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The Great Debate: Lincoln’s Legacy
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The Great Debate: Lincoln’s Legacy

The year 1975, for those of us old enough to remember, was a calm and quiet time in the United States. The Vietnam War and Watergate were both over, the riots and protests had ceased, and everybody liked our presiding nonpartisan president, who shared the name of America’s most iconic car company. The music was...

Trail Life: A Christian Answer to the Boy Scouts
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Trail Life: A Christian Answer to the Boy Scouts

When Boy Scouts of America (BSA) announced their decision to welcome and validate openly homosexual boys six years ago, Cub Scout mom Theresa Waning saw the writing on the wall. Shortly after BSA’s announcement, the church chartering her son’s troop, like many other churches across the country, revoked their BSA charter, leaving Waning’s son and...

Dutch Euthanasia Case Serves as Harbinger
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Dutch Euthanasia Case Serves as Harbinger

In 2002 the Netherlands became the first country in the world to legalize euthanasia, formalizing what had been tolerated by the government for several decades prior. Today, however, the Dutch practice of euthanasia is arguably less settled legally than ever before. In September, a doctor was found not guilty of breaking the law after administering...

Between Raising Hell and Amazing Grace
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Between Raising Hell and Amazing Grace

I have heard the following remark, or something similar, made about country music on numerous occasions in my life: “You know, it’s kind of hard to take a guy seriously when he sings about loving Jesus one minute and drinking and cheating the next.” It is always uttered by someone who is not a big...

Zombie Theology
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Zombie Theology

I teach theology courses at a non-denominational, evangelical Christian high school outside of Fort Worth, Texas. We study the history of the Christian faith, work our way chapter and verse through at least 15 books of the Bible over the span of our high school courses, examine all the major topics of systematic theology and...

Letter to the Bishop
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Letter to the Bishop

Your Excellency: A few years have passed since we corresponded. After my last letter to you, I’m afraid I took a wrong path, crashed and burned, and now stagger forward, burdened by more ordinary trespasses. But still a believer, grateful, as Graham Greene had the wheezing old priest murmur at the end of Brighton Rock,...

Can the Greens Change Their Colors?
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Can the Greens Change Their Colors?

Greens often make conservatives and populists see red—or Reds. In 2004, Australian politician John Anderson called his country’s Greens “watermelons…green on the outside, and very, very, very red on the inside.” His fruity metaphor has become something of a conservative cliché. It is easy to see why. Green policies are frequently further to the left...

Hope in Little Platoons
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Hope in Little Platoons

For 26 years, I taught hundreds of home-educated students, including my own children. My checkered teaching career also includes a semester in a university, two years at a prison, and two years in a public high school. During my last 15 years of that teaching, I conducted seminars for homeschoolers in Asheville, North Carolina, offering...

Perot, the Proto-Trump
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Perot, the Proto-Trump

One evening in the fall of 2015, with the unlikely Donald J. Trump already dominating the race for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, I ran into Ross Perot, Jr., at an exclusive charity event in Dallas. Perot is a billionaire real estate developer and the only son of H. Ross Perot, who campaigned for president...

Ride On, Proud Boys!
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Ride On, Proud Boys!

Canada has not done much to assure the world it is anything other than a dog in search of a lap. Americans declared independence from England in 1776, but Canadians still haven’t mustered the gumption to cut ties with the mother island 522 years after John Cabot planted the flag on Newfoundland for Henry VII....

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Resurrecting the Old Right

For those who may have noticed, I’ve been absent from this venerable magazine for more than 12 years. Upon returning, I feel obliged to give an account of what I’ve learned in the intervening time. Aside from visiting my family and doing research for several monographs, I’ve been pondering the vicissitudes of the American right....

Interview With a Condemned Academic
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Interview With a Condemned Academic

Michael Millerman was a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Toronto when he got into trouble. The trouble wasn’t drugs or alcohol, debt, or academic improprieties. Nor was he troubled by poor academic performance. The trouble was that he was reading, examining, and translating the works of controversial political thinkers influenced by Martin Heidegger. His...

Rethinking Big Tech’s Legal Immunity
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Rethinking Big Tech’s Legal Immunity

Should Facebook, Google, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram or other purveyors of internet content be liable for damages if they fail to ensure that what they disseminate is not inaccurate, libelous, or otherwise dangerous and pernicious? There is a bit of law on this, but we are only now beginning seriously to consider this question. And only...

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U.S. Economy Nears Growth Record

The U.S. economy, absent a precipitous decline in payroll employment this quarter, will set a momentous record in July: the longest economic expansion in the nation’s 243-year history. This news is a reminder of the perils of relying on the doomsaying mass media and economists to judge current macroeconomic conditions. “So we are very probably...

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Gun Grabbers Wave the Red Flag

Every man, whether he is conscious of it or not, has drawn a line in the sand behind which he will not retreat. Most Americans have ancestors who defended that line when it was crossed by government tyranny. It is now being crossed in Colorado. Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed into law in April an...

The Death of Comedy
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The Death of Comedy

The left hates comedy. It subverts and challenges the dicta of the liberal hegemony, and is closed down whenever possible. The Left has had notable successes, especially in Britain, where I can point precisely to the roughly two decades in which the free comic spirit operated on TV before the cultural commissars took control. This...

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Let’s Stop Equating Slavery and Abortion

Frequently, pro-life leaders draw a parallel between slavery and abortion. “You Say Abortion Is Legal? The Supreme Court Also Legalized Slavery,” reads one popular bumper sticker. The motivation for this comparison is understandable, since slavery and the Civil War occupy central places in the American historical imagination. By gesturing toward one of the issues associated...

The Left: A History of Violence
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The Left: A History of Violence

The sight of American leftists getting on their moral high horses to attribute blame to conservatives for the growth of political violence in America is exasperating, to say the least.  The dispatch of mail bombs to critics of Donald Trump and the shootings at a synagogue in Pittsburgh were like manna from heaven for these...

Rough Men, Rough Language
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Rough Men, Rough Language

“You can’t run an army without profanity; and it has to be eloquent profanity.  An army without profanity couldn’t fight its way out of a piss-soaked paper bag.” —George Patton My father is an Army veteran, a former auto-body worker, and a retired policeman who for many years worked undercover in vice and narcotics.  Needless...

The Little Guy and the Right
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The Little Guy and the Right

To judge from what is going on in Italy, the only major European country where populists are in power, right-wing populism works, but left-wing populism does not. Populism, they tell us, is a meaningless word. What else, after all, can populism mean but what is popular?  And so, so what? Nevertheless, populism does exist. Here...

Borders and Other Silly Concerns
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Borders and Other Silly Concerns

My housekeeper personifies the American Dream.  Her journey from rags may not have ended in riches.  But she now enjoys a solid middle-class existence after decades of backbreaking labor.  Born and raised in the Mexican state of Puebla, Laura married her first and only boyfriend, Daniel, in her late teens.  The newlyweds moved in with...

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Race and the Classless Society

A few months ago I was on a long plane ride when something rather startling happened: Someone sitting near me was actually polite.  He was in the seat immediately in front of mine, and before reclining he turned to look over his shoulder and asked—asked!—if I would mind if he leaned a little bit into...

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Happy Warriors

For decades, conservative commentators and writers have told anyone who would listen that America is going to hell in a handbag. (An aside: Why do people always go to hell in a handbag?  If I must go to hell, I’d prefer a limousine with a fully stocked bar; some beloved books; a picnic basket overflowing...

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Breeze Over the Border With Me

Let’s conduct a thought experiment.  Imagine that you have just landed at New York’s JFK International Airport after a 15-hour flight from Mumbai.  Although you splurged for a business-class ticket, the extra-large seat, constant parade of food, and infinite selection of video entertainment didn’t help you forget you were trapped in a steel tube 35,000...

Your Pink Hat Is Transphobic
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Your Pink Hat Is Transphobic

If Madonna were a standard white person, her appearance at the August 2018 MTV Video Music Awards—at which she delivered a rambling, self-referential soliloquy about the influences she’d absorbed from Aretha Franklin while costumed in an alarming getup that might, in Hollywood parlance, be described as “Bride of Frankenstein Meets Ancient Egyptian Concubine”—would have brought...

Selling Them the Rope
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Selling Them the Rope

The United States recently came under an attack by an activity so insidious that Democratic leader Chuck Schumer and his Wisconsin colleague Tammy Baldwin joined forces in an effort to demand it be “reined in.”  Massachusetts’ Elizabeth Warren, the Senate’s modern-day firebrand who never tires in her perpetual imitation of the maniacal abolitionist John Brown,...

Teddy Wilson and the Swing Era Vocalists
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Teddy Wilson and the Swing Era Vocalists

Midway through Billie Holiday’s plaintive 1941 recording of “Jim,” there is a short piano solo barely 25 seconds in length—not even a full 32-bar chorus—by Teddy Wilson.  “Jim” is largely forgotten today, but Wilson’s lightly swinging interpretation of the melody is typical of his elegant, rhythmic playing, exemplary for its Swing Era sensibility, and neatly...

The Battle for America’s Mind
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The Battle for America’s Mind

Heralding the rise of the daily newspaper in 1831, French poet and politician Alphonse de Lamartine declared journalism would emerge as “the whole of human thought,” but that thought itself “will not have time to ripen, to accumulate into the form of a book.”  The book, Lamartine proclaimed, “will arrive too late.” “The only book...

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Uber Über Odor

My wife and I obey a simple rule regarding our leisure travel: She makes the plans; I follow them.  Since she enjoys researching hotels and locations, and my tastes overlap with hers, we find it easier for her to do all the planning without any inputs or complaints from me.  This system has worked well...

In Praise of Cultural Appropriation
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In Praise of Cultural Appropriation

Recently I read of a 67-year-old woman who wanted to run in a marathon.  She had never run for exercise in her life, but her desire and passion led her to put on a pair of sneakers, leave the house, and walk a mile.  Every day she walked through her neighborhood, extending the distance a...

The Politics of Morbid Fascination
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The Politics of Morbid Fascination

Rafael Palmeiro has ED.  How do I know?  He told me.  He told you, too.  Heck, he told the whole country about 15 years ago.  He went on national television (while intermittently swinging a big bat—Freudian subtlety is lost on the Madison Avenue types) to say that he was having a bit of trouble with...

The Unmet Mentor
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The Unmet Mentor

Life changed forever for me and my family on June 19, 2015, when tragedy struck suddenly.  In the aftermath, I turned to an old mentor.  In the ashes of our loss and dismal emptiness, I opened A Grief Observed, by C.S. Lewis.  The first line: “No one ever told me that grief felt so like...

Lessons From Libya: How Not to Ruin Syria
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Lessons From Libya: How Not to Ruin Syria

In the aftermath of the U.S.-led air and missile strikes on Syria for the April incident in which Bashar al-Assad’s government allegedly used chemical weapons against innocent civilians, calls are growing for the Trump administration to deepen U.S. military involvement for the explicit purpose of ousting Assad.  Those pundits and politicians who advocate a regime-change...

Syria and Our Deaths of Despair
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Syria and Our Deaths of Despair

Just two days after the alleged April 9 chemical attack in Douma, Syria, TV host Tucker Carlson asked Mississippi Republican Sen. Roger Wicker, “What is the American national security interest that would be served by regime change in Syria?” Wicker responded, “Well, if you care about Israel you have to be interested at least in...

Monumental Stupidity
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Monumental Stupidity

There is a scene in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1959 classic North by Northwest in which the characters look out at a brooding Mount Rushmore from the dining-room terrace of the Sheraton-Johnson Hotel in Rapid City, South Dakota (since renamed the Hotel Alex Johnson).  There are Lincoln, Jefferson, Washington, and Theodore Roosevelt peering back, and shortly after...

Cultural Marxists and the Stranglehold of “Race”
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Cultural Marxists and the Stranglehold of “Race”

One of the subjects that most self-styled conservatives seem incapable of discussing in any depth—indeed, it is one they often flee from like mice before the hungry house cat—is race.  The general feeling always seems to be that anything a prominent conservative might say on the topic—unless he is offering some sort of fearful confirmation...

March Against Middle America
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March Against Middle America

In March, Americans braced for the nationwide “March for Our Lives,” and what they witnessed was the latest battle in the culture war, with children paraded through the capital as nouveaux Jacobins. “This is the beginning of a revolution,” declared anti-Second Amendment activist David Hogg, a teenage peddler of leftist propaganda who has taken on...

Taiwan, China, and Unnecessary War
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Taiwan, China, and Unnecessary War

While America’s attention remains focused on the North Korea crisis, another dangerous East Asia confrontation has re-emerged.  The People’s Republic of China (PRC) is taking new steps to intimidate Taiwan and force the island’s leaders to move toward political reunification with the mainland.  The latest measures aim to make it clear to Taiwanese officials and...

Hogging the Guns
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Hogging the Guns

Facts ruin bad arguments. So let these facts sink in for a minute. According to the FBI, in 2016 murderers using handguns killed 7, 105 Americans. That same year, murderers using any kind of rifle—muzzle-loading, breech-loading, lever-action, bolt-action, or even the left’s dreaded AR-15—killed only 374 Americans. The FBI’s long-term data also reflects this unsurprising...

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Large Is Ugly: Why America Is Not a Democracy

Of course it is ludicrous for anyone to consider the government in Washington, D.C., a democracy, no matter how often it is declared to be one.  The reason is perfectly obvious: With a population of nearly 330 million people, no nation could have a government with anything resembling a true democracy. Let us consider.  With...

A Conservative Tax Code
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A Conservative Tax Code

Few American objects attract more scorn than the federal Internal Revenue Code.  When initially drafted in 1914, it contained 11,400 words, about the length of a long magazine article.  Today, the Code weighs in at about four million words, with another six million in supportive regulations.  Its garbled syntax is easily ridiculed.  Tax attorney Joseph...

States’ Rights and the Left’s Agenda
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States’ Rights and the Left’s Agenda

These days, it’s the left that’s pushing states’ rights.  And for that we can thank President Trump.  As is often the case with America, California is leading the way. First came Calexit, a movement eager to establish a California Utopia, although that was postponed when its organizer, Louis Marinelli, decamped to Russia, his wife’s home. ...

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The British War for Independence

The anti-Brexit hysteria never went away.  “How Brexit damaged Britain’s democracy” was the headline of the regular political columnist “Bagehot” in The Economist (March 30).  One can hold different views on the value of Brexit—but a referendum is a “threat to democracy”?  All subsequent events have pointed to ever-growing economic success.  George Osborne’s doom-laden forecasts...

Corporate Responsibility: An Indecent Proposal
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Corporate Responsibility: An Indecent Proposal

This past semester a group of bored yet curious students at my university invited faculty to participate in a lunch-hour debate.  When the organizers first contacted me they referenced several of my former students who praised my heretical outspokenness as key to my selection.  They hoped I might provoke their classmates into actions more meaningful...

A Free Ride to Clown College
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A Free Ride to Clown College

Not content to suffer quietly under a $352 billion state debt, a crumbling post-World War II infrastructure, and a $65 billion unfunded pension liability in its largest city, the state of New York hastened its impending financial devastation this spring by announcing the latest Blue State special: free college tuition.  Under its preposterous Excelsior Scholarship...

Farewell to P.C.
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Farewell to P.C.

“It is true that Professor Esolen enjoys academic freedom,” said Madame Lafarge, who now numbers among my former colleagues, “but academic freedom must be used responsibly.”  The assembled students, almost all of them from the political left, cheered and clicked their “clickers,” a form of public approbation I had not witnessed or even heard of...

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Sewanee, Deconstructed

“Make it new!” demanded Ezra Pound.  Would he have liked the cover for the outrageous winter 2017 issue of the Sewanee Review, America’s oldest continuously published literary quarterly?  It consists of a mustard-yellow ground on which, in addition to the title, in a new font, are scattered six rough parallelograms, blue, as if scissored from...

Healthcare: Seeking Solidarity Without Socialism
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Healthcare: Seeking Solidarity Without Socialism

Healthcare is a problem, and not merely a sociopolitical one.  If we are to believe the media pundits, it’s also very much a religious question.  Nicholas Kristoff of the New York Times berates Paul Ryan for attempting to repeal the Affordable Care Act on the grounds that Ryans’s opposition to ObamaCare is a denial of...

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Race and Civil Rights

One would expect race-baiting liberals and leftists to try to glorify the “civil-rights movement” and the laws of the early 1960’s, insisting that we view all of it as earth shaking history, more important than the fall of the Roman Empire, the Norman Invasion, the battles of Tours and Lepanto, the Reformation, the American, French,...

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Blurred Lines

What’s with Pope Francis?  What has been his effect on the Church?  To understand the situation we need to look at secular culture, the state of the Church, and Francis himself. Public culture today is atheistic.  It excludes God, natural law, and higher goods; bases morality on individual preferences; and views reason as a way...