US Civil Rights Commission Targets Religious Liberty

On September 7, 2016, the US Commission on Civil Rights issued a report entitled Peaceful Coexistence: Reconciling Nondiscrimination Principles with Civil Liberties. The report has not received the attention it deserves. Should the next president appoint and the Senate approve judges and justices that agree with its findings, the report will serve as a playbook [...]

What Will You Do When the Persecution Comes?

I know there are plenty of Catholics who are, in one way or another, looking forward to the relentless institutional persecution that is coming our way unless we surrender the One Thing Needful to the secular left, and that is the family-destroying and state-feeding beast called the Sexual Revolution, with its seven heads and ten [...]

Time for Christians to Unplug from Our Secular Culture

Editor’s note: The following talk, originally titled “Remembering Who We Are and the Story We Belong To,” was delivered October 19, 2016 at the 2016 Bishops’ Symposium co-sponsored by the USCCB Committee on Doctrine and the McGrath Institute for Church Life at the University of Notre Dame and is published here with permission of the [...]

Two Newmans and Two Catholic Springs

On a Tuesday in 1852, the thirteenth of July for the literary record since it was a day important for English letters, Blessed John Henry Newman mounted the pulpit of Oscott College, its halls relatively new though designed by Joseph Potter and Augustus Pugin to recall the best of the Tudor times before the depredations [...]

About Those Unthinking, Backward Catholics

Back in 2008, in the weeks leading up to the Obama-McCain presidential election, two young men visited me in Denver. They were from Catholics United, a group describing itself as committed to social justice issues. They voiced great concern at the manipulative skill of Catholic agents for the Republican Party. And they hoped my brother [...]

The New Ignorance Far Worse than the Old

“Education,” wrote Malcolm Muggeridge fifty years ago, “the great fraud and mumbo-jumbo of the age,” had not brought to the mass of men the best that has been done and thought and said, but rather spread ignorance and folly across the land. Muggeridge understood, though he did not feel he needed to say so explicitly, [...]

Why Christians are Blamed for Islamic Terrorism

Syndicated columnist Derek Hunter made an observation in the aftermath of the Orlando shootings that parallels my own impression at the time: If you only watch network news and read the New York Times you easily could come away with the impression that last Sunday morning a conservative Christian man, draped in crosses and screaming [...]

Hedge Schools and Classical Education in Ireland

The first Tuesday of the first full week in May is National Teacher Day, so this seems an opportune occasion to recall a courageous, but little-known group of teachers and schoolmasters who sacrificed comfort and security for the sake of truth, goodness, and beauty in seventeenth-century Ireland. From very early days, classical education was highly [...]

The Crusades: A Response to Islamic Jihad

Following 9/11, there was renewed interest in the Crusades as explanations were sought for the brutal attacks. As terrorist attacks have continued throughout the years, and now with the rise of the Islamic State, this interest in the Crusades has not abated. Unfortunately, increased interest has not necessarily translated into increased knowledge. Prof. Thomas F. [...]

Our Amazing Capacity for Self-Deception

Two years after the Islamic jihadist attack on the World Trade Center, a book appeared which purported to reveal a conspiracy to cover up the truth about a major world religion. According to the book, powerful people, both inside and outside this male-dominated, woman-hating religion, had conspired to falsely represent it as a religion of [...]

I’m Still Alive, and So Are Donohue, Burke, and Pavone

One year ago, Salon ran a rather breathless piece by an anti-Catholic writer named Patricia Miller who danced on the graves of Cardinal Raymond Burke, Father Frank Pavone, the Catholic League’s Bill Donohue, and me. Miller was thrilled to her toes that each of us had in some way become “discredited” and were doomed. So, [...]

The Separation of Charity and State

The years-long assault on religious freedom continues in the United States, as Catholic charities, colleges, and other institutions are forced to comply with—or fight legal battles against—mandates concerning adoptions and employment matters related to same-sex couples, abortion and contraceptive health care coverage, and other items on the growing list of issues on which Church teaching [...]

Guy Fawkes Day in Colonial America

A great bonfire was established on the lower end of the main street… Soon after dark, a rude stage … placed on wheels and drawn by horses, made its appearance, on which was seated … an effigy of the pope, hideously painted, and behind him stood another representing the Devil. Two men with masks on [...]

When Will Amazon Stop Selling Guy Fawkes Masks?

Now that Amazon and iTunes (and a bunch of other places) have decided to stop selling merchandise featuring the Confederate battle flag, can we pressure them to stop selling merchandise with masks of Guy Fawkes, the radical Catholic who was caught guarding explosives meant to assassinate Protestant King James I and all of Parliament (the [...]

The Mythology of an Anti-Christian Bigot

Have a look at this article, whose nominal subject is academic freedom and whose implicit subject is the crudity and ineptitude with which a professor at a third tier state university can go about instructing his students: [Liberty Counsel's] complaint relates to Grace Lewis, a high school student enrolled at Polk State through the Florida [...]

A Catholic Reply to the Charge of Bigotry

Bigotry looms ever larger as a public concern today. Among the educated, articulate, and well-placed, it’s considered an intolerable moral flaw, a revolting psychological deformity, and a totally unnecessary pathology responsible for most of the world’s evils—war, crime, poverty, suicide—you name it. As bigotry has grown in prominence as an issue, what counts as such [...]

Ten Years on … a Big Hand for Dan Brown

Is it really only 10 years since the book named after a genius rose to the top of the bestseller lists—a name linked forever to that true genius, Leonardo De Vinci? The link with the painter, and what his art purportedly represented, was in theological terms to become, for some at least, akin to Darwin’s [...]

What is the Church’s Political Role?

For more than 1500 years the Church was a major influence on Western politics. That is how it should be. Ultimate standards matter, and if the Church doesn’t explain what they are and how to apply them someone else will. It’s not an improvement when her authority gives way to that of journalists, advertisers, TV [...]

A Tale of Two Churches

Once upon a time there was a church founded on God’s entering into human history in order to give humanity a path to eternal life and happiness with him. The Savior that God sent, his only-begotten Son, did not write a book but founded a community, a church, upon the witness and ministry of twelve [...]

“When Will the Catholic Church Come into the 21st Century?”

"When will the Catholic Church come into the twenty-first century?" As a Catholic theologian, I often hear this question posed by non-Catholics and Catholics alike. One of the most important questions facing the Church today, it implies a set of issues that are known to all: same-sex “marriage,” contraception, and divorce (to name only a [...]

Time to Abandon Comfort And Defend Essentials

The issues that now put Catholics in opposition to secular public thought are too basic to ignore. The Church accepts God as our reference point, and views freedom to develop our relation to Him and act by reference to it as basic to our good and our dignity. In contrast, secular society has made our [...]