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Religion and Civic Life

Where is the rabbi like Richard John Neuhaus?

The death last week of a brilliant Catholic priest and intellectual, a foremost conservative Christian leader in the United States, occasions dissatisfied reflections on the condition of Jewish religious leadership. Where is the rabbi like Richard John Neuhaus? Father Neuhaus died at 72, full of accomplishments. In the days after his passing, writers of tributes compared him to the late Read More ›

My Plymouth Pilgrimage

There must be something deeply ingrained in the human psyche about going on pilgrimages, for when I had a chance last year to take my wife and two small children to visit New England after speaking at a conference, I jumped at the opportunity. What could be more worthwhile than showing my family the cradle of American liberty? I especially Read More ›

God and Man on Election Day

This article, published by National Review, contains an interview with Discovery Institute Senior Fellow David Klinghoffer: David Klinghoffer, an orthodox Jew, believes the Bible is undersold as a political guide. He hopes to make a few sales to voters in his new book How Would God Vote? He recently took some questions from National Review Online editor Kathryn Lopez. The Read More ›

Bill Buckley’s Religion, And My Own

Were it not for William F. Buckley Jr., who died last week, a Roman Catholic with profound and very public Christian convictions, it seems doubtful that I would be a Jew today. Does this sound unlikely? Recently I was complaining to my wife, Nika, about a habit among some of our fellow Orthodox Jews, who talk about what rabbi “mekareved” Read More ›

Rudy of the Good Book?

The Giuliani candidacy has polarized politically conservative Christians and Jews — perhaps less over Rudy’s position on abortion than, more subtly, over a question of emphasis. Who’s right? The Jewish “neoconservatives,” who make up more than half of Giuliani’s star foreign-policy advisory team (Norman Podhoretz, Daniel Pipes, Michael Rubin, Martin Kramer, and David Frum)? Or Christians, like Family Research Council Read More ›

When Democrats Become Instruments of God

In a strange irony, it has come to be the case that only Democrats now speak up for giving a role to faith in governance. Stranger still, they get away with it — which prompts the question: Why? In the accepted vocabulary of liberalism, the word “theocracy” functions as a synonym for “Silence them!” The word possesses awesome power to Read More ›

Photo by Michal Czyz

Tribe and Truth

Here we go again, another Ann Coulter media blowup. This time, however, there is a serious point worth drawing from the episode. Coulter’s latest contested comments were delivered on CNBC to Donny Deutsch on his show The Big Idea. She offered the opinion that Jews need to be “perfected” by becoming Christians. Deutsch, who is Jewish, spluttered about “how hateful, Read More ›

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James’s Faith

William JamesIn the Maelstrom of American Modernismby Robert D. RichardsonHoughton Mifflin, 622 pp., $30 The series of New Atheist tracts that have shot up the bestseller list seem like distress flares launched from the deck of a foundering ship at sea. Surely the enthusiastic reception bestowed on these books, led by Christopher Hitchens’s God Is Not Great and Richard Dawkins’s Read More ›

Every Good Under the Sun Must Be Paid For

I’m always stirred by the seemingly primitive features of Jewish religious observance. On Yom Kippur, celebrated this Shabbat, we read from the book of Leviticus about the sending away of a sacrificial goat to the Judean wilderness, bearing to its death the combined sins of the people. Judaism’s insistence on animal sacrifice must strike many Jews today as embarrassing. But Read More ›

Oh, the Humanity!

Republicans have been racing to decry Idaho senator Larry Craig as “disgusting,” “disgraceful” — the words chosen respectively by Mitt Romney and John McCain. In the competition to appear utterly pitiless, Romney pulled ahead fast. The Massachusetts Adonis himself seems perfect in every way, inhumanly so — except for precisely this same vaguely inhuman quality that, I predict, will prove Read More ›