2010

Fathers of the Church

My Christmas present to readers of this electronic journal this year will be to tell you to go read the Church Fathers. I should mention that you are getting this advice already "used," or at least secondhand. I already wrote a column saying the same thing in a different way in my (very) secular newspaper [...]

2010

Treading with Lewis

As someone who was more-than-a-little scarred by Walden Media’s attempts to adapt Prince Caspian, I had resolved to keep my distance from the recently-released Voyage of the Dawn Treader until I could see the reactions of two of my favorite “working critics:” Jeffrey Overstreet and Steven Greydanus. Interestingly, both of them felt that the filmmakers [...]

2010

How not to fail our children

Anyone looking for a last-minute Christmas gift for those notoriously hard-to-shop-for friends and family members should consider picking up a copy of Anthony Esolen's latest book, Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child. Tony, a regular contributor at IC, has written many beautiful reflections here that comment thoughtfully on the sorry state of [...]

2010

Babies can change anyone

This piece in Salon caught my attention yesterday. It's written by an admittedly un-maternal woman who gives thanks for not getting her tubes tied. She didn't want children and then surprisingly found herself pregnant and happily parenting. She lists a number of reasons why she and her partner had their son: We decided to have [...]

2010

Bill Donohue Is Accused of Starting the Fight over Christmas

I was putting together my list of "ten most laughable public attacks of 2010" when I received an e-mail newsletter from Chris Korzen and the team at Catholics United. Korzen's letter -- an attack on Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League, and Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York -- was packed with alternately risible [...]

2010

Catholicism and Distance Education: A Conversation with Mark Giszczak

With the rapid advance of technology, education is in the midst of a transition between the traditional classroom model and newer, online-based methods. InsideCatholic editor Brian Saint-Paul spoke with Mark Giszczak of the Augustine Institute about Catholicism, distance learning, and the future of theological instruction. Is the age of the university nearing its end? ♦ [...]

2010

Peace Be with Me

Oh, the noise! Oh, the noise! Noise! Noise! Noise! That's one thing he hated! The NOISE! NOISE! NOISE! NOISE! Dr. Seuss's The Grinch Who Stole Christmas Mr. Grinch, you and me both. It may very well be the most wonderful time of the year, but it's also the nosiest. All is not calm, no matter [...]

2010

Living off the grid is illegal in Iowa

If you want to irritate the heck out of me, send me a link to a story like this. Dick Thompson, a 72 year-old Iowan man, lives in a trailer on 32 acres of land that he purchased from his parents. He prefers simple living -- no plumbing or electricity -- and has a few [...]

2010

Friday Free-for-All: December 17

Morning! Time for your Friday link round-up: Time magazine's "Person of the Year" has been announced: Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. One of the runners up: Julian Assange. (How do the winners of these things always end up being people that I would never want to meet in real life?) Pope Benedict is named a "person [...]

2010

A New (Old) Model for Catholic Schools

This is the story of the rebirth of St. Jerome Catholic School as St. Jerome Catholic Classical School. St. Jerome's parish, located in Hyattsvile, Maryland, is an unusual case to begin with: Last year, it had 50 percent more baptisms than funerals, and it has four men currently in formation for the priesthood. But the [...]

2010

Transformed by Love: The Films of Frank Borzage

The work of Frank Borzage -- more than 100 films in forty years -- is one of the best kept secrets of the American cinema. The director himself, in the words of critic Andrew Sarris, remains an elusive figure in film history. A contemporary of John Ford, Alfred Hitchcock, Howard Hawks, King Vidor, and Frank [...]

2010

EU Court Slams Ireland on Abortion Ban

Sky News reports that the European Court of Human Rights has criticized the Dublin government for "leaving its courts with a lack of good information regarding lawful abortions in the country." Three women known as A, B, and C have been fighting Ireland's ban on abortion. In Ireland, abortion is only allowed if there is [...]

2010

The cushy life of the Illinois Drivers Ed teacher

Over the past two weeks, we've discussed how teachers' unions obstruct effective school reform. Now we have concrete examples of the ways they waste education funds as well. In the state of Illinois, for example, there are 138 Drivers Ed teachers who make over $100,000 for a 9-month work year. The highest among them pulls [...]

2010

Back to the Woods

The Druids are back. Some may remember the Druids from half-forgotten Dungeons and Dragons role-playing games, or from the description of them in Julius Caesar's De Bello Gallico, where they are portrayed as important religious leaders who engaged in and presided over human sacrifices. Recent archeological findings support the literary evidence of human sacrifice, but [...]

2010

OK, that’s just cool.

I understand that technology can be a trap into which we fall. That said, this video, "Future applications of graphene," is really amazing. [video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-YbS-YyvCl4 635x355] Graphene, as some of you know, is a monolayer of carbon molecules: transparent, stronger than steel, and amazingly conductive. Incredibly neat stuff!!  Having a single device be a watch, phone, [...]

2010

The gloves are off

For all of you who've been craving a bishop with the ...ahem... backbone to assert his authority and engage his erstwhile wayward flock, you're gonna love Bishop Olmsted in Phoenix, who just took a Catholic Hospital in his diocese to task: "The Catholic bishop of Phoenix will strip St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center of [...]

2010

Do You Renounce Kennedy and All His Works?

Two weeks ago I ventured into enemy territory: the Harvard Club in Boston. In all the time I've lived in New England, I've turned down every chance to visit Harvard's prim, Georgian campus, though I've window-shopped in swanky Harvard Square. Out of loyalty to its rival, my alma mater, I've steered clear of Harvard, displaying [...]

2010

Sales goals: a “carrot and stick” approach

Many companies have an incentive process built in to encourage their sales teams to sell more: commission structures, junkets, performance-based bonuses, etc. Well, the Just Born company (makers of candies such as Hot Tamales, Mike & Ikes and other favorites) decided to offer its sales force an all-expense paid trip to Hawaii if they made [...]

2010

At Christmas, Iraqi churches prepare for violence

This is heartbreaking. While we decorate our churches this time of year with garlands and poinsettias, Iraqi Christians are having to surround theirs with concrete walls: Concrete walls up to 10 feet high are being built around churches in Baghdad and Mosul to protect Christmas churchgoers from violence. The barriers are the Iraqi government’s response [...]

2010

Natural Law without Nature? Aquinas to the Rescue

Natural law has had a hard time in the modern world. Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) castigated the natural law theorists of his day for promoting "personal opinions and sentiments" as standards of right and wrong. He offered utilitarianism as a replacement, versions of which have taken the lead in modern university courses on ethical theory. Immanuel [...]

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