2012 Presidential Race

The Tyranny of Tolerance

When the Supreme Court re-defined marriage in the Obergefell v. Hodges decision to include same-sex relationships, it was immediately clear that this sea change would create a conflict between this newly-discovered constitutional right, and the first freedom listed in the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights: the right of religious liberty. Everyone from pundits [...]

Liberal Catholic Critics of Paul Ryan Misread Catholic Social Thought

In Kenneth D. Whitehead’s short essay in this magazine, the recent liberal Catholic manifesto, All on Our Shoulders, is helpfully but incompletely criticized.  At the core of his argument rests the claim that the document constructs a straw man out of Paul Ryan's 2005 address to the Atlas Society, in which Ryan praised the free [...]

Envy and the Undoing of American Mores

One exchange in the second Presidential debate caught my imagination. It was the one in which Mr Romney asked Mr Obama whether he ever thought about his pension, and Mr Obama replied that he did not, but that he was sure that it was smaller than Mr Romney’s. Of course, Mr Romney’s question was itself [...]

The Conservative’s Right Mind: A Reply to David Brooks

Writing about the Republican National Convention in August, New York Times columnist David Brooks fretted that the Republican Party has been captured by a “hyperindividualistic mentality,” and he commended Condoleezza Rice’s celebration of “larger national goals—the long national struggle to extend benefits and to mobilize all human potential.” Last month Brooks reinforced this claim by [...]

Mitt Romney Must Learn the Language of Life

Not long ago in Iowa Governor Romney caused a slight kerfuffle when he said he did not have any specific legislative proposals for the right to life. Almost immediately he added that he would, however, reinstitute Mexico City Policy. Ho-hum. Mexico City Policy is often touted by candidates and by office holders as pro-life bona [...]

Does Paul Ryan Threaten the Common Good?

An organization called Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good came out on October 9 with what it announced was a “Catholic Call to Protect the Endangered Common Good.” It is entitled “On All of Our Shoulders,” and it has no less than 157 signatories describing themselves as “Catholic theologians, academics, and ministers concerned for [...]

Catholics in the Tank for Obama

During a campaign event in 2011, a feminist stopped Barack Obama in mid-speech to ask him if he supported free contraceptives. Obama replied: "Darn tootin'!" According to Obama's secularist philosophy, this invented right to free contraceptives trumps the First Amendment's right to religious freedom. If religious employers object to financing the sex lives of their [...]

I Was Right for the Wrong Reason

It would be both dishonest and absurdly ironic (since my October 17 article in Crisis was about intellectual integrity) if I were to fail to point out and correct a rather serious oversight that it contained. I stated that the Church teaches that to vote for a candidate who supports abortion is to be complicit [...]

A Dime’s Worth of Difference: What the Second Presidential Debate Reveals

The most interesting moment of the second 2012 presidential debate came in the final minutes, when Barry Green, the last of the 82 supposedly undecided voters handpicked by the Gallup Poll, asked Governor Mitt Romney to describe the biggest misperception that the American people have about him as a person and a candidate. Predictably, he [...]

A Case of Missing Integrity: Why Catholics Can Not Vote for Barack Obama

Lord Peter Wimsey, that aristocratic and debonair sleuth, remarked that “The first thing a principle does is to get someone killed.” He said so in the middle of Dorothy Sayer’s delightful book Gaudy Night, which, aside from being an entertaining mystery story is a book about intellectual integrity. What he meant was this: the moment [...]

Mitt and Me: Romney at Cranbrook—a Personal Glimpse

What interesting timing. I had recently planned a column on my observations about Mitt Romney at Cranbrook. Why? Not because of anything in the news related to Cranbrook—at least not yet—but because our careers there (mine and Mitt’s) overlapped. Then The Washington Post released its story about the young, alleged bully, Mitt Romney. Now my [...]

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