Liberal Intolerance

Ideology is the Enemy of True Faith

Events at the college where I teach have me thinking about the ersatz religion known as ideology. What are the signs that mark the difference between believing in God and asserting that if only everyone on earth would accept, let us say, the gender ideology of the secular west, we would bring about a golden [...]

Wikileaks Reminds Us Why the Left Opposes Catholicism

When Wikileaks recently dumped the cache of emails featuring Clinton staffers and allies mocking Catholics, and plotting a revolutionary “Catholic Spring,” I was neither shocked nor outraged. Granted, it is a little irritating to discover that the agenda-makers on the left look at you as though you were something they had just fished out of [...]

US Civil Rights Commission Targets Religious Liberty

On September 7, 2016, the US Commission on Civil Rights issued a report entitled Peaceful Coexistence: Reconciling Nondiscrimination Principles with Civil Liberties. The report has not received the attention it deserves. Should the next president appoint and the Senate approve judges and justices that agree with its findings, the report will serve as a playbook [...]

What Will You Do When the Persecution Comes?

I know there are plenty of Catholics who are, in one way or another, looking forward to the relentless institutional persecution that is coming our way unless we surrender the One Thing Needful to the secular left, and that is the family-destroying and state-feeding beast called the Sexual Revolution, with its seven heads and ten [...]

About Those Unthinking, Backward Catholics

Back in 2008, in the weeks leading up to the Obama-McCain presidential election, two young men visited me in Denver. They were from Catholics United, a group describing itself as committed to social justice issues. They voiced great concern at the manipulative skill of Catholic agents for the Republican Party. And they hoped my brother [...]

Love Your Enemy, But Know Him Too

In the mid-1990s the philosopher Norman Geras published a short book on the “ungroundable liberalism” of Richard Rorty. Geras was annoyed that many of Rorty’s relativist fellow travelers were some of the same people demanding “social justice” of one sort or another based on claims about reality they took to be self-evidently true (e.g. “The [...]

How to Curtail Judicial Activism

I hear frequently in this year’s election campaign that Supreme Court appointments should be the key consideration in the choice between the presidential candidates. That’s certainly understandable, and perhaps true. It reflects, however, an unfortunate attitude—widespread and deeply ingrained in the American psyche—that the Court is somehow the ultimate, sovereign institution in the United States. [...]

Totalitarians of the World, Unite!

Whenever I'm in a diner or a family restaurant, I look around for the most cheerful thing in any day's experience, and that's a young husband and wife and their children. Today the two children sitting with their parents at the table next to us were a baby boy and his four-year-old brother. The four [...]

The Regensburg Address and Western Secular Intolerance

On Sunday, we observed the fifteenth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Monday, September 12, marked the tenth anniversary of Pope Benedict XVI’s famous Regensburg Address. Although the controversy about this brief talk centered on the Pope’s comments about Islam and violence, the pontiff’s main critique was aimed, not at Islam, but at the West. [...]

The ABA’s Attempt to Muzzle Lawyers

We hear more and more about the attack on conscience rights in the health care and counseling professions: the Obama administration early on moved to reverse federal protections from health care workers having to take part in morally objectionable procedures; Washington State’s requirement (sustained by the U.S. Supreme Court) that pharmacies sell abortifacients; the new [...]

A Civics Lesson from a Zulu King

The chaos of the present election cycle calls to mind a story about the great African king, Shaka (1787-1828), the founder of Southern Africa's Zulu Empire. It is told that Shaka lamented the slowness of his warriors when they entered into battle. To remedy the problem, he ordered them to take off their sandals to [...]

On State Boycotts: An Open Letter to North Carolina

Born and raised in the Grand Canyon State, where I still reside, I have been where you North Carolinians are now—a few times. So, at the outset, let me encourage you to hold fast to the wisdom of Scripture and common sense which nowhere sanctions men using women’s bathrooms under any circumstances. Like North Carolina, [...]

“The Boss” Praised by Men Who Think They Are Women

As everyone in America knows by now, the old rocker Bruce Springsteen has canceled a concert in North Carolina, because the state passed a law preserving the status quo ante as of ten seconds ago, which is that men empty their bowels in the men’s room and not in the ladies’ room. It should be [...]

The Narrowness of Martyrdom

A broad justification for martyrdom is preferable to a narrow one. A person would prefer to die for something grand, sweeping, and generally held. Perhaps world peace, or what used to be called the fellowship of man. Martyrdom is in practice narrow. When St. Thomas More died on a scaffold in Henry VIII’s kingdom, it [...]

Why Does Liberalism Have “Favored Groups”?

Two recent developments in the news brought into focus the issue of liberalism and favored demographic groups. One was the not unexpected reaction of Hillary Clinton and others on the left to the Brussels airport attack by ISIS-linked Islamic terrorists. They were less oriented to considering how to respond to the terrorists and protect innocent [...]

When School “Tolerance” Stifles the Christian Conscience

People often speak of places of sanctuary, where they feel most free and where they can “breathe.” One such place for me—a former high school teacher—is within the walls of a school. There is something invigorating and God-inspired in having people of different ages, backgrounds, and experiences exercise their minds around common subjects and principles, [...]

I No Longer Say “Chair”

A boxer who strikes a painful blow knows quite well to keep pounding the delicate spot. He knows when his opponent is hurt and he strikes the same spot over and over again. If there is a tiny cut above the eye, he keeps pounding the cut so that the bloody trickle becomes a torrent. [...]

The Narcissism of Campus Diversity Activists

Last week at Providence College, a group of students occupied the office of the president, Father Brian Shanley, for thirteen hours, presenting him with a list of demands toward making the school a more “inclusive” place for students of various racial and ethnic backgrounds. (I use the scare quotes not to criticize the students, but [...]

Materialism, Positivism and the Politics of Modern Science

I was pleased to read in Crisis “The Origins of Modern Materialism,” in which Theodore Rebard notes the rediscovery of Lucretius’s De Rerum Natura in 1417 and its subsequent employment by Descartes, Hobbes and other modern philosophers in their efforts to formulate a modern synthesis of knowledge based on quantifiability. Professor Rebard also points to some [...]

The Dangers of Contemporary “Authoritarianism”

Matthew MacWilliams, in a January 17 post on Politico, expatiated on the “one weird trait that predicts whether you are a Trump supporter." That variable turns out to be "authoritarianism.” The author relates the results of a late December 2015 poll he conducted in conjunction with the University of Massachusetts. Controlling for different variables, he contends [...]

MENU