The Three Stigmata of J.R.R. Tolkien

Understand the thoughts that a person or a nation won’t allow itself to think and you grasp something crucial about that person or nation. Find the source of the barrier that keeps either one from entertaining those forbidden thoughts and you know something even more important. As America stumbles blindly forward into an unwelcome future,…

The Return of Religion

Somalian-born author and erstwhile New Atheist Ayaan Hirsi Ali caused quite a flutter in several dovecotes the other day when she published an essay announcing that she had given up atheism and converted to Christianity.  The Christian writers I’ve read who discussed her essay were of course pleased by it, while most of the others…

Before Winter Comes

I didn’t think it would be necessary for me to start talking about energy issues quite so soon. Granted, industrial civilization remains hopelessly dependent for its very survival on dwindling supplies of fossil fuels, which are being used up at breakneck paces to prop up the absurdly extravagant lifestyles of a handful of rich nations. …