women

Abortion Law: What would Solomon Do?

We are all familiar with the current impasse on abortion. On the one hand, we hear the pro-life group, usually appealing to religious and ethical principles, decrying abortion as homicide, pure and simple. On the other, we are confronted by the pro-choice group, usually appealing to considerations about women’s rights, zealously defending a woman’s right [...]

The Iron in the Lady

It is not often that I go to moving picture palaces, and when I do I am saddened that the new kind of “multiplex” cinemas are not palaces at all. I may be indulging nostalgia (defined as "history after a few drinks"), but theatres do seem to have shrunk to fit the  quality of most [...]

Bad Poetry, Bland Theology: Let’s Write a Hymn!

Few parishes can afford to replace or restore the lost art so many pastors ripped out on the pretext that it was "pre-conciliar."  In some cases – I'm thinking of a church in Appalachia with hand-carved relief sculptures of the local flora and fauna – the loss is irreparable.  But poetry doesn't cost a thing. [...]

The Scandal of What We Sing

It is with deep gratitude that I greet the new translation of the Mass into English.  At last, we will have a rendering that is theologically and linguistically precise, that captures the figurative meanings intimated in the Latin, that respects the poetic form of the prayers, that embraces the sacred, and that resonates with the [...]

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 [...]

Abortion, Mental Health, and Politicized Science

The news site Mercatornet.com conducted an important interview with psychologist Priscilla Coleman, who has published contrarian research results on the link between abortion and mental health problems. Priscilla K. Coleman is a Professor of Human Development and Family Studies at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. Dr Coleman has nearly 50 peer-reviewed journal articles published, [...]

We Proud Sons of Onan

As we all learned in grammar school, we're coming up on the day when we show our gratitude for all the blessings God has showered upon our country. If we had good teachers, we learned to think of more than just the natural resources and easily conquered lands, and more than a blandly defined “democracy.” [...]

The Real Scandal

  The real scandal in the accusations against Herman Cain is the corruption of the law, the media and politics. Let's start with the law. Some people may think the fact that the National Restaurant Association reportedly paid $45,000 to settle a claim made by one of its employees against Mr. Cain is incriminating. Most [...]

The Coming Church-State Wars

  Appearing the other night on the Catholic network EWTN, I was asked by Raymond Arroyo what should be done about Muslim students at Catholic University demanding that the school provide them with prayer rooms, from which crucifixes and all other Catholic symbols that they found offensive had been removed. After a nanosecond I replied, [...]

The Dark Side of ‘Thinking Pink’

  Every October, sure as the leaves fall from the trees, pink ribbons and products blossom virtually everywhere you go. Breast Cancer Awareness Month has all the hallmarks of an effective public health campaign; people going about their regular routines can’t help but notice all the pink and -- especially while shopping -- be encouraged [...]

Of Tepees and Tabernacles

We are building a new church in our parish, and to lead the effort I have been thinking and reading about church architecture. Looking around at the dismal buildings that have been presented as Catholic churches over the last 50 years, one has to ask where on earth the architects, designers, and liturgists got their [...]

Weighty Issues: A Conversation with Kate Wicker

As many as ten million women and men have clinical eating disorders in the United States, according to the National Eating Disorders Association. Kate Wicker used to count herself among them. The writer and mother of four found healing by taking a Catholic approach to her body-image struggles. She spoke to Zoe Romanowsky about her new [...]

Black Market Babies and the Church

The current battles over the fate of thousands of babies conceived via in vitro fertilization would confound even King Solomon. Sensational news reports surrounding the $180,000 price tag for Ukrainian black-market babies shocked the determinedly secular segments of society, and few remain unmoved by the story of the FBI's round-up of "baby-brokers." Beyond the initial [...]

The Growing Aversion to Abortion

The abortion debate has raged since 1973, when the Supreme Court gave abortion constitutional protection, but the basic law of the land has proved immutable. Abortion is legal, and it's going to remain legal for a long time. Laws often alter attitudes, inducing people to accept things -- such as racial integration -- they once [...]

Are Romance Novels Pro-Marriage?

  Who reads the (British) Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care? A few more people this month than last, judging from the coverage given to an article in that worthy publication by British psychologist and agony aunt, Susan Quilliam. Her essay spiced up the journal’s usual menu of condoms and chlamydia with the attention-grabbing headline: “‘He [...]

Moral Capital

Let us suppose we are looking at people who are not going to Yale or Harvard, or even to the local state university. First, they can't afford it, and second, they lack the capacity to immerse themselves in absurdity for the sake of a few courses here and there that will deepen their understanding of [...]

The Price of Same-Sex Marriage

  How is this law going to hurt your marriage? That is the jeer hurled at opponents of New York’s new same-sex marriage law. As the Boston Globe put it memorably some time ago, same-sex marriage will “no more undermine traditional marriage than sailing undermines swimming”. Indeed, many supporters of traditional marriage don't know how [...]

Five Ways I Don’t Love Natural Family Planning

I don’t want to write about NFP. I hate to write about NFP. And yet, here I am…writing about NFP. I brought this on myself. I completely forgot about an editorial deadline and found myself scrambling for a column topic at about 10:00 p.m. Naturally, I turned to my dear friends, Mrs. Twitter and Mr. [...]

Walmart Case a Victory for Consumers

  The Supreme Court handed down a big win for American consumers this week, though the case had nothing to do with consumer protection. The court's decision involved the rules for determining what constitutes a proper class of plaintiffs, representing not just those individuals who have come forward to allege illegal behavior but others who have been [...]

The Disappearing Russian Family

  Is there any nation as contrary in its demographics as Russia? While the world’s population police obsess about the ongoing “explosion” of the human species, Russia is on a depopulation slide and in danger of imploding. Again, while the world’s conscience is stirred by Asia’s 163 million missing females, Russia has a gender deficit [...]

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