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Dear Swillpit, The next best thing to a religion that is ignored or marginalized is one that is found useful, i.e., a means to some practical end. Thus, the minute a creature is drawn into religion, help him to see its utility in something important to him. This something can be as personal as self-improvement [...]

Today, socialism and Christianity are considered antagonistic movements. Most socialists aren’t Christian and most Christians aren’t socialist. Yet analysis reveals a striking congruence. And the similarities between Christianity and socialism are not coincidences. They are influences. Christianity, after all, is the most powerful intellectual movement the Western world has seen. It furnished the Western mind [...]

“Will you walk into my parlour?” said the Spider to the Fly, “'Tis the prettiest little parlour that ever you did spy; The way into my parlour is up a winding stair, And I've a many curious things to show when you are there.” Mary Howitt wrote 180 books with her husband, and was a [...]

The words of this ancient maxim are akin to the quintessence, the crystalline solid that was thought to move the planets in perfect orbits in pre-modern cosmology: The words are a succinct, nearly perfect encapsulation of the whole of the Catholic (and not only of the Catholic) religion. They name, and tell the relation of, [...]

Last Sunday I was away from home; this normally means trouble. It means I do not attend Mass at the chapel of Saint Thomas More College, which is where I teach, nor at Northeast Catholic College, which is in the town where we live. It means I must hear Mass, or have Mass drummed into my [...]

Progressivism, the view that modern political tendencies should continually be extended, has deep roots. Its beginnings are closely connected to the rise of modern natural science, which rejects the contemplative ideal of knowledge in favor of prediction and control. This approach, which stresses observation, measurement, and mathematical modeling, has led to modern technology and industry. [...]

Does hell play a role in evangelization? If it does, then when and how? Catholics take many positions on this topic and they all impact the effectiveness of evangelization. To begin, let me situate this analysis by raising three relevant points. First, discussing hell can be emotional and difficult to face for obvious reasons, such as hell's [...]

“Woe to the world because of scandals. For it must be that scandals come: but woe to that man by whom the scandal cometh” (Mt. 18:7). Once again we must endure a period of shame in the Church, much to the pain of all believers. Our Lord had predicted the inevitability of scandals, so we [...]

When we review the calamities which afflict so many other nations, the present condition of the United States affords much matter of consolation and satisfaction. Our exemption hitherto from foreign war, an increasing prospect of the continuance of that exception, the great degree of internal tranquillity we have enjoyed, the recent confirmation of that tranquillity [...]

Robots are all the rage these days, promising to automate many of the functions that previously required human beings to fulfill them: factory work, manufacturing, transportation … and, of course, sex. The burgeoning sex robot industry is dedicated to creating increasingly "life-like" animatronic lovers for consumers, with the intention of eventually developing robots that are, [...]

Advent: Latin ad-venio, to come to. "Send down the dew, ye heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain the Just One: let the earth be opened, and bud forth the Redeemer." Thus begins the Advent hymn, “Rorate Caeli,” that mournfully calls upon God to hear our prayers. We are made to sigh with longings, [...]

An Ohio college professor who refused to comply with a male student’s request to be addressed as “ma’am” instead of “sir,” was ordered by the university to comply with the student’s wishes. When a Florida middle school gym teacher refused to participate in a plan to allow a female student who identifies as a boy [...]

Google Is Watching You

A new documentary, The Creepy Line, suggests that Google is not living up to its primary motto: “Don’t be Evil.” Instead, it is involved in activities that should be viewed with some concern by anyone who values privacy and freedom of speech. Some facts from the film: Google tracks your location history and keeps a [...]

Watchdogs and Wolves

“Do you not know,” says Saint Paul to the lax and factious Corinthians, “that we shall judge angels?” For they had ceded to the unbelievers around them the authority to judge a controversy between Christian brothers. But Jesus says, “Judge not, lest you be judged,” because the criterion by which we measure others will be [...]

Katharine, my preteen, sent me a link to a song she’d happened across. “It’s my new jam,” she wrote, and I eagerly clicked on it to listen. What dad of a preteen wouldn’t? Imagine my surprise when Kath’s new jam turned out to be an ad for a cleaning product. The accompanying video was fun [...]

In this present crisis in the Church, with more and more revelations of a “sodomitic filth that insinuates itself like a cancer in the ecclesiastical order” (St. Peter Damian), and the subsequent cover-ups and payoffs, the Body of Christ is pierced again with new thorns and nails, and the Mother of God is pierced again [...]

When Suns Collide

Americans like to think of themselves as living in a classless society, and historically this is largely, but not entirely, true, with a large middle class dominating the country’s economic, political, and social life. In the traditional social model, there was a small and moneyed upper class above the middle class, typically marked by its willingness [...]

Dear Swillpit, It's interesting how humans can go through life without giving much serious thought to their faith. Oh yes, they may believe in a supreme Being and an afterlife. They may be members of a church, even leaders or clergy. And they may have mouthed their allegiance to our Adversary. But beyond the sanctuary [...]

My wife and I have recently started regularly attending our local Latin Mass in the Extraordinary Form. We took our two young boys one Sunday in July, shortly after the news of ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick’s sins jumpstarted the current round of clergy sex scandals. We had previously attended about once a year just to mix [...]

Hating Sin

It is Passover, and Jesus has gone up to Jerusalem with his disciples. He has come to the Temple, where he finds people “selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the moneychangers at their business.” It is interesting to note what he does then, and what he does not do. He does not engage the [...]

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