Religion and Civic Life

Faith & Terror

THE ENEMY AT HOME: THE CULTURAL LEFT AND ITS RESPONSIBILITY FOR 9/11BY DINESH D’SOUZADOUBLEDAY, 333 PAGES, $26.95 CONSERVATIVES are as deeply factionalized as any other domestic ideological group. But it’s still surprising when one of our own writes a book that manages to make him not only the scourge of the Left but hardly more popular on the Right. Such Read More ›

We Have Nothing To Fear But Fear Itself

Addictions come in numerous varieties: drugs, alcohol, food, sex. How about fear? Many Americans seem almost addicted to the feeling of being afraid, whether of the apocalypse or the common cold. You see evidence of this in the way the news media serve up terrors to their customers. In comments trumpeted around the world, astrophysicist Stephen Hawking recently warned, “Life Read More ›

Prager Shouldn’t Lose His Museum Post

For decrying a Muslim congressman who wished to take a ceremonial oath of office on a Quran instead of a Bible, should KRLA-AM radio host Dennis Prager be punished? Specifically, should he be kicked off the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council? That is what a diverse range of Prager critics — from the Council on American-Islamic Relations to former New York Read More ›

The Limitations of Liberal Pluralism

I had an opportunity last weekend to take a mental snapshot of the Jewish liberal species at Limmud New York, a learning conference held at the Friar Tuck Convention Center in Catskill, N.Y. Of some 900 people present for the beautifully organized smorgasbord of presentations on religious, political and other topics, I was probably one of about five Republicans. I Read More ›

Why Black Theology Makes Sense

Obama’s pastor’s ideas sound racist, but the Bible emphasizes that each ethnic group has a special mission to the world. As Sen. Barack Obama’s chances of being chosen as the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee rise, the more likely it is he will have to answer tough questions about his religious beliefs, especially as they pertain to race. Obama’s pastor, Rev. Read More ›

Get Rich And Prosper

The old antisemitic stereotype of Jews obsessing about money has been re-energized of late in several pop-culture venues. But is this image — dare I voice a heresy — really all that antisemitic? When celebrity book editor Judith Regan was fired by her boss, Rupert Murdoch, the story went around that it was because Regan had voiced antisemitic sentiments. The Read More ›

Before the Fall

If it were non-fiction, Claire Messud’s The Emperor’s Children might have been titled Brats: A Study in Pre-9/11 Liberal Narcissism. I’m glad she wrote it as a novel, though, because neither sociopolitical analysis nor literary fiction — which this is — typically makes for such tense, compelling, cunningly plotted reading as Messud has accomplished here.  Her previous novels were of a certain high-toned, Read More ›

Much Lies Beyond the Grasp of Arrogant Atheism

I’m no longer surprised by the cluelessness of Jewish educational institutions. Thus a friend studying at a certain Orthodox-affiliated college emailed me this week, asking for my definition of conservatism. He explained that he is taking a class in advanced psychology, the specific topic being the “authoritarian personality.” That phrase encapsulates a highfalutin’ slur on religious and other conservatives, inspired Read More ›

Book cover of Darwin's Conservatives by John G. West

Darwin’s Conservatives

In this small but incisive book, Dr. West addresses how Darwin’s theory, contrary to its conservative champions, manifestly does not reinforce the teachings of conservatism. According to West, Darwinism promotes moral relativism rather than traditional morality. It fosters utopianism rather than limited government. It is corrosive, rather than supportive, of both free will and religious belief. Finally, and most importantly, Darwinian evolution is in tension with the scientific evidence, and conservatism cannot hope to strengthen itself by relying on Darwinism’s increasingly shaky empirical foundations.

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Saving the Conservative Soul

The meaning of evangelical leader Ted Haggard’s downfall needs to be well understood by religious conservatives, lest the tragedy be compounded. The pain that has befallen the man — now resigned as president of the National Association of Evangelicals — along with his family and church is the consequence of his poor decisions. What would be worse than his personal destruction, however, Read More ›