October 18, 2019

As we can see from the hardening religious impulse in our current authoritarian, autocratic moment, the traditionalist defense of “civilization” ultimately rests upon the complicated, combined influence of the major Abrahamic revealed religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam). The Abrahamic faiths – based as they are on divine revelation, sacred texts and prophetic moments – require a creator-centric moral order that exists outside of time and space. In the last millennium, Thomist natural law – the philosophical thread of law and… Read more

October 13, 2019

This (thank God) is my final essay on Princeton professor Robby George and natural law moral philosophy. Other essays I’ve written about natural law (see below) have emphasized its political uses for an influential cohort of Catholic conservatives closely connected to Donald Trump and the Republican Party. In this essay, I explore the relationship between the politics of abortion and adoption to surface irreconcilable contradictions at the heart of Catholic natural law. I argue that conservative Catholicism’s most significant political… Read more

September 23, 2019

As I’ve previously written, in the spirit of Yeats’s Second Coming poem, the axis of conflict in the coming decades will be a civilizational battle between two irreconcilable, non-liberal regimes and worldviews – backward-looking, Creator-centered Catholic natural law and forward-looking Creation-centered complexity science. As I’ve also previously written, Steve Bannon, who welcomes this Armageddon, discloses the raw political truth beneath the verbally seductive natural law truisms on which the Republican Party in the United States has propped itself up in… Read more

September 22, 2019

Previously in Calvin’s Ghost – 10 / Jasper Stripped played a concert at Dillon Gym late October of Eli’s senior year. He’d slipped Cecilia a note in class a few days before the event. He’d been sliding toward the back of the classroom, eying the seat open between Bobby Princess and Shiree, but Cecilia swiveled her hip into the aisle, timing her move to ensure he brushed against her. Eli stopped, his heart a snare drum. “Hey,” Cecilia said. She… Read more

September 22, 2019

Previously in Calvin’s Ghost – 9 / Ripped Balloon Tobias and Martha delivered Lawrence to Boy Scout camp in New Mexico for a month that summer after Eli’s junior year. When Lawrence returned early, his aluminum pack frame mysteriously bent obliquely (like your retarded leg, he spat, after Eli queried the circumstances), and half his gear missing, they shuttled him off to an August photography camp at Marquand Park, desperate to find something, anything, that would stick, cementing both his… Read more

September 18, 2019

Previously: Steve Bannon’s Second Coming Bannon at the Vatican In the summer of 2014, Steve Bannon delivered closing remarks to a small conference on “alleviating global poverty” hosted by the Dignitatis Humanae Institute (DHI) in a small marble palace tucked deep within the Vatican. Bannon spoke via Skype from Los Angeles. This address came to the attention of the world in the days following the 2016 presidential election in a now-famous Buzzfeed article entitled This is How Steve Bannon Sees the Entire World (you… Read more

September 14, 2019

Previously in Calvin’s Ghost – 8 / Gym Rat Matters did not improve after the disastrous first day of school the previous September, the hoped-for friendships not materializing, Lawrence drawing further into himself, school an unmitigated, agonizing struggle, Lawrence unable to crawl from bed in the morning, bedroom stank-suffused, piles of dirty clothes, torn black-light posters hanging loose from the walls, a broken-framed fishing photo of Lawrence, Eli, and Tobias askew and half-smothered on his desk, shades drawn, appearance deteriorating,… Read more

September 14, 2019

Previously in Calvin’s Ghost – 7 / Brokenness Breaking Eli was a gym rat, a fixture of student pickup games in the bowels of Princeton’s resplendent, gothic fortress-gymnasium. Eli played at the gym Wednesday evenings, when the basketball court opened exclusively to local high school students. Even from the early days it had been so, on those ginger autumn afternoons, with his father strolling around the tulip poplar at the corner of the driveway and ascending toward the house, knowing… Read more

September 11, 2019

Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity. Surely some revelation is at hand; Surely the Second Coming is at hand. The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out When a vast image out of… Read more

September 10, 2019

For those who are interested, I include below the preliminary table of chapter contents for my (as yet unwritten) book, The Creation Project. Along with essays relevant to each chapter. More to come. 1/ Introduction: An Immodest Proposal for Immodest Times Chapter 1 of The Creation Project establishes the foundation premises of the book: that anthropogenic climate change, breaching inequality, toxically “illiberal” nationalism, and generational abandonment have scaled our risks as a species to a level well beyond the scope… Read more

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