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Happy Birthday America


The other night, Turner Classic Movies ran the 1957 film adaptation of the Esther Forbes book Johnny Tremain, the young apprentice who was the Forrest Gump of revolutionary Boston. I remember reading this book when I was probably ten years old and it achieved its purpose. My young mind identified with all the noble sentiments young Johnny discovered in himself, most especially, loyalty to one’s country, which was an exceptional country, a country where, as James Otis says in the climactic scene, “a man can stand up.”

Review: A Partisan Church, Part III


The past two days, I have been examining Todd Scribner’s book A Partisan Church: American Catholicism & the Rise of Neo-Conservative Catholics. You can find part 1 here and part 2 here. Today, I shall conclude this review. It made sense to me to go into detail in examining the first two chapters, not only to highlight how the story begins, but to show how Scribner deftly handles his subject.

Links for 07/01/15


Last Sunday's WaPo had a good, but not exhaustive, essay by Sally Jenkins on the debate over the Confederate battle flag. I concur in her sentiment that we should not erase history, but there is a difference between an historic artifact and a symbol of still present racism. Sometimes a symbol can be both, like the battle flag, and then it is the context that matters.

Review: A Partisan Church


Todd Scribner has written an important book introducing a new generation of Catholic thinkers to the emergence of a Catholic neo-conservative worldview in the 1970s and 1980s. A Partisan Church: American Catholicism & the Rise of Neo-Conservative Catholics is thoroughly fair-minded in its treatment of its subject, as Scribner confines himself to letting Michael Novak, Richard John Neuhaus and George Weigel tell their own stories, with only occasional interjections of judicious criticism and commentary.


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