Children

The Virtue of Piety: The Catholic Response to the Alt-Right

Last week, in the pages of Crisis, Jerry Salyer diagnosed the pagan roots of the growing movement known as the “Alternative” or “Alt-Right” in the writings of French political theorist Alain de Benoist. Salyer’s implication that Catholics should avoid the Alt-Right because of its paganism and innate hostility to Christianity is correct. Moreover, his call [...]

The Supreme Court’s Misuse of Children to Justify Same-Sex Marriage

Of all the misconceived nonsense in the recent Windsor v. United States ruling, perhaps the most egregious was Justice Anthony Kennedy’s insinuation that “the children made me do it.” Windsor declared the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional because it defined marriage as being between one man and one woman. Why was DOMA a problem for [...]

On the Dangers of Reading the Bible as a Kid

Other than regular Sunday readings and occasional rumblings heard as an altar boy, I first began to read the Scriptures at age 12 in the spring of 1963.  It was Lent.  Our teacher, a formidable Dominican nun in full white regalia, laid it down as a project for 7th grade religion that all students should [...]

Chastity and the Child

Jesus said, "Suffer the little children to come unto me…for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven." I’ve suggested in an earlier essay that chastity is but the giving of due reverence to the goodness and the holiness of sexual being, male and female.  A land where chastity—not mere abstinence, and not prideful scorn of [...]

Children of Same Sex Couples

Kids thrive in families with same-sex parents. This is beyond serious debate. The science says so. Get over it. Denying this self-evident truth has become tantamount to homophobia. In 2010 a Florida court, the Third District Court of Appeal, was certain enough to state complacently that: “based on the robust nature of the evidence available [...]

The Unborn Child

The nine months of waiting for a baby can deepen a couple’s relationship and bring them closer to each other than any other time in their marriage. Especially for a young couple looking forward to their first child, there is a sense of excitement and the thrill of the unknown – a strange mixture of [...]

Should the Government be Involved in Marriage?

Some libertarians, notably Ron Paul, say it should not. Another says that is foolish and irresponsible.

Hollywood’s Soda-Pop Statism

  The Hollywood elite's concern for the children stops at the water's edge of physical fitness. They simply do not touch the subject of moral fitness. On The Huffington Post, former entertainment executive Laurie David offered this pre-holiday piece of encouragement: "Thanksgiving Conversation Starter: Is It Time to Ban Soda Ads on Prime Time Television?" [...]

NFP: The Myth of the “Contraceptive Mentality”

A recent Sunday was designated by the bishops of the United States as “Respect Life Sunday.” As we pray and work for an end to abortion, it is well to remember that there is a profound connection between the prominent use of birth control in a nation and the legalization of abortion: As Pope Paul [...]

Did Bishop Finn Deserve Indictment?

Two weeks have passed since the indictment of Kansas City’s Bishop Robert Finn. The bishop’s critics are demanding his resignation, while his defenders protest his innocence. Let’s step back a pace, and put the matter in perspective. The indictment of an American bishop is a big story—a huge story, an unprecedented story. Yet oddly enough, [...]

A Girl’s Lament: Sex, Love, and America’s Teens

Forty years ago, the sexual revolution broke through the last barricades of Victorian propriety. A whole generation drifted toward moral anarchy in its fitful pursuit of sexual liberation. At the end of the day, the casualties of this revolution surround us—AIDS patients, aborted children, and single mothers. But only recently have the intellectual elite come [...]

The Devotion of Aaron Neville

New Orleans. Wet bodies press close in the pit. Their faces red from the daylong parades, the tourists have come to usher in Mardi Gras with New Orleans musical royalty. Like the mosquitoes outside thirsting for a fresh taste of life, the drunk, the sober, and the merely tipsy crowd the House of Blues stage. [...]

Mother of the Bride

My daughter first entered our parish church in my arms, to receive the sacrament of baptism. This August, again in a long white gown, she walked on the arm of her Dad to the sacrament of matrimony. There had been sacraments in between. As she came down the aisle a bride, I saw momentarily a [...]

In the Dough

I was going through some old pictures on the computer the other day. Organizing family photos is a project I assign myself on occasion in order to avoid doing real work. Nothing makes sorting through decades’ worth of jumbled digital images seem like quite so enticing a task as having real work with a real [...]

More of You

A mom recently emailed me a complaint. “You never share stories anymore! I always loved your stories.” It’s true that I regularly used to share stories from my real-life experience as a Catholic mom of many children. It turns out that misery really does love company, and the woes of nighttime teething and tantruming toddlers [...]

The Family’s Not-So-Secret Strength

Coming in the wake of last month’s looting and burning riots in British cities, a UN report pinpointing materialism as a particularly British blight was bound to make the country sit up and take notice. The youths who rampaged through the streets of London and Birmingham seemed to both covet material goods and despise them [...]

Loads to Do: True Tales from the Laundry Room

Of all the crosses that have come my way since joining the ranks of motherhood, one of the most maddening has got to be the fake laundry. For the blissfully uninitiated, I should explain: Fake laundry consists of perfectly clean clothing that somehow manages to tumble out of children’s closets or dresser drawers and onto [...]

Let the Children Come to Me

I remember seriously questioning the existence of God when I was eleven years old. I don’t think I was that unusual; like most children, I wondered about things, and God seemed to be the biggest thing I could wonder about. Unfortunately, very few adults besides my parents engaged me about the Faith -- and if [...]

Air Your Grievances Here

“When is our next meeting?” eleven-year-old Juliette harrumphed as she slouched on the couch beside me. "Because I have a grievance to air.” This isn’t just a melodramatic pre-teen talking; this is our family’s latest lingo. In our house, the “grievances” are real. And we air them at family meetings. A few months ago, it [...]

Marriage Is Heading off a Cliff

For the first time in history, less than half of Americans now live in married-couple households. The new finding by the Census Bureau reflects the most profound change in the nature of American society ever to have occurred, yet practically no one talks about it. Only 48 percent of American households are made up of [...]

Tokens of Love

Four-year-old Daniel recently gave me a picture he drew of me. In the pencil and crayon drawing, I stand smiling, arms outstretched, surrounded by hearts and flowers. I was struck by the fact that it is an especially loving and adoring image. A shrine, perhaps, to Mama. My own mom, a mother of nine children [...]

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