health

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 [...]

The War on Fat and the Dumb Ox

In years past, the advice given by doctors to “cut down on the calories” or “go out for a walk more often” was just that: a friendly instruction delivered more or less earnestly depending on the situation. Nowadays, “Thou Shalt Exercise More” and “Thou Shalt Eat Healthy” have become such forceful exhortations that one would [...]

Homosexuality & Diabetes: An Unspoken Likeness

As someone who tries to live a healthy, organic lifestyle, I have noticed more and more that in our culture today one is allowed to say things about people's eating and fitness habits that you would never get away with saying when it comes to their sexual habits. Take diabetes, for example. Diabetes is a [...]

Shutting Down the Debate: Abortion and Mental Health

That there are psychological consequences to having an abortion have been accepted by many in the pro-life and pro-abortion camps. The psychiatrist Professor Ian Brockington has commented: "Some [post abortion] mothers feel like criminals and brood over the dead foetus. Some find it hard to look at small babies and burst into tears when they [...]

How Republicans Surrendered the War of Religion

"Duh." With that word, House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi gleefully delivered a fatal blow to her Republican colleagues who had launched a major political battle against the contraception mandate issued by President Obama's  Department of Health and Human Services. Pelosi was referring to her Republican colleagues who held a congressional hearing earlier that day to [...]

Umbrellas in a Tornado

Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi is fighting for the mandate in Obamacare designed to force all health care plans to provide free (that is without a co-pay) contraception, morning after pills, and sterilization. She insists that this is a battle for women’s health. Those who see this as a question of religious freedom have largely let the [...]

Bogus Birth Control Controversy

President Obama’s mandate requiring free access to contraception with virtually no employer exemption is at core a consitutional threat to religious liberty, not a heated debate about contraception and Church teaching. However, it quickly turned into that. So now that we’re on the subject. Advocates of President Obama’s contraception mandate should admit that its main [...]

False Premises

Earlier this month in a Catholic Exchange piece I said that those in support of the HHS mandate think that the Catholic position prohibiting contraception is irrational; I failed to mention that they also think the prohibition is immoral. This is why, in addition to focusing primarily on religious freedom, we must also directly address contraception. I [...]

From the Beginning: The Father and the Son

Our civilization is full of thinkers who have claimed to know the Father without Christ. Likewise, we find those who claim the Son can be known by study or by philosophy. He does not “reveal” anything but a visionary, a carpenter, a zealot, a revolutionary. What Irenaeus tells us is that getting it right is important for our very well-being.

Some Dare Call it Conspiracy: The Illuminati of Contraception

A mist gathers around the Capitol.  Glowering clouds obscure the sun.  Dark Forces are pulling the levers of power.  The very laws of the land are being forged to enslave freemen (and freewomen) by a sinister power beyond our ken. Somewhere, a council has gathered. Blofeld, Mrs. Danvers, Prof. James Moriarty, Cruella de Vil, Sauron, [...]

Planned Parenthood’s Grand Delusion

Go the website PlannedParenthood.org. You know, Planned Parenthood, around whose rippling banner enlightened opinion rallied last week when news broke that Susan G. Komen for the Cure would, in the near future, cease granting it money. PP — just a big-hearted service organization for women, fighting breast cancer and other female afflictions with might and [...]

Obama Drives a Bishop to Mention Hell

America’s Catholic bishops are princes of diplomacy, highly educated, erudite, men of tact, propriety. They’re asked to shepherd the flock with a long historical timeframe—like, say, eternity. They tend not to have knee-jerk reactions to issues of the moment. And so, it’s not often when a paragon of decorum, namely, Pittsburgh Bishop David Zubik, publishes [...]

Obama Sandbags the Archbishop

  At the end of Sunday mass at the church this writer attends in Washington, D.C., the pastor asked the congregation to remain for a few minutes. Then, on the instructions of Cardinal Archbishop Donald Wuerl, the pastor proceeded to read a letter. In the letter, the Church denounced the Obama administration for ordering all [...]

Of Peyote and “Humanae Vitae”

Religious liberty is at a crossroads in America. On one side are the forces of secularism, who think that religions, like children, are best seen and not heard (and, in truth, not even seen that much).  States like Illinois, California, and New York have been passing laws aimed directly at the ability of religious social-service [...]

A Few Words About Abortion

  Last week marked the 39th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court decision that permitted abortions. Prior to that case, abortion was regulated by each state, and most of them prohibited it unless two physicians could certify that the baby growing in the mother's womb would likely result in the death of [...]

Partial-Birth: The Sequel

The following column first appeared in the March 1997 edition of Crisis Magazine.   President Clinton's veto of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act last April cracked open the facade of principle and consensus that our national leadership had presented to the country. The ideological gulf that exists between the president and the electorate, if ever [...]

The Case for Austerity

Do you remember this summer's debt debate debacle? It ended with the supercommittee, which ended in failure, which resulted in no cuts in government spending. Do you remember the summer before that, when tea party protesters came out in full force against Obamacare and members of Congress who were contemplating supporting it? Do you remember [...]

The Year of Krugman Thuggishness

  In 2008, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman was awarded the Nobel Prize in economics. At that time, it wasn't hard to imagine the Swedes were rewarding Krugman for eight years of blasting George W. Bush. In other words, the Nobel Prize truly matched its namesake: Alfred Nobel invented dynamite. Krugman regularly throws rhetorical [...]

Manure Makers, Yes; Catholics, No

  Under this administration and this Congress — which includes the Republican-controlled House of Representatives led by Speaker John Boehner — the right of Catholics to freely exercise their religion is treated with less deference than the presumed right of stockyard owners to fill the skies with effluvia. I mean this literally. When Congress wants [...]

A Democrat Reaches Across the Aisle on Medicare

  It's highly unusual in a presidential debate for two Republican candidates — the two leading in current national polls — to heap praise on a liberal Democratic senator. But in the Fox News debate in Sioux City, Iowa, Thursday night, both Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney had very good words to say for Oregon's [...]

Free To Die?

  Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman, in his New York Times column titled "Free to Die" (9/15/2011), pointed out that back in 1980, his late fellow Nobel laureate Milton Friedman lent his voice to the nation's shift to the political right in his famous 10-part TV series, Free To Choose. Nowadays, Krugman says, "'free to [...]

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