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Hats Off to Marianne

It is time this tired accusation that "conservatives haven't conserved anything" be dropped once and for all. I stumbled upon an article by a certain Frank Moeller on the German revolutions of 1848-9 and I nearly choked when I uncovered this gem: In May 1848, a so-called “Hat Emancipation Club” was founded in the Bavarian city of Augsburg as well as in other cities at the time. The announced goal of the club was to “eliminate the annoying taking-off of one’s hat in greeting, in favor of the m

A Modest, But Indecent Proposal

True crime has long held a particulary gruesome fascination for many. As Christians, we know that darkness lurks in the hearts of every man and woman, and some people are just more imbuded with the twist of Cain. However, there are some cultures that all but encourage criminality. Mark Galeotti’s new book The Vory shows that the financial and administrative limitations of Tsarist Russia meant that gangs of horse thieves and other brigands controlled much of life in the more rural parts of the em

“A Father of the Fatherless”: The Implications of Clerical Celibacy (Part III)

The following is the third part of a series dealing with clerical celibacy and its dangers; for those following the argument, it ought to be clear that the author is not a confessing member of the Roman Catholic Church, and so it must be clearly stated: this is not meant to be an anti-Catholic polemic. Rather, it is an examination of the practice of clerical celibacy and the problems it creates in current—and any—conditions. Parts I & II have “primed the pump” in this regard by tracing the h

Empire of Hatred: An Attempt at Defining Liberalism

The first step towards solving any problem is in defining our terms. Oftentimes this first step is also the last, for once we have defined a problem, its solution follows by logical necessity. And accordingly, many of our most contentious disputes arise when we have not been discussing the same thing at all. The task of defining terms is especially important on the political right. For the forces of conservatism and reaction to be effective, they must not only resurrect arguments thought lost lo

Put Ultramontanists In Body Bags

The canard of the papist with the divided loyalties—or, increasingly, any Christian as a matter of fact—is an old but persistent one, manifesting itself in the partisans of enlightened absolutism, the anticlericalism of the Risorgimento and the Kulturkampf, in American nativism, laicite, general secularist and republican opposition to "religious interference" in politics, the latter extending to the present and reaching its apex in the fedora-tipping antics of New Atheism, which at the same time

"Reform, Therefore, Means Rule of the Mob."

In 1858, John Bright, the radical MP whose name is associated with free trade and advocacy for the repeal of the corn laws alongside Richard Cobden, embarked on a speaking tour across Northern England and Scotland to clamor for parliamentary reform, working class enfranchisement, the secret ballot and other measures associated with his milieu. In his speeches, he railed against the lords and peers of the realm (whose strength was "derived from an unholy participation in the fruits of the industr

Underachievers: Nirvana, Green Day, and Generation-X

Toward the end of 1990, you couldn't get away from Simpsons merchandise- from posters, to pajama sets, to pencil toppers- mostly featuring Generation-X's very first mainstream media icon, Bart Simpson. You see, before "The Simpsons" became obsessed with Homer's gradual decline into retardation, the show's initial protagonist was skateboarding prankster Bart- the country's first take on their next generation. And those savvy Simpsons writers seemed to have nailed it. While Bart's driving characte

“A Voice Crying Out in the Wilderness”: The Implications of Clerical Celibacy (Part II)

One of the great benefits of writing in serial format is the ability to receive and respond to criticism as the essay forms. One critique in particular, however, demands an answer before we can continue with our discussion of celibacy’s historic place in human society. Your author has been accused of making a very grave error as regards the model and theological basis for Christian priesthood. This is indeed a terrible accusation since it implies a rejection of a fundamental teaching of Christia