progressivism

The Sexual Revolution Turns Ugly

How many intellectuals have come to the revolutionary party via the path of moral indignation, only to connive ultimately at terror and autocracy? ∼ Raymond Aron The Sexual Revolution is now out of control. Initially promising freedom, like all revolutions, it has entered something like its Reign of Terror phase and is devouring its own children. As with [...]

Benedict Foresaw Today’s Revolutionary Iconoclasm

Recently, some American activists have ignited a movement to usher in an urgent iconoclasm of vile symbols of culture and history, such as the removal of statues bearing the likeness of General Robert E. Lee, inter alia. Whether these symbols ought to fall is an important question, and more astute thinkers have written on the [...]

On the Need to State the Obvious

One of the most subversive, dangerous, thankless, and necessary tasks is to state the obvious. Our mental filing systems tend to push things labeled as “obvious” into the back of our minds, leaving room in the front for more important and pressing matters. But things tend to get misplaced in that dark attic of our [...]

The Latest Absurd Manifestations of Transgenderism

At Cromwell High School in Connecticut, a 15-year-old boy with a mustache recently crushed female competitors in track and field, to the great dismay of the girls who have spent many intense days training so hard. This doesn’t seem fair, does it? It does in the left’s brave new world of fundamental transformation. The boy, [...]

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 [...]

The Right Side of History, or Simply the Right Side?

This election season is full of colorful characters, among them the Green Party’s candidate, Dr. Jill Stein. (No pun was intended between “colorful characters” and “Green Party,” but a pun having been found, it is happily accepted.) A Harvard physician with an open warrant out on her, Dr. Stein is, among other things, a proponent [...]

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 [...]

Why Catholics Needn’t Celebrate New Year’s Day

On Friday, January 1, the secular world will observe “New Year’s Day.” The Catholic world will not, for two reasons. One is that we have a genuine religious feast day to observe, in celebration of Mary, the Mother of God. The second is that Catholics don’t find much use in celebrating the chronological movement from [...]

Making Sense of the Progressive Mind

People who reject secular progressivism, especially in its more highly developed forms, are often puzzled by its proponents. Do they really believe what they say they believe, for example, that diversity is always strength, or traditional religion and morality are dangerous and irrational bigotries, or there are no significant differences between men and women? Some [...]

Can Virtue Heal the American Right?

We’ve come to that agonizing point in our political process when each political party must choose its champion. Republicans are trying to decide in whose hands to place their party’s fate. The inexperienced but well-spoken Marco Rubio? Rand Paul, a man of intelligence and conviction who nonetheless selected drone strikes as the issue most worthy of a [...]

All Teacher Candidates Need to Know Is On the Web

In one of Baudelaire’s spleen poems called “The Generous Gambler,” a boulevardier is steered by a “Mysterious Being” into a subterranean casino. There they drink and chat till dawn, gambling all the while. The Mysterious Being proves an urbane and chatty devil, old fashioned in manners, but progressive in philosophy. The only time he’d ever [...]

The Left vs. Human Nature

The Left does not like the idea of human nature. It tells them they are not free to do what they want. From a factual perspective, it tells them people do not change much, so the way things were in the past is mostly how they will be in the future. From a moral perspective, [...]

“Progress!” The World’s First Three-Way Gay Marriage

Three homosexual men have "married" each other in Thailand in what is being billed as the world’s first three-way same-sex "marriage." This was, of course, inevitable. It’s inevitable in every country that redefines marriage as anything but one man and one woman. When the culture’s only standard for “marriage” is that the parties love each [...]

Assuming the Worst

Sometimes it pays to assume the worst. Jews who assumed the worst about the Nazis in the early days of Hitler’s rule fled Germany to safe havens and survived. Most of those who assumed that the situation couldn’t get any worse stayed put and did not survive. The disposition to assume the worst goes against [...]

On Not Taking It Anymore

“Do not conform yourselves to this age.”   ∼ St. Paul, Letter to the Romans (12:2) Living in a world where much has been laid waste by forces hostile to faith and hope, the challenge becomes that of finding evidence for the things that one loves. Or simply going mad in the face of all [...]

“When Will the Catholic Church Come into the 21st Century?”

"When will the Catholic Church come into the twenty-first century?" As a Catholic theologian, I often hear this question posed by non-Catholics and Catholics alike. One of the most important questions facing the Church today, it implies a set of issues that are known to all: same-sex “marriage,” contraception, and divorce (to name only a [...]

The Darkness Gathers

In his dissent in United States v. Windsor, the Supreme Court decision invalidating the federal definition of marriage as natural marriage, Justice Scalia rightly identified as particularly outrageous the Court’s assertion that the purpose of the definition was a “‘bare ... desire to harm’ couples in same-sex marriages.” The assertion is ignorant and bigoted to [...]

Obama’s Progress

Try to define progressivism. In fact, ask progressives to try to define progressivism. All we really know is that they’re, well, progressing. They and their ideas and their politics are always changing, evolving. This means that what they believe and hold fast and dear today may not be what they believe and hold fast and [...]

Equality and Catholicism

America has taken freedom and equality as her highest political goals, and her most basic problems have to do with that commitment and how it should be interpreted. Recent events have focused attention on changing understandings of freedom and how they are weakening freedom of religion. Understandings of equality are also changing, with consequences for [...]

The Left, the Right, and Catholicism

Catholicism sees freedom as directed toward the good life, and fills in the details with its understanding of God and man. Liberalism likes to avoid big issues like God, man, and the good, because they cause arguments, so it sees freedom not as freedom to pursue anything in particular but as freedom to choose freely. [...]

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