Family Policy

The New Secular Puritan Covenant

Thanksgiving brings back memories for Americans of the Pilgrims and Puritans, carrying out their “errand into the wilderness” to build a “city on a hill,” surviving that first bleak Massachusetts winter of 1620-21. As a kid, I remember that cutting out Puritan hats from black construction paper and taping them to the school windows was [...]

What a Pastoral Church Looks Like

Now more than ever, there are calls for a more pastoral Church. That's a good thing. It's the clergy's job to be our pastors, and who could object to priests, bishops, and popes doing their job? “Pastor“ means shepherd, so we find what pastors should do by looking at what shepherds do, especially in the [...]

Fear Not, Faithful Catholics

Many Catholics, especially conservative ones, obviously aren’t thrilled with the pope’s new encyclical. I find myself once again spending a lot of time explaining to non-Catholics why the current pope is either not a Marxist or is being yet again misunderstood for the 999th time. Frankly, I’ve lost most of my credibility with these folks, who [...]

Imagining a Family Friendly Political Order

Like boiling frogs, we may be forgiven for failing to notice an all pervasive atmospheric change; forgiven but not spared. Whether we can look it in the eye or not, we have entered the era Pope Benedict XVI described as the mustard seed church. Our stature and influence are gone and the world has become [...]

Modern Attitudes Toward Marriage Lead to Loneliness

Two stories last week (one amusing and one sobering) provided material for (gloomy) reflection on love and marriage in the modern world. The first came from Auckland, New Zealand, where heterosexual best friends Travis McIntosh and Matt McCormick celebrated their nuptials this last Friday. A radio station competition provided the motivation for their decision to [...]

The Family Fell First then Faith Followed

The clearest example of the thesis on how family nurtures faith is in vocations. In the olden days larger intact families produced priests. That’s one reason the seminaries bulged back in the baby boom, also why there was something of a religious revival after the Second World War. But today’s two-child, one-child, no-child, broken-up, broken-down, [...]

How the West Really Lost God

A few weeks ago Mitt Romney spoke at a college commencement exercise and encouraged the graduates to marry early and have a lot of children. He used the words “quiver full” taken from the Old Testament. The comment was unremarkable, particularly for a Mormon to make. They are known for marrying early and having quivers [...]

Is Totalitarian Liberalism A Mutant Form of Christianity?

When the Obama Administration began its Kulturkampf against American Catholics my husband suggested to me that if the Church is forced to pay for its employees’ contraceptives then there should be an option clause for practicing Catholics.  An equivalent amount of the Church’s money spent on other people’s recreational sex should be given to faithful [...]

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