So President Obama has decided that he will not release the image of Osama bin Laden’s body. The reason, he says, is that it could be used for propaganda purposes by terrorist organisations. How about the fact that making public the blood-stained and damaged body of a human being is just plain unpleasant, undignified and quite wrong?
The ornate rituals in Westminster Abbey, and Donald Trump’s investigation of President Obama’s birth certificate have something in common, says Heather McRobie: a very pre-modern fixation on blood as a marker of belonging, and heritage as a prerequisite for legitimacy to rule.
The extraordinary arc of Barack Obama’s popular appeal tells a deeper story of America: of how the relationship between liberalism and religion was forged, then frayed and broken, and how the president’s rhetoric offered the mirage of healing. Theo Hobson asks what, if anything, can be recovered from the ashes of a once-potent compact.