The Corner

Pariahs Unite!

Almost entirely overlooked in the press last week was the fact that Boston’s Cardinal Law attended a prayer service at a mosque. This is from the Boston Globe report: “During a brief speech . . . Law suggested that religious Catholics and Muslims have more in common with each other than they do with ‘radical secularists who demand that life be seen without God.’ I feel very much at home with my fellow fundamentalists here, who are convinced that God must be at the center of our lives.” First point: Very few secularists in the United States “demand” that anyone else see life as “without God”; what they do insist on is that the Constitutional right of free exercise of religion be respected, and that therefore no one person’s religion can be bindingly declared normative for any other person. Second point: Catholicism and Islam-like Protestantism, Hinduism, Judaism, etc.–are great spiritual traditions that have much to recommend them. But a supposed united front against something labeled “secularism” is not one of them. Take away the pejorative connotation, and all secularism really amounts to is the rest of life not included under the label “religion.” The World Trade Center was a secular symbol; this is not to say that no religious people worked there, but merely that these people, religious or no, worked in a free secular society that didn’t impose religious beliefs, or atheism, on them. Third point: Cardinal Law has become-not entirely justly, as I have argued here on NRO-one of the most vilified people in America. I am surprised that the U.S. media are not calling on al-Qaeda and other Muslim extremists to disavow Law’s support.

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
Elections

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
Law & the Courts

What the Second Amendment Means Today

The horrifying school massacre in Parkland, Fla., has prompted another national debate about guns. Unfortunately, it seems that these conversations are never terribly constructive — they are too often dominated by screeching extremists on both sides of the aisle and armchair pundits who offer sweeping opinions ... Read More
U.S.

Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More
Film & TV

Black Panther’s Circle of Hype

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) first infantilizes its audience, then banalizes it, and, finally, controls it through marketing. This commercial strategy, geared toward adolescents of all ages, resembles the Democratic party’s political manipulation of black Americans, targeting that audience through its ... Read More