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Rod Dreher

Rod Dreher

Morals Archives

‘Rape by deception’? Huh?

posted by Rod Dreher

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 […]

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Non-bigots against gay marriage

posted by Rod Dreher

I wrote earlier about how useful it is to humble yourself and try to see what the world looks like through the eyes of your opponents. Jonathan Rauch, the gay journalist and same-sex marriage backer, does an exemplary job of […]

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We are all ideologues to some degree

posted by Rod Dreher

Andrew Sullivan, on the Octavia Nasr/Shirley Sherrod foofarahs: It seems completely obvious to me that the USDA needs to re-hire Sherrod just as CNN needs to rehire Octavia Nasr. Both were canned based on knee-jerk reactions to distorted fragments of […]

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The outrageous Journolist scandal

posted by Rod Dreher

Here’s the latest about the Journolist scandal, and it really is a shocking example of unprofessionalism. I’d said earlier that I didn’t think it was right to use the e-mails Dave Weigel sent out on the private list (which included […]

Teen pregnancy as fashion trend

posted by Rod Dreher

Oh, vom: While those assertions assume an insulting lack of agency on the part of young women, the recent wariness over Forever 21’s maternity line is much more in line with reality. Forever 21’s most recognizable model is Kendall Jenner, […]

The sensitive, patriotic, humanitarian porn star

posted by Rod Dreher

This Salon interview with porn actress Lorelei Lee, who was recently at the center of a court case against a pornographer, contains some rough language, but it is unintentionally comic in its portrayal of human folly and self-unawareness. It’s both […]

Joyce Irvine vs. the federal government

posted by Rod Dreher

Joyce Irvine is the principal at an elementary school in Vermont where 97 percent of the students live in poverty. Many of them are refugees from other countries. Joyce Irvine has by all accounts done an excellent job with these […]

Rowan Williams: Why society needs God

posted by Rod Dreher

I know he’s a favorite punching bag of a lot of folks who share my religious sensibilities, but the fact remains that Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, is one of the most thoughtful and intelligent religious leaders in the […]

Stuff blue-collar white people worry about

posted by Rod Dreher

Ross Douthat has a good and important column up today about what he calls “the roots of white anxiety.” He begins by talking about a Pat Buchanan appearance at Harvard some time ago, to talk about white grievance — which […]

What if you were an Auschwitz guard?

posted by Rod Dreher

A friend passed on an anecdote the other day. A friend of his was at a dinner party at which everybody around the table was discussing what they would do if they were an inmate in a Nazi concentration camp. […]

The toll of watching filth for a living

posted by Rod Dreher

Here’s a troubling story: what’s life like for people who are paid to troll websites looking for photos that need to be removed? More: The surge in Internet screening services has brought a growing awareness that the jobs can have […]

Bristol & Levi reality show? O Fortuna, bless!

posted by Rod Dreher

Have you seen the report that Bristol & Levi are shopping a reality show proposal around Hollywood, and may even be sounding out production companies for a deal to televise their wedding? Can I just say that that would be […]

Hi, babe, it was a wonderful life

posted by Rod Dreher

H.L. Van Buren sends this obituary for a Chicago couple who had been happily married since 1947, and who died within hours of each other. This is a weeper, for sure: They had moved just last month to the San […]

Mel Gibson, avatar of narcissism

posted by Rod Dreher

So says David Brooks in his column today. Excerpt: There used to be theories that deep down narcissists feel unworthy, but recent research doesn’t support this. Instead, it seems, the narcissist’s self-directed passion is deep and sincere. His self-love is […]

Poor backwards Russia needs M. Minkoff!

posted by Rod Dreher

The NYT takes note of Russia’s failure to catapult itself to the front ranks of enlightenment and progress. Excerpt: As always, sex toys are a tough sell in Russia. “We have to try to enlighten the customers,” said Ms. Borisova, […]

An amazing teen gardener

posted by Rod Dreher

Alexandra Reau is not yet old enough to drive, and just look: Lawn mowing and baby-sitting are standard summer jobs for the enterprising teenager. Alexandra Reau, who is 14, combines a little bit of each: last year, she asked her […]

Is Bristol Palin a sucker? Or a good example?

posted by Rod Dreher

Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston are going to get married. It says something about our screwed-up culture that they announced this in an exclusive cover story for US magazine, but anyway, there it is. Our curmudgeonly friend John E. Agnostic […]

A disposition towards happiness

posted by Rod Dreher

My three children are all fairly different in their dispositions. The oldest one is stormy and intellectual. The youngest, she’s complicated and dramatic. The middle child, Lucas, who is six, is sunshiny by nature. I can tell, even at this […]

Thornton Wilder, American Taoist

posted by Rod Dreher

Sam Crane is performing in a community theater production of “Our Town” this summer, and it got him to thinking about Taoist themes in the play. For Taoism, he writes: Th e complex is to be found in the simple, […]

Mel Gibson: Crazy, vicious creep

posted by Rod Dreher

When I heard the first audio clip of one of Mel Gibson’s crazy calls to his girlfriend — the angry, racist rant — I deliberately chose not to post it, though it was disgusting. I thought it ethically proper not […]

When believing a lie is beneficial

posted by Rod Dreher

David Rieff has a good reflection on the limits of humanitarian interventionism. This passage from it caught my eye: In 1940, as the Wehrmacht marched into Paris, Simone Weil wrote in her journal, “[T]his is a great day for the […]

Pride and the eclipse of reason

posted by Rod Dreher

I was e-mailing this morning with a secular atheist liberal writer acquaintance who is working on a piece about why so many fellow secular liberals refuse, in her view, to face the plain facts about Islamism and Islamic radicalism. I […]

Cultural limits and good fiction

posted by Rod Dreher

Ross Douthat on why it’s harder to write a certain kind of fiction in our freewheeling culture. Excerpt: But such “realistic social-familial novels” labor under precisely the difficulty that Jacobs describes — the absence of the kind of social limitations […]

The academy and pseudo-tolerance

posted by Rod Dreher

Frank Beckwith takes a troubling case from the University of Illinois and draws a sharp, correct conclusion: The aggrieved student in the Howell case is the product of a generation of institutional coddling that rewards intellectual immaturity if it can […]

‘The rich are different: they are more ruthless.’

posted by Rod Dreher

Data suggest that the rich are different from you and me: Whether it is their residence, a second home or a house bought as an investment, the rich have stopped paying the mortgage at a rate that greatly exceeds the […]

Whole Foods vs. Mom

posted by Rod Dreher

A Chicago mom who is a university teacher and regular Whole Foods shopper got confused trying to leave the store one day with kids in tow, and says she accidentally forgot to pay for a jar of vitamins — this, […]

The unjust firing of Octavia Nasr

posted by Rod Dreher

After 20 years with CNN, the network fired Octavia Nasr for tweeting that she had “a lot of respect” for a dead Hezbollah leader. Here she explains what she meant by the remark, and regrets what she said in the […]

Bristol Palin profits from unwed motherhood

posted by Rod Dreher

I don’t want to make any comment about Sarah Palin and her politics — so don’t you even start in the comboxes — but I share Gail Collins’s puzzlement over Bristol Palin as cultural symbol. Just what are we supposed […]

I’m happy that Lindsay Lohan is going to jail

posted by Rod Dreher

While I don’t rejoice in her misfortune — on the whole, I’d rather she were living a good life — I am pleased to see world-class celebrity jerk Lindsey Lohan going to jail for a while. It is no bad […]

Religious freedom rolled back by SCOTUS

posted by Rod Dreher

I forgot to note the recent 5-4 Supreme Court decision denying the rights of a Christian group on a California college campus to deny membership to gays who don’t believe in traditional Christian teaching on sexual morality. The Court said […]

Halal hair defends glorious Iranian revolution

posted by Rod Dreher

You just know that young Iranians are laughing their butts off: The haircut guidelines appear to be aimed at balancing the more aggressive enforcement with a softer promotion. On Monday, the director of the Veil and Chastity Day festival, Jaleh […]

A few words about snobbery

posted by Rod Dreher

I’d like to riff for a second off these remarks from Dalrymple’s essay about why he hates sports fans: Like many phenomena, snobbery is easier to recognise than to define. The definition of a snob in The Shorter Oxford English […]

Why sports fans are completely idiotic

posted by Rod Dreher

Theodore Dalrymple admits that he’s a huge snob about sports fans. It’s not sport itself, but rather the fans who care inordinately about something blindingly trivial. Here he is decrying the French (he lives in France, a British expat) for […]

How lovely to be in Quebec, in public

posted by Rod Dreher

Just got a call from a friend from down South who’s vacationing with his family in Quebec City. He said he’d read my report about the incivility at the Fourth of July event in downtown Philadelphia, and couldn’t help contrasting […]

Nation of Marshmallow Eaters

posted by Rod Dreher

From New York magazine’s profile of David Brooks: Brooks’s favorite social-science study is known as the Marshmallow Experiment. A child is left in a room with a marshmallow for fifteen minutes. If he restrains himself from eating the marshmallow, he […]

Moynihan, decline of family, social chaos

posted by Rod Dreher

Reihan Salam’s piece on the future of American family structure put me in mind of an episode of the Diane Rehm show I listened to yesterday. Diane’s guest was historian James Patterson, discussing his book “Freedom Is Not Enough,” a […]

Crunchy cons as Mensheviks, not Bolsheviks

posted by Rod Dreher

First Things’ David Mills comments on the failed Radical Homemaker essay that we talked about here the other day. Excerpt: Living something like the life Hayes describes has its attractions, in theory, at least for someone brought up as I […]

How the cultural Left paved way for pedophilia

posted by Rod Dreher

Before you say anything, this is not one of those rants in which the writer accuses liberals of poisoning the minds of the young with dirty movies and stuff. This is from the German magazine Der Spiegel, and it’s a […]

Mel Gibson: The final meltdown

posted by Rod Dreher

Remember when I said the other day that Mel Gibson is probably an angry, violent man? Well, check this out: In one of the most explosive, racist and vile outbursts by a celebrity ever caught on tape, Mel Gibson told […]

Radical homemaker FAIL

posted by Rod Dreher

Madeline Holler is no Sharon Astyk, and she knows it. She and her husband left a relatively high-income lifestyle for a place in the Midwest, where they found themselves living on a third of what they had been making. Excerpts: […]

Sullivan denounces gay paper outing pastor

posted by Rod Dreher

Good for Andrew: I should add that [politics as total war] is not always on one side of the political equation. This story — about a gay journalist infiltrating a private therapy group in order to out and expose a […]

Christopher Hitchens has cancer

posted by Rod Dreher

Chuck Bloom passes on the sad news: Christopher Hitchens is being treated for cancer, forcing the D.C. writer to cut short his latest book tour. In a statement released through his publisher Twelve, the British-born provocateur, 61, said that he […]

The case of the ‘refreshing pervy priest’

posted by Rod Dreher

Steve Blow is a columnist at the Dallas Morning News who typically writes homespun, slice-of-life reflections on life in Big D and its suburbs. But he finds his professional ox in a massive ditch today because of a tossed-off blog […]

Save America, make $100K

posted by Rod Dreher

Andrew Breitbart is offering a very healthy bounty for one of the 400 or so members of the now-defunct Journolist: We want the list of journalists that comprised the 400 members of the “JournoList” and we want the contents of […]

Civility as a fruit of maturity

posted by Rod Dreher

Michael Gerson: My political friendships and sympathies are increasingly determined not by ideology but by methodology. One of the most significant divisions in American public life is not between the Democrats and the Republicans; it is between the Ugly Party […]

Early Alzheimer’s and a husband’s choice

posted by Rod Dreher

Via Deacon Greg Kandra, here’s a story about a husband, a wife, and early onset Alzheimer’s Disease (it turned up at age 40 in the wife). The piece aired on CBS Sunday Morning. It’s about 10 minutes long, but well […]

Robert Byrd, who grew up poor

posted by Rod Dreher

I haven’t thought much about the passing of Sen. Robert C. Byrd. The only things I knew about him were a) that he was the undisputed master of pork-barrel legislating, b) that he was once a Klansman (though a repentant […]

How porn destroys sexuality

posted by Rod Dreher

From an interview with sociologist Gail Dines: In the preface of your book, you share a personal story about a conversation you had with your son over pornography. You write, “I said [to him] that should he decide to use […]

McChrystal a sign of long war’s corruption

posted by Rod Dreher

Pretty sobering piece about the military hierarchy from Andrew Bacevich, the retired Army colonel and religious conservative whose son was killed fighting in Iraq. Bacevich warns that the McChrystal mouthing-off was a sign of a deeper rot. Excerpt: Throughout history, […]

The incredible story of Quanah Parker

posted by Rod Dreher

I listened over the weekend to a Fresh Air podcast interview with S.C. “Sam” Gwynne, a talented Texas writer who has just published a book that I’ve got to find time to read: “Empire of the Summer Moon.” (The New […]

When power is more important than people

posted by Rod Dreher

Writing in The American Conservative, Brian Doherty argues that libertarians are more open to insights gleaned from literature than conservatives are. That’s an interesting topic, but not one I’m interested to discuss here. This insight, at the end of Doherty’s […]

Maybe parental happiness is overrated

posted by Rod Dreher

Tony Woodlief is a wise man. Excerpt: People are inherently self-centered, and especially in a peaceful, prosperous society, this easily leads to self-indulgence that in turn can make us weak and ignoble. There’s something to be said for ordeals — […]

O sex, where is thy sting?

posted by Rod Dreher

Camille Paglia thinks it’s ridiculous that middle-class white people have to rely on pills to rev up their sex lives — and that that fact indicates a deeper cultural malaise: In the discreet white-collar realm, men and women are interchangeable, […]

He’s begging: stay together for the kids

posted by Rod Dreher

Joe Carter of First Things makes an astonishingly moving plea to fathers to move heaven and earth to stay with their children. How’s this for a head-snapper?: I first read that passage in 1995, the year I myself became a […]

Divorce is a virus

posted by Rod Dreher

So concludes a new study, summed up this way by Ross Douthat: There’s no escaping peer effects: If your friends or neighbors or relatives get divorced, you’re more likely to get divorced — even if it’s only on the margins […]

The killer inside middle-class intellectuals

posted by Rod Dreher

NPR did a story the other day on “The Killer Inside Me,” a drama in which Casey Affleck plays a sadistic killer sheriff. The violence in the movie is so graphic some people have walked out of early screenings, NPR […]

Stuart Buck’s ‘utterly necessary’ race book

posted by Rod Dreher

African-American scholar John McWhorter raves in The New Republic about Stuart Buck’s “Acting White.” Excerpts: Stuart Buck at last brings together all of the relevant evidence and puts paid to two myths. The first is that the “acting white” charge […]

Outing pastor a disgusting act

posted by Rod Dreher

A gay publication in Minnesota outed a conservative Lutheran pastor after its reporter infiltrated a confidential support group for Christians struggling with same-sex attractions, who wish to be chaste. In his piece, the gay journalist quotes things the pastor said […]

McChrystal and our confessional culture

posted by Rod Dreher

David Brooks has an almost wistful column today gently bemoaning the kind of media culture we’ve built in which a man like Gen. McChrystal can be destroyed by a reporter for being foolishly human. Excerpt: But McChrystal, like everyone else, […]

A beautiful dairy tale from Mississippi

posted by Rod Dreher

A father’s dream for his son comes true, though he’s no longer here to see it. Read this gorgeous piece through to the final paragraph.

Education and individualism

posted by Rod Dreher

Journalist Mark Oppenheimer, from a good Conor Friedersdorf interview: I have a deep skepticism of a lot of what passes for “progressive” education. For grades 2-4, I attended a progressive school that was pretty disastrous for me. They had lots […]

Wendell Berry kicks UK’s butt

posted by Rod Dreher

Wendell Berry has withdrawn all his papers from the University of Kentucky in protest of what he considers the university’s sellout to coal interests. Excerpt: Berry, 75, said UK’s push to become a “Top 20″ research university has caused it […]

What Snafu hid all these years

posted by Rod Dreher

HBO’s series “The Pacific” caused lots of folks to become interested in the life of Merriell “Snafu” Shelton, the character based on a real Marine of the same name. As I’ve written before, the real Snafu lived just down the […]

The big mouth of Stanley McChrystal

posted by Rod Dreher

I have no idea whether any criticisms Gen. McChrystal and his team made of the administration, the U.S. ambassador or anybody else have any substance (and I would strongly urge you not to make the criticism itself the subject of […]

Oil spill: government, industry EPIC FAIL

posted by Rod Dreher

I wonder when people are going to realize that the catastrophe in the Gulf was caused by BP’s reckless decisions, but also by reckless U.S. government regulators. I keep calling this a moral catastrophe above all, at least in its […]

Tony Hayward: A villain worthy of Tom Wolfe

posted by Rod Dreher

This guy and his company are unbelievable. Excerpt: BP officials on Saturday scrambled yet again to respond to another public relations challenge when their embattled chief executive, Tony Hayward, spent the day off the coast of England watching his yacht […]

Father’s Day stories to love

posted by Rod Dreher

That’s a photo of my father and me taken late last year in his backyard. It’s one of my favorites. How fortunate we are to be here in Starhill to celebrate Father’s Day with him. It gives me the opportunity […]

BP oil spill: Which side are you on?

posted by Rod Dreher

A clarifying quote from Wendell Berry: “What I stand for is what I stand on.” Corporation, politician, government bureaucrat, Internet pundit or talk show loudmouth, anybody who is against the land, against this land of south Louisiana, where I’m from […]

Pssst … drill, baby, drill

posted by Rod Dreher

Business as usual, apparently: Despite President Barack Obama’s promises of better safeguards for offshore drilling, federal regulators continue to approve plans for oil companies to drill in the Gulf of Mexico with minimal or no environmental analysis. The Department of […]

The death of a little Cajun no-place

posted by Rod Dreher

I gotta say, this is heartbreaking. Leeville is a hardscrabble nothing town on the marshes, but for the people who live there, it’s everything. And it’s being taken away from them by the BP oil spill. Excerpts: “This is tearing […]

Crackpot educators call best friends social evil

posted by Rod Dreher

Is there no natural social phenomenon that levelers and militant egalitarians won’t seek to destroy to create their Utopia? From the NYT: But increasingly, some educators and other professionals who work with children are asking a question that might surprise […]

Joe Barton & Roger Kimball vacation in BP hell

posted by Rod Dreher

I, for one, wish it were possible to force Roger Kimball and Rep. Joe Barton to spend their summer vacation living on Grand Isle, in one of the empty camps that cannot be used because the beaches and the waters […]

Purse thief gets his just deserts

posted by Rod Dreher

Now this is one mob I can get behind:H/T: Jonah Goldberg

Life among the small people

posted by Rod Dreher

“I hear comments sometimes that large oil companies are greedy companies who don’t care. But that is not the case in BP. We care about the small people.” — Carl-Henric Svanberg, BP chairman, who later apologized for his poor grasp […]

Oil spill: Do we need another hero?

posted by Rod Dreher

I’ve decided not to comment on Obama’s oil spill speech, because I haven’t been able to figure out how to appraise it without slip-sliding into a political analysis, and I don’t want to do that on this blog. But I […]

Life according to Seventeen magazine

posted by Rod Dreher

From The Seventeen Magazine Project, by small-town Pennsylvania high school senior Jamie Keiles, who is living for one month according to the teen mag’s prescription of how girls her age should live. It’s a kind of brilliant analysis of how […]

The Tao of Wendell Berry

posted by Rod Dreher

THE LAW THAT MARRIES ALL THINGS 1. The cloud is free only to go with the wind. The rain is free only in falling. The water is free only in its gathering together, in its downward courses, in its rising […]

Paternalism and Australia’s Aborigines

posted by Rod Dreher

Via The Browser, here’s a morally complicated story about how the Australian government, in an attempt to restore moral order to out-of-control Aboriginal communities, stepped in and took substantial control of their lives. Excerpt: Four years ago Nanette Rogers, a […]

Sexualizing little girls: a Boomer legacy

posted by Rod Dreher

I read this Peggy Orenstein column from the Sunday NYT Magazine and got angry in a familiar way. She’s deploring the cultural trend of the early sexualization of girls. Here’s how her piece begins: Last month, over the course of […]

Against the eternal mob

posted by Rod Dreher

I would like to offer a postscript to the post earlier this week about why Jews cannot return to Poland, as Helen Thomas suggested they ought to do. As a practical matter, obviously Israel is now the home of the […]

The moral failure of BP & the feds

posted by Rod Dreher

I’m beating a dead horse here, but just look at the AP’s stunning analysis of BP’s alleged oil spill clean-up plan. Excerpt: BP PLC’s 582-page regional spill plan for the Gulf, and its 52-page, site-specific plan for the Deepwater Horizon […]

Tim the Tesco Tory

posted by Rod Dreher

My British friend Tim Montgomerie sticks up for the UK supermarket chain Tesco. Excerpts: If I was to draw up a list of ten people who had most helped the poor in the past few decades, near the top of […]

Peak oil, Klingons and Cylons

posted by Rod Dreher

Great post by Sharon Astyk about how the constructed media narrative around peak-oilers and others who are preparing for what they believe will be coming hard times is slanted toward a techno-optimism that is ahistorical and, in its way, stupid […]

Why Jews couldn’t ‘go home’ to Poland, Helen

posted by Rod Dreher

I’ve hesitated blogging on the Helen Thomas affair, mostly because I’ve been away at meetings in New York, and I didn’t have time to monitor the comboxes for anti-Semitism. My view is that her opinions are obnoxious and wrong, but […]

Should the president cuss?

posted by Rod Dreher

Barack Obama did, saying he’s trying to figure out “whose ass to kick” in the oil spill. Frankly, that’s fine by me. I know he’s engaging in theater, but I like this theater. And while I generally disapprove of anything […]

Really helpful advice

posted by Rod Dreher

Nicholas Kristof, who just had a close call with a tumor that turned out to be benign, on how to protect yourself from cancer: Stop smoking and avoid secondhand smoke. Slather on sunscreen and avoid tanning salons. Avoid charred meats. […]

Ending the Too Big To Fail threat

posted by Rod Dreher

Richard Fisher, a former commercial banker who is now head of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, has delivered a powerful speech denouncing the financial reform bill soon to be sent to the president’s desk as toothless. He also attacks […]

Cameron: UK faces ‘decades’ of austerity

posted by Rod Dreher

The Prime Minister today gave a deeply gloomy speech laying out what Britons now face. Excerpt: Prime Minister David Cameron said Monday that Britain’s financial situation was “even worse than we thought” and that the country would have to make […]

Tradition, liberty and the open road

posted by Rod Dreher

Via Andrew Sullivan, I learned of Jesse Walker’s remembrance of Dennis Hopper, which contains these fascinating sentences: A central theme of the western is the tension between the sometimes lonely freedom of the road and the sometimes suffocating security of […]

A call to sacrifice and self-denial? A fool’s errand

posted by Rod Dreher

Mike Sirota notes that if the president gave a speech asking Americans to cut back on our use of oil as a response to the Gulf oil environmental, cultural and economic catastrophe, he would be derided just like Jimmy Carter […]

Sad over pelicans? You ‘high-class prissy-a*s’ aesthete!

posted by Rod Dreher

I am so incensed by a comment left on an oil-spill thread here this morning that I wanted to highlight it in a special post. A reader who blogs under the name “polistra” has no sympathy for people who express […]

Oil spill: This is Louisiana

posted by Rod Dreher

I, for one, would like to thank BP and U.S. government regulators for making possible the following image from coastal Louisiana: See all the photos in AP photographer Charlie Riedel’s heart-rending series. And think of Louisiana. UPDATE: You really should […]

Tradition, faux and true

posted by Rod Dreher

Andrew Sullivan remarks on my two recent posts about tradition and postmodernity (first one here, second one here). Excerpt: Welcome to the modern world, Rod. The kind of unthinking cohesion of the past, sustained by elite control of the media […]

When more information makes you stupider

posted by Rod Dreher

Alain de Botton says we all need to take in less information, because learning more paradoxically reduces our capacity to know more. Excerpt: The obsession with current events is relentless. We are made to feel that at any point, somewhere […]

Marriage and divorce: Clintons or Gores?

posted by Rod Dreher

Gail Collins, snarking on the Gore dee-vorce: I think the nation as a whole is thinking that if Al and Tipper split after 40 years, no marriage is ever safe. And the fact that Hillary and Bill outlasted them means […]

Louisiana, oil spill is your fault too

posted by Rod Dreher

So says columnist James Gill in the New Orleans Times-Picayune, citing the way the state has been governed for years not with the public’s interest in mind, but with the interests of the oil companies. Excerpt: We have so much […]

Culture falls apart: a Ken Myers dissent

posted by Rod Dreher

Last week I posted something lamenting the fragmentation of our culture in postmodernity, but trying also to identify some good things about it. Excerpt: When I think about how relatively monotonous the culture of pop music was in the 1970s, […]

Fame kills Al & Tipper Gore marriage

posted by Rod Dreher

Sad news from the Gore family. Reportedly there was no infidelity involved. After 40 years of marriage, the two had begun to live separate lives. Forty years together, and now this. I remember thinking around the Monica Lewinsky scandal, that […]

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 […]

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 […]

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.

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 — […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

‘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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

‘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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

Why I love/hate Louisiana

posted by Rod Dreher

A fellow Bayou State expat sends along this editorial from today’s Times-Picayune, concerning drive-thru daiquiri bars. When I was courting my Texan wife, and told her about these fine institutions in my home state, she thought I was joking. She […]

Teenagers + technology vs. parents

posted by Rod Dreher

A mom is fed up with how communications technology affects her teens and their friends. Excerpt: All this communication gadgetry is causing obsessive-compulsive behaviors, giving people control over another’s whereabouts that astonishes me. More frightening is puberty–especially for girls. One […]

Culture and epistemic closure

posted by Rod Dreher

Tired of the epistemic closure discussion? Me neither. A Texas reader sends along this post from the excellent science writer/blogger Jonah Lehrer, who discusses how becoming enculturated within a particular group involves epistemic closure. Excerpt: The process of enculturation doesn’t […]

Elites and their private contempt

posted by Rod Dreher

John O’Sullivan, commenting on Gordon Brown’s gaffe: What makes this much more than simply embarrassing for Labour is that it illustrates the private contempt of Left elites for ordinary Labour voters, with their old-fashioned patriotic and conservative social prejudices on […]

The computers’ Sabbath / Thomas’s Law

posted by Rod Dreher

My Templeton colleague Dave Thomas notes that even computers need a “Sabbath” (i.e., time to rest), but people these days seem to think there’s something wrong with rest. Excerpt: This is compounded by an always-on society. The ability to be […]

Greece and moral hazard

posted by Rod Dreher

The Greek economic crisis is quickly spreading. Today, Spain’s debt was downgraded, which is a much bigger deal than Greece’s woes. But Greece is loping steadily toward sovereign default. A Greece rescue plan is said to cost a staggering 100 […]

Women as dog-like as men. Progress?

posted by Rod Dreher

I was listening this morning to a segment on NPR’s Morning Edition in which two music commentators discussed the music of a female rapper named Niki Minaj. I found Minaj’s music to be ugly and unlistenable, but I think that […]

The body, the Tao and epistemic closure

posted by Rod Dreher

Further to the discussion on epistemic closure, consider science blogger Jonah Lehrer’s post about poker faces and brain testing. Excerpt: The larger lesson is that the brain can’t escape its embodiment. Even abstract information – and what’s more abstract than […]

Grover’s Corners vs. Manhattan

posted by Rod Dreher

Patrick Deneen caught the Off Broadway revival of “Our Town,” and had some thoughts upon leaving the theater. Excerpt: The juxtaposition of Grover’s Corner and New York captures the essence of two different worldviews. In the one, the challenge of […]

What would Ruthie Leming do? Well…

posted by Rod Dreher

My friend Chuck Bloom down in Texas sent this to me over the weekend. It got to me, as you might well imagine: Chalk this one up to another Ruthie Leming victory. Here in Dallas, there is a well-known Celtic […]

The epistemic closure of the ideological mind

posted by Rod Dreher

In response to my post last week about epistemic closure, the blogger Anonymous Liberal, whom I questioned in the post, has responded. Here’s part of what he wrote: Similarly, there is a major difference between someone who makes a real […]

The spiritual mask

posted by Rod Dreher

One reason the Restore Stephen Baldwin nonsense bothers me so much is that it gets to something that bothers me to the marrow about religious culture, and it’s this: that religious people have a weakness for disguising ordinary crappy human […]

Give alms to a tax deadbeat: Restore Stephen Baldwin

posted by Rod Dreher

Look, I’m sorry that actor Stephen Baldwin is bankrupt, but this whole Restore Stephen Baldwin campaign is the ne plus ultra of Evangelical cheesiness. Baldwin is the D-list actor who became a born-again Christian in 2002. But he got into […]

South Park vs. Islam: Decadence on display

posted by Rod Dreher

Ross Douthat takes measure of the South Park vs. Islam controversy. Excerpt: Across 14 on-air years, there’s no icon “South Park” hasn’t trampled, no vein of shock-comedy (sexual, scatalogical, blasphemous) it hasn’t mined. In a less jaded era, its creators […]

Faith, secularism and our tragic dilemma

posted by Rod Dreher

The organizers of a traditional Latin mass in Washington this past weekend wisely disinvited Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, fearing that protests over the retired cardinal’s letter in support of a molester-protecting French bishop would mar the day. Good move. In […]

In a flash, a broken neck, a broken life

posted by Rod Dreher

I saw a photo from last summer of my sister Ruthie and her daughter Hannah, both glowing from the sun (they were on vacation). And today, Ruthie is devastatingly ill with cancer. I am oppressed by the thought of how […]

Is goodness universal?

posted by Rod Dreher

I keep pointing my readers to the Templeton symposium on the question of what reason has to do with morality because it raises so many questions in my mind. From Antonio Damasio’s essay: The mechanisms behind such behaviors [that we […]

They don’t make atheists like Nietzsche anymore

posted by Rod Dreher

If you found the Woody Allen nihilism thread of interest, I’ve got something else for you to chew on. In a bracing essay dismissing the New Atheists lock, stock and barrel, Orthodox Christian theologian David Bentley Hart says none of […]

Can we have a religious duty to kill?

posted by Rod Dreher

Earlier this week, I watched a documentary film about the life and death of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the German Evangelical pastor hanged by the Nazis for his role in a plot to assassinate Hitler. The case of Bonhoeffer, who risked his […]

Life tortures Woody Allen

posted by Rod Dreher

In an interview with Commonweal, Woody Allen shows the skull beneath the skin. Excerpt: RL: When Ingmar Bergman died, you said even if you made a film as great as one of his, what would it matter? It doesn’t gain […]

To be rich, to be simple…

posted by Rod Dreher

Charlotte Allen has a problem with the fashionable cult of simplicity. Excerpt: Welcome to the simplicity movement, the ethos whose mantras are “cutting back,” “focusing on the essentials,” “reconnecting to the land” – and talking, talking, talking about how fulfilled […]

A Confederacy of Larry King’s love life

posted by Rod Dreher

He sat at attention in the darkness of the Prytania only a few rows from the screen, his body filling the seat and protruding into the two adjoining ones. On the seat to his right he had stationed his overcoat, […]

Why this Earth mother hates Earth Day

posted by Rod Dreher

Happy Earth Day. Sharon Astyk thinks its all b.s.; here’s part of the reason why: I see Earth Day as the new Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day, a Hallmark holiday for us to give lip service to the environment. There […]

We are all teenagers now

posted by Rod Dreher

A UK reader writes with a reflection on Tory Party leader David Cameron’s Easter message. The reader writes: Despite the fact that he is an Anglican Christian of sorts, and the message was issued on Good Friday, he made no […]

What words have to do with distrust

posted by Rod Dreher

I had lunch today with a priest who said at one point that he had listened to the famous speech the newly consecrated OCA Bishop Jonah (now Metropolitan) gave just before his election, in which he spoke with startling bluntness […]

We can’t escape the human stain

posted by Rod Dreher

I am taking a break from blogging on the Catholic scandal, but I think Michael Sean Winters tells us something important about human nature in this short essay on one of the America magazine blogs. While he is quite strong […]

Culture and our relationship with nature

posted by Rod Dreher

Heard an interesting segment on Morning Edition driving in this morning, a bit about African-American nature poetry. Excerpt: Camille T. Dungy, the editor of Black Nature: Four Centuries of African-American Nature Poetry, calls her book a first of its kind. […]

An ape in a wig with sad blue eyes

posted by Rod Dreher

Is there anything the writer William T. Vollmann won’t try for the sake of a good story? He visits a Japanese make-up artist who caters to Japanese businessmen who secretly want to cross-dress. He discovers, among other things, that the […]

Who in power will speak the truth?

posted by Rod Dreher

David Rieff was in Dublin for the Easter 1916 commemoration, and listened to a military chaplain speak at the official ceremony, delivering what David calls a “brave homily” addressing the ethical collapse of the nation during its recent economic boom, […]

What really killed Phoebe Prince?

posted by Rod Dreher

Yes, says Christopher Caldwell, it was a school administration that didn’t take its responsibility to stop bullying seriously enough. If that were the gist of it, we could pass laws and make administrative remedies for the problem. But: Because the […]

Peggy Noonan meets Cardinal Law

posted by Rod Dreher

This extraordinary passage from (the Catholic) Peggy Noonan’s Wall Street Journal column today. She recaps how American bishops reacted at first to the 2002 scandals, and then says: Does any of this, the finger-pointing and blame-gaming, sound familiar? Isn’t it […]

Talking, but not listening

posted by Rod Dreher

“How little we know, how eager to learn.” — Sir John Templeton Tim Burke: There’s really very little to be said for trying to carry on a conversation (online or otherwise) with people who have nothing but an instrumental view […]

Reason and morality — a necessary connection?

posted by Rod Dreher

Here at Templeton, we have this week posted our newest Big Question series of essays from major thinkers, all answering the same question. The new one is: “Does moral action depend on reasoning?” Go here to read all the answers. […]

Giving scandal

posted by Rod Dreher

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church: 2284 Scandal is an attitude or behavior which leads another to do evil. The person who gives scandal becomes his neighbor’s tempter. He damages virtue and integrity; he may even draw his brother […]

Up with women farmers!

posted by Rod Dreher

So says woman farmer Sharon Astyk, writing in In Character. Excerpt: I was not raised on a farm. My parents or grandparents were NOT farmers. My husband comes NOT from farming people but from an apartment in New Jersey. Both […]

Dale Hansen, mad prophet of the airwaves!

posted by Rod Dreher

Somebody secretly records a drunken Jerry Jones, the Dallas Cowboys owner, talking trash about Bill Parcells and others in a bar, and WFAA, the ABC affiliate in Dallas, runs it as a story. This royally cheesed off WFAA’s veteran sports […]

Sex-mad society scapegoats the Catholic Church

posted by Rod Dreher

News from the world of sexualizing children: PRIMARK have today stopped selling padded bikinis for seven-year-olds in a victory for The Sun. The discount fashion chain began clearing the shelves of the £4 bikini sets after shocked parents slammed the […]

Obesogenia, or, to be American is to be obese

posted by Rod Dreher

We had several threads about obesity here a few weeks back, and I urge anyone who felt strongly about them to, by all means, read the Atlantic essay by Marc Ambinder, who discussed obesity in America and his own decision […]

The power of unlimited love

posted by Rod Dreher

From an e-mail someone who attended Ruthie’s benefit concert sent to me this morning: I cried on my way home after having tears when I pulled into the benefit and saw all of the cars filling the parking lot. The […]

Accountability and its conspicuous lack

posted by Rod Dreher

Father Tom Reese, S.J., has a good column in America suggesting how the European bishops can and should learn from the painful experience of the American bishops in our Catholic Church’s sex abuse crisis. Excerpt: Finally, the American bishops excused […]

The impermanence of things

posted by Rod Dreher

UPDATE: My cousin Kevin just e-mailed an old photo of the cabin I talk about in this post, and one of Aunt Lois doing the dishes in her kitchen in the cabin. I’ve posted them below. Nearly 20 years ago, […]

You’re wrong about cultural change

posted by Rod Dreher

…says sociologist James Davison Hunter, whose presentation “To Change the World” given to the Trinity Forum some years back (available in PDF form here) is the basis of his new book of the same title. I urge you to read […]

Tiger Woods: Integrity for sale, cheap

posted by Rod Dreher

Tiger Woods hits bottom, digs:Preach it, Favog: Tiger Woods is a wreck. His family is a bigger wreck because of Tiger’s appetite for fresh meat. And now Nike gets the perpetrator in a tabloid tragedy to trade on his sins […]

The art and pleasure of working together

posted by Rod Dreher

My favorite article in the current issue of In Character is the Peter J. Marks piece about the work ethic of Broadway stagehands. He saw it up close when the actress Julie Andrews took him backstage to observe how the […]

Walker Percy and our deranged world

posted by Rod Dreher

It’s startling to realize that we’re coming up on the 20th anniversary of Walker Percy’s death (May 10, 1990). Has he really been gone that long? What would he have to say to us today? I wish he were still […]

Penis-mad Dutch bomb the Christian rubble

posted by Rod Dreher

They’ve already all but demolished Christianity in their country, but the Dutch cultural elite continue their fight against a phantom enemy. Look: Perhaps the quietest spot, however, is the Museum of Christian Art, or Catharijneconvent, named for its patron, St. […]

Abandon politics, change the world

posted by Rod Dreher

The cultural conflict scholar James Davison Hunter has a new book out that I’m definitely going to get, criticizes Christian political engagement of both the right and left. From a Hunter quote on Andrew Sullivan’s site: The tragedy is that […]

What it means to be Catholic

posted by Rod Dreher

I know it’s a bit late, but here’s a terrific homily delivered at Easter Vigil by my Beliefnet co-blogger Deacon Greg Kandra, at his Catholic parish in Queens. The theme: “What does it mean to be a Catholic today?” Excerpt: […]

Cancer, death and denial

posted by Rod Dreher

Yesterday’s New York Times published a riveting account of a young doctor who became a leader in palliative care for terminally ill patients, who ended up denying her own training and advice (so to speak) when she became terminally ill […]

Priest/pastor as spiritual father

posted by Rod Dreher

I was thinking this morning after a post-Lenten breakfast with some Catholic friends how rarely, no matter which parish I’ve attended, or church I’ve been part of, I have thought of the priest or pastor as a spiritual father. Credible […]

How to be a successful male prostitute

posted by Rod Dreher

Myrna M. sends along this hilarious column — and I know it’s hilarious because I read it aloud to my wife at the breakfast table, and she doubled over several times — that relays news about the dude who signed […]

‘Mean girls’ really do exist

posted by Rod Dreher

An op-ed in today’s NYT says that the idea that “mean girls” exist in high schools is a myth. Excerpt: However, many of the news reports and inflamed commentaries have gone beyond expressing outrage at the teenagers involved and instead […]

Noonan: Journalists are the Church’s best friend

posted by Rod Dreher

An extraordinary column today by the Catholic writer Peggy Noonan, who wrote a book called “John Paul the Great,” especially this bit: In both the U.S. and Europe, the scandal was dug up and made famous by the press. This […]

Interview with ‘Scarface’ viral director

posted by Rod Dreher

You could have knocked me over with a feather from Arianna Huffington’s pink boa when I opened the following e-mail the other day: Hey Rod, I saw you posted my viral film on your blog. I know you disapprove, but […]

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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