The National Catholic Review

Culture

July 2015

  • July 21, 2015

    In June President Barack Obama concluded his eulogy at the memorial service for the victims of the shootings in a Charleston, N.C., church by singing the first verse of the beloved hymn “Amazing Grace.” The choir and indeed the entire congregation—and perhaps even the millions watching the service on television—joined the president in singing a hymn that has special meaning for the African-American church. It was a remarkable moment.

  • July 21, 2015

    After toiling in the trenches of the American criminal justice system for half a century, I had long abandoned any illusions that criminal justice policy is the product of rational analysis. But I saw faint glimmers of hope in recent measures ameliorating harsh drug laws. President Obama’s Fair Sentencing Act reduced the ratio between crack and powder cocaine for purposes of federal mandatory minimum sentences from the ridiculous 100 to 1 down to the preposterous 18 to 1.

  • July 21, 2015

    Brian Moynahan, a former foreign correspondent for The Sunday Times (in London) and the author of numerous books, including three on the Soviet Union, has written a fine study of the city of Leningrad’s terrible trials from 1934 to 1942 at the hands of two tyrants, Adolph Hitler and Josef Stalin.

  • July 21, 2015

    American ideals of social equality are taken from Greco-Roman political philosophy. Christian other-worldliness caused the fall of the Roman Empire. The form of government favored by the medieval ecclesiastical elite was theocracy. Western individualism originates in the Renaissance.

  • July 8, 2015

    Few foreigners have captured the American imagination quite like the Marquis de Lafayette, the French-born aristocrat who became a hero of the American Revolution and protégé of General George Washington. Across America, his fame is immortalized in the more than 600 cities, towns, villages, counties, squares, parks, ships and submarines named after him. In homage to him, even American pilots volunteering to fly for France in World War I proudly called themselves the Lafayette Flying Corps.

  • July 8, 2015

    God’s Bankers is not so much about the history of money in the church as it is about the skullduggery surrounding it. When the pope was the absolute ruler of central Italy, there weren’t many money problems, because, like any king, he got his money from taxing his subjects. But after Italian nationalists took away the pope’s kingdom by 1870, leaving him only the miniature Vatican City, the money troubles began.

  • July 8, 2015

    “Hands up don’t shoot!” “Black lives matter!” “I can’t breathe!” Chants like these, accompanied by gestures of marching with hands in the air, accentuate the protests of present day multiracial activists as they decry the killing of unarmed black men, women and children by police officers in communities across the country.