SPIRITED THINKING SINCE 1888
Ken Craycraft

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
February 27, 2021
For many of us, Lent is more about failure than success: Maybe that’s the point. We begin Lent (much as we did the New Year) with confidence and determination that this time we will maintain the self-control to sustain our resolution/discipline. For Lent, though, we are even more determined because our discipline is ordered toward
February 19, 2021
Republican Senator Mitt Romney, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, recently introduced a child-focused income redistribution bill that resonates with principles of Catholic Social Doctrine. While not perfect, and subject to tweaks and adjustments, the pro-child Family Security Act reflects priorities and creates incentives that resist the traditional conservative
February 13, 2021
On February 5, the United States Supreme Court partially invalidated California’s Covid-related prohibition on gatherings for religious worship. The Court was divided in its reasoning—four separate Justices wrote statements supporting, qualifying, or dissenting from the result—but the holding is a hopeful indication of this Court’s protection of the free exercise of religion. Six of the
February 03, 2021
US President Joe Biden has asserted his policy priorities through a flurry of executive orders (“EOs”). Among these is the “Executive Order on Preventing and Combating Discrimination Based on Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation” (the “Transgender EO”), one of 17 EOs signed on his first day in office. The ostensible purpose of this EO is
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