liberalism

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Disarming America

Donald Trump is catching some heat for saying that Hillary Clinton’s bodyguards should set aside their weapons, after which we’d “see what happens.” Was he inciting violence against Clinton? If so, I sure don’t see it, but leave that worry aside. Regardless of what else he might have meant, he surely meant to criticize Clinton for [...]

Author Says a New Religion Persecutes Christians

Mary Eberstadt is a master of analogy. In her masterful work Adam and Eve After the Pill, she compared the Sexual Revolution to communism, an ideology that hasn’t so much as failed, don’t you know, as one that simply needs one more good try. Neither empirical evidence, nor high body count, will convince true believers [...]

The Confessional State, Catholic or Liberal?

Why am I allowed to attend Mass on Sundays? Is it because God has commanded that I worship him, and having a social nature I must do so in union with my fellows within the bounds of the Church founded by Christ for that purpose, on the day he rose from the dead? Or is [...]

Liberalism: An Established Religion

Governments have often minimized religious conflict by establishing one religion and granting it privileges even where others are tolerated. The First Amendment to the United States Constitution left such power to the states, saying only that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion....” Following the enactment of the Fourteenth Amendment, however, the [...]

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 [...]

The Advantages of Natural Law Over Ideological Fantasies

Last month I noted that Catholics, along with presenting the Faith, should try vigorously to make natural law more visible in public discussion. But how? The very idea of natural law provokes incomprehension today. It favors principles that aren't engineered or controlled, so they don't fit into a technological understanding of rationality. Even worse, it means [...]

Why Natural Law is a Superior Guide to Life

Catholics talk about natural law, but what’s it all about? Basically, it’s a system of principles that guides human life in accordance with our nature and our good, insofar as those can be known by natural reason. It thereby promotes life the way it evidently ought to be, based on what we are and how [...]

Liberalism, Conservatism, and Catholicism

We all talk about liberalism and conservatism, and about liberal and conservative Catholics, but what does it mean? Some say it doesn’t mean much at all. They say these are labels attached to arbitrary and even contradictory collections of positions. Liberals say they want lots of freedom and lots of regulations. Conservatives say they want [...]

Skepticism: The New Established Religion

Jefferson’s wall of separation has many friends. People who grew up in a nation with a strict separation of church and state are often very proud of that system, which they consider modern, and best-suited for democratic societies today and in the future. This includes both skeptics of all (organized) religions and many religious people [...]

Can a Christian be a Social Liberal?

Faith should penetrate all areas of life—not just the religious, but also the social, the economic, and even the political. Notwithstanding the confused claims of today’s radical secularists, we are not constitutionally required to set our faith aside when entering the world of politics. Separation of Church and state does not mean separation of Church [...]

Nine Lessons from the Obergefell Decision

The cultural left is intoxicated with the heady fumes of the June 26 Obergefell decision. There are veritable war whoops coming out of the secular newspapers, and the pundits are huffily declaring that the debate is over and that their side has won. George Takei has even seen fit to call Justice Clarence Thomas a [...]

Can Christianity and Post-Modernity Reconcile?

It is popular today to speak of clashing worldviews as “narratives.” History shows, we’re told, that it is almost impossible for a narrative to imagine a standpoint outside itself. That is what defines it as a narrative. It is only when it has been surpassed by another narrative—as paganism was eclipsed by Christianity and Christianity [...]

Conciliation with Liberal Modernity is Not Possible

The transcendent aspects of religion have little meaning for most educated Westerners today. They may consider religion worthy of respect or at least toleration when it relates to practical matters like willingness to help others and accept them as they are. Otherwise, it’s “fundamentalist”—strange, irrational, dangerous, oppressive, and very likely fraudulent. So when the issue [...]

Irish Liberals Have Second Thoughts on Pope Francis

For the past year and a half many Irish commentators, especially those not known for friendliness toward the Catholic Church, have expressed great enthusiasm for Pope Francis. They have interpreted some of his often casual comments about not judging people, about the Church serving as a field hospital, about the need for Church leaders to [...]

Pope Francis Shocks Liberals on Same-Sex “Marriage”

In his trip to the Philippines, Pope Francis once again defended marriage, and he again edged closer to a firm, unequivocal papal statement against same-sex "marriage." As Francis clearly continues to carefully move in that direction, liberals, both secular and non-secular, non-Catholic and Catholic, are going to feel a severe sense of betrayal and grave [...]

Conservatism after Obama

The final two years of two-term American presidencies are generally seen as their least significant. President Obama’s recent recourse to what some regard as extra-legal measures indicates, however, that we shouldn’t take this for granted. But no matter what political events unfold between now and November 2016, one thing is certain: American conservatives have to consider [...]

Is Pope Francis Duping Liberals on Marriage?

It’s no secret that liberals adore Pope Francis. The more secular the “progressive,” the greater the reverence for the new man in the Vatican. Liberals—which includes liberal Catholics and Protestants as well as secularists—see the pontiff as the long-awaited liberator of the reactionary Roman Catholic Church. And yet, if you think about it, there aren’t [...]

Why Culture War is Unavoidable

A culture is a way of living, a system of habit and attitude, an orientation toward life and the world, that is shared and basically taken for granted within a community. It arises naturally when people live together, since we are social beings who need common habits and understandings to live together happily and productively. [...]

Why Liberalism is so Illiberal

Have liberals been getting less liberal? Or are they merely letting their true colors show, now that the culture wars seem to be going their way? That’s the question Damon Linker recently broached at The Week, as part of his ongoing effort to persuade liberals to be more tolerant. Linker doesn’t understand why progressive secularists [...]

The Contradictions of Multi-Generational Liberalism

A recent study by the Pew Research Center finds significant differences between younger and older liberals, differences that are not encouraging either to orthodox religious believers or to the older liberals. The Next Generation Left (NGL) are at one with older liberals on the social issues, notably abortion and homosexual marriage, and it is primarily [...]

Who Is the Enemy?

For about forty years, the public high school in my home town did not have a basketball court.  They finally supplied the lack when they and two towns got together into the fourteenth plague of Egypt, the Consolidated School District, and built an enormous complex in no man’s land, inaccessible by foot to all but [...]

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