Matthew Boudway is an associate editor of Commonweal.
By this author
Michael Lewis on "The Trouble with Wall Street"
Helen Rittelmeyer on sex and ambition at Yale
John Banville on Rilke's Letters to a Young Poet
William Deresiewicz on why he's not a novelistor a poet
To what extent is religious liberty reducible to the rights of conscience? That is one of the questions Brian Leiter's new book, Why Tolerate Religion?, tries to answer. It's a question that's been on my mind again since the Department of Health and Human Services announced its new proposal for accommodating nonprofit religious organizations, such as hospitals and universities, but not private employers, such as the Hobby Lobby.
In his review of Zero Dark Thirty, which appears in the February 8 issue of Commonweal, Richard Alleva defends the film's controversial treatment of torture:
Featured on the homepage is Charles Michael Andres Clark's response to a recent column by David Brooks. Clark points out that long-term fiscal forecasts, which debt scolds cite with as much confidence as alarm, are notoriously unreliable, because they assume that the future will be an extension of current trends.
New York magazine's Jonathan Chait on Republican rhetoric about debt:
Because the mere mention of his name reminds them and everyone else that they were wrong about the invasion of Iraq, something most of them still deny and the rest try to forget. The few who admit they were mistaken usually claim that no blame attaches to their error because it was universal: everyone of any importance was wrong, so no one was wrong to be wrong. Conversely, if someone was right, that just proves that he wasn't someone of importance: why else would his objections at the time have been so easily ignored? Or it proves he secretly wanted Bush's foreign policy to fail.
NEW PRINCE, NEW POMP
Behold a silly, tender Babe,
In freezing winter night,
In homely manger trembling lies;
Alas! a piteous sight.
The inns are full; no man will yield
This little pilgrim bed;
But forced he is with silly beasts
In crib to shroud his head.
Alasdair MacIntyre's presentation at the annual conference of the Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture.
I'm arriving very late to this argument—in online journalism, as in presidential campaigns, two weeks is an eternity—but I'd like to add something to what Matthew J. Frank and Ross Douthat have already written about this very stupid post by a very smart man.
Yesterday Paul Ryan gave a speech about poverty in Cleveland, Ohio. The title of the speech was Restoring the Promise of Upward Mobility in America's Economy. As Jonathan Chait points out in his response, the biggest obstacle to upward mobility in this country is not welfare, regulation, high taxes, or any of the other things Ryan worries about; it's income inequality.