Pope Bendedict warns France on money, power and greed

Pope Benedict’s visit to secular France and its reformist President Sarkozy has proved to be successful above all expectations, as reported by Vatican newspaper L’Osseservatore Romano. During his Paris homily, at the Esplanade des Invalides, the Holy Father encouraged the 250,000 faithful in attendance to turn to God and to reject false idols, such as money, thirst for material possessions and power. Continue Reading...

The rise and fall of Kwame Kilpatrick

There’s a good read from a state politician familiar with Kwame Kilpatrick, the former Detroit mayor accused of all manner of illicit activity, in the Sep. 12 newsletter (PDF) from Michigan state senator Mickey Switalski (D-Roseville). Continue Reading...

Review: Civilization IV

It took awhile, but after its release in 2005, the latest installment of the popular computer game Civilization IV was received warmly by many cultural commentators. Civilization IV, or CivIV for short, was hailed alternatively as “a video game for the ages,” and “a kind of social-sciences chessboard that blends history and logic into a game that demands a long, long attention span.” Continue Reading...

J. K. Rowling on power

Awhile back I passed along some insight into J. K. Rowling’s view of tyranny, as expressed in the words of Albus Dumbledore. Here’s another bit from Rowling’s wizard on the related topic of power: I had proven, as a very young man, that power was my weakness and my temptation. Continue Reading...

Evangelizing the Powers

As one might infer from Lord Acton’s maxim, the question has been raised: Did proximity to political power corrupt Billy Graham’s chaplaincy to the presidency? GetReligion’s Douglas LeBlanc surveys the recent attention paid by the mainstream media to this part of Graham’s pastoral mission, and concludes in concord with Randall Balmer, “The gospel is better served when religious leaders keep a healthy distance from political power. Continue Reading...

Trickle-down decadence

Anthony Esolen, from the March issue of Touchstone: The most bountiful alms that the rich can give the poor, apart from the personal donation of their time and means, are lives of virtue to emulate. Continue Reading...

Creating Equality by Consolidating Power

Can you find the tension in the lead sentence from this WSJ story on the annual Communist Party meeting in China? Here it is: “China’s ruling communist elite opened an annual meeting that will focus on policies for spreading the nation’s newfound prosperity more evenly and on President Hu Jintao’s attempts to further consolidate his power.” Continue Reading...

Be Careful What You Wish For

Reading through the narrative of king Saul in 1 Samuel, it occurs to me that it is in part an object lesson of Lord Acton’s dictum about the corrupting influence of power, in this case political. Continue Reading...

Green Atomic Power

As I’ve written before, you don’t need to be a climate change convert to believe that nuclear power represents a very attractive alternative to nonrenewable fossil fuels. In this lengthy piece in Cosmos magazine, Tim Dean examines the possibility of nuclear reactors based on thorium rather than uranium. Continue Reading...

‘The poor people’s God, the sinner’s God’

I’m reading John W. de Gruchy’s Confessions of a Christian Humanist, and despite some rather disagreeable elements to his theology, he does have quite a few valuable insights. Here’s what he says in the context of Nietzsche’s derision of Jesus Christ contained in The Anti-Christ: Christians should not disparage the body, human strength and bravery, or the aesthetic dimensions of life. Continue Reading...