• Politics •
October 20, 2004
The reality that Americans are increasingly divided over basic issues of meaning, morality, and politics is hardly a new insight, nor can it seriously be denied. Yet the precise contours of our cultural conflict and the depth of ideological division are difficult to measure. Now, along comes one of America’s major newsmagazines to raise the issue in a new way. The cover story for the October 25, 2004 issue of U.S. News and World Report shouts with the headline: “The Deep Divide–Why Voters for Both Sides Are So Angry.” The article, written by reporter Jay Tolson, provides a helpful review and thoughtful analysis of our present political and cultural divisions. At the same time, the article raises more questions than it resolves.
October 15, 2004
How are we to relate our Christian beliefs to the political sphere? That question has demanded the most careful and faithful Christian thinking for centuries, but recent developments demonstrate that our current post-Christian age presents us with new and ominous postmodern perils.
October 13, 2004
Phyllis Schlafly put herself through college working the night shift at the St. Louis Ordnance Plant, firing rifles and machine guns in order to test ammunition for troops during World War II. Sixty years later, she has lost none of her nerve, none of her energy, and none of her aim. Now, she has leveled her powerful intellectual guns at an out-of-control judiciary, and her new book The Supremacists is a powerful manifesto for our times.
October 8, 2004
Senator John Kerry has been introducing himself to the American people, even as he is running for the nation’s highest office. Through his public appearances, televised debates, and political events, he has revealed a great deal about his political positions, personal history, and plans for America. Missing from this picture is any substantial understanding of John Kerry’s faith. When it comes to his religious convictions, John Kerry is a portrait in paradox.
September 23, 2004
The scandal and controversy at CBS News continues to unfold, even as the network announced a two-person panel appointed to review its now discredited report on President George W. Bush’s military record. The full extent of the damage to CBS’s reputation and credibility is yet unknown, but the Dan Rather-led “Memogate” scandal is certain to become a landmark case in journalistic ethics. Beyond this, it may very well be the final blow to the credibility of CBS News and to network news coverage itself.
September 3, 2004
Over the last 20 years, evangelical Christians have been politically mobilized in an outpouring of moral concern and political engagement unprecedented since the crusade against slavery in the 19th century. Is this a good development? With the 2004 presidential campaign now under way, the issue of political involvement emerges anew with urgency.
September 2, 2004
On the very eve of the 2004 Republican National Convention, former President Bill Clinton took to the pulpit of one of New York’s most famous churches. Aiming his sights at George W. Bush and Christian conservatives, he delivered a message designed to mobilize religious liberals.
August 27, 2004
When it comes to politics, must Christians check their beliefs at the door? That question–and a host of others–was debated at a symposium recently sponsored by the Brookings Institution. Entitled “One Electorate Under God?,” the symposium featured some of the leading names in American politics and academic life. In the context of a presidential election year, the symposium was well timed and well executed.
August 23, 2004
Pop icon Andy Warhol–famous for his bizarre appearance as well as for his paintings of Campbell soup cans–once predicted that eventually everyone in the world would have fifteen minutes of fame. With the rise of the media culture and the cult of celebrity, every single individual, he said, would enjoy at least fifteen minutes of the cultural limelight. Well, it seems that Ron Reagan’s fifteen minutes should have expired by now.
August 11, 2004
The protection of marriage constitutes the great moral challenge of our age, framing not only the 2004 presidential election, but determining the future shape of our civilization. Given the stakes, no issue rivals the question of marriage, for to destroy humanity’s central institution is to launch the greatest social revolution in human history.
August 10, 2004
Postmodernism thrives on a steady diet of the outrageous, as postmodern authors push new boundaries in order to “transgress” conventional morality. But transgression takes on an altogether new meaning when, in Nicholson Baker’s new novel, a central character seriously contemplates the assassination of President George W. Bush.
August 2, 2004
The Democrats left Boston last week, confident that their presidential nominee is within striking distance of winning the White House in November. The 2004 Democratic National Convention generated both media support and public momentum for the Democratic ticket, but at the expense of candor, truth telling, and political responsibility.