He’s a walking contradiction,
Partly truth and partly fiction,
Taking every wrong direction,
On his lonely way back home.

—Kris Kristofferson

Andrew Sullivan never tires of reminding readers that he is a Catholic, yet he is the rather odd sort of Catholic who proclaims the “spirituality”—I’m not kidding, the word is his—of sexual encounters between strangers who don’t even bother to reveal to each other their names (what Sullivan calls “anonymous sex”). He also advertises himself as a conservative, but in this, too, he is a walking contradiction. His new book, The Conservative Soul, mixes some important truths about what it means to be a conservative with some outrageous and even zany fictions. At some level, he really does seem to want to be a faithful member of his Church and a true conservative, but he is managing to...


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