The Lamp

The new Catholic publication's editors declare up front that they "reject the progressive left [as well as] the libertarian-conservative right."


The Jesuits at 112-year-old America magazine must have been surprised to learn there were "no Catholic magazines" in America. That claim appeared in the publisher's statement of the inaugural edition of The Lamp, a Catholic journal launched last spring to fill the stated void.

If you can stomach hubris at such a pitch—and if you're not turned off by a publication declaring up front that its editors "reject the progressive left [as well as] the libertarian-conservative right"—there are insights to be gleaned in these heavy-stock pages. My sense of the world is richer for having read about how Europeans see private firearm ownership and citizen militias not as bulwarks against tyranny but as reminiscent of "the paramilitary units that facilitated not only Mussolini's rise to power, but Hitler's also."

But as in the agricultural context, the gleaning will have to be followed by winnowing, as chaff in the form of throat clearing, smug asides, and tiresome essays on the demonic nature of market capitalism are discarded on the way to the sustenance. Be prepared to work for your bread.