Culture, High & Low

Appropriate Skepticism and Papal Authority

Pope_Francis_in_March_2013_b October 16, 2014
Belief that the Holy Spirit invariably leads the Roman Catholic Church to what is true requires one to suspend reasonable skepticism about the typical dysfunction and fallibility of humans and human institutions. Moreover, it seems appropriate for individual Christians (even…
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C.S. Lewis, Insomnia, and the Charientocracy

cs_lewis-heretic October 14, 2014
… which bleeds at a touch but scratches like a wildcat ...
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Against Diversity—And For It

The_REAL_Rainbow_Babies (1) October 8, 2014
When I’m a dead white male I will have achieved the apotheosis of repugnance.
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The Little Way of Raymond Chandler

October 7, 2014
Or, “Shaken and Stirred: The Cosmopolitan, the City, and the Regime of God” Queens, NY The following essay was presented at FPR’s annual conference in Louisville on September 27. What I’m going to try to do today is convince you…
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The Loss of a Culture of Personhood and the End of Limited Government

October 6, 2014
Philadelphia, PA The idea and practice of limited government begins with Christianity.  Pagan antiquity could not imagine such a thing, because there was no distinction between religion and governance.   For the pagan, there is an overall order to all…
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Texting: Why I Resolve to Avoid It

October 1, 2014
Recently I travelled to Louisville to attend the Front Porch Republic conference. The experience was memorable in several ways—not least of all in the outstanding presentations and remarkable fellowship. It also occasioned for me reflection upon a now common means…
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Archimedean Points, Above and Below

Archimedes_lever September 24, 2014
“To the famous Archimedean boast:  ‘Give me whereon to stand and I will move the world.’.  Rabelais answers: ‘I move with my ship; and the waves of the world give way.’”    –John Cowper Powys One could choose a less fruitful…
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Life in the Kolache Belt: Reflections from the Intersection of Food, Faith, Farming, and Fracking

kolache fest September 23, 2014
In some ways, the little farming community of Hallettsville where I have spent a writing sabbatical still resides in a simpler time. Czechs and Germans came in the 1800s and brought a culture that remains surprisingly stable. My Dworsky forebears,…
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What Would the Father of Nationalism Say About Scottish Independence?

yes-no September 16, 2014
[Cross-posted to In Medias Res] On Thursday, voters in Scotland will go to the polls and either choose “Yes,” meaning that they want Scotland to become an independent state, or “No,” meaning that they want Scotland to remain in the…
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Please Block the Way: Campaigning Against Courtesy

Japan-quake_1291279g September 7, 2014
Japanese rail commuters ride train station escalators the way you might expect: those who are in no hurry stand to the right, leaving a ‘passing lane’ for those who walk or run up or down the escalator. The East Japan…
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Why I Won’t Participate in the Ice-Bucket Challenge

September 4, 2014
Holland, MI I can’t say I’m overly conversant with the history of charitable giving in America, but I can’t recall something taking off quite like this “ice bucket challenge.” In the unlikely event you haven’t heard of it, it involves,…
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The Demise of Virtue in Virtual America (Front Porch Republic Books)

Print September 3, 2014
Entrance:Virtual America’s Convention Hall                                                     Demise—1) the conveyance of an estate 2) transfer                                              of the sovereignty to a successor 3) a: death b: cessation                                              of existence or activity c: a loss of position or status                         …
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Of Lawyers and Strippers and Deadwood

decaying_wood September 2, 2014
Mostly they promise the truth about a rapture that isn’t in the cards.
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Travel in the Magic City

Lancaster_Gate_tube August 11, 2014
This summer I moved to a new neighborhood that happens to be much nearer the freeway that divides my city. My  house is less than a mile from an on-ramp, though you wouldn’t guess it in this quiet and wooded…
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Riverboat Pilots and Economists

life of the miss August 4, 2014
In “Life on the Mississippi,” Mark Twain recounts his earnest desire to become a Mississippi steamboat pilot, and his struggles to master the pilot’s craft—a craft that demanded technical knowledge of steamboat operation and detailed recall of the constantly changing…
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The Ailing Parson Malthus Project and the “New Sin of Pride”

malthus July 31, 2014
Anyone who’s had the good fortune to spend time reading Christopher Lasch might be able to identify with the specific experience of risable joy I feel when putting myself in his presence.  For me, the joy is found in a…
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