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Using Modern Science to Treat Homosexuality

Homosexuality is an issue that has been shaped by Western values, and is now front-and-center in almost every country and culture around the world, especially those societies influenced by secular humanism. But even more traditional societies, such as those in Africa, have not gone unaffected by it, given how social media shrinks our globe. In [...]

Are Religious Children Meaner Than Their Secular Counterparts?

Since the release of a Pew Research Center report last spring on the “Changing Religious Landscape,” media outlets have suggested that the declines in Church affiliation indicate that the United States is becoming a nation that has given up on God.  NPR claims that Americans—especially young Americans—have lost their faith.  Now, a study reported in [...]

Is There a Wall of Separation Between Church and State?

Until 1947, few Americans knew about Thomas Jefferson’s comment, made in a private letter to the Danbury Baptist Association, that the First Amendment’s guarantee against a federally established church made a “wall of separation between church and state.” It was in that year, in the case of Everson v. Board of Education, that the Supreme Court [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

A Catholic Patriotism

How should we be good Catholics and good Americans? Until recently that did not seem to be an issue to most of us. Separation of Church and State appeared to reconcile the Faith with a secular pluralist public order. The arrangement seemed to leave room for each to be what it is, do what it [...]

Reason is Not the Sole Property of Skeptics

A few weeks ago Politico published an article by professional skeptic Michael Shermer—I think when you are the publisher of a magazine called Skeptic, you can be classified as a "professional skeptic," right?—called "Why Politicians Need Science," with the subtitle, "Remember: before the triumph of science, we burned witches at the stake and thought that kings [...]

Collaboration with Secularists Undermines Catholic Social Goals

To all appearances, everyday life is becoming ever more at odds with the Catholic vision of what it should be. It’s becoming less like life as traditionally conceived, a network of relationships, loyalties, and purposes, many of which are natural or transcendent and therefore enduring. Instead, it’s becoming more like eBay, Facebook, a government office, [...]

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 [...]

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like … Winter Holiday

Lord Alfred Douglas, in a poem from the 1890s, euphemistically branded homosexual behavior as “the love that dare not speak its name.” In recent years, homosexual behavior has gotten quite vocal about itself, causing confusion over “love” and even “marriage.” Religion in general, however, and Judaism and especially Christianity in particular, have been muted—gagged might [...]

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. [...]

Mad Intelligence: The Secularist Response to Islam

Nine years as chaplain of an 800 bed state mental hospital taught me that one can be mentally ill and highly intelligent. Talking with the patients often was more interesting than talking with their psychiatrists. Mad men are not mindless. They just do not distinguish between delusion and fact. Chesterton summed this up by aphorism:  “The madman [...]

When Textbooks Upheld the Ideals of Our Ancestors

I am musing upon a fine book written by a teacher and prolific author, Leroy Armstrong. He is introducing the reader to the life and the work of John Greenleaf Whittier, the old Quaker poet who was once one of the most beloved writers in America. He directs our attention to “Snow-Bound,” which he says [...]

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 [...]

Are Church Leaders Unwittingly Promoting a Secularist Agenda?

Recent developments make me wonder if Church leaders and Catholic institutions in the U.S. are not, “on the unawares,” helping to further crucial parts of the secularist-leftist political and cultural narrative. Several months ago, on a visit to the U.S.-Mexico border one high-ranking prelate criticized “the xenophobic ranting of a segment of the population” on [...]

The Illusion of Neutrality

We have all heard what has come to be a liberal dictum, that the State must remain neutral as regards religion or irreligion. One can show fairly easily that the men who wrote our constitution had no such neutrality in mind, given the laws that they and their fellows subsequently passed, their habits of public prayer at [...]

New Study Sees Threat to Religious Liberty

In legal scholarship, as in any literature, style matters as much as content. The subjects authors explore, their manners and patterns of thought, the metaphors and idioms they select, the grace with which they address the audience and carry it along—in sum, the personal qualities that emerge in the telling of the tale—are remembered long [...]

A Tale of Two Churches

Once upon a time there was a church founded on God’s entering into human history in order to give humanity a path to eternal life and happiness with him. The Savior that God sent, his only-begotten Son, did not write a book but founded a community, a church, upon the witness and ministry of twelve [...]

Catholicism: Refuge for Exiles From a Post-Christian Age

It began in Boston. In 2006, the Boston Archdiocese suspended adoption services rather than comply with a new state anti-discrimination law by placing children with gay and lesbian couples. Last year, a mom-and-pop cake shop in Portland, Oregon closed after lesbian brides-to-be sued after being denied service. At least ten other businesses have faced a [...]

The World and the Church

In his speech closing the Second Vatican Council, Pope Paul VI noted that “the trend of modern culture” is “centered on humanity, … the modern mind” is “accustomed to assess everything in terms of usefulness,” “the fundamental act of the human person … tends to pronounce in favor of his own absolute autonomy, … [and] [...]

Hobby Lobby Decision is Also a Mandate

On June 28, 1776, the first draft of our nation’s Declaration of Independence was introduced to the general session of the Second Continental Congress.  The 28th was a Friday, and so the founding fathers tabled the draft until the following Monday, July 1st, when they took it up again for debate.  A resolution for independence [...]