In the World
Steve Thorngate on public life and culture
I'm a big fan of The Conversation, the New York Times online feature in which Gail Collins and David Brooks have a casual chat. I think the appeal is supposed to be that the two are reasonable, amicable and witty columnists who clearly like each other a lot. That's all nice, but what I enjoy is the palpable pleasure the hilarious Collins takes in needling the less intentionally hilarious Brooks.
Last week, Faith in Public Life asked Rick Santorum if he agrees with the Catholic teaching that public policy should include a "preferential option for the poor." He appeared to be unfamiliar with the concept.
This year's Sundance festival featured several films offering unflattering portrayals of evangelical Christianity. Alison Willmore raises a good question about independent cinema.
Today the Supreme Court is set to hear arguments for Hosanna-Tabor v EEOC, a major case about church exemptions to employment laws. Wendy Kaminer offers a helpful introduction.
It's been a while since pals Tavis Smiley and Cornel West took up the task of challenging President Obama from his left flank. The talk-show host and the philosopher have taken some heat for their criticism of the president, notably from political scientist Melissa Harris-Perry.
Pope Benedict to the top Lutheran bishop in Germany (paraphrased): Have you heard about these new "evangelicals"? Scary stuff--and they're growing.
This week, a former Google executive asked President Obama to raise his taxes so that more people will have the chance to succeed as he has. It was nice to hear the president defend the idea that individual wealth is built in part by collective investment--even if he didn't state it as forcefully as Elizabeth Warren, and even if he mostly avoided the word "taxes" itself.
Candidate John F. Kennedy: If the time should ever come--and I do not concede any conflict to be remotely possible--when my office would require me to either violate my conscience or violate the national interest, then I would resign the office.