Archive for the ‘R. J. Snell’ Category

Religious Freedom and Negative Anthropology

Even as religious freedom deteriorates worldwide, many share a growing unease over liberty’s prospects in the United States. And for good reason, given that the cultural dynamics of contemporary individualism justifies this discomfort and should prod continued efforts to keep issues of religious liberty on the front burners.

As explicated by the noted political theorist Pierre Manent, channeling Tocqueville, the ancients and moderns “are like two...

The Second Immaturity

While Kant suggested that the Enlightenment ended human immaturity by allowing us to think and speak for ourselves, the German theologian Johann Baptist Metz suspects that the “enlightened” societies of the West have now succumbed to a second immaturity. We’re free to think for ourselves, yes, but have we anything to think about, and is any of our thinking done in keeping with the truth or is it merely a tool to attain our...

The Big-Picture Gospel

We have lost our way as a civilization. Having cast off the Faith, we no longer know who we are, why we are, what we are for, or how to be.

Like someone lost in the woods, we exhibit strange and sometimes contradictory behaviors—now rushing this way and that in panicked spasms, now huddled in place, hopeless, waiting for rescuers we no longer believe exist; now stony-faced in resolution, now willing to do, to...

Ploughing in Hope: On Marriage

In Omnivore’s Dilemma, Michael Pollan recounts a trip to Polyface Farm, run by Joel Salatin, the self-described “lunatic farmer.” Rather than raising cattle or chickens, Salatin thinks of himself as a “grass farmer” since grass is the foundation of the whole system of life on the farm, thus requiring particular care and attention.

Consequently, Salatin is careful to not overgraze a pasture, moving cattle quite frequently from location...

Death’s Masquerade: Sentimentalism and Moral Blindness

In these days of darkness, prudence demands a sober look at the stratagems and deceits of the culture of death. One of these deceptions is sentimentalism – its tentacles choking clear thought, courage, and genuine love.

Take a recent example, Ada Calhoun’s New Republic story on Jennie Linn McCormack and “The Rise of DIY Abortions.” Pregnant as a young teenager, McCormack kept the baby, now an adult and in jail. At...