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A Tale of Two Symbols: Ground Zero and the Battle for America’s Soul

A peculiar and noteworthy feature of mankind can be observed in the importance we lend to certain pieces of matter. Consider the perilous quests on which men have launched, both mythical and historical, in pursuit of certain objects–like a wooden cup (the “Holy Grail”) and a sheep’s skin (“Golden Fleece”) and tree branches (consecrating our […]

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Religion Versus Spirituality

With the passing of Pope John Paul II there have been more calls from the religious establishment for more spirituality. Indeed, in his first official visit to the gathered faithful in Bari, Italy, Pope Benedict XVI said, “It is not easy for us to live as Christians.” From his “spiritual” point of view, the world […]

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Say No to the “Self-Esteem” Pushers

A recent article in USA Today (“Enough Already With Kid Gloves,” June 1) exposes some of the absurdities committed by the self-esteem movement in education, such as the prohibiting of red correction marks. It seems the color is “frightening” to students, and teachers should use more “pleasant-feeling tones.” But it is dangerous to dismiss such […]

Star Wars: Revenge of the Self

Last May, perhaps the most highly-anticipated new film of the new millennium opened to rave reviews and record-smashing box office receipts, eclipsing another, more modest film that had opened just a few days earlier. Both films were more than just entertaining summer spectacles, or “popcorn flicks,” though they were certainly that. They have something else […]

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Inquisition of the Airwaves

In the run-up to the election last fall, religious conservatives intensified their campaign to censor “obscene and indecent broadcasts” on television and radio. Constant nagging from groups such as Parents Television Council, Family Research Council and Morality in Media met with success: The FCC slapped fines on CBS for an insipid Super Bowl half-time show […]

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A Tribute To Coffee

There is one thing on which our lives depend. It is woven into the very fabric of our culture. It sustains us. It is the lifeblood of any venture we attempt–from the construction of a skyscraper to the discovery of new physical laws. It gives us the power to act just when we think we […]

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Coffee Culture: How to Celebrate the Human Mind

The life of the mind has a friend in modern culture: the coffee house. Sprinkled throughout college towns, dotted at the feet of financial-district high-rises, tucked away in the fashionable corners of middle-America hometowns, cafes wait to welcome the intellectual. Coffee has become more than the tool by which we force sleep from our eyes […]