number of venues.    It consisted of a series of short statements that attempt to encapsulate what being poor in America really means.  The list is long, but here [Read More…]

We Are All to Blame

The US government is (technically) functional again, and the national crisis has been (sort of) averted, for the time being.  But whatever our political persuasion, we all know that the recent government shutdown was only the latest episode in an ongoing pattern of melodramatic debt crises ending in hard-fought, down-to-the-wire agreements to kick the can a [Read More…]

Americanism Caused Individualism and its Ills

Resolved:  The ills of individualism that grip the Catholic Church in America today are the fruit 19th century Americanism:  the efforts of the American episcopacy to establish a new modus vivendi for Catholics, one which respected Catholic identity while also embracing the American approach to religion and religious liberty. A few weeks ago in First [Read More…]