family dysfunction

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 [...]

The Spiritual Roots of Working Class Woes

Secular readers have seen J.D. Vance’s recent best-selling Hillbilly Elegy as the prophetic book of the political year, explaining if not predicting Trumpism, and even as the most clear-eyed, dismal report on the moral state of the new American millennium, zeroing in on our national “family and culture in crisis.” Vance’s personal memoir knows that deep [...]

How Not to Analyze the Modern Family Crisis

The Sexual Revolution continues to inspire an outpouring of new books, not all of which present a benign picture of the consequences. Yet it is still rare for a scholar employed at a state-funded university to weigh in on family-sexual issues with any viewpoint other than sympathy for radical left ideology, and even rarer for [...]

Facing Squarely the Spiritual Roots of Contemporary Violence

Whenever we undergo another mass shooting or terrorist attack, I am struck by the stampede of blame that ensues in the media. The question that always surfaces for me in these moments is this: do we know how to make sense of such evil acts in this age of relativism? It has become commonplace to [...]

Statistics We Refuse to Collect 

“There are no statistics!” cried a critic of an article I wrote for Crisis a couple of weeks ago. I had asked a prominent Jesuit to open his eyes and look at the vast human misery caused by the breakdown of sexual mores in the West. Had I laced the piece with statistics, people would [...]

Islamic Family Values

Just as it’s not a good idea to read too much into the cross tattooed on the bicep of the otherwise threatening biker at the bar, it’s best not to read too much into the occasional concessions toward Christianity we find in Islam. For some Catholics, it seems to be enough to hear that, as [...]

Questions in the Aftermath of the Las Vegas Shooting

While there is not so much mention of it in the media anymore, the American public is still reeling from the inexplicable massacre in Las Vegas, the largest mass murder in history in a country where mass murders of innocent people have become far too common. Some of the usual responses came from the usual [...]

Open Your Eyes Father Martin

Father James G. Martin, S.J., is either a cruel or a foolish man. It does not seem to be the first. But if it is not that, it must be the second, because that alone can explain how a Catholic priest can live in the midst of massive and unprecedented family breakdown, and the chaos, [...]

Transgenderism: A Leftist Weapon Against the Family

The Los Angeles Times recently published an approving article about schools’ introducing kindergartners to gender dysphoria (otherwise known as transgenderism). This topic has been much in the news lately, especially after a California charter school—without notifying parents—held a “gender-reveal ceremony” for a confused little boy. The teacher then read to the other children, now confused [...]

“Family-Friendly” Islam Comes to Europe

“If you want to see the face of Europe in 100 years, barring a miracle, look to the faces of young Muslim immigrants.” Thus said Philadelphia archbishop Charles Chaput at a recent Napa Institute conference. “Islam has a future because Islam believes in children,” he said. “Without a transcendent faith that makes life worth living, [...]

Why the New York Times Now Favors Adultery

The Gallup polling people have issued a new report on the views Americans hold on what used to be called the moral issues. The results are totally expected and still disappointing. We love our contraception. A whopping 91 percent find it morally acceptable. Divorce is approved of by 73 percent. Fornication is okay with 69 [...]

The Half-Made Bed and the More Excellent Way

“The Personal is Political” was a slogan engineered by Marxist feminists of the 1960s and 1970s. Few people realized at the time exactly what that slogan entailed. “The personal is political” should have telegraphed loud and clear that these women intended to politicize every aspect of our personal lives. Many people dismissed extreme feminism as [...]

The Sexual Revolution and the Do-Nothing Church

“Abandonment of Christian sexual morality is the core of the Church’s self-secularization.”  ∼ Gabriele Kuby, The Global Sexual Revolution From time to time, the church finds itself with egg on its face because of its failure to speak out in the face of grievous injustices. The Nazi episode, the Civil Rights movement in the United [...]

The Stuff Nobody Wants

As those from the Depression and World War II eras die, their children are left to resolve a tragic problem that past generations did not face. The problem involves stuff nobody wants. The possessions of parents are no longer prized by many children. The family silver means little to them. Even sentimental reasons are not [...]

The West’s War on the Family

For decades, now, Christians have worried about the progressive push to strip naked the public square by forcing religion into the shadows of a private sphere. Recent events have made clear that this is not the case. Everything is public and political to the secular left. All aspects of our lives are fair game in [...]

Tradition: A Guide for Better Living

Last month I suggested that the most effective argument for taking human nature, natural law, and natural human goods seriously is that doing so leads to a better way of life. It's not hard to see why it should. People do not in fact invent their own ways of life. They're too social, and the world is [...]

How “Progress” Led to the Dehumanization of Man

The controversy over a Super Bowl ad for a snack chip that allegedly “humanized,” of all things, a pre-born human being highlights the deliberate rejection of reality of the “abortion rights” objectors. On its face, as others have noted, the controversy exposes the pernicious obfuscation that a fetus is nothing more than a “meaningless blob [...]

What Would Our Ancestors Think of Us?

What is the worst thing about living near an open sewer? It is not that you sicken at the stench of it every time you leave your front door. It is that the noisome vapors are so pervasive, and you have lived with them so long, you no longer notice it. What is the worst [...]

Because All Lives Matter

Ever since Michael Brown was felled by a white police officer, activists and the media have made the deaths of African Americans at the hands of law enforcement the cause célèbre. Yet, in the year following the Brown shooting, 29 unarmed black men were killed by police versus 2205 blacks killed by other blacks (76 [...]

Satan Shows His Face

By the time Chris Harper-Mercer killed himself on October 1, he had already killed and wounded a number of people at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, and sent the rest of the nation reeling in shock after yet another shooting spree. I will never forget the first time I ever heard of a public [...]

Laity Should Act When Clergy Won’t

Let’s face it: The 2015 Synod on the Family is a mess. I was one who gave Pope Francis the benefit of the doubt. I now have my doubts about him. And I have no doubt at all that some of the men surrounding him are either heretics or lunatics or both. The real question [...]

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