conscience

Lawless Christians

We consider that a person is justified by faith apart from works of the law. –Rom. 3:28 We have believed in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified. –Gal. 2:16 In November, 2008, [...]

Authority and Its Discontents

The Church’s response to the ObamaCare Mandate calls to mind this journal’s original name, Catholicism in Crisis. Today the Church confronts a crisis – “an invasion of our religious freedom,” Donald Cardinal Wuerl calls it -- and the outcome is far from certain. The Mandate is only one in a flood of attacks that will [...]

And Also With Your Spirit

Thirty minutes from now I will stop working on this article and, with that strange combination of eagerness and resignation that animates mothers around the globe, prepare to pick-up my children from school.  Forty minutes from now, one of my children will grab their forehead, let out a low moan, and admit to forgetting their [...]

In Washington State, a Victory for Conscience

It was a great way to start Lent. On Ash Wednesday, in an eagerly anticipated  case, a federal judge in Washington State issued a ruling that strongly affirmed  the centrality of the rights of conscience and religious exercise. The court ruled that Christian pharmacists could not be required to stock and  dispense medication that violated [...]

Obama Drives a Bishop to Mention Hell

America’s Catholic bishops are princes of diplomacy, highly educated, erudite, men of tact, propriety. They’re asked to shepherd the flock with a long historical timeframe—like, say, eternity. They tend not to have knee-jerk reactions to issues of the moment. And so, it’s not often when a paragon of decorum, namely, Pittsburgh Bishop David Zubik, publishes [...]

Romney Told Catholic Hospitals to Administer Abortion Pills

A defining moment in Mitt Romney's post-pro-life-conversion political career came in his third year as governor of Massachusetts, when he decided Catholic hospitals would be required under his interpretation of a new state law to give rape victims a drug that can induce abortions. Romney announced this decision — saying it was the "right thing [...]

The Pope Told You So

Our many fellow Catholics now enchained for the Faith of our Fathers in such places as China, Syria, and Egypt are, as Father Faber's hymn says, “in heart and conscience free.” But what happens when a government tries to chain the conscience itself? A few weeks ago, in a remarkably unanimous decision, the U.S. Supreme Court [...]

Vulture Capitalism or Populist Demagoguery?

  "They're vultures that are sitting out there on the tree limb, waiting for a company to get sick, and then they swoop in ... eat the carcass ... and ... leave the skeleton." So Rick Perry colorfully characterized the private equity firm Bain Capital, once run by Mitt Romney. How did Bain prosper? Says [...]

Coercing Consciences

  During his homily at the Mass pro eligendo Romano Pontifice [for the election of the Roman Pontiff] on April 18, 2005, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger cautioned his fellow-cardinals that John Paul II’s successor would have to deal with an emerging “dictatorship of relativism” throughout the western world: the use of coercive state power to impose [...]

Your Inner Cop

Colson’s Law is named for the man I learned it from: Chuck Colson, founder of Prison Fellowship Ministries. It is one of the fundamental laws of human history. It has always been true, and it always will be true, unless human nature itself changes in its very essence. It is the law of four “C’s”: [...]

Jesus at First Sight

Some years ago, at an excellent high school in Minneapolis, I taught a seminar to junior boys on ancient and early Christian authors. The course began with a full-length reading of Homer's Iliad, and at Christmas, with the seminar half over, my informal poll always revealed that this was the boys' favorite work up to [...]

On Giving Scandal

A reader writes: I was recently thinking about the prayers for Bin Laden -- and felt I had butted up against the scandal of the Gospel. Specifically, I found it difficult to pray for Osama Bin Laden after his death, because I felt that lots of people would, and why should this mass murderer who [...]

Christian couple barred from being foster parents over views on homosexuality

A couple in England lost their right to be foster parents because "they said they could not tell a child a 'homosexual lifestyle' was acceptable": Lord Justice Munby and Mr Justice Beatson ruled that laws protecting people from discrimination because of their sexual orientation "should take precedence" over the right not to be discriminated against [...]

An iPhone App to Take to Confession

Recently I paid my $1.99 and downloaded the new iPhone app for confession. Seeing the app was subtitled “a Roman Catholic App,” I figured it wasn’t going to suffer from “Catholicism Lite.” (Whether the new app would meet the demanding standard of John Allen’s “Taliban Catholicism,” I was about to find out.) Since its release, [...]

Insert terrible confession pun here.

The Interwebs are really lighting up with the story of a new iPhone app that aids Catholics in making a good confession. The app allows users to create a secure personal profile that then leads to a guided examination of conscience based on one's age, gender, and state in life. You then "select" your sins [...]

Defund! Defund! Defund!

From the Boston Globe: A Massachusetts antiabortion group has unveiled a bill that would let individual taxpayers opt out of paying for publicly funded abortions. Under the measure, a taxpayer could choose to have whatever portion of their state taxes pays for abortion coverage directed instead to the Baby Safe Haven Law. That law allows [...]

The Religious Rights of Children

The law protects children outside the family much as it protects adults. In addition, children, have special rights appropriate to their age: The state forbids their neglect and guarantees them education, medical care, and the like. The crucial right that society denies to children is that of autonomy -- the right to decide for oneself. [...]

12 Myths Every Catholic Should Be Able to Answer

Freedom of speech is a great thing. Unfortunately, it comes at a price: When citizens are free to say what they want, they'll sometimes use that freedom to say some pretty silly things. And that's the case with the 12 claims we're about to cover. Some of them are made over and over, others are [...]

Fear, Anger, and Cool, Surgical Voting

Brian Saint-Paul, in posting about Dan Burke's piece at Religion News Service, alerted me to the following quote from Sister Simone Campbell, who is apparently one of those "progressive" Catholics I hear about: "Those [pro-choice, anti-limited-government, leftist legislators who culturally identify as Catholic] are folks who are really committed to the common good, with a [...]

“Divorce is the scandal of the evangelical conscience.”

Albert Mohler, Jr., president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, wrote a remarkable blog post criticizing Evangelicalism for its acceptance of divorce: When the Christian right was organized in the 1970s and galvanized in the 1980s, the issues of abortion and homosexuality were front and center. Where was divorce? [University of Washington political science professor [...]

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