I grew up in the pro-life movement. I’m intimately familiar with the imagery and arguments of anti-abortion activists. A friend of mine who had been pro-choice his entire life recently asked me to explain how someone could be so vehemently anti-abortion, a worldview that struck him as so alien, and this is what I told him: it really comes down to two things. The first consists of exposure to grotesque imagery of late-term abortions. …


Cancel culture, de-platforming, Twitter mobs; we’ve all heard plenty of stories about progressives abandoning the norms of liberalism in the name of fighting social injustice. And sometimes those criticisms have merit. Some of those anti-racism seminars do smack of Mao-era self-criticism circles. And when you see school districts expending energy on renaming buildings rather than getting students back into classrooms (which would do a lot more to improve the educational success and hence life prospects of minority students) you can’t help but acknowledge that the Left’s critics have a point.

Still, I’m much less worried about the illiberal left than…


The roots of the contemporary body positivity movement can be traced back the founding of the National Association for the Advancement of Fat Acceptance in 1969. In its current form, “body positivity”means “accepting the body you have as well as the changes in shape, size, and ability it may undergo due to nature, age, or your own personal choices throughout your lifetime,” says Mallorie Dunn, founder of the body positive fashion line SmartGlamour.*

That seems all well and good. Our bodies do change as we age, though I am slightly uncomfortable with Ms. Dunn’s lumping in “personal choices,” as if…


Hey Ross,

Let me just say that, though I’m neither religious nor conservative, I really appreciate your columns. I read them on the regular. Maybe it’s because I was once a Catholic, and educated by Jesuits, but I feel like I get where you’re coming from, even if I couldn’t stay there myself.

In your column of August 14, “A Guide to Finding Faith,” you attempt to show your more skeptical readers (like me) why believing in God and the supernatural might actually be more reasonable than not believing. You want to show, contra Daniel Dennett, that it is materialism…


There’s a passage in Nietzsche’s Thus Spake Zarathustra that’s become all the rage on the political right:

“Vengeance will we use, and insult, against all who are not like us” — thus do the tarantula-hearts pledge themselves.

“And ‘Will to Equality’ — that itself shall be the name of virtue; and against all that hath power will we raise an outcry!”

“Ye preachers of equality, the tyrant-frenzy of impotence crieth thus in you for ‘equality’: your most secret tyrant-longings disguise themselves thus in virtue-words!

“Fretted conceit and suppressed envy — perhaps your fathers’ conceit and envy: in you break they…


Dear Bill,

I’d like to talk to you about your recent monologue concerning the Olympics and “cancel culture.” In keeping with Daniel Dennett’s four rules, let me just start by saying that I’m a fan; I watched Politically Incorrect back in the 90s; I really enjoyed your movie Religulous; and even in the monologue that I’m about to criticize, I actually agreed with most of what you had to say about cultural appropriation.

(While it is true that sometimes indigenous peoples have seen corporations monetize their art and artifacts even as they struggle to find funding for their schools and…


Before this year, the last time I had slipped on my roller blades for an organized hockey game, I was barely twenty years old. As a kid in junior high and high school, I couldn’t get enough. I played in several leagues, roller and ice. And when I didn’t have league games, my friends and I would schlep our goal and all our equipment up to the church parking lot at the top of the hill overlooking our neighborhood, and play all afternoon until dinner.

And I was good. Even on ice, where I was less comfortable and the competition…


This past weekend my wife and I spent half our Saturday procuring and laying down mulch in our yard. As I covered up last year’s dry and faded mulch with its moist, deep black replacement, I had two thoughts. The first was that all these hours of work were making what seemed to me a merely marginal improvement in the lawn’s appearance. The second was to ask myself, is this “adulting?”

Merriam-Webster’s contains no definition for “adulting,” but according to Urban Dictionary (my go to for all slang terms), it means “to carry out one or more of the duties…


My oldest sons are nine, so 2032 will be the first presidential election they will be eligible to vote in. I’m not sure American democracy has that long. If GOP legislatures and conservative judges keep having their way, it’s only a matter of time before “Election Day” becomes a bitterly ironic farce.

We could do something about this, of course. We could pass the For the People Act, a bill that would ban partisan gerrymandering, undo almost all the voter suppression laws recently passed by Republican legislatures, and even make Election Day a national holiday, among other things. …


I strove with none, for none was worth my strife,
Nature I loved, and next to nature, Art;
I warmed both hands before the fire of life,
It sinks, and I am ready to depart.
— Walter Savage Landor, “On His Seventy-Fifth Birthday”

In The Age of Atheists, historian Peter Watson traces the history of the secular search for meaning and purpose, from Nietzsche’s declaration of the death of God to the present day. …

Dustin Arand

Lawyer turned stay-at-home dad turned history teacher. I write about law, philosophy, and culture, and am the author of the 2015 book “Truth Evolves”.

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