civilization

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 [...]

Why No Civility Is Possible Today

Civility means to act as one would in a settled city wherein law and manners, not force and passion, guide the interchanges of the public order as well as the normal affairs of men within their homes and voluntary associations. Civility presupposes reason, but includes courtesy, compassion, and good taste. It usually involves a written [...]

When the Church Thrives, Cultures Thrive

The current controversy over Pope Francis's apostolic letter on marriage highlights several realities in the Church and the world that are not always so clear. As is widely known, Amoris Laetitia, published last year, seems to leave open the possibility that couples who are divorced and remarried civilly be admitted to the sacraments in the absence of a declaration [...]

Islamophilia Epidemica

Recently Douglas Murray, a British writer and commentator, published Islamophilia: A Very Metropolitan Malady. In this book he describes how political leaders, celebrities, academics and others, are literally stumbling over each other, vying to heap the most praise on Islam as a religion. We’re talking about a religion that, as I indicated in a previous [...]

Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows

“The clever men at Oxford Know all that there is to be knowed. But they none of them know one half a much As intelligent Mr. Toad!” A human being can be at home in the world just as he can feel a sense of comfort and belonging in his own household, or a person [...]

Sir Kenneth Clark’s Mindless Civilization

I'm currently in the midst of watching Sir Kenneth Clark's celebrated Civilisation, first broadcast by the BBC in 1969 and subsequently by PBS. I had heard so much about it, and remember watching it as a child, and was looking forward to having a guided tour of Western Civilisation by one of its most outspoken [...]

A Son of Saint Louis

Samuel de Champlain vindicates the ideal of the Christian explorer who brings the light of faith and the benefits of civilization to the heathen savage.

Sense & Nonsense: Dry and Dull on Campus

One Saturday afternoon in Washington, I chanced to buy a day-old Washington Times on K Street. Walking up 20th Street, I noticed an article entitled, "Virginia 'Prohibition' Cramps Life on Campus." "Oh, those poor dears," I thought to myself, "how can they possibly survive in such austerity?" Coincidently, I had been reading Aquinas on the [...]

Our Tradition: Catholicism and the Bourgeois Mind

The question of the bourgeois involves a real issue which Christians cannot afford to shirk. For it is difficult to deny that there is a fundamental disharmony between bourgeois and Christian civilization and between the mind of the bourgeois and the mind of Christ. But first let us admit that it is no use hunting [...]

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