Matthew Boudway is an associate editor of Commonweal.
By this author
The term "dhimmitude" originally referred to the second-class status of non-Muslims living in any Muslim-majority country whose laws officially favor Islamic norms and practices. Religious minorities, such as Christian and Jews, may be tolerated in such a country, but they are also discriminated against. In exchange for security they must accept special cultural and legal constraints from which their Muslim neighbors are free. The term is of recent vintagethough its Arab root, dhimmi,is notand it remains controversial among historians.
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.