Why Can’t Progressives Talk About Smut?

I have a piece at First Things today (my first ever!) on the uneasiness of modern liberalism when it comes to pornography. Here's an excerpt: Despite much emerging data, including research on the psychological costs of addiction, it seems that the American left rarely talks about porn and culture. A celebrity iCloud hack or the …

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How to Save Christian Music

Let me tell you about a recent Christian concert I attended. There were four bands performing. The first was the warm-up act, a young, shaggy-haired rock band out of Nashville, whose lead singer is, I’m told, the son of a famous contemporary Christian music artist. The boys in this band were talented and had good stage …

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Evangelicals and Toxic Masculinity

One of the worst trends in our culture today is the dominance of identity politics. Now by "identity politics" I am not trying to signal an oncoming conservative diatribe about social progressivism and liberal politicians. The identity politics I have in mind are everywhere--on the right, on the left, down the middle, and even in …

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Movie Review: “The Jungle Book” (2016)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5mkm22yO-bs There’s a really good chance that when you think of classic Disney animated pictures, you don’t think of The Jungle Book. Released in 1967 to positive reviews and solid box office numbers, Walt Disney’s final production before his death nevertheless hasn’t quite found a way to the cultural pantheon occupied by films like Cinderella, …

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What’s Your Conscience Worth?

Bruce Springsteen says he won't perform for North Carolina, as long as the state upholds its recently passed law regarding gender and public restrooms. Springsteen is doing what millions of Americans are taught, in classrooms and in culture, to do: Standing up for his conscience, and drawing lines accordingly. But in our era, the question …

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Hitchens at the Horns of the Altar

Today at Mere Orthodoxy I have a review of the new book The Faith of Christopher Hitchens: The Restless Soul of the World's Most Notorious Atheist. It's by Larry Taunton, a Christian and an academic who became close with Hitchens in the last few years of his life. Part intellectual biography, part spiritual memoir, part "road …

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“Scare-quoting” Religious Liberty

Mississippi passes controversial 'religious freedom' bill. Mississippi Governor Signs 'Religious Freedom' Bill Into Law. Mississippi Senate Passes Sweeping 'Religious Liberty' Bill. All three of those headlines have two things in common. First, they all put scare quotes around the phrase 'religious liberty,' the ostensible purpose of which is to introduce doubt or skepticism that the …

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