conscience

The Sexual Revolution Turns Ugly

How many intellectuals have come to the revolutionary party via the path of moral indignation, only to connive ultimately at terror and autocracy? ∼ Raymond Aron The Sexual Revolution is now out of control. Initially promising freedom, like all revolutions, it has entered something like its Reign of Terror phase and is devouring its own children. As with [...]

A Question of Perspective

I recently took my nine-year-old son, Karol, to the National Gallery of Art here in Washington. I knew that a nine-year-old’s idea of a fun Sunday was not necessarily looking at art, but I thought he needs some exposure to it and we can do it in limited amounts, maybe once a month. Besides, I [...]

Martin Luther: Defender of Erroneous Conscience

Two trials, two appeals to conscience. Trial 1: I cannot and will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand, I can do no other, so help me God. Amen. Trial 2: If the number of bishops and universities should be so material as your lordship seems to think, then I [...]

When Voting Your Conscience Became a Political Liability

“I do not care very much what men say of me, provided that God approves of me.” ∼ St. Thomas More What is popular is not always right; what is right is not always popular. Notwithstanding the refrain’s chronic understatement, conservatives in America used to appreciate the proposition’s fusty otherworldliness. Conservatives, that is, used to applaud [...]

When School “Tolerance” Stifles the Christian Conscience

People often speak of places of sanctuary, where they feel most free and where they can “breathe.” One such place for me—a former high school teacher—is within the walls of a school. There is something invigorating and God-inspired in having people of different ages, backgrounds, and experiences exercise their minds around common subjects and principles, [...]

How Wojtyla Might Have Answered Cupich on Conscience

In September 1953, a group of 20-somethings and their young parish priest embarked on the first of what would be 26 annual kayaking trips into the wilderness near where they all lived and worked, taking time away from normal life to enjoy the water, the wilderness, and, most of all, a prayerful retreat with each other. This group—Środowisko, as [...]

An Archbishop and the Catholic Conscience

Conscience is one of those subjects about which numerous Catholics today are, alas, sadly misinformed. Despite great Catholic minds such as Thomas Aquinas, Thomas More, and John Henry Newman discoursing at length on the question, some Catholics speak of it in ways that have little in common with the Church’s understanding of conscience. The latest [...]

Why Thomas More is the Patron Saint of Statesmen

Wolf Hall, the recent novel-turned-television-series, raises the question of who is right about the actions and legacy of Thomas More (1478-1535) and Thomas Cromwell (1485-1540). The stakes are higher than many realize. As Mark Movsesian explains: In its biased portrayal of More, British history’s great example of religious resistance to state orthodoxy, Wolf Hall is [...]

How to Form a Real Conscience

“For all I am of poet,” says the stranger to the two men climbing the mountain of Purgatory, the Aeneid was my mama and my nurse; without it, all my work weighs not a dram. And I'd content to spend an extra year— could I have lived on earth when Virgil lived— suffering for my [...]

A Counterfeit Conscience

Perhaps my favorite recorded conversation in English literature is the short chat between Boswell and Dr. Johnson, when Boswell said he wanted to stand for election to Parliament, and Johnson advised against it: BOSWELL. “Perhaps, Sir, I should be the less happy for being in Parliament. I never would sell my vote, and I should [...]

Conscience Freedoms Denied by Liberal Courts

Two recent court cases illustrate the incoherence and remarkable intolerance of “liberal” views regarding conscience. One involves the bottomless pockets of the atheist Michael Newdow, who most recently joined several plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the U.S. Treasury Department demanding the words “In God We Trust” be scrubbed from U.S. currency.  Newdow advocates what Richard [...]

Why We Should Respect Someone Else’s Conscience

The scene is from C. S. Lewis’s That Hideous Strength.  The callow young sociology professor, Mark Studdock, an atheist and a social climber, has been detained in a cubicle deliberately fashioned with odd annoying angles and not-quite-right pictures on the wall.  His detainers aim to break down in him any last sense of the inner [...]

A Foreign View of the HHS Mandate

Perhaps it is because I am a European living in Europe and, thereby, not so entangled in the HHS mandate issue (and have less to lose) that I cannot understand the thinking that surrounds the response of some Catholics in the US.  From where I stand, across The Pond, compliance with the HHS mandate is, [...]

Our First Right: Religious Liberty

 Editor's note: The following remarks by Archbishop Charles Chaput were submitted to the United States Commission on Civil Rights and published March 25, 2013 on Public Discourse. My remarks today are purely my own. But they're shaped by twenty-five years as a Catholic bishop and the social and religious ministries that such work involves; ministries [...]

Muzzling Military Chaplains

One of the items on Obama’s second term agenda is to root out traditionally Christian chaplains from the military. He sees them as bigots unworthy of conscience protections. Like Chick-fil-A, they don’t uphold Obama’s “values.” Obama’s mouthpieces in the military have already blurted this out. In 2010, Admiral Michael Mullen told a Christian chaplain who [...]

The Liberal Meaning of Conscience Denies the Existence of Truth

In a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed, Bobby Jindal, governor of Louisiana, supports “selling oral contraceptives over the counter without a prescription.” According to Governor Jindal, Republicans have “been stupid” to allow Democrats to paint them as “somehow against birth control,” when, he suggests, contraception is a “personal issue,” and every adult “who wants contraception [...]

Latest Critic of Religious Liberty Reveals His Ignorance of Religion

In Why Tolerate Religion? Brian Leiter, author of the Leiter Reports blog and a law professor at the University of Chicago who has an interest in philosophy, asks why Western democracies have sought to promote and protect religion—and religious liberty—in both law and culture. He explores this question because he’s puzzled by it. As he [...]

The God Problem

When St. Paul said in Ephesians 6 that our struggle was not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers, he was not kidding. What we might add today is that the principalities and powers have shrewdly made sure that the struggle is precisely over our “flesh and blood,” over the very meaning of [...]

Lawless Christians

We consider that a person is justified by faith apart from works of the law. –Rom. 3:28 We have believed in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified. –Gal. 2:16 In November, 2008, [...]

Authority and Its Discontents

The Church’s response to the ObamaCare Mandate calls to mind this journal’s original name, Catholicism in Crisis. Today the Church confronts a crisis – “an invasion of our religious freedom,” Donald Cardinal Wuerl calls it -- and the outcome is far from certain. The Mandate is only one in a flood of attacks that will [...]

And Also With Your Spirit

Thirty minutes from now I will stop working on this article and, with that strange combination of eagerness and resignation that animates mothers around the globe, prepare to pick-up my children from school.  Forty minutes from now, one of my children will grab their forehead, let out a low moan, and admit to forgetting their [...]

MENU