Politics

Though I was born on a farm, I was raised in small-town Iowa. Thus, I was never a farmer, though my grandfathers were. Several of my aunts, uncles, and cousins formed farming families. I remember seeing, due to mechanization, the size of farms that one family could handle pass in size from a quarter-section, to [...]

Though I was born on a farm, I was raised in small-town Iowa. Thus, I was never a farmer, though my grandfathers were. Several of my aunts, uncles, and cousins formed farming families. I remember seeing, due to mechanization, the size of farms that one family could handle pass in size from a quarter-section, to [...]

“Sticks and stones may break my bones / but names will never hurt me.” So goes the old children’s nursery rhyme. We know, of course, that the claim is not exactly true: CBS produced a documentary in 2011 about the effects of bullying in a digital age, “Words Can Kill.” What is less talked about [...]

You might say that Lee Edwards is the Zelig of the conservative movement, except Edwards is nothing like the inconsequential eager-to-please character created by Woody Allen. Even so, Edwards has been present and a central participant in every single significant conservative event and development for close to 85 years. I say 85 years because Edwards [...]

Elizabeth Stoker Bruenig’s inaugural essay as an opinion columnist at the Washington Post critiques the performance of Catholic Republicans in allowing Church teaching to guide their policies. Bruenig presents a tale of Catholic conservatives abandoning Catholic social teaching and respect for papal and episcopal guidance in exchange for a political alliance with evangelical Christians that [...]

Thomas Jefferson is said to have quipped, "a government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take away everything that you have." While history does not support the Jeffersonian attribution, it does support the conclusion—witness Soviet Russia, Communist China, and North Korea. But how big is too big? [...]

I once took a Soviet film class where we were introduced to the brilliant propaganda of Sergei Eisenstein and the later films of “the thaw.” The “thaw” period in the Soviet bloc was marked by films that included elements or subjects no one would have dared touch just a few years prior. What was one [...]

Everyone seems to agree that haters and bigots are bad people. The belief makes some sense. If someone’s way of viewing others is based on aversions that don’t regard truth or justice then it’s basically malicious, at least in the extreme cases the words “hate” and “bigotry” suggest. So it seems that Catholics can buy [...]

Just as it’s not a good idea to read too much into the cross tattooed on the bicep of the otherwise threatening biker at the bar, it’s best not to read too much into the occasional concessions toward Christianity we find in Islam. For some Catholics, it seems to be enough to hear that, as [...]

Affordable and accessible health care is a right, was the line. And it worked. By shoving the partisan healthcare bill through the straw of “social justice,” Obamacare was passed, if barely, adding to the already ponderous government programs for health and welfare. But what was touted as social justice, as so many things are, is [...]

Another day in the aftermath of an attack that left behind many dead, many wounded and countless people confused. Minutes after the allegiance of the culprit became known, the media downplayed the likelihood that the attack had anything to do with Islam. He was probably mentally ill or maybe poor, but surely his motivation was [...]

What exactly has been defeated in the recent battles against ISIS? The relative success of ISIS in recent years has been made possible largely by the failure of its opponents to understand what it is. Its military successes in the Near East and in the worldwide turmoil caused by frequent suicide bombings, shootings, and truck [...]

While there is not so much mention of it in the media anymore, the American public is still reeling from the inexplicable massacre in Las Vegas, the largest mass murder in history in a country where mass murders of innocent people have become far too common. Some of the usual responses came from the usual [...]

During her confirmation hearing last September, Notre Dame law professor, Amy Coney Barrett, was openly interrogated about her faith. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) brazenly uttered the now infamous words, “the dogma lives loudly within you,” and went on to explain why that is “of concern” to her. This is but one manifestation of a new [...]

Is a long-standing commemorative cross on public land socially divisive and a governmental endorsement of religion? Or, to the contrary, is a constitutional challenge to that cross an act of gratuitous social divisiveness? Last week, in American Humanist Association v. Maryland, the federal Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a ruling of the federal district court of [...]

Probably each of us has had an experience that awakened our conscience, one that changed the way we looked at the world and ourselves, a moment of moral clarity that made us reflect, “I was blind, but now I see.” As a young boy growing up in the rural south, water fountains labeled “White” and [...]

The good news is that ISIS has been defeated in Mosul and Raqqa, and may soon be driven entirely out of Iraq and Syria. The bad news is that Islamists continue to pile up victory after victory on the home front. The home front war is basically a culture war. Islamists are winning it because [...]

Sunday was the 1,276-year anniversary of the death of Charles, King of the Franks. Charles, who won the decisive victory at the Battle of Tours against the Umayyad Caliphate (an Islamic state), gained the nickname “Martel,” meaning “the Hammer.” This battle was the beginning of the expulsion of Islam from, and victory of Christendom over, [...]

If you’ve ever seen Casablanca, you won’t have forgotten the scene in Rick’s Cafe where the German officers who are singing “Die Wacht am Rhein” are drowned out by the French patrons who burst into a rousing rendition of the “Marseillaise.” Something similar happened last week at the National Opera in Cluj Napoca, Romania. A [...]

“Our beloved home will not be fulfilled with the European Union. The real Europe is, and always will be, a community of nations, at once insular, sometimes fiercely so, and yet united by a spiritual legacy that, together, we debate, develop, state—and love.”  ∼ The Paris Statement, #12. Aristotle had trouble comprehending the feasibility of Alexander’s [...]

The past 100 years from 1917 to 2017 have been an encapsulation of the protoevangelium, when God told the serpent "I will put enmity between you and the woman." This 100-years-war has signified a most pronounced phase in the enmity. It began in 1917 with both (what are the odds?) the revelation of Our Lady [...]

President Trump’s welcome October 6 decision to roll back the Obama Administration’s trampling of conscience rights, which required employers to pay for abortifacients, in no time led to howls in the media and among Democrats about the “threat” to “contraceptives” and “birth control.” By the next day, my email contained an appeal from the Democratic [...]

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