How Catholic is Kaine?

A recent flattering article in the New Yorker describes Tim Kaine, Hillary Clinton's vice-presidential running mate, as a "devout Roman Catholic." Not only that, but the paean proceeds to declare that the pious senator "is more comfortable quoting Scripture than any Democrat to reach the level of Presidential politics since Jimmy Carter." There is more: [...]

The Vast Majority Myth

We often hear it said that the vast majority of Muslims are peaceful and reject violence. That proposition is worth examining because if it’s not true there is cause to worry. Of course, you should be worried already. Even if only a small percentage of the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims are prepared to use violence, [...]

Is Gun Control Even Possible in the U.S.?

Catholics have no clear, dogmatic position on guns. The American bishops have occasionally indicated that they are favorable to gun control, although this has never been a major point of emphasis for them. The Catechism of the Catholic Church mentions that it is permissible to do injury to others in self-defense, or in defense of [...]

Satan Shows His Face

By the time Chris Harper-Mercer killed himself on October 1, he had already killed and wounded a number of people at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, and sent the rest of the nation reeling in shock after yet another shooting spree. I will never forget the first time I ever heard of a public [...]

When Violence Replaces Justice

It seems that those responsible for the most recent criminal acts of violence in Ferguson have fallen into the all too familiar human mistake of substituting violence for justice. The aftermath of an initial act of violence (which appears to have been an act of legitimate self-defense) has bred more violence, as violence often does. [...]

Salvation and Super Heroes

This past weekend I enjoyed seeing the latest installment of Marvel’s Avenger franchise, Captain America: Winter Soldier. I must confess that I have a somewhat juvenile curiosity toward these recent rounds of “super” mania films. I don’t care so much for the over the top action and violence sequences, but it is quite intriguing to [...]

The Causes of Violence in America

The airwaves and the opinion columns continue to discuss the terrible December 14 school massacre in Connecticut and have brought us additional stories of senseless multiple murders in places like Oregon and western New York. Much of the discussion is now focusing on renewed calls for more gun control. As I go on to say, [...]

“Peace, Peace” — And There Is No Peace

The Churches and Modern Political Violence Mr. Weigel's essay was originally delivered to a conference on "Deception and Deterrence in 'Wars of National Liberation,' State—Sponsored Terrorism, and Other Forms of Secret Warfare," sponsored by the American Bar Association. There is, in a sense, something odd about inviting a theologian (even one engaged in the public [...]

Observations: A Mass of Contradictions

Saturday, May 9 was extraordinarily bright and sunny in New York. There was more activity than usual near LaGuardia Airport, as large black limousines buzzed in and around the side roads and heavy traffic clogged the Grand Central Parkway. It was so congested that there was the danger that guests at the very small and [...]

Illusions and Realities: Against the Necklace

Since no one else seems outraged, let me raise a small voice against the cruel method of torture that is being practiced in South Africa. It is not often shown in all its horror on TV. It is called "the necklace," and it is symptomatic of troubles ahead. Suppose that you were trying to be [...]

The Sanctuary Scam

Few issues in recent years have received more time and attention from liberal religious activists in the United States than the sanctuary movement. No issue has been the occasion for more public deception, confusion, and irresponsible rhetoric. Sanctuary advocates would have the public believe that near-genocide is being committed against illegal immigrants returned to El [...]

Betraying the Bishops: “Official” Interpreters are Abusing the Peace Pastoral

In June 1983, when they published their pastoral letter on war and peace, the American bishops had two purposes: to help the formation of in­dividual consciences, and to offer moral guidance in a public policy debate. To accomplish these tasks, the bishops insisted that the pastoral letter be used in its entirety, as a guide. [...]

The Real Challenges Black South Africans Face

Editor's Note: Prince Mangosuthu Gatsha Buthelezi is the elected leader of South Africa's KwaZulu tribe, which, with a population of almost 6 million, is South Africa's largest. In 1975 he helped found Inkatha, a mass organization of Blacks committed to the abolition of apartheid. Prince Euthelezi presently serves as the elected leader of Inkatha.  The [...]