sex

Bart Simpson final

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 [...]

Why Humans are Not Garden Snails

“In the image of God he created them, male and female he created them” (Gen. 1:27). For years I had been trying to get to the bottom of this troubling passage, and it all started with a conversation about garden snails. “Do you know where Plato thinks human sexuality comes from?”my friend Jack asked. I [...]

Rethinking Civil Rights

I was recently on a radio program commenting about the U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down Arizona’s law requiring proof of citizenship when people register to vote. One caller seemed quite happy with the decision because, it seemed, he believed there is widespread racism. I responded that those who make such allegations are bound to [...]

The Supreme Court’s Misuse of Children to Justify Same-Sex Marriage

Of all the misconceived nonsense in the recent Windsor v. United States ruling, perhaps the most egregious was Justice Anthony Kennedy’s insinuation that “the children made me do it.” Windsor declared the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional because it defined marriage as being between one man and one woman. Why was DOMA a problem for [...]

We Ignore Sex at Our Peril

Sex is too central to human life to avoid as an issue or to stand outside and describe objectively, and it touches us too closely for people to discuss calmly. Those qualities make it an ideal issue to settle through authoritative traditions. Functional societies do so and life goes on. If such traditions are lacking, [...]

Making Noise, Not Arguments

In my work as a social conservative, I have been puzzled by some of the rhetorical strategies of my opponents. Sometimes I feel my head spinning, as if I have been going around in circles, with no obvious conclusion in sight. I have been seeking the key to understanding them, a Rosetta Stone that will [...]

How Not to Prevent AIDS

In July the U.S.will host the International AIDS Conference and there is promising news. The experts are now convinced that treatment is prevention. If those who are infected are identified quickly, treated so that their viral load is lowered, not only do they have a good chance of remaining relatively healthy longer, the risk that [...]

The Obesity of Eros

Among the furrow browed and the gravely concerned, particularly those not tipping the scales beyond the approved standard, obesity is the current social chancre crying out for their enlightened solutions. But for the enlightened, though less than corpulent, to isolate obesity and to castigate those who eat too much is pure hypocrisy in a society [...]

Jesus Wants Gays to be Happy

This month Piers Morgan interviewed Kirk Cameron, asking what he would tell his teenage son if the boy were to confess he was gay. Morgan promptly volunteered his own response.  “I would say, ‘That’s great son. Just so long as you are happy.” Cameron did better than most in defending his view that marriage can [...]

The Meaning of the Sexual Powers

There you will show me That which my soul desired; And there You will give at once, O You, my life! That which You gave me the other day. —John of the Cross, Spiritual Canticle Midnight. Shelly is getting herself drunk so that she can bring herself to go home with the strange man seated [...]

A Weimar Moment for America

When do you know it's over? When do you know that civilization has collapsed inwardly to such an irreparable extent that the next stop is barbarism? When is that Weimar moment? Certainly, the legalization of abortion was one such moment, as barbarism is defined as the inability or unwillingness to recognize another person as a [...]

A Private Matter Between a Woman and Her Vending Machine?

Developments on a university campus suggest it is time for the Supreme Court to update its famous definition of abortion.

Of Love, Hollywood Heroes & Harlequin Romances

My friend Carol is a writer of medical romantic fiction. This does not mean that she writes warm hearted prose about anatomical procedures; she does not pen sugary sagas about surgery or candlelight accounts of cardiac attacks. No, she writes ‘female fiction’--known in the trade as Harlequin romance. She writes about nurses who are in [...]

Planned Parenthood’s Grand Delusion

Go the website PlannedParenthood.org. You know, Planned Parenthood, around whose rippling banner enlightened opinion rallied last week when news broke that Susan G. Komen for the Cure would, in the near future, cease granting it money. PP — just a big-hearted service organization for women, fighting breast cancer and other female afflictions with might and [...]

Are the Sexes Really Complementary?

Following the passage of the same-sex marriage bill in Queensland despite probable public opposition to it, and the widespread publicity given to the change in the Australian Labor Party policy on marriage, the task of arguing against same sex marriage is more urgent in Australia and other countries of the world than ever before. A [...]

The Mythical Middle in American Politics

  Why did the Democrats run Bob Casey Jr., in Pennsylvania in 2006 against Sen. Rick Santorum? Why did President George W. Bush win a higher percentage of the African-American vote in Ohio in 2004 than he won nationwide? Why did Proposition 8 win in California in 2008, while Sen. John McCain was losing the [...]

“Happy” Birthday, Sex Scandal

As of today, ten years have passed since the Boston archdiocese was engulfed in scandal, as the result of investigative reporting by the Boston Globe. Today the faithful in Boston are still struggling to shake off the lingering effects of that scandal. But a full recovery is delayed because of two popular misconceptions, which should [...]

Profanity and Pop Music

  Profanity and pop music go hand in hand these days. The pop star Rihanna recently appeared on the British version of Simon Cowell's singing competition The X Factor dressed in a demure plaid jumper with a prim white collar. It seemed like a bow to younger viewers (and their parents). But a glance at [...]

Straw Dogs and Same Sex “Marriage”

Heaven and Earth are ruthless; To them the Ten Thousand things are but as straw dogs. The Sage too is ruthless; To him the people are but as straw dogs. A "straw dog" was a ceremonial object used in place of an actual dog in ancient Chinese sacrifices. Sacrificing a dog made from straw fulfils [...]

Captivated by Death

This essay first appeared in the July 1996 edition of Crisis Magazine.   Millions of Americans sit out their lives in darkened rooms, enthralled by the gasps and groans, cries and screams, and by the accompanying images on the screen. Our free-market system is designed to provide efficiently that which people desire and for which [...]

On this Crock

Papal Sin: Structures of Deceit, by Garry Wills, (2000) Doubleday, 328 pages, $25   When Pope John Paul II summoned Catholics to a “purification of memory” by facing up to faults, he spoke of a process that should engage us all. This stripping away of delusion and self-deception will be difficult, but it will be [...]

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