Category: Politics

BooksCulturePolitics

The Cynical J.K. Rowling

For the past decade, J.K. Rowling's relationship to her own work has been incredibly cynical and stunningly mercenary. As a serious fan of the Harry Potter books, I'm thankful for her obvious talents and the richness and beauty of the mythology she's made. Her mammoth wealth and fame is just. What is much harder to…

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CultureLifePolitics

Poverty, Dreher, and Story

Rod Dreher, a writer for whom I have a lot of admiration and respect, nevertheless has a tendency to overstate things, especially when those things pertain to his lived experience. Likewise, he has an unfortunate tendency to assume the worst intentions of people who push back against the conclusions he draws from his experiences. Those…

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CultureLifePolitics

Defining Pro-Life Down

I have only a brief thought on Matt Loftus's recent essay (and follow-up blog post) on whether we should use the term "pro-life" to refer to issues other than the traditional referents. It seems to me that you can't make the term "pro-life" do more by making it mean less. I think that's what Matt…

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CultureLifePolitics

Should We Blame the Pro-Life Movement?

There is a strain of thinking among some evangelicals that I cannot get my head around. Here it is: The Republican Party's collapse of virtue and embrace of sub-moral strongmen can be attributed, at least in part, to the well-intentioned but naive single-mindedness of the pro-life movement. James K.A. Smith's brief Tweet thread seems to repeat…

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CulturePoliticsTheology

Evangelicals, Politics, and Church History

Have you ever wondered why our intense conversations within evangelicalism about politics, character, and voting almost never end up citing major figures in church history? These are pretty important debates, after all. Navigating the moral failures of elected officials and choosing some sinners rather than others to wield authority over the public square seems like…

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CulturePoliticsTheology

Why Men Wound Women

The really startling thing about the tidal wave of sexual abuse and harassment floating to the top of our public consciousness is how much of it flies in the face of our common wisdom about morality. Harvey Weinstein and Charlie Rose are feminists; their rhetoric, their careers, and their campaign donations say so. Roy Moore…

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CultureLifePolitics

Does Morality Matter on the Right Anymore?

The main reason I wrote my reply to Ben Domenech about Hugh Hefner, and the main reason I'm thankful to First Things for running it, is that I sensed—correctly, as it turned out—that Domenech's sentiment was more widely shared on the Right than conservative evangelicals might want to believe. "Cultural conservatives," those who argue not…

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CulturePoliticsPop culture

3 Kinds of Patriotism

A quick taxonomy: The patriotism of duty is the patriotism that involves material acts of fidelity to one's country. This is the patriotism of military service and other varieties of selfless sacrifice. This is where patriotism becomes embodied, and its ideals take on specific actions worthy of praise. The patriotism of affection is the patriotism of…

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