Category: Cultural Revolutions

Home Cultural Revolutions
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Extravagant Abandon

On May 22, the Irish people voted by a large majority to permit marriages between two men or two women.  Of the two million people who voted—a 60-percent turnout—62 percent supported same-sex “marriage.”  It had been a very one-sided contest, with all the major political parties urging their supporters to vote yes. Only 22 years...

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Out With the Old

The 1.67 million member Presbyterian Church (USA) has voted to redefine marriage from “between a woman and a man” to “between two people, traditionally a man and a woman.”  Last year’s General Assembly approved the change, which was confirmed by a majority of local presbyteries this year.  It confirms a trajectory starting with the church’s...

Bruce Jenner’s Tears
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Bruce Jenner’s Tears

Did you hear the one about Bruce Jenner?  No?  You missed it?  Well, then, it’s probably too late. A grown man says he’s a woman, shaves off his Adam’s apple (for starters), and shows a former network anchor his little black dress.  You’d think the late-night comedians would have enough material to get them through...

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Eternal Dividends

No one could accuse  M. Stanton Evans, who lost his battle with pancreatic cancer at age 80 on March 3, of becoming a professional conservative.  He was a trailblazing conservative, having been there, for instance, when William F. Buckley, Jr., launched Young Americans for Freedom at his estate in Sharon.  Indeed, Stan was more than...

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France Gets a Lickin’

In March, France was given a good spanking by the European Committee on Social Rights (ECSR).  The issue under litigation was France’s brutishness in allowing the corporal punishment of children.  The mission of the ECSR is to judge whether the signatories to the European Social Charter are in conformity with all of the charter’s provisions. ...

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Star, Dusted

Sometimes I wonder why I spend the lonely night dreaming of a song, but mostly I don’t.  Mostly I don’t, because the nightingale doesn’t tell his fairy tale unless he hopped a ride on the Cunard or the White Star Line.  No, the real problem is what does happen every day or night, and Jon...

Brian Williams’ Job
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Brian Williams’ Job

You know within a few moments of meeting him whether a “celebrity” is going to be a regular guy.  It’s not just the winning smile, or his willingness to pose for endless selfies; it is whether or not he’s matured around a recognizable value system, the presence or otherwise of a due sense of modesty...

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Justice for Tommy

Harvard’s Cass Sunstein recently complained that conservatives’ slippery-slope arguments about the left’s latest push to codify and enforce radical equality are intellectually “lazy.”  Sunstein and his followers give the example of conservative opposition to gay marriage, which often includes the observation that “the Supreme Court shouldn’t force states to recognize same-sex marriages because, if it...

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Blame Bushmaster

The families of nine of the 26 people killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting have filed a wrongful-death lawsuit.  The killings were carried out by Adam Lanza, a mentally disturbed 20-year-old living with his mother, Nancy.  On the morning of the incident, Lanza shot his mother while she slept, took various unsecured...

The Exterminator
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The Exterminator

As John McCain and Lindsey Graham hector us to invade the Middle East once more, we might pause to reflect on a 2001 article published by Zev Chafets, an American-Israeli journalist who is currently the Likud Party’s unofficial spokesman.  (Chafets, as you may know, is the author of  A Match Made in Heaven: American Jews,...

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A Racial Revolution

“My tradition is not to remark on cases where there still may be an investigation,” declared President Obama as he upstaged New York Mayor Bill DeBlasio on December 3, speaking from the White House Tribal Nations Conference.  His statement was not difficult to evaluate for its truth content, but remarkable—even from him—for its revelation of...

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Political Science

The ruckus over Ebola would be funny if the stakes weren’t so high.  Here’s a disease that presents a lethal threat to the general public, but rather than addressing its danger on purely medical grounds, our officials and commentators are subjecting it to political calculation. Rush Limbaugh, for one, knows precisely who’s responsible for the...

Putin’s Valdai Speech
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Putin’s Valdai Speech

In the lands of “Real Socialism,” four or five decades ago, it was a standard practice to denounce the “enemies of the people” without actually quoting their incriminating statements.  I remember the final major press campaign against Milovan Djilas, when I was a preteen in Tito’s Yugoslavia.  It consisted of ritualistic slanders that asserted his...

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An Affirmative Action

The U.S. Supreme Court decision Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, issued last spring, upheld a 2006 citizen-approved ballot initiative in Michigan to amend the state constitution to ban reverse discrimination in public employment, contracting, and education, including at the University of Michigan.  The ruling ends a quarter-century battle that began when David Jaye,...

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It’s a Drag

That characteristic feature of our age, the impressively feckless adolescent indulged by a craven and cynical media, reared its head this past October 15 in the rural community of Randle, Washington.  For reasons known only to themselves, the authorities at the 188-student White Pass High School invited their charges to attend class that particular morning...

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Six of One

Since his election to the Senate in 1984, Mitch McConnell has been the bête noir of Kentucky progressives.  Like Halley’s comet, the slogan “Ditch Mitch” has appeared again and again, and McConnell’s adversaries have made a recurring cathartic ritual of venting hatred upon him.  Time after time, Mitch has come out on top, forcing even...

Farewell, Professor
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Farewell, Professor

Prof. William J. Quirk taught at the University of South Carolina School of Law for 44 years.  In that capacity, he influenced and encouraged hundreds of students. A favorite class was his survey of the Constitution.  Guided by Professor Quirk, students contemplated and discussed such matters as the Articles of Confederation, the Treaty of Paris,...

Fallen Hero
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Fallen Hero

“Let the bloodbath begin.” That was how my old friend, longtime conservative journalist and Chronicles contributor John Lofton, who shuffled off this mortal coil last month, opened the discussion at Pat Buchanan’s house in 1987 when Pugnacious Pat was contemplating a bid for the White House. It was vintage Lofton, whom I knew during my...

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Perry Potestas

Rick Perry, believe me, is no more going to prison than I’m going to bounce into his office one fine day to sign him up for an Obama fundraising dinner (an occasion prospectively disadvantageous to the health and well-being of both statesmen, should they meet in the receiving line). The ins and the outs of...

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War on Whites

Alabama Republican congressman Mo Brooks generated outrage among the usual suspects in early August by telling radio talk-show host Laura Ingraham that the Obama administration’s push for amnesty for illegal immigrants is “a part of the war on whites that’s being launched by the Democratic Party.  And the way in which they’re launching this war...

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Hush! It Is General Lee

With Obama completing the displacement of the American people and the Republicans trying to start a war to detract attention from their uselessness and to revive their collapsed grassroots support, a poor observer barely has time and attention to note the civilizational degradation taking place in Lexington in the old and once-honored Commonwealth of Virginia....

Anniversary of Lies
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Anniversary of Lies

August 10 marked the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon Johnson’s signing of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which Congress had passed three days earlier.  The resolution gave a green light to the Vietnam War’s “escalation,” what in today’s Pentagonese is called a “surge.”  In March 1965, two Battalion Landing Teams of the 9th Marine Expeditionary...

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Nouns Have Gender

“Congratulations!  It’s a boy!” Does that sound like hate speech to you?  No?  Well, obviously, you’re a cisgender bigot. That’s how Slate’s C.S. Milloy sees it . . . Wait, you don’t know what a “cis” is?  What’s wrong with you? In today’s gender-studies-enriched society, a “cis” is a “you,” or “your wife,” or all...

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A Chestertonian Assault

I begin with a confession. Whenever I receive a new number of The Chesterton Review, I groan inwardly and, from time to time, outwardly.  Let me hasten to add that said groan is not a sign of tedium or disappointment—far from it.  But opening those pages means that once again, despite myself, I will be...

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Flipping History

On February 14, Judge Amanda Wright Allen struck down Virginia’s marriage law as unconstitutional.  She began her opinion by quoting from a poetic commemorative address, then followed by incorrectly claiming that the phrase “all men are created equal” is found in the Constitution.  Thirty years ago, this would have earned Judge Wright the ire of...

Die, Sterling!
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Die, Sterling!

Down with a resounding bang comes the wrath of that great moral institution, the National Basketball Association, upon the noggin of L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling.  Boo! Hiss! Get the hook!  And once you’ve paid your $2.5 million fine, Sterling, for the offense of lax language during a private conversation, why don’t you just die? ...

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By the Hammer of Thor

Thor, in Norse mythology, is a pagan god wielding mjölnir, his magic hammer.  His devotees include heathens, pagans, and followers of Ásatrú, a neopagan belief system.  “Thor’s hammer” may now be etched on the headstones of American soldiers killed in the line of duty, following a little-publicized decision by the Obama administration’s Department of Veterans...

Eugenio Corti, R.I.P.
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Eugenio Corti, R.I.P.

With the death of Eugenio Corti on February 4, Italian literature has lost the last of its great masters.  Born in 1921, Corti grew up in the rolling countryside south of Lago di Como known as the Brianza.  His father was a textile manufacturer whose handsome brick factory in Besana had been converted into the...

Bathroom Break
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Bathroom Break

Imagine this.  You send your 13-year-old daughter to her first day of high school.  She goes into the school bathroom, and standing there is a 6′ 2″, 19-year-old male student.  She screams.  But instead of school officials expelling the boy from school and turning him over to the police, your daughter is arrested for committing...

Eugenio Corti, R.I.P.
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Eugenio Corti, R.I.P.

With the death of Eugenio Corti on February 4, Italian literature has lost the last of its great masters.  Corti is best known as the author of Il Cavallo Rosso (The Red Horse), a book that wedded the narrative skills of the European novel to an uncomplicated Christian Faith that belonged to a different age...

Hating Your Own
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Hating Your Own

Last May, an unnamed friend of U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron was quoted referring to the Conservative Party’s base as “mad, swivel-eyed loons.”  This extraordinary outburst illustrates the extent of the rift between Cameron and a large section of his party.  Cameron and his progressive followers have never been a good fit for the Conservative...

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High on Federalism

As the New Year rolled in, lines formed at Colorado pot shops.  Some customers seeking to secure their first legal purchase of Mary Jane had to wait several hours.  Once they made it into the shops they were struck by sticker shock: Top-shelf marijuana (not Mexican ragweed) was going for $400 per ounce.  Of course,...

Robertson Repulsion
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Robertson Repulsion

Duck Commander Phil Robertson is the American Establishment’s worst nightmare, and allowing him simply to exist was not an acceptable option for those who wish to form our opinions and exterminate Christianity from our society. Most everyone has by now heard of the controversy surrounding Robertson’s comments as quoted by a snarky and patronizing article...

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Turkey and Trannies

I don’t blame you for not being up on the very latest from Broadway, that gayest of entertainment venues.  And I’ll admit that I’m not about to enrich your cultural life by bringing you up to speed.  Unfortunately, however, this has broader implications. I write of Kinky Boots, the current Tony-winning Broadway smash about a...

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Eve of Destruction?

Like some of you, I’ve been on the receiving end of an e-mail bombardment from friends who have expressed their shock and dismay over the recent shutdown of the U.S. federal government and the entire political and legislative impasse between the White House and congressional Republicans. I’ve been told by my British, French, and Chinese...

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Nidal Hasan’s Rivival

When Nidal Hasan arrived at the Fort Leavenworth military prison in Kansas after receiving his death sentence on August 28, he was wearing an Islamic beard.  The Koran is sketchy on the exact requirements for facial hair, but many imams, past and present, have argued that shaving the face is haram.  (Whereas trimming the mustache...

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ELCAin’t

In a 1992 episode of the TV show Cheers, the slow-witted bartender Woody is distressed to find out on his honeymoon that he has just entered a “mixed marriage.”  He belongs to the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS), and his bride is a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).  Among Woody’s concerns is...

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A President at Golf

The confusions of our day are so many and so inherent that we have no time or attention to spare for empty issues or nonproblems.  The remarkable situation of President Barack Obama is one that deserves some restraint in judgment, for we may soon find that certain difficulties are part of the deal, not individual...

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Old Heresies Die Hard

The NAACP of North Carolina has seen to it that the moribund century-old teachings of theological liberals are still given voice in state politics. Although few people in the 21st century specifically invoke Walter Rauschenbusch’s Social Gospel, it is very much alive and well in North Carolina with “Moral Monday.”  A creation of the North...

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Amnesty, for the Record

It is not a stretch, perhaps, to regard the Senate vote of over two thirds (68-32) in favor of a mass amnesty of illegal immigrants as signaling the eclipse of the historic American people, those brave and liberty-loving folk who created the United States out of a continental wilderness.  The bill has the Orwellian title...

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Begging the Question

The Defense of Marriage Act is history—a development that should have surprised no one.  I’m tempted to say, “Good riddance to bad rubbish,” but the fact that passing DOMA in the first place was one of the most disastrously stupid moves the Republican Party has made over the past 20 years does not change the...

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Keeping Taxes Highest

A Stalinist show trial was held on May 21 by the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee.  Their aim was to investigate “how individual and corporate taxpayers are shifting billions of dollars offshore to avoid U.S. taxes.”  In the dock that day, Apple CEO Tim Cook found...

Jihad From Within
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Jihad From Within

The last major outburst of Muslim terrorism in London was on July 7, 2005, when four suicide bombers killed 52 people on London’s buses and subway trains.  Of late, Londoners had begun to think that they were safe and that these acts of Islamic terror now only happened in such faraway places as Mumbai, Toulouse,...

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Looking Backwards

Gil Santana had it all: He was the model conservative for the new millennium.  Gil was born and reared in Southern California, naturally, and his given name evoked the rich diversity of the state that had once symbolized the American dream: Kim Kwame Kaplan Santana, each part representing one fourth of his Korean, African, Jewish,...

Conservative Relatives
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Conservative Relatives

Howard Phillips, a giant of the conservative movement and a founding member of the New Right, passed away on April 20 at the age of 72.  A graduate of Harvard University, Phillips was appointed by President Nixon to head the Office of Economic Opportunity with a mandate to shut it down.  When Nixon gave in...

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Syria’s Jihadist Rebels

Although Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and other hawks have urged the United States to put “boots on the ground in Syria,” the Obama administration thus far seems determined to resist such calls.  Indeed, the White House has rejected lobbying efforts even to establish a no-fly zone to impede Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad’s military campaign against...

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Toilet Equality

Right before our eyes, we’ve witnessed a profound change in the way that American society treats the institution of marriage. Forget about the law—state or federal.  This is a cultural shift, and we need to be aware of the way that the shift occurred. We can forget about the law, because one way or another,...

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Demonized

Right-wing extremists are a threat to the peace and safety of good Americans.  Hateful gun-toting Southerners are riled up again and want to invade Massachusetts and New York and deprive people of their rights to abortion and atheism.  So one must conclude from a recent piece in The New Yorker and an article on Patheos,...

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Immigration Deform

I suppose there’s no point in writing in advance about “comprehensive immigration reform,” since by the time this magazine reaches your hands the point may be moot.  The Gang of Eight may well have tossed Congress the perfect bipartisan plan, and President Obama may have run down Pennsylvania Avenue, pen in hand and surrounded by...

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Fiscal Miffed

The House of Representatives, at 10:57 p.m. on January 1, passed the Fiscal Cliff bill, with Republicans voting 2 to 1 against it.  Speaker Boehner’s negotiations with President Obama had been a disaster.  The President’s only concession was his definition of rich, which he raised from $200,000–$250,000 per year to $400,000–$450,000.  Other than that, nothing—no...