Micah Meadowcroft

What’s Your Politics? What’s Your Religion?

Review: 'God's Favorite Customer' by Father John Misty

Josh Tillman has been praying in public under his haha-just-goofing-doesn't-mean-anything-promise Father John Misty moniker for six years now, but never more openly than in his latest album, 'God's Favorite Customer'. The confessional is waiting and there are 10 lush songs to get through owning all the ways he's made sacred love profane, with invitation for our souls to get naked, too. He's hurt his wife, Emma; he has hurt himself; and, Jesus, the Almighty, He won't leave Tillman the hell alone.

Keeping a Commercial Republic

Review: 'The Price of Greatness: Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and the Creation of American Oligarchy' by Jay Cost

Let us begin in the Most Serene Republic of Venice. At its head sat the Doge, elected for life by an assembly that was itself produced by lots and votes cast by a lattice of bodies and councils.

Athens and Yeezy

Close reading the works of Kanye West

Kanye West broke the already broken brains of Twitter yesterday when he indicated a certain degree of "dragon energy" sympathy for President Donald Trump and Trump agreed. He tweeted a picture of his signed MAGA hat, too, poo-pooed Obama's legacy, and also expressed a desire to hang out with everyone's favorite Tolkien-loving Bond villain, Peter Thiel. That's just a bit of West's hot content that prompted Rolling Stone to call his online activities "a real threat," and he hasn't let up.

No Question, These Dogs Can Bark

'The Hillbilly Thomists' live in concert

Objection 1. It seems that a handful of Dominican friars (two handfuls on the album) should not be a bestselling bluegrass band. Bluegrass is Protestant stuff, soulful songs for whitewashed independent Baptist churches and big homey kitchens and not Latin nerds in white habits in Northeast D.C.

The New Instrument of Gnosticism

Review: 'When Harry Became Sally' by Ryan T. Anderson

Directly after a rainbow flag flew in victory above the ramparts of American marriage law, it was borne into battle again. Transgenderism—till then the auxiliary partner in LGBT activism—took up the hexacolor to reenter the legal fray in its own cause.

A Mind to Know God

Review: 'What Are We Doing Here' by Marilynne Robinson

An important part of my education began with a discussion of fairies. Before orientation at my small midwest liberal arts college, I overheard a professor who would become my mentor and friend complain of a student who confessed the existence of fairies and other nature spirits. His elfen creed was this student's act of resistance to the world's desacralization, a gesture of defiance at modernity's disenchantment. My friend understood the sentiment, sympathized with this desire for Narnia, but objected on the rather Chestertonian grounds that creation was plenty miraculous and magical enough without Puck dancing in sacred groves. He objected as a Christian and as a scholar of the early modern. The novelist Marilynne Robinson, had she met the student, might have gently responded in much the same way for much the same reasons.

Myths, True and Otherwise

Review: '12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos' by Jordan Peterson

Jordan Peterson is fast emerging as something like the C.S. Lewis of our time. More than half a century on, he seeks to answer many of the same questions with like pastoral care, and his influence and audience, while not now as general as Lewis's was in 1947 when he appeared on the cover of Time, is strikingly similar—people frightened by the events and cultural shifts of their time.

Checks And Balances

Review: 'Brutus: The Noble Conspirator' by Kathryn Tempest

Americans will never tire of comparing America to Rome. Such comparisons are carved in stone in the foundations and facades of our capital, and only slightly more subtly in the construction of our country. Which is perhaps unfortunate for a scholar such as Kathryn Tempest, senior lecturer in Latin literature and Roman history at the University of Roehampton in London. What in England can be read rightly as an impressive and accessible work of academic biography, must here seem a mirror to our strange and troubled times. Such is the fate of Tempest's excellent Brutus: The Noble Conspirator.

The Word in Time and Space

Review: The Museum of the Bible

Of the Bible's significance, nothing can be added to two sentences at the heart of Deuteronomy's Shema. "And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up."