Adele M. Stan

Adele M. Stan is a columnist for The American Prospect. She is research director of People for the American Way, and a winner of the Hillman Prize for Opinion & Analysis Journalism. Opinions expressed here are her own.

Recent Articles

Goin' Medieval -- A Morass

With his restatement that Catholicism is the "one true church," Pope Benedict deals a blow to progressive Catholics and their ecumenical friends.

I can remember a time when the sound of chanted Latin could soothe my addled soul, before the ancient tongue became the calling card of the most regressive forces in the One True Church, as the Vatican has once again declared the Roman Catholic Church to be, with a bit of curious timing, on the ecumenical Feast of Saints Peter and Paul. The pronouncement, delivered in a document called " Reponses to Some Questions Regarding Certain Aspects of the Doctrine on the Church ," came on the heels of the return of the Latin Tridentine Mass to the status of liturgical legitimacy (after some 40 years in liturgical Limbo ). If you're not Catholic, the controversy over the Latin Mass is doubtless a bit of inside baseball, but to those who lived through the change from the Latin liturgy to one effectively marked "your language here," the somewhat befuddling linguistic transition became the most obvious legacy of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), from which the church's efforts to modernize...

Off the Hook -- Again

The Libby commutation is another in a series of outrageous actions by the Bush administration. "Chronic outrage fatigue" has set in.

Former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby walks towards his car outside federal court after he was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison. President Bush commuted his sentence yesterday.(AP Photo)
The conviction and impending prison term of I. Lewis Libby wasn't much, really -- not in the grand scheme of things -- but it was something . After all, this is a man who was once the right hand of Vice President Richard B. Cheney. In other circumstances -- say, in the administration of a duly elected president -- the conviction of a top White House aide on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice would have been a super-duper big deal. But amid the misdeeds of Bush the Younger, a little lying to a grand jury about what you did, at your boss's behest, to discredit an administration critic (so named, ironically, for accusing the president of lying) is not so spectacular as to warrant a couple of years in prison -- a fate that does not bode well for a guy who goes by the name "Scooter." My fellow liberals are seething today at the news of the get-out-of-jail-for- (well, not quite) "free" card handed Libby by President George W. Bush last night, after the latter, in his statement of...


OBAMA'S MAGIC. So, call me crazy, but there's this thing I do when I'm reporting on speeches designed for motivation and inspiration; I've done it while chasing the religious right, the labor movement, and the self-described religious left. What I'm talking about is opening up the emotional core of myself to feel the mojo wafting through a room, allowing changes in those feelings to link to words, rather than the other way around. It's a surefire way of reading dynamic flows, of getting an undulating view of a moving current rather than a snapshot of a river. And so it was -- now here's where all the fellas get to make fun of me, and my favorite commenter, aimai , can accuse me of internalized sexism -- that I found myself weeping during Barack Obama 's levitational address, during which I found myself embodying a veritable panoply of cliches, including goosebumps and smeared mascara. It's not that the junior senator from Illinois said anything that I hadn't already heard him say: it...


RICHARDSON: IRAQ NO, AFGHANISTAN YES. As part of the phenomenon that Matt discussed a while back, I must confess to having had little interest in the candidacy of former New Mexico Governor and UN Ambassador Bill Richardson before seeing him speak here this morning at the Take Back America conference. It's not like I'm declaring him as my candidate or anything, but he's a good bit more interesting than I had been willing to consider before. (I had nearly choked on the saccharine several weeks ago in his telling of the story, to Paula Zahn on CNN's icky Dems-and-religion night , of his Latina grandma giving him a crucifix to keep in his pocket as a good luck charm when he played in Little League.) But today, he proved to be a most engaging fellow with some serious stands, especially on climate change and energy policy. On Iraq, he's simultaneously including himself among the top-tier candidates while setting himself apart from Obama , Clinton and Edwards by claiming to be the only one...

When the Presidential Hopefuls Talk to God

As the Democratic contenders laid bare the details of their faith at a "religious left" forum last night, they showed how faith-based forces frame our politics. religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States. -- Article VI , U.S. Constitution In what was billed as a special edition of the CNN political program The Situation Room , the top-tier Democratic candidates talked about God. Last night, as I watched Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, and Barack Obama field questions on their personal faith by the likes of the Rev. Jim Wallis of Sojourners and CNN's Soledad O'Brien, I found myself squirming a bit in my chair. There was something unseemly, I thought, about the exercise -- like asking an acquaintance to show you the scars of his recent operation, or expecting a business colleague to tell you what she talks about in bed at night with her spouse. Don't get me wrong; when it comes to matters of religion, I'm fascinated. I'm riveted. And I do think a person's spirituality to be a critical part of her make-up. In fact, one of the great joys of writing so much on religion is the...