Griswold v. Connecticut (1965)

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 [...]

1965: The Dawn of Our Current Age

Different writers here and there have talked about 1965, fifty years ago, as a year of transition. It was a year in America when trends came into focus, culture was altered, and life changed—politically, socially, culturally, morally, and in the Catholic Church. Perhaps historian James T. Patterson provided the most detailed elaboration on these developments [...]

To be Serious About Contraception

What is a faithful Catholic to do about contraception in a culture awash in them? Are we to make them a political issue, as some kind of prophetic cri du cœur? Should we launch a campaign to overturn Griswold v. Connecticut, the Supreme Court decision that made married contraception a constitutional right, or campaign to [...]

Is Contraception the Hill We Want to Die On?

Using artificial contraception to avoid pregnancy is a mortal sin, according to the teachings of the Catholic Church. While only the Catholic Church maintains this teaching on contraception, it would be a better world if everyone did. Paul VI was a prophet when he told the world that great societal evils would follow upon the [...]

Those Intolerable Catholics – In Locke’s Time and Ours

Often touted as a landmark text in the history of religious freedom, John Locke’s Letter Concerning Toleration (1689) is remarkable in wisely limiting the power of “the magistrate … to do or meddle with nothing but barely in order to securing the civil peace and properties of his subjects,” and thus of granting “an absolute [...]

Interpreting Scripture & the U.S. Constitution

Jesus told his disciples in his famous Sermon on the Mount: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Commonly known as “the golden rule,” this maxim has formed the bedrock of Western ethics for two millennia and is widely considered by philosophers to constitute the essence of the moral law. Yet, [...]

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