SPIRITED THINKING SINCE 1888
Ken Craycraft

June 22, 2021
St. Ambrose barring Emperor Theodosius from Milan’s cathedral, by Anthony van Dyck, c.1619 (Public Domain)   The “Statement of Principles” that about sixty Democratic members of the U.S. House of Representatives released on June 18, criticizing the U.S. Bishops for being, well, shepherds of their flock, is a model of disingenuous prevarication. The Statement claims
June 03, 2021
Group photo of the Justices at the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC on April 23, 2021. (ERIN SCHAFF/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)   In May 2021, the United States Supreme Court agreed to hear yet another case testing the limits of a State’s ability to regulate abortion under Roe v. Wade, the 1973 precedent that
May 24, 2021
Bob Dylan during a press interview28th April 1965. (Photo by Evening Standard/Getty Images) Bob Dylan turns 80 Fifty-five years ago 16 May1966, Bob Dylan released his most critically acclaimed album ever, Blonde on Blonde, the third album in fourteen frenetic months of astonishing artistic creativity. With Bringing It All Back Home (March 1965) and Highway
May 17, 2021
Guy Clark at the Newport Folk Festival, 2009. Photo by William Wallace from Austin, TX, USA CC BY 2.0   American singer-songwriter Guy Clark passed away five years ago this month, on 17 May 2016, at the age of 74. I have used this space to extol other Americana musical artists, including Townes Van Zandt,
May 02, 2021
A member of the Minnesota Freedom Fighters stands guard during Daunte Wright’s funeral in Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 22, 2021. (KEREM YUCEL/AFP via Getty Images)   Can one affirm — without reservation — that vestiges of racism and racist social and political structures are manifest in authentic present disadvantages for people of color, and also sincerely
April 14, 2021
Andrew Sullivan suggests “A Truce Proposal In the Trans Wars” in a recent post at his blog, The Weekly Dish. As usual for Sullivan, the piece is thoughtful, circumspect, and very smart. After a survey of the current terrain in public disputes about transgender issues, Sullivan proposes a series of compromises between opposing camps in
April 07, 2021
At the recent Grammy Awards celebration, John Prine’s song, “I Remember Everything,” won the prizes for Best American Roots Performance and Best American Roots Song. Prine was not available to accept the trophies, as they were presented almost a year after his death from Covid-19. As we are well into the first anniversary of Covid-related
April 02, 2021
The Easter Triduum unfolds Maundy Thursday, Passion Friday, and Easter Sunday, but it isn’t difficult to think of the agony in the garden as Day 1.5: a bridge in time between the Last Supper and the trial and crucifixion. In any event,  doing so fits my purpose in accounting for the events of the Triduum
March 30, 2021
Is the old saw “religion and politics don’t mix” either emphatically denied or profoundly affirmed by the events of Holy Week? Or is it perhaps some tertium quid? While we cannot deny the confluence (or clash) of political identification and religious meaning in the events of Holy Week, neither can we definitively arrive at one
March 17, 2021
We accept the liberal Protestant privatizing of morality but are shocked by a political culture in which morality is privatized.
March 10, 2021
Image: Singer-Songwriter Townes Van Zandt in Concert at “Kult” Niederstetten, Germany (undated) CC BY-SA March 7 was the birthday of the late, great Townes Van Zandt, one of the most influential songwriters in contemporary Americana music. Van Zandt never had significant commercial success. What little success he did have was squandered in a haze of
March 10, 2021
Two competing legislative efforts to modify the 1964 Civil Rights Act are pending before the U.S. Congress. Ken Craycraft has a crack at them. US Congressman Chris Stewart (R-UT) recently reintroduced the Fairness for All Act (FFA) expressly as an alternative to the Equality Act, which passed the House of Representatives but faces procedural headwind
May 04, 2021
Like the sabbath, the economy is at the service of the human person, not vice versa. Thus, the measure of a moral economy is the development of the full human person.
March 30, 2021
Pilate came to flex imperial muscle. With a little shock and awe, he came to Jerusalem to remind the Jews that their primary identification was as Roman subjects.
September 29, 2020
Fr Paul Mankowski SJ, who has died at the age of 66, was a Jesuit priest of immense erudition. A linguist and literary critic, and an extraordinarily insightful analyst of the ills besetting the Church in his time, Fr Mankowski was also an inveterate controversialist who combined Midwestern frankness with his keen intellect and profound