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Rod Dreher

Rod Dreher

January 1970 Archives

Julie’s real community garden

posted by Rod Dreher

Julie woke up at six this morning and drove over to the community garden where she’s taken over the plot rented by friends of ours who are too busy to garden there this summer full time. She’s helping out. Besides, […]

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Atheists who teach in parochial school

posted by Rod Dreher

Get Religion highlights a couple of stories about Catholic schools firing teachers who declared their atheism — as well as parochial school teachers who pretend to be believers to get jobs in this terrible economy. Excerpt from the GetRel clip: […]

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How seminary ruins one’s faith

posted by Rod Dreher

This comment from a parish priest showed up in the (excellent) “Pastors who don’t believe in God” thread. I think Father makes such an important point that it deserves to be highlighted. I especially like his analogy to entering into […]

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‘It’s BP’s oil': How BP captured government

posted by Rod Dreher

Read this report. Excerpt: The blockade to Elmer’s [Island] is now four cop cars strong. As we pull up, deputies start bawling us out; all media need to go to the Grand Isle community center, where a “BP Information Center” […]

The never-ending allergy season

posted by Rod Dreher

Guess what? It’s still allergy season for me. Last week things seemed to be improving, but I woke up this morning hit hard with the stuff. When I’m like that, it’s hard to get out of bed, so I kept […]

Top-kill fails — as does industry, government

posted by Rod Dreher

BP says its “top-kill” attempt to stanch the oil and gas hemorrhaging has failed. Now what? It’s beginning to look like we’re going to have to watch that thing befoul the Gulf at least through August, when the relief well […]

iPad + Velcro = Genius

posted by Rod Dreher

Erin Manning passes along something wunnerful: iPad + Velcro from Jesse Rosten on Vimeo.

Food! Summer! Farmers! Greens!

posted by Rod Dreher

Just back from our neighborhood farmer’s market, carrying three sacks full of kale, chard, lettuce and turnip greens. Also bought two tomatoes — it’s early for them yet, but I’m dying for some fresh tomato — and a jar of […]

Crushing burden of student loan debt

posted by Rod Dreher

Parents of Earth, read this New York Times column! Excerpt: Like many middle-class families, Cortney Munna and her mother began the college selection process with a grim determination. They would do whatever they could to get Cortney into the best […]

Adventures with Britain’s undeserving poor

posted by Rod Dreher

When I posted something earlier about the anonymous UK social worker blogger Winston Smith, several of you thought his blog sounded like a sham. Well, here’s a report in The Guardian about him and his work. Excerpt: What inspired you […]

Pastors who don’t believe in God

posted by Rod Dreher

Daniel C. Dennett and Linda LaScola researched five pastors — all Protestants — who no longer believe in God, but who are still in the pulpit. In interviewing these closeted non-believing pastors, Dennett and LaScola recognized that there’s a problem […]

Internet is rewiring our brains

posted by Rod Dreher

Nicholas Carr, in Wired: When first publicized, the findings were greeted with cheers. By keeping lots of brain cells buzzing, Google seemed to be making people smarter. But as Small was careful to point out, more brain activity is not […]

Shame on these stupid, selfish poor people

posted by Rod Dreher

Nicholas Kristof: There’s an ugly secret of global poverty, one rarely acknowledged by aid groups or U.N. reports. It’s a blunt truth that is politically incorrect, heartbreaking, frustrating and ubiquitous: It’s that if the poorest families spent as much money […]

Lady Gaga & the ‘spiritual, not religious’ scam

posted by Rod Dreher

David Mills brilliantly lays into the laziness of people who like to say that they’re “spiritual, but not religious.” Excerpt: It’s one of those easily remembered phrases that work like a “get out of jail free” card for anyone who […]

Stock market: Seems like old times

posted by Rod Dreher

A short, scary video by Karl Denninger:UPDATE: More cheery economic analysis from the Daily Telegraph’s Edmund Conway: Mervyn King, the Bank of England Governor, summed it up best: “Dealing with a banking crisis was difficult enough,” he said the other […]

Mexico on the Cross

posted by Rod Dreher

A very sad letter from a Dominican brother, used with permission: I spent my pastoral year working at our mission in Mexico, and I also work with Hispanics here in the states. As a cult, La Santa Muerte is growing […]

Ground Zero mosque imam a closet Islamist?

posted by Rod Dreher

So says Walid Shoebat, an Arabic speaker who says he found an Arabic-language interview in which Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf — the allegedly liberal/moderate New York imam who wants to build a giant mosque near Ground Zero to make a […]

Willie Nelson’s apocalyptic haircut

posted by Rod Dreher

Holy Hank Hill, this abomination of desolation must have been predicted in Revelation: Mamas, don’t let your cowboys grow up to get girlish bobs. UPDATE: Joe Carter, in the comments thread: Th at is the first time I’ve seen a […]

Santa Muerte: the religion of narcoterrorists

posted by Rod Dreher

I blogged earlier today about the desperate situation in Mexico, in which narcotics cartels are supplanting the state in some areas. A reader put on the comments thread a link to a fascinating Small Wars Journal article about the pseudo-religious […]

Will there ever be an American Orthodoxy?

posted by Rod Dreher

That’s the question I have as the Assembly of all the “canonical” Orthodox bishops of North America gets underway in New York. As I understand it — and I invite correction if I’m wrong — the Ecumenical Patriarch and the […]

Did top-kill get the real oil spill hole?

posted by Rod Dreher

Oil industry expert Matt Simmons makes a pretty disturbing case for why the leak BP is showing on its video could not be the real leak — which he argues from the evidence is far worse than what they’re letting […]

A mosque at Ground Zero? Insane

posted by Rod Dreher

New York City officials have voted to allow construction of a $100 million mosque near the site of the World Trade Center. I mean no disrespect to Muslims, but this is an unspeakably bad idea. The 9/11 hijackers brought down […]

Crazy! The Smoking Boy of Sumatra

posted by Rod Dreher

Er, wow:Ardi Rizal is a two-pack a day smoker — and he’s two. His dad gave him his first cigarette when he was 18 months old. No word on who gave him his first Twinkie. Unbelievable, some people.

What if there is no oil spill fix?

posted by Rod Dreher

The other night I took the train home from Washington. I found it frustrating that there was only one train to Philadelphia within a large-ish swath of time, and frustrating that I had to wait on a train at 30th […]

The Grasshoppers and the Ants

posted by Rod Dreher

FT’s Martin Wolf analyzes the international debt crisis among nations by creating a modern fable: “The Grasshoppers and the Ants”

Ask yourself: Is this economic recovery real?

posted by Rod Dreher

Consumer confidence and spending is up, as are new home sales. Good news, right? Clusterstock has 25 questions to put to people who think the economic recovery is real. Among them: In what universe is an economy with 39.68 million […]

Culture breaks apart; is that so bad?

posted by Rod Dreher

Megan McArdle says there is no such thing as mass culture anymore, and she’s right. She notes that the final episode of “Lost” drew what is today considered a large viewership — over 13 million — but that compared to […]

The tawdry Sarah Ferguson scandal

posted by Rod Dreher

Believe it or not, that haggard woman is Sarah Ferguson, the erstwhile Duchess of York, getting off the plane in L.A. after being hit with a Mack truck of a scandal back home in England. Did you see the video […]

Theist vs. atheist battle: tempest in teapot?

posted by Rod Dreher

Garret Keizer, reviewing Philip Pullman’s latest blast against Christianity, wonders if the public isn’t really largely indifferent to the back-and-forth between believers and their antagonists. Excerpt: The commonly held notion that we are in the midst of a great public […]

Tide turns in gay culture-war battle

posted by Rod Dreher

I’m going to turn off comments on this entry because any threads having to do with homosexuality always end up going crazy. Still, I want to note an important cultural milestone, and I mean that non-snarkily: for the first time […]

Dial 0888 888 888 for murder

posted by Rod Dreher

Why can’t you get that phone number for yourself? Because it’s cursed, I tell you, cursed!

That Weimar feeling

posted by Rod Dreher

Another bad day at the market: As investors had feared for months, the uncertainty broadened Tuesday from Greece’s fiscal troubles to those in other European countries and exacerbated concerns about the health of the global economy. “If there was a […]

Gulf of Mexico as BP’s slop bucket

posted by Rod Dreher

I sat in the car in the parking garage of my office this morning, listening to an LSU scientist talk about the oil spill on a radio show. He said that before this is over, we could see oil onshore […]

War between the Koreas?

posted by Rod Dreher

This situation is going from bad to worse, fast: Kim Jong-il has reportedly ordered a mobilization of his armed forces. China is the only nation that can stop the crazed dictator from his brinksmanship. How do you deal rationally with […]

UK children convicted of rape. What’s that mean?

posted by Rod Dreher

Had you heard of the UK rape conviction of two small boys? I hadn’t, until reading British commentator Frank Furedi’s denunciation of the proceedings as a sick farce that teaches a lesson about the moral degeneration of British society — […]

Top 10 economic meltdown lessons

posted by Rod Dreher

Sorry for yesterday’s light posting, and this morning’s. I was traveling in Washington yesterday, and had no access to the laptop. And I didn’t get home till midnight. Have mercy! Anyway, via The Browser, which you should be checking at […]

Helicopter parents meet Facebook

posted by Rod Dreher

What is wrong with these people?! Excerpt: Mandeep Singh Dhillon’s son, Zoraver, learned how to take pictures of himself with his father’s computer when he was four years old, and he immediately wanted to share the results with relatives online. […]

La corruption de la jeunesse

posted by Rod Dreher

Why you should not send your 17-year-old daughter to stay with her old Francophile Working Boy uncle: (Reste tranquille, Ruthie — the photo is staged! Still, we’re having a great time — listening to Edith Piaf and Jacques Brel, dancing, […]

Fun with Pennsylvania Soviet wine shopping

posted by Rod Dreher

I’m going to spare you all another rant about the idiotic system of state-run wine and spirits stores in Pennsylvania. You know the drill: the state holds a monopoly on wine and spirits sales, making all clerks in the state-run […]

The economy and revolution

posted by Rod Dreher

John Robb believes that the second Great Depression is already upon us, but is playing out in different ways, owing to globalization. He sees political instability rising as sovereign governments cannot provide for their own people, and/or protect them from […]

Two Russian women duped into sex slavery …

posted by Rod Dreher

… unless the Internet can save them! Follow that link to a Metafilter thread in which a man engages his online community in an effort to try to save two Russian women he knows from meeting a job contact in […]

Hannah in the city

posted by Rod Dreher

As mentioned earlier, we have our niece Hannah staying with us this week, up visiting from Louisiana. She’s my sister Ruthie’s 17-year-old daughter, and this is her first visit to Philadelphia. As I write this on Saturday morning, she and […]

New Orleans: ‘Let BP eat cake’

posted by Rod Dreher

A New Orleans friend sent me this photo of a cake in the pastry case at Breaux Mart on Magazine Street. He says, “Love this town!” Hell, who wouldn’t?

Is the ‘autism diet’ really ineffective?

posted by Rod Dreher

Yesterday I saw a story about a study showing that the “autism diet” (gluten-free, casein-free) had not demonstrated effectiveness in treating kids on the autism spectrum. I passed that along to a Philadelphia friend and reader of this blog who […]

What would you pay at pay-what-you-want?

posted by Rod Dreher

Heard about these pay-what-you-want restaurants? No prices, just pay what you think you should. It’s a fascinating experiment in psychology. According to the AP report about an outlet of the Panera Bread Co. restaurant operating under this model: The pilot […]

Roaring Virile Fire doused by China commies

posted by Rod Dreher

A dispatch from the front lines of social progress in the People’s Republic of China: In private, the professor, Ma Yaohai, 53, led a life that became intolerable to Chinese authorities: for the past six years, he was a member […]

Great Depression II? Or another lost decade?

posted by Rod Dreher

The stock market continues its dramatic slide today. Sounds like folks are getting spooked: Bill Gross of bond fund Pimco said that hedge funds were starting to liquidate their positions in a bid to preserve their capital – a worrying […]

Bordeaux? Dude, what’s that?

posted by Rod Dreher

Lots of buzz on the wine and food blogs about Eric Asimov’s Times column observing that the younger generation of wine aficionados don’t care about Bordeaux. Excerpt: But for a significant segment of the wine-drinking population in the United States, […]

In ‘Exile’ with the glorious Rolling Stones

posted by Rod Dreher

The other morning I got in my car for the drive to work and heard coming out of the radio the voice of Keith Richards, talking about the 40th anniversary re-release of “Exile on Main Street,” probably the greatest Stones […]

Brave new scientists create synthetic life

posted by Rod Dreher

Dr. Craig Venter and crew have designed the entire DNA of a cell, and caused it to live. It’s the first-ever wholly synthetic living cell. Excerpt: The researchers constructed a bacterium’s “genetic software” and transplanted it into a host cell. […]

Among the chavs, Lords of the Flies

posted by Rod Dreher

“Winston Smith” is an anonymous blogger and government social services employee who works with the underclass in the UK, helping people who are living in public housing. He hit the wall not long ago in an office discussion about the […]

Rolling in my Swagger Wagon

posted by Rod Dreher

MC Matt Fum Frisco passes along this hilarious video. Genius. Totally SFW, but if you’re a parent of small children, make sure you don’t have any coffee in your mouth, because it’s going to go all over the keyboard. I’m […]

Where is the oil spill going?

posted by Rod Dreher

To the left, a May 17 NASA photo of the oil slick, e-mailed by a reader (thanks Randy). I have been wondering why we haven’t seen beaches and marshes along the Gulf Coast inundated with oil. Didn’t you expect that […]

Strawberries, mud, Champagne and springtime

posted by Rod Dreher

This week, Julie and I have our niece Hannah staying with us. Hannah is my sister Ruthie’s 17 year old daughter. It’s a real treat for us to have her around. On Friday, I’m taking the day off, and we’re […]

So the US Coast Guard works for BP now?

posted by Rod Dreher

You’ve got to watch this short clip from the CBS Evening News, in which Coast Guard personnel order a film crew away from a piece of oil-soaked Louisiana coastland on orders from British Petroleum, whose contractors were on the boat […]

Mark Souder & forgiving the hypocrite

posted by Rod Dreher

I’m afraid I don’t follow the logic of my Beliefnet colleague Diana Butler Bass, who refuses to entertain the idea that the disgraced Republican congressman Mark Souder should be forgiven for his adultery and related shameful behavior. Excerpt: So, Rep. […]

‘Acting White:’ Stuart Buck interview (end)

posted by Rod Dreher

The third and final part of my interview with Stuart Buck, author of “Acting White: The Ironic Legacy of Desegregation” (Yale University Press). Part One is here, and Part Two is here. In Dallas, where you and I both once […]

American Jews less Jewish? Does it matter?

posted by Rod Dreher

Lots of controversy afoot over Peter Beinart’s New York Review of Books essay in which he observes that younger American Jews don’t have as much connection to Israel and to Zionism as their forebears — a situation Beinart (who is […]

What if the world’s not going to end?

posted by Rod Dreher

I was e-mailing with Alan Jacobs the other day about “books for the ages,” a blog entry he wrote in which he noted that certain books were influential to him at certain times in his life, because he was receptive […]

Science patriotism and scoundrels

posted by Rod Dreher

Philosopher Carlin Romano can’t stand the egotistical way some would-be defenders of science go about their work. Excerpt: Standing up for science excites some intellectuals the way beautiful actresses arouse Warren Beatty, or career liberals boil the blood of Glenn […]

How to deal with Somali pirates

posted by Rod Dreher

Anne Applebaum reports that the Russian Navy, among others, has hit upon a practical solution to the problem of captured Somali pirates. Excerpt: Theoretically, the captain was supposed to hand the detainees and the evidence over to regional police. Not […]

“Acting White”: Stuart Buck interview (Part Two)

posted by Rod Dreher

[Part One of this interview can be seen here.] A continuation of my interview with Stuart Buck, author of “Acting White: The Ironic Legacy of Desegregation” (Yale University Press): It is an article of faith among many well-meaning liberals that […]

In praise of Christian adulterer Mark Souder

posted by Rod Dreher

Rep. Mark Souder, a Republican Congressman from Indiana who is a religious conservative, has resigned his seat after admitting to having had an adulterous affair with a staffer. How religiously conservative is Mark Souder? This 2004 column by David Brooks […]

‘Acting White': Stuart Buck interview

posted by Rod Dreher

One of the most remarkable books I’ve read in ages is “Acting White: The Ironic Legacy of Desegregation” (Yale University Press). Its author is Stuart Buck, a Harvard-educated lawyer who is now working on his Ph.D. in education. Stuart is […]

Physicists stub the toe of God

posted by Rod Dreher

New results from FermiLab may explain how it was that anything at all exists. Excerpt: Physicists at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory are reporting that they have discovered a new clue that could help unravel one of the biggest mysteries […]

Niall Ferguson: The metrics of doom

posted by Rod Dreher

If you have some time, you really need to watch the Niarchos lecture that Harvard economic historian Niall Ferguson just delivered, on the economic crisis. If really pressed for time, start watching at about the 29 minute point, through to […]

The Current Crisis Theory of Everything

posted by Rod Dreher

You regular readers know that I have said here that I see a connection between the obesity crisis and the indebtedness crisis in the US — and that that connection is a moral refusal, conscious or unconscious, to live within […]

Diane Ravitch on what’s right with being wrong

posted by Rod Dreher

The educational reformer talks to Slate about what she now sees as her big mistakes on school reform. Whatever you think of Ravitch, who was for many years a key thought leader among conservatives, and a big backer of No […]

Michio Kaku and the Theory of Everything

posted by Rod Dreher

Physicist MIchio Kaku says that string theory is the closest thing we have to a Theory of Everything that “will in a sense summarize everything we know about the physical laws governing the universe we live in.” He goes on: […]

SCOTUS: State can imprison pervs indefinitely

posted by Rod Dreher

The Supreme Court has ruled 7-2 that the federal government has the right to imprison sex criminals even after they have completed their sentences if the government determines they continue to pose a danger to the public. Dissenters were Justices […]

While populists fiddle, Rome consolidates power

posted by Rod Dreher

Ross Douthat writes a very important column observing that for all the populist anxiety about the consolidation of power in the hands of governmental and financial elites and the accompanying theatrics, power is inexorably moving toward the top and the […]

Truth, history and the Toynbee Convector

posted by Rod Dreher

Well, like I said I’d do last week, I went to a bookstore and bought some Ray Bradbury — a collection of 100 of his short stories. My 10 year old son is halfway through it, and loves it. I […]

So much for the European dream

posted by Rod Dreher

Urbanist Joel Kotkin is not bullish on Europe’s future, especially southern Europe. Excerpt: In stating the case for European superiority, much has been made by boosters of Europe’s different institutional framework, tax or regulatory structure. No question these have advantages […]

Chronic fatigue and allergies

posted by Rod Dreher

So, I was home from church a second Sunday in a row because of these damned seasonal allergies. I spent much of yesterday, a beautiful Saturday, on the couch, exhausted. I fought off a sinus infection last week that came […]

Underwater oil avalanche and a dead zone

posted by Rod Dreher

With all that oil gushing out of the BP well in the Gulf, haven’t you been wondering where the oil is, and why the slick hasn’t gotten bigger, or started rolling in giant waves onto shore? I have. Well, they […]

The futility of condemning porn and violence

posted by Rod Dreher

Alan Jacobs gave up on a book he was reading because the author made so many porn jokes and references that Jacobs got fed up with it. He observes how many of us, when criticizing stuff like this, can’t help […]

Christian hipsterism explained

posted by Rod Dreher

Brett McCracken, whose book “Hipster Christianity” and the online “Are you a Christian hipster?” quiz inspired this popular post yesterday , turned up in the combox thread to that post to explain what he was up to in that book. […]

Eating with the vegan ultra-marathoner

posted by Rod Dreher

How on earth does a man who trains for 150-mile races do it without eating meat or dairy protein? Mark Bittman talks to Scott Jurek. Excerpt: He said he spent a great deal of time shopping, preparing and cooking food […]

Politics, community and the mattress thing

posted by Rod Dreher

Here’s a long, good interview from the UK’s Prospect magazine with Jon Cruddas, a Labour Party community activist, who talks about how conventional politics are failing to account for actual changes in British society. Much of this is highly specific […]

Are you a Christian hipster?

posted by Rod Dreher

UPDATE: Brett McCracken, author of the Christian hipster book, weighs in in the combox thread!Try this online quiz. Caveat: it’s intended for Evangelicals, so there will be questions that Catholics and Orthodox Christians can’t answer. What’s more, if you don’t […]

Cardinal Sodano should walk the plank

posted by Rod Dreher

Jody Bottum of First Things and I have not been on the same page in responding to the Catholic sex abuse scandal, to put it very mildly, so I have to strongly commend to you today his ringing unambiguous call […]

The Urban Hermit on conquering fat

posted by Rod Dreher

This comment appeared overnight on the “Fat As A Moral Issue” thread. We’d been talking about the book “The Urban Hermit,” a book by a formerly obese journalist who got down to a healthy weight by intense dieting, and who […]

Ted Haggard starts another church. Oh dear

posted by Rod Dreher

Disgraced megachurch preacher Ted Haggard has started a new church. Good luck to him, I guess, but what I can’t quite grasp is why clerics who have been spectacularly ruined as he was don’t just go sell life insurance, or […]

Technology: The god that failed in the Gulf

posted by Rod Dreher

The WaPo’s Joel Achenbach on where our worship of the false god of Technology can lead us: There have been blowouts since the dawn of the oil drilling industry, but never a blowout like this. This one is the deepest […]

Hello, Baby iPad app vs. abortion

posted by Rod Dreher

A great new app from Pampers. I predict a direct correlation between the spread of this app and a decline in abortion rates:

Why Ray Bradbury still matters

posted by Rod Dreher

I have never read Ray Bradbury, but after this Slate essay about why he still matters, I’m planning to stop off at the bookstore on the way home, buy some of his stuff, take it home to read with my […]

Dogs in space? Yes — with soy sauce

posted by Rod Dreher

How far we’ve come since Laika: Yang Liwei, the 44-year-old military pilot who commanded the Shenzhou Five mission in 2003, revealed the menu on-board the spacecraft in his autobiography, The Nine Levels between Heaven and Earth. “Many of my friends […]

Globalization, false gods and freedom

posted by Rod Dreher

I’ve been reading around in this great new book just out from Templeton Press, “New Threats to Freedom,” a compendium of essays from noted writers across the political spectrum who write about things they identify as a danger to liberty. […]

Benedict goes to Fatima. Souvenirs, anyone?

posted by Rod Dreher

Longtime readers will recall that I have a long and intimate history with Our Lady of Fatima. I invite you to read this post from several years back explaining the rather amazing things that happened to me out of that […]

What do we mean by ‘soul’?

posted by Rod Dreher

Philosopher Stephen Asma is irritated by the imprecise way students use the word “soul.” He says that science cannot prove the existence of the soul, so it’s an extremely dubious concept to use when philosophizing. But he believes he’s come […]

Lose the humanities, lose the human

posted by Rod Dreher

Patrick Deneen writes that the woebegone state of humanities education is not simply a legacy of the Sixties, with its Marxist fetish for oppression studies, but actually is the result of a process that began centuries ago. In short, it’s […]

Atheists are ‘vincibly ignorant’ — claim

posted by Rod Dreher

Joe Carter at First Things: Historically speaking, this concession to the greatest lie in the universe is a rather recent development. While there have always been people who deny the existence of a deity, it has not been a prominent […]

At home with Mac nerds

posted by Rod Dreher

Matthew, looking over my shoulder just now: “Hey, you’ve got a new operating system.”Me: “Yeah. My hard drive crashed on this laptop the other day. The tech guy at work installed a new one, and it had Windows 7 on […]

Misery of the fake Mars mission

posted by Rod Dreher

This sounds horrible: six crewmen will have to live in a small space capsule for 520 days, so scientists can observe the psychological effects of a mission to Mars. They’ll even have to eat food stored on board from Day […]

David Cameron, the Generation X world leader

posted by Rod Dreher

The new British prime minister is the first major world leader who comes from my generation. He is 43. I am 43. Anybody care to venture how a Gen X world leader will be different, both in style and substance, […]

No easy villains in Gulf oil spill

posted by Rod Dreher

Lisa Margonelli delivers the discomfiting truth that there are probably no easy villains in the Gulf oil spill disaster — and what that means for our reliance on “easy” oil. Excerpt: Where did that oil spill go? We’ve got millions […]

Whatever happened to embarrassment?

posted by Rod Dreher

Christine Rosen asks: What ever happened to embarrassment? Why are an increasing number of us comfortable bringing our private activities – from personal hygiene to intimate conversation – into public view? Bernstein and others place some of the blame on […]

Best parenting website ever!

posted by Rod Dreher

Sh*t My Kids Ruined — a website you can contribute to. Like this poor fellow whose white shirt suffered the effects of a Mustard Diaper Blowout: UPDATE: For the sake of sensitivos who have complained of distress at the sight […]

Elena Kagan, the Nowhere Woman

posted by Rod Dreher

David Brooks really is onto something in his column about how you can’t really say anything bad about Elena Kagan, whose achievements speak for themselves, but how it’s kind of creepy that the only thing she’s really known for is […]

Diarmuid Martin, truth-teller and prophet

posted by Rod Dreher

Yesterday Pope Benedict’s astonishing words of truth-telling about the sex abuse scandal were reported. And now I wish to draw your attention to an absolutely remarkable speech that Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, the Catholic primate of Ireland, has just delivered, on […]

‘Allahu akbar’? Gee, what could that possibly mean?

posted by Rod Dreher

One of the cartoonists who got in trouble with Muslims for drawing the Prophet was physically attacked in a classroom lecture about free speech by one or more lunatics who broke his glasses. The Associated Press filed a 14-paragraph dispatch […]

Fat as a moral issue

posted by Rod Dreher

This material is going to be familiar to many of you from an earlier series of blog postings here, but here’s a piece I’ve done on obesity as a moral issue. Excerpt: Anyone who wishes to exercise self-discipline has to […]

Against catastrophism, against nostalgia

posted by Rod Dreher

My friend John Podhoretz, indulging my taste for catastrophe porn, pointed me to this 60 Minutes bit about how the Bay Area is expecting a major earthquake real soon, and making preparations. A choice passage to stiffen a castrophist’s giblet: […]

‘We Are Nashville’ — still

posted by Rod Dreher

More words about Nashville’s resilience in the face of catastrophic flooding, from Patten Fuqua, who wrote that now-famous blog entry. In this new piece, he writes: The response to my piece has been amazing, humbling, shocking and overwhelming. It’s merely […]

Benedict: Sex abuse scandal is our fault

posted by Rod Dreher

This is fairly breathtaking stuff: The pontiff said the crisis over paedophile priests was “born from sins within the church” not outside, and called for penance. In some of his strongest comments to date, Pope Benedict said the Catholic church […]

World War IV & the end of globalization

posted by Rod Dreher

I mentioned in the previous post that a foreign correspondent friend had e-mailed to say, worryingly, that the extreme left was gaining credibility in Greece right now, as a result of economic turmoil. Michael Lind now has a piece up […]

Greece and the coming Eurostate

posted by Rod Dreher

Anne Applebaum is rattled by what’s just gone down in Greece. Excerpts: Here in front of me, I have a draft version of the Council of the European Union’s most recent “decision” on Greece. It isn’t a classified document. Bits […]

The other side of clergy sex abuse

posted by Rod Dreher

What happens to a priest who is falsely accused? Where does he go to get his reputation back? This story is a reminder that a mere accusation, no matter how unfounded, is enough to ruin a man’s reputation and clerical […]

Does it matter if Elena Kagan is gay?

posted by Rod Dreher

Honestly, I don’t have an opinion one way or another about Elena Kagan’s suitability for the Supreme Court. I really don’t like that when she ran Harvard, she banned military recruiters from campus over “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” but I […]

Here comes the European superstate

posted by Rod Dreher

A chilling but plausible (to my untrained eye) account of how the stricken markets are forcing the erosion of national sovereignty in Europe. Paul Mason interprets the European Central Bank and its creation of the massive bailout package over the […]

No Protestants on the Supreme Court? Wow.

posted by Rod Dreher

I hadn’t realized, till I read Diana Butler Bass’s lament, that if Elena Kagan, the president’s nominee for the Supreme Court, is confirmed by the Senate, there will be no Protestants on the High Court. Kagan is Jewish, as is […]

How the nation-state ends

posted by Rod Dreher

John Robb believes we’re witnessing not merely an economic crisis, but also a tectonic shift in human history. Excerpt: Instead, the current sovereign debt crisis is about something much more interesting: it’s another battle in a war for dominance between […]

Melissa Hill, Mother of the Year

posted by Rod Dreher

You’ve really got to read this amazing story about Melissa Hill of West Dallas. I wrote about her husband Trey a couple of years ago, and how he (and she) had given up a life of privilege to go live […]

Awlaki was insincere? Shocked, shocked.

posted by Rod Dreher

Big, long NYT front-pager today about the double life of Anwar al-Awlaki, who went (says the Times) from condemning terror to preaching jihad. Awlaki, a Yemen-based al-Qaeda fellow traveler who has inspired recent Islamic terrorists (e.g., Maj. Nidal Hasan), lived […]

Nietzsche, death of God, our political future

posted by Rod Dreher

Francis Fukuyama gives a favorable review to Julian Young’s new “philosophical biography” of Friedrich Nietzsche in this weekend’s NYT Book Review. This section of the review jumped out at me: Whether we acknowledge it or not, we continue to live […]

This troubling Eurozone weekend

posted by Rod Dreher

While I’m busy freebasing Claritin and you’re doing that thing you do on the weekend, some very, very important things are happening in Europe that will likely bear on our immediate future in the US. Today in the German state […]

Seasonal allergies: Just kill me now

posted by Rod Dreher

I have really enjoyed settling in to the mid-Atlantic this year, and even loved the massive snowstorms we got here in Philly. But this past week has been well and truly miserable. Last Sunday, I woke up with a headache, […]

John Robb and building resilient communities

posted by Rod Dreher

I haven’t looked in on military theorist John Robb’s blog in ages. I should do that more often. He’s feeling pretty gloomy about the immediate future. He lists several major economic sources of instability, and concludes: Unfortunately, all of this […]

Drug warriors kill dude’s dog

posted by Rod Dreher

I’ve put off watching the four-minute video documenting a Columbia, Mo., SWAT drug raid in the middle of the night on the home of a family man who had a little bit of pot, but I finally did. It’s really […]

Greece & the global sovereign debt black hole

posted by Rod Dreher

Der Spiegel on the stakes now unfolding in Greece and the Eurozone: The banking crisis has turned into a crisis of entire nations, and the subprime mortgage bubble into a government debt bubble. This is why precisely the same questions […]

How the BP oil spill is like Chernobyl

posted by Rod Dreher

Dmitri Orlov makes a case. Excerpt: The political challenges, in both cases, centered on the inability of the political establishment to acquiesce to the fact that a key source of energy (nuclear power or deep-water oil) relied on technology that […]

Shocked, shocked: Miley Cyrus skankifies self

posted by Rod Dreher

Well, this was as inevitable as it is depressing:Smart, somewhat cynical analysis in the Atlantic. Excerpt: 2. Weird is the new sexy. And ugly is the new pretty. Dancing around, flipping your hair, and smiling at the camera flirtatiously is […]

Attachment parenting guru: My kid’s an addict

posted by Rod Dreher

Sad, sad story from Katie Allison Granju, a well-known proponent of attachment parenting. Excerpt: This wasn’t the first time I’ve been concerned about what people would think if they found out. In fact, I’ve been worried about what would happen […]

More U.S. unwed mothers than ever

posted by Rod Dreher

New Pew research reveals the changing state of American motherhood. A record 41 percent of all U.S. births are now to unmarried women — this, up from 28 percent in 1990. Half the children born to Hispanics are to single […]

Newsweek is dying; what’s being born?

posted by Rod Dreher

I’m sorry to see that Newsweek is for sale, because I hate to see journalists lose their jobs — and yes, I know that it’s only for sale, not shutting down, but come on, I think we all know where […]

Hung UK parliament today, market hangs tomorrow?

posted by Rod Dreher

UK exit polling says the British are headed for a hung parliament. The Tories will have a heavy plurality of seats, but not enough for an outright majority. This is bad news economically; the fiscal situation in Britain requires strong […]

Greece today, America tomorrow?

posted by Rod Dreher

Greece is exploding over the harsh austerity plan they’re going to have to accept as a condition of their bailout. The general strike marks the broadest challenge to date to the government of Mr. Papandreou, which is pressed to pass […]

Things the world should toss out

posted by Rod Dreher

The Washington Post has an interesting feature up in which various writers suggest one thing the world would be better off without. I thought Kara Swisher’s bit on computer keyboards was interesting. Excerpt: In other words, it’s long past time […]

Piranhas threaten to eat Dolly Parton!

posted by Rod Dreher

Hey, it could happen in Nashville these days. The floodwaters burst aquariums at an area mall restaurant … including an aquarium containing piranhas … which can survive in fresh water. The restaurant says all its fish have been “contained”, which […]

Christian preaching illegal in UK?

posted by Rod Dreher

In Britain, a street preacher was arrested recently for saying in public that homosexuality is a sin. Excerpt: Dale Mcalpine was handing out leaflets to shoppers when he told a passer-by and a gay police community support officer that, as […]

Why are we ignoring the Nashville disaster?

posted by Rod Dreher

Until I saw it on Sullivan’s blog, I had no idea that Nashville had been massively walloped by a flood this past week. Nashville sportswriter Patten Fuqua wonders: The Cumberland River crested at its highest level in over 80 years. […]

Why didn’t Walker Percy kill himself?

posted by Rod Dreher

Others in his melancholic family had done so. Nearing the 20th anniversary of Percy’s death by natural causes, Russell Moore ponders why the novelist escaped. Excerpt: Others have sought to argue that the difference for Walker Percy was medical or […]

The cost of chemicals in our lives

posted by Rod Dreher

Reader Conor sends a report about how the extensive use of the weedkiller Roundup has resulted in the emergence of Roundup-resistant weeds. Excerpt: Just as the heavy use of antibiotics contributed to the rise of drug-resistant supergerms, American farmers’ near-ubiquitous […]

How to avoid epistemic closure

posted by Rod Dreher

Via Andrew Sullivan, I find a rather helpful list of suggestions from Will Saletan about how to avoid epistemic closure. The broader Internet discussion started as an inquiry into whether or not conservatives today can be described as closed to […]

The cross without Christ

posted by Rod Dreher

I was pleased to see the recent Supreme Court ruling allowing a large cross built on public land in California to stay in place. I don’t understand why some people freak out over things like this, as if any sign […]

Bedside reading as guide to character

posted by Rod Dreher

My wife was straightening up in the bedroom this morning, and said to me, “You can tell a lot about someone’s character by the books on their bedside table. With her permission, I photographed her bedside table: Henry James, nuns, […]

David R. Spotanski, Catholic hero

posted by Rod Dreher

Ross Douthat calls him “the man who saved American Catholicism,” and in this inspiring story, you can see why David R. Spotanski, a middle-aged Catholic father of three from the Midwest, may well have earned that accolade. Spotanski, a layman, […]

Epistemic closure and what Ratzinger knew

posted by Rod Dreher

At the risk of beating a dead horse (but when has that ever stopped me?), I want to bring the epistemic closure discussion to bear on what Cardinal Ratzinger knew, or should have known, about the Maciel scandal, and related […]

Rhett and Link’s small-town commercials

posted by Rod Dreher

Reader Brett R. improves America by sending in this priceless commercial for an Alabama used mobile home dealer. It’s a real commercial, but apparently it was made by Rhett and Link, two guys who specialize in making funny commercials for […]

Culture more important than politics, money

posted by Rod Dreher

David Brooks writes about a favorite theme of mine: This is not to say that policy choices are meaningless. But we should be realistic about them. The influence of politics and policy is usually swamped by the influence of culture, […]

The malleability of memory

posted by Rod Dreher

A friend the other day mentioned a fellow of her acquaintance who likes a good story so much that he frequently embellishes — and then tells the story so many times that he starts to believe the embellishment. He should […]

How great was the Greatest Generation?

posted by Rod Dreher

I don’t have cable TV, so I haven’t seen “The Pacific.” But I did read one of the books upon which it’s based, E.B. Sledge’s “With the Old Breed,” and I am glad to read in this appreciative Atlantic essay […]

Cardinal Sodano and the Grand Inquisitor

posted by Rod Dreher

The NYT reports further on the Vatican politicking around Marcial Maciel. It strikes me that the Maciel scandal, and perhaps even the wider abuse situation, is now a story that can best be told not by a journalist, but by […]

Is Steve Jobs evil?

posted by Rod Dreher

Longtime readers know I’m a big fan of Apple, but I have to agree with David Carr that the huge deal he’s made over the “stolen” iPhone has been a public relations fiasco for Jobs. It has undermined Apple’s image […]

Cutting the cable/satellite TV cord

posted by Rod Dreher

The next big thing, reports CNN: Despite rising cable and satellite TV prices and easy access to streaming TV and movies on the Internet, few consumers have cut the cord. But that looks like it’s about to change. One in […]

Our disgusting meat supply

posted by Rod Dreher

Yesterday I paid a depressingly high price for a two-pound brisket at Whole Foods. But every time I wonder if I’m paying too much for “clean” meat, I’ll read something like this. Excerpt: In 2008, Mexican authorities rejected a shipment […]

Pope takes over Legionaries; is it enough?

posted by Rod Dreher

Over the weekend, Pope Benedict moved to take over the Legionaries of Christ, still reeling from revelations that its hero-worshiped founder, the late Fr. Marcial Maciel, was a drug-abusing, child-molesting bigamist. Some praised the Vatican for moving so strongly against […]

Eerily prophetic BP oil spill painting

posted by Rod Dreher

New Orleans artist Michelle Levine posted this image to her Facebook page, saying it was one of a series of paintings she started last spring.

Niall Ferguson has bad news for Brits, non-Chinese

posted by Rod Dreher

The Harvard historian and scholar will ruin your day with this interview he did with the Vancouver Sun. Excerpts: Q What are your thoughts on the U.K. economic situation as it relates to the election? A The situation of the […]

How BP greenwashes me and thee

posted by Rod Dreher

I passed a British Petroleum gas station today, for the first time since the Gulf oil spill. I took special notice of the sunny, green and green-friendly logo on the big plastic sign out front, and thought once again about […]

Kristof’s backhanded compliment to Catholicism

posted by Rod Dreher

I’m having a tough time trying to figure out what I think of Nicholas Kristof’s column today. In it, he’s trying to defend the Catholic Church as a liberal writing to a liberal readership. Here’s the tack he takes: Yet […]

Zorba the Tax Cheat

posted by Rod Dreher

Once again, the German taxpayer is to be greatly pitied for having to bail out Greece, which deserves to be taken the the woodshed. Check out this NYT story: ATHENS — In the wealthy, northern suburbs of this city, where […]

BP in ’09: Oil catastrophe can’t happen here

posted by Rod Dreher

Well, well, well: BP suggested in a 2009 exploration plan and environmental impact analysis for the well that an accident leading to a giant crude oil spill and serious damage to beaches, fish and mammals was unlikely, or virtually impossible. […]

All hail the Cupcake Cannon!

posted by Rod Dreher

Best invention since the iPad:

Best mint julep recipe ever! Really.

posted by Rod Dreher

Happy Derby Day. Sit down right now and read Walker Percy’s essay about Bourbon. I’m a Southerner, so trust me on this: the mint julep recipe Cud’n Walker provides is the best one ever. The dusting of nutmeg is the […]

Previous Posts

Another blog to enjoy!!!
Thank you for visiting Rod Dreher. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here is another blog you may also enjoy: Most Recent Scientology Story on Beliefnet! Happy Reading!!! ...

posted 3:25:02pm Aug. 27, 2012 | read full post »

Mommy explains her plastic surgery
In Dallas (naturally), a parenting magazine discusses how easy it is for mommies who don't like their post-child bodies to get surgery -- and to have it financed! -- to reverse the effects of time and childbirth. Don't like what nursing has done ...

posted 10:00:56pm Jul. 21, 2010 | read full post »

Why I became Orthodox
Wrapping up my four Beliefnet years, I was thinking about the posts that attracted the most attention and comment in that time. Without a doubt the most popular (in terms of attracting attention, not all of it admiring, to be sure) was the ...

posted 9:46:58pm Jul. 21, 2010 | read full post »

Modern Calvinists
Wow, they don't make Presbyterians like they used to! ...

posted 8:47:01pm Jul. 21, 2010 | read full post »

'Rape by deception'? Huh?
The BBC this morning reported on a bizarre case in Israel of an Arab man convicted of "rape by deception," because he'd led the Jewish woman with whom he'd had consensual sex to believe he was Jewish. Ha'aretz has the story here. Plainly it's a ...

posted 7:51:28pm Jul. 21, 2010 | read full post »

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