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Despite its patent absurdity, the meme that terror has nothing to do with Islam never seems to die. A reminder of its tenacity comes from Northern Nigeria where assaults on Christians by Muslims are routinely referred to by government, media, and the “international community” as “clashes.” “Over 2000 Nigerians killed in Farmers-Herdsmen clashes.” That typical [...]

There has been much ink spilt over the recent referendum result in Ireland. Analysis of the reasons as to why the vote was lost may, however, provide seeds for a strategy to win similar debates in the future. For the first time in Irish politics, the former fault lines of Irish politics—anti versus pro-British, Protestant versus [...]

What’s the connection between time and eternity? Twitter and scripture? How can we use human language to speak of divine things? It’s complicated, so it’s not surprising we sometimes get it wrong. Gaudium et Spes, a document of the Second Vatican Council, says the Church should read the signs of the times, so that “in [...]

The liberal arts curriculum as we know it today formally grew out of the theological education of the early Middle Ages; however, this heritage seems to have been largely forgotten. Over the years, I’ve found that professors at English and Composition conferences often tilt their heads at me when I mention theology. Sometimes they deflect the [...]

When Jesus told his disciples, “I am the light of the world,” he was saying something deeply profound about himself. In fact, my academic background in physics convinces me that nothing in the material universe reveals as much about the divine nature. Most of us think of light as a source of illumination that renders [...]

In a fast-paced world, everyone wants everything instantly and effortlessly. This desire is part of a culture in which happiness and pleasure are expected yet not always delivered. When people inevitably fail to obtain all that they want, they suffer from stress and depression. No one should be surprised that they then also want instant [...]

I have attended the Novus Ordo Mass all my life. I do not believe it was necessarily a mistake to have the Mass translated into the vernacular so that people could more readily understand the words and actions. Yet I have great sympathy for people who flock to, or flee to, the traditional rite, and [...]

“Therefore, since we have this ministry through the mercy shown us, we are not discouraged. Rather, we have renounced shameful, hidden things; not acting deceitfully or falsifying the word of God, but by the open declaration of the truth we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God.” (2 Cor. 4: 1-2) It [...]

Keep your rosaries off my ovaries!  This week, Fox News pundit Tomi Lahren delivered a variation of this tired pro-abortion reaction to millions of fans and viewers. Lahren suggests that pro-life conservatives would favor what she calls a "religious judicial activist" over a "constitutional conservative" (read: Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, whom pro-lifers by and large support). In three separate appearances this week, Lahren has belied ignorance of the pro-life position, conservatism, and [...]

In his recent book on Pope Francis, Lost Shepherd, Philip Lawler reminds us that the papacy should be a source of Church unity. However, as Lawler points out, under the current pontiff this is not so. He lays out two reasons why: the first is Francis’s autocratic style and the second is the divisive program [...]

One of the interesting aspects of Fr. James Schall’s refreshing collection of essays, On Islam, is that it provides a chronological record. The first essay appeared in 2003, the last in 2018. This allows the reader to see how our understanding of Islam has changed over those years. Unfortunately, it hasn’t changed much at all. [...]

Current events, especially when they are no longer current, should rarely hold our attention for long, unless through the passing of time we perceive some enduring truth. In that case, the ephemeral is worth our time, because through it we touch what matters. Since this is true, we do not do ill to reflect on [...]

“Where there is no guidance, a people falls; but in an abundance of counselors there is safety” (Prov. 11:14). Such ancient Hebrew wisdom is relevant as we look at major public policies through different prisms (empirical, pragmatic, moral, anecdotal, sentimental [i.e., feeling]) and seek to make prudential judgments that will cultivate national stability and human [...]

Scott Hahn is a prolific Biblical scholar with a huge fan-base among orthodox Catholics. He doesn’t need my help promoting his new book, The First Society: The Sacrament of Matrimony and the Restoration of Social Order. But I need some help from him. I need his help convincing my pro-marriage policy-wonk friends that our defense [...]

If one overarching theme emerged from the decisions handed down in June in the most important cases of the 2017-18 Supreme Court term, it was that the First Amendment matters. Or rather, that one particular clause of the First Amendment—the guarantee of the right of freedom of speech—matters. Whether other clauses, in particular the right [...]

Just as the beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord, we might say that the first step on the road to sanctity is the realization that we are in exile, strangers and sojourners, knowing somehow, someway, we belong somewhere else. Ever since Adam and Eve got themselves cast out of the Garden, we [...]

Politicizing God

Whatever their conception of God, politicians seem ever intent on convincing others that he is on their side. For if God is with them, their principles, policies, and practices must be right, and their competitors’ must be wrong. In the ongoing immigration debate, Attorney General Jeff Sessions defended the practice of separating immigrant families at [...]

When one is looking for a good dose of reality and common sense, there are few better places than a Jane Austen novel. Entertaining they are, but also scattered with drops of wisdom that run counter to our modern notions. For example, take the idea of “change” (often coupled with “hope”); today this idea is [...]

Socialism never goes away. A quarter century after its collapse in Eastern Europe and Russia, and the success of market-oriented reforms elsewhere, many people once again see it as the ideal. This is true even in the Church. Not so very long ago Saint John XXIII reaffirmed the teaching of Pope Pius XI that “no Catholic [...]

“The majority can often be wrong.”  ~ Charlan Nemeth John Mulaney’s grandmother is my new hero. I admit it’s an odd claim because I don’t know much about her—not even her name. But, based on John’s testimony, I know this much: His grandmother is no respecter of persons. She cares not a speck for popular [...]

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