A Brief Word to Book Reviewers

-Sneering dismissal of an author is acceptable to the degree that his book likewise is sneering and dismissive. What works marvelously well in a review of Richard Dawkins doesn’t in a review of Mitch Albom. You might have the same opinion of both writers, and that’s fine! But responding to Mitch Albom as if he’s […]

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You Are What You Click

I commend to you this excellent essay by Gracy Olmstead on our current American news culture. The entire piece is well-worth your time and reflection, but I want to zero in on one particular point Gracy makes. Toward the end of the essay Gracy says that “the news you click on is the news you […]

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Writing Ourselves Off

Freddie deBoer explains why he’s planning to drop out of the freelance business: I just find, at this point, that the process of pitching, composing, shepherding through edits, promoting, and trying to get paid sucks the life out of me. The commercial interests of publications require editors to ask for things that are tied to […]

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Wrong is Wrong, and Hypocrisy Doesn’t Change That

Recounting the events of today: An American comedian posted to social media a picture that included a likeness of the President in an extremely vulgar, grotesque, and at least plausibly threatening context. There was widespread outrage and condemnation of the image. Virtually no one of consequence defended the comedian or her content. Nonetheless, that didn’t […]

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The Ignore Button

So let’s recap: Milo Yiannopolous’s career thus far consists entirely of a rhetorical con. He insists that he is a champion of free speech and that people only shut him down because they are scared by the correctness of his ideas. Meanwhile, he is silly, flamboyantly offensive, needlessly cruel, hopelessly recalcitrant, and endlessly self-absorbed. But […]

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Abortion Over The Atlantic

The first thing readers should know about Moira Weigel’s essay in The Atlantic is its original title. When the piece went live early Tuesday morning, that title was “How the Ultrasound Pushed the Idea That a Fetus Is a Person.” But by 1PM on the east coast, the article bore a new moniker: “How the […]

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Who Framed Christopher Hitchens?

One of my favorite books from 2016 was Larry Taunton’s The Faith of Christopher Hitchens, which I reviewed for Mere-O. I found it to be a gripping spiritual biography of an atheist. No, the words “spiritual biography of an atheist” are not self-contradictory. Atheists have spiritual lives, whether they cop to the fact or not. […]

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It’s the Great Pariah, Charlie Brown!

Scene 1: An online “journalism” site pretends to be utterly shocked to find that two evangelical Christians, hosts of a feverishly popular home renovation show, actually attend an evangelical church, pastored by an evangelical theologian. The site earnestly contends (with no witnesses) that the orthodox sexual ethics of the church’s pastor are “controversial,” and insists that […]

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