Monthly Archives: May 2009

Henry James, fellow skeptic

I confess that Henry James usually drives me up the wall, for the usual reasons.  Give me the passion and directness of Edith Wharton or Trollope over James’s cloying mannerisms any day.  These are undoubtedly my failings, not his, for … Continue reading

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We are all Leftists now?

So argues Kevin Gutzman in There is No Authentic American Right – and a Good Thing, Too. In What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848 there is some coverage given to the attempt by some early Federalists to … Continue reading

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Underdogs and empathy

Obama’s infamous “empathy” test for judges: we need somebody who’s got the heart — the empathy — to recognize what it’s like to be a young teenage mom. The empathy to understand what it’s like to be poor or African-American … Continue reading

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After reading this Michael Shermer piece I went to Amazon and looked up Bruce Hood’s book Supersense.  Amazon has posted an engaging little short video of Hood talking about his book — engaging enough, at any rate, that I momentarily forgot … Continue reading

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Religion red in tooth and claw

I’ve been reading about Jan Kupecky, a Baroque Bohemian portraitist, whose paintings I fell in love with in Prague several years ago.   (This lousy reproduction does not begin to convey the extraordinarily modern irony and chiseled delicacy of this sitter’s … Continue reading

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Blessing the subway

Earlier this month, the new Catholic archbishop of New York, Timothy Dolan, visited a subway construction site in Manhattan to offer his blessing: “Bless this tunnel, those who are constructing it, and those who will use it.” Such an act … Continue reading

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Gay marriage attitudes by political orientation

The Audacious Epigone points out that though attitudes toward gay marriage shifted a great deal over the past few years for liberals and moderates, not so much for conservatives. This makes sense. I’ve looked at attitudes toward homosexuals where liberals, … Continue reading

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The Terminator in desperate straits

California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger found time to attend a Sacramento prayer breakfast last week in the midst of California’s budget crisis.  Last year, he assured the Catholic Health Assembly in San Diego that he would call on God’s power to … Continue reading

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Preaching from reason: a contradiction in terms?

I was sympathetically reading this profile of the preacher of what the New York Times claims is New York’s largest church.  The Rev. A.R. Bernard has built his ministry around the responsibility of men, according to the Times, a message … Continue reading

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Diverse radicals

In regards to Heather’s post below there are many complex issues here, and frankly I get tired of those who want to claim that religion or anti-religion have some necessary and exclusive association with any given movement, whether it has … Continue reading

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