immigration / migration / refugees

What is Multiculturalism and Should We Embrace It?

Multiculturalism is a thorny topic. It is also a topic on which any truly rational discussion is very difficult. The problem is that many people equate criticism of multiculturalism with racism. Since nobody wants to be accused of racism (quite rightly), it is easier and safer to avoid talking about anything that might get one [...]

The New Age of Anxiety: Navigating the European Wasteland

The Sibyl of Cumae is one of those mysterious figures from antiquity. She was a prophetess and priestess of the ancient world. In his Metamorphoses Ovid relates that the god Apollo offered the Sibyl any wish she desired. “I pointed to a heap of dust collected there,” the Sibyl later explains to Aeneas, “and foolishly [...]

Feeling Good vs. Doing Good

How do you explain the fact that so many people support disastrous public policies? According to polls, a majority of young people want Bernie Sanders to be the next president. Yet socialist policies of the type advocated by Sanders reliably lead to basket-case economies such as in Cuba, Venezuela, and North Korea. Likewise, the welcoming [...]

Giving Preference to Christian Migrants 

Since last fall, few political issues have both dominated international newspaper headlines and triggered debate within the Catholic hierarchy as much as the so-called migrant crisis. Recently, many thousands of people, mostly Muslims, have been trying to flee oppressive political regimes, wars, and difficult economies in the Middle East and Africa for the West, especially [...]

On Doors, Windows, Fences, Bridges, and Walls

The recent spat of words between Pope Francis and Donald Trump over the relative merits of bridges and walls deserves some further comment. Both words, “bridge” and “wall,” have their precise meanings. As such, though they are not the same thing, they are not opposed to each other. We need them both. If we try [...]

The New Literalism and Fundamentalism

Catholics—even more so liberal Catholics—are usually quick to criticize anyone who seems to interpret Scripture too literally. Indeed, liberal Catholics often don’t even want to view a lot of it as historical. Liberal Catholics and leftists generally are also ready to rebuke people who adhere to aspects of traditional Christian morality, especially sexual matters, as [...]

Dominance and Submission in Cologne and the Persian Gulf

Under the Islamic dhimmi system, when Christians paid the jizya tax, they were often required to kneel before the local Muslim dignitary as a sign of submission. Sometimes the tax collector would deliver a slap to the face as an added humiliation. This was in accordance with the Koranic injunction that non-Muslims must not only [...]

Priority Should be Given to Christian Refugees

“Dhimmitude,” like takfir and sharia, is a word of which Americans were happily ignorant not so long ago. Events, unfortunately, have expanded our Arabic vocabulary. As with other Islamic concepts, the meaning of dhimmitude, even its existence, is contested among Muslims. And misuse is not always merely semantic for those prone to issuing fatwas. No [...]

Epiphany Brings Thoughts of Christian Persecution in the East

Being a New Yorker, I only go to the top of the Empire State Building about once every thirty-five years, and I have been to the Statue of Liberty just twice. Merely once in my life have I welcomed the new year in Times Square, and I had the impression that I was the only [...]

Medina—The First Muslim Refugee Resettlement Program

With all the talk about the Syrian refugees, one point is often overlooked. Much of the debate focuses on the question of whether or not the refugees can be reliably vetted. If they can be certified as one hundred percent terrorist-free, then, presumably, the resettlement can safely proceed. But even if every terrorist could be [...]

The End of Europe

In his Mémoires d’Espoir, the leader of Free France during World War II and the founder of the Fifth Republic, General Charles de Gaulle, wrote at length about a subject on many people’s minds today—Europe. Though often portrayed as passionately French to the point of incorrigibility, de Gaulle was, in his own way, quintessentially European. For [...]

More Thoughts About Immigration—and Some Suggestions

As I noted last month, the basic function of government, like the basic function of authority in the family, is to look after the common good of the community being governed. For that reason, policymakers should take very seriously the effect of immigration on their own countries, and commentators should discuss those effects fully and honestly. [...]

What the Migrant Crisis Means for the Future of the West

For months, the news has been flooded with stories about waves of “migrants” descending on Europe from war-ravaged Syria and elsewhere in the Mideast. We also hear about repeated attempts by lesser numbers of people to slip into Europe by sea, usually with the aid of smugglers, from North Africa. This is against the backdrop [...]

Thoughts and Questions about Immigration

International migration occurs in varied settings and raises a variety of issues, so much so that sorting them out would be difficult even if some of them weren’t so inflammatory. The issues are basic as well as numerous, and go to the nature of the common good, the nature and purpose of national societies, and [...]

Migration and the Islamization of Europe

The Synod on the Family will address many issues vital to the survival of the family—with one notable exception. It’s ironic that while the bishops are discussing ways to strengthen the Christian family, they are simultaneously helping to enable the spread of a family system that is inimical to the Christian view of marriage. The [...]

The Migrant Crisis: Compassion and Common Sense

Other than the large numbers involved, one of the most striking features of Europe’s migrant crisis is the level of discourse surrounding it. There is an emotionalism about the subject which doesn’t seem quite appropriate to the gravity of the situation. Momentous issues are being decided on the basis of what Peter Hitchens calls “an [...]

From Charles Martel to Charlie Hebdo

On three different occasions, my wife and I chaperoned student tours to Paris. Looking over my journals now, post-Charlie Hebdo, I notice that on each of these trips there was occasion to record uneasy incidents with Arabs who seemed determined to disrupt the fabled joie de vivre of Parisian life. Truth to tell, the Parisians [...]

Prelates and Politicians Favor Cultural Suicide in Germany

Question: How would a Catholic bishop respond to tens of thousands of peaceful citizens singing Silent Night in the center of an historic European city? Answer: He would forbid Christians to take part. On December 22, 18,000 demonstrators, many of them families with children, marched against “Islamization” and sang Christmas carols in front of Dresden’s [...]

The Death of Our Family Wage Culture

The U.S. Department of Labor reports that last year, only one-fifth of married couple homes were supported solely by the employment of the husband. The wife was the only employed member of the household in 7.8 percent of married-couple homes (with 6.2 percent supported by other employment combinations, and 18.5 percent having no employed members). [...]

Islam, Immigration and the Importance of Culture

The Catholic Archbishop of Brisbane, Mark Coleridge, recently condemned the barbarism of the Islamic State, but for some reason felt compelled to add: “It has nothing to do with real Islam….” Meanwhile, Amel Shimoun Nona, the exiled Chaldean Archbishop of Mosul, warned European and Western Christians that they “will also suffer in the near future” [...]

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