The Synod on the Family will address many issues vital to the survival of the family—with one notable exception. It’s ironic that while the bishops are discussing ways to strengthen the Christian family, they are simultaneously helping to enable the spread of a family system that is inimical to the Christian view of marriage. The [...]

The Synod on the Family will address many issues vital to the survival of the family—with one notable exception. It’s ironic that while the bishops are discussing ways to strengthen the Christian family, they are simultaneously helping to enable the spread of a family system that is inimical to the Christian view of marriage. The [...]

I teach first-year rhetoric and composition to freshmen at a fairly large university squarely in the center of the American Midwest. In September, as part of the introductory unit, we cover some basic rhetorical concepts, including the famous “triangle” of rhetorical appeals: logos, ethos, and pathos. Logos, I explain, is the appeal to reason: does [...]

In 1886 a terrible drought turned the plains of Texas to a vast expanse of dust. The United States Congress responded by appropriating $10,000 for seed for Texas farmers, who were in dire straits. This proposal was not folded into some enormous all-or-nothing bill, but was its own thing, to be voted for or against, [...]

What do Catholics do when late-term abortion is declared “sacred ground,” and “gay marriage equality” is treated in our fundamental law as a basic requirement of justice and decency? We should stand our ground, of course, but that’s easier said than done. Man is social, and today he must find ways to live with others [...]

So often in contemporary Catholic and Christian circles, there is a tendency to abandon any reference to Christ and his Church when debating thorny marriage issues in our culture. For those of us in Australia who have not suffered the judicial over-reaching that was witnessed in the US, the debate is still open. Yet, those [...]

Besides doing something about certain lawless decisions made by our black-robed masters, something must also be done about how we came to such a place where they can cast their gaze across the fruited plain and whatever catches their fancy becomes the law of the land, indeed higher than the Constitution. Roe was bad enough, [...]

A recent national news story told of the sentencing to prison of a former University of Mississippi student who, after excessive drinking and with a couple of fraternity brothers, during the night put a noose and Confederate battle emblem on the campus statue of racial justice hero James Meredith. Graeme Phillip Harris received six months [...]

The age of Jenner, Obergefell, and #BlackLivesMatter puts issues of identity at the center of public life. As Catholics and citizens we need to understand what that means. Personal identity orients us in the world. As such, it has both individual and social functions. It enables us to order our lives by telling us what we [...]

Humility and Hubris

Much has been written about the Pope’s humility, and he himself has often spoken about the need for humility. Yet it is possible to detect a certain amount of hubris in the positions he takes on political and scientific matters. For example, it takes a certain level of hubris for a man to take a [...]

In a Washington Post syndicated column published last weekend, George Will went after Pope Francis and his coreligionists with phrases that might have been drawn from nineteenth-century liberal Protestant polemics. Among the Pope’s supposed vices are that “he stands against modernity, rationality, science, and ultimately, the spontaneous creativity of open societies in which people and their [...]

We’ve come to that agonizing point in our political process when each political party must choose its champion. Republicans are trying to decide in whose hands to place their party’s fate. The inexperienced but well-spoken Marco Rubio? Rand Paul, a man of intelligence and conviction who nonetheless selected drone strikes as the issue most worthy of a [...]

A Muslim President?

Would you support a Muslim for president of the United States? That was the question asked of Dr. Ben Carson on Sunday’s “Meet the Press.” He replied, “I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that.” The Islamic faith, said Carson in explanation, [...]

The former students of Pope Benedict have an annual seminar (Ratzinger Schülerkreis) to think about his vast and profound intellectual accomplishments. This year’s meeting was held Castel Gandolfo. On August 30, in the Church of the Teutonic Cemetery in the Vatican, Pope Benedict gave a brief, penetrating homily in German to the group. The general [...]

I have added my name to a friend of the court brief in the case of Little Sisters of the Poor vs. Burwell. Professor Nathanial Oman of the law school at William and Mary proposed and took the lead in writing this brief, which was joined by a number of concerned law professors. It was written [...]

Other than the large numbers involved, one of the most striking features of Europe’s migrant crisis is the level of discourse surrounding it. There is an emotionalism about the subject which doesn’t seem quite appropriate to the gravity of the situation. Momentous issues are being decided on the basis of what Peter Hitchens calls “an [...]

The Bigot Barrier  

It started as a normal day. I sat down with a cup of French roast and signed on to Facebook. Once again, the word “bigot” was being hurled all over the place. We see this word more and more, mostly in disputes over gay "marriage." The thing I despise the most about this word is [...]

As Congress began hearings last week to examine the federal laws guiding the procurement and sale of fetal tissue for medical research, the focus has remained on the role Planned Parenthood plays in harvesting this tissue.  We argue that Congressional leaders need to begin paying attention to the end-stage users in the value chain surrounding [...]

The recent Planned Parenthood videos showing doctors and medical technicians casually describing fetal dismemberment are an instructive slap across the face for all who remain anesthetized to what happens in an abortion. One well-known cable news anchor was visibly upset when discussing the first video with her on-air guest: "Where is your humanity?" she asked. [...]

Catholic and international media are abuzz over Pope Francis’ trip to Cuba, the third consecutive pope to visit this island thoroughly destroyed by the two Castro brothers. The Castros have utterly ruined this onetime bastion of Roman Catholicism with a cruel, morally unconscionable Marxist-Leninist atheism. A dozen Hurricane Katrinas could not have generated the mass [...]

"Times have changed. It's not the nineties anymore." So says a TV commercial for a brokerage firm. Presumably, the lesson is that investment strategies that worked then won't work now: the market has changed and so should you. Times have changed in other respects also. The assumptions that one could safely make about the world [...]

In an incisive talk in Des Moines August 24, Ted Cruz covered the issue of religious liberty in the United States. He was quite aware of the persecution of Christians in the Near East under Islamic regimes. He had a moving chat with the wife of an evangelical pastor imprisoned in Iran. He stated that, [...]