Racelessness is the future of justice

What if the answer to racial tensions in America lay in the removal of race as a necessary identifier of any human person? This question frames a new theory put forward by Sheena Mason, assistant professor of African American literature at SUNY Oneonta, in Oneonta, N.Y. Continue Reading...

The kids are all right, but better with religion

In a classic 1976 episode of All in the Family, the TV character Archie Bunker took it upon himself to baptize his grandson at his local church. He did this secretly, as he explained to God, because his son-in-law was a “dopey atheist” who wouldn’t permit the baby to be baptized. Continue Reading...

Canon law, works of mercy, and human dignity

“All human societies face about the same problems,” claim David Friedman, Peter Leeson, and David Skarbek in their fascinating and peculiar book Legal Systems Very Different from Ours. “They deal with them in an interesting variety of different ways. Continue Reading...

Resolve this New Year to visit Billy Wilder’s The Apartment

Christmas movies tend to be sentimental, to emphasize the struggles that define our society and our souls, but ultimately they are hopeful and even joyful. Humanity triumphs at the end of the story—for evidence, read my series of essays on The Bishop’s Wife, The Shop Around the Corner, Christmas in Connecticut, and Miracle on 34th Street. Continue Reading...

Christmas in Connecticut: the holiday movie that promises you can’t have it all

I continue my series on old Hollywood Christmas movies. After a movie about church as a community, The Bishop’s Wife(1947), and the workplace as a community, The Shop Around the Corner (1940), I turn to a movie about family, the smallest but most natural community: Christmas in Connecticut (1945), starring Barbara Stanwyck, one of the great Hollywood stars, Sydney Greenstreet (the Fat Man from The Maltese Falcon and Casablanca), and Dennis Morgan. Continue Reading...