Of Many Things
March 17, 2014
Political phrases like “anti-choice,” “tax-and-spend,” “liberal” and “conservative” are short currency in political-speak, buzzwords that convey much more than their dictionary definitions and therefore demand our immediate attention. While the modern masters of political spin may have perfected the use of buzzwords, they didn’t invent them. Buzzwords have been with us from the start of political communication. Eighteenth-century American politics also...
March 10, 2014
You might expect a 92-year-old man who has lived through the worst of the 20th century to have a certain gloomy angst about the future of humanity. Not so with Ladislas Orsy, S.J., a world-renowned professor of law at Georgetown University and a frequent contributor to these pages. A couple of years back, I had the good fortune to attend a series of lectures Father Orsy gave at Oxford University on the thought of Francisco de Vitoria, O.P., and the...
March 3, 2014
I recently made a pilgrimage to the Ikea in Brooklyn. If I had taken but a second to consult common sense, I would not have gone on a Saturday. The crowds were huge. As I entered the store, I briefly considered turning back. But it had taken me more than a hour just to get to the entrance, so I opted to march forth into the maddening rabble.
February 24, 2014
I lived in London for nearly three years before I set foot in Westminster Abbey. Since the 16th-century English reformations, the Abbey has been the most prominent and cherished place of worship in the Church of England. Americans will know the Abbey from television coverage of the funeral of Princess Diana and the wedding of her son Prince William. The place is a curious admixture of church and state, Catholic and Protestant, self-adulation and...
February 17, 2014
Justin Bieber has gone from North American idol to tragic cliché in less than a year. It’s all very sad. It’s also very familiar. Countless others before him have endured this third act. The most disturbing part of Mr. Bieber’s story, however, is not what it tells us about him but what it says about us. Truth be told, if I’d had his money, his talent and his phenomenally bad parenting when I was 19, I probably would have done precisely what he’s doing....
February 10, 2014
The Honorable John Hay, American statesman, author and diplomat, had a real knack for turning a phrase. He learned from the best. As assistant private secretary to Abraham Lincoln, Mr. Hay spent more than three years watching one of history’s greatest wordsmiths in action. Mr. Hay, in fact, was present when the Great Man delivered his then-derided, now universally admired remarks at Gettysburg. (Hay later admitted that he had spent the previous night...
February 3, 2014
As this issue goes to press, last-minute preparations are underway for the March for Life, the annual gathering of pro-life activists, clergy and civic leaders in Washington, D.C. From our founding in 1909, America has advocated for a consistent ethic of life in all our private choices and public decision-making.
January 20-27, 2014
Kristin Richmond and Kirsten Tobey were tired of watching their kids eat fish sticks and Tater Tots, those ubiquitous yet nutritionless staples of the American school lunch, so in 2006 the two moms from Oakland, Calif., decided to found Revolution Foods “to transform the way America eats by providing access to healthy, affordable meals to schools.” They started out serving 300 healthy lunches a day to students in Oakland; today, they serve more than 200,...
January 6-13, 2014
Matthew 9:9 is a favorite Scripture passage for vocation promotion events. I’ve heard it read at such gatherings at least a dozen times in the last 10 years: Jesus “saw Matthew sitting at the customs post. He said to him, ‘Follow me.’ And he got up and followed him.”
December 23-30, 2013
In the Nativity, St. Athanasius once wrote, “mankind’s body truly acquired something great through its communion and union with the Word. From being mortal it has been made immortal; though it was a living body it has become a spiritual one; though it was made from the earth, it has passed through the gates of heaven.”