Category: Ross Douthat

The Overstated Collapse of American Christianity

Fifty years ago, many observers of American religion assumed that secularization would gradually wash traditional Christianity away. Twenty years ago, Christianity looked surprisingly resilient, and so the smart thinking changed: Maybe there was an American exception to secularizing trends, or maybe a secularized Europe was the exception and the modernity-equals-secularization thesis was altogether wrong.

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Against the Superhero Regime

Two interesting things have been happening in the world of film over the last month. A relatively low-budget, no-special effects movie that places Batman’s Joker in a version of Martin Scorsese’s decaying 1970s-era New York City has become one of the most successful American movies of the year — with clouds of political outrage trailing in its wake.

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Can Buttigieg or Klobuchar Push Biden Aside?

The ridiculous number of candidates on the Democratic stage last night created a fundamentally misleading aural and visual impression. Watching without access to polling data, you might have imagined that this was some sort of wild careening mess of a primary race, when really it’s remarkably consolidated.

There is a Joe Biden constituency that seems stable at around 30 percent of the primary electorate.

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A Healthy Fear of China

“I have seen the future, and it works,” the left-wing journalist Lincoln Steffens famously declared, after observing Bolshevik Russia in its infancy. What was intended as a utopian boast soon read as a dystopian prediction — but then eventually, as Stalinist ambition gave way to Brezhnevian decay, it curdled into a sour sort of joke.

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