Environmentalism

The Mosque Attack in New Zealand and Its Consequences

Last week, a man who claimed to be defending Western Civilization killed 50 defenseless worshippers in two New Zealand mosques, thereby betraying every good thing that Western Civilization stands for. A supposed foe of jihad terror, the terrorist adopted the savage tactics of jihadists in order to further his twisted ideology. Whatever he was trying [...]

What Makes the Christian Worldview Different from the Rest

One cannot live without developing opinions about the nature of reality, so every well-defined culture and faith naturally introduces its members to a way of seeing the world. While we can easily name many different worldviews, perhaps the five most important ones are: 1) Chinese, 2) Indian, 3) Muslim, 4) secular humanist, and 5) Christian. [...]

Human Composting: The Ultimate Denial of the Soul

From time immemorial, people have buried the dead. Sometimes they even risked their lives to carry out this most basic duty. In times of persecution, for example, Christians put themselves in great danger to recover the bodies of martyrs so that they might receive the holy rites of Christian burial. The Old Testament recounts the [...]

The Great Emergency

That every five hundred years the Church passes through a crisis is not a novel insight. It may be something of a contrived schematic, since there have been other crises as well, but each of those periods of crisis has influenced the Church to an extraordinary and radical degree: The Fall of the Roman Empire, [...]

Look at That: Ecology and Culture

When the astronaut Edgar Mitchell recalled seeing Earth from a lunar vantage point, he offered a priceless quote: You develop an instant global consciousness, a people orientation, an intense dissatisfaction with the state of the world, and a compulsion to do something about it. From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. [...]

Does “Climate Change” Cause Hunger?

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 [...]

Post Mortem of a Religious Order

First, a little statement in the interest of complete transparency: This article touches on the issue of fracking for oil and natural gas. I freely acknowledge that I am very “pro-fracking” and have family members in Oklahoma who work in the industry. The practice has been around since the 1940s, and when done properly, it [...]

The Death of Harambe: Comedy or Tragedy?

On Memorial Day 2016, a day to remember and mourn the sacrifice of America’s war heroes, dozens of people gathered in Cincinnati to mourn and remember a gorilla. Over the Memorial Day weekend, a 3-year-old boy slipped through the barricades at the Cincinnati Zoo into the gorilla enclosure. The horrified crowd screamed as the child [...]

The New Literalism and Fundamentalism

Catholics—even more so liberal Catholics—are usually quick to criticize anyone who seems to interpret Scripture too literally. Indeed, liberal Catholics often don’t even want to view a lot of it as historical. Liberal Catholics and leftists generally are also ready to rebuke people who adhere to aspects of traditional Christian morality, especially sexual matters, as [...]

Laudato Si’ and the Selling of Body Parts

The recent revelations surrounding the selling of fetal body parts by Planned Parenthood highlight a crisis in contemporary society depicted in Pope Francis’ Laudato Si’. With uncanny insight, Pope Francis had written, “the culture of relativism is the same disorder which drives one person to take advantage of another, to treat others as mere objects…. Is [...]

Unreliable Eco Forecasts Produce Unnecessary Fear

During this latest period of heightened environmental interest given by a new round of international conferences, hoped for treaties and now also a papal encyclical, there is a rather curious embrace of the predictions of environmental science as forecasts that are to be believed, virtually at face value. “Studies show…”, “predictions indicate…”, “the established science [...]

The Lion Sleeps Tonight

Planned Parenthood has been caught selling baby parts and the headlines and talk show hosts are screaming with outrage. But not about that. About a guy who shot a lion in Zimbabwe. It turns out that the guy who shot the lion is a dentist. His office is just down the road from my home [...]

Environmentalism That Harms the Poor

I recently begged the Holy Father, in this magazine’s print edition, to be very careful in anything he might say about global warming in his then forthcoming (but, alas, now published) encyclical on the environment, not least because there has actually been no global warming to speak of for more than 18 years now and because [...]

Getting to Know the Real St. Francis

Franciscan peace is not something saccharine. Hardly! That is not the real Saint Francis! Nor is it a kind of pantheistic harmony with forces of the cosmos. That is not Franciscan either! It is not Franciscan, but a notion that some people have invented! These words were not articulated by a representative of the Texas [...]

What Does “Sustainability” Really Mean?

The Pontifical Academy for Science’s summary of their recent conference on sustainability, itself anticipating our Holy Father’s (supposed) environmental encyclical, is suffused with scientific inaccuracies, some small, others large. But these are forgivable, considering the hearts of its authors are in the right place; and perhaps the theology of the document is sound. The PAS said, “Unsustainable [...]

Vatican Burns with Global Warming Enthusiasm

The Pontifical Academy of Sciences had its one-day global warming conference yesterday. Not unlike a certain synod, it ended with the issuing of an anticlimactic pre-prepared climatic document "Climate Change and The Common Good: A Statement Of The Problem And The Demand For Transformative Solutions." Gist: we are soon doomed unless we "do something." More on that [...]

Would the Greens Protect St George’s Dragon?

With this week's libertine and slovenly Earth Day celebrations safely behind us, we can now embrace one of our healthiest traditions—supplanting a pagan festival with a Christian one. Conveniently, we don't even have to invent one: Today is the feast of St. George. St. George was one of the most beloved and venerated saints of [...]

What Should the Pope’s Ecology Encyclical Say?

There has been some discussion of news reports that Pope Francis plans to write an encyclical letter on ecology and the environment. In anticipation of a possible papal letter on those subjects, two recent articles struck my attention. Robb Willer, in the New York Times opines that one reason for the divergent political responses over how [...]

Prophecy and Prediction: Best Left to the Professionals

Some words spring up as the fashion “du jour” and linger longer than others. There are annoyances like the overwrought “awesome” and now the incessant “iconic” which betray a weak understanding of the meaning of those words and a limited vocabulary. A little more irritating a few years ago was “gravitas” which appeared in an [...]

Don’t Lose Sleep Over Climate Change Encyclical

It’s official. Progressives love Pope Francis. Their magazines, from Think Progress to Mother Jones, are abuzz with excitement in light of the recent rumor that the pope is going to issue an encyclical on climate change sometime in the next few months. As a politically conservative American Catholic, I’m expected to throw a fit about [...]

A “Better Life Index” that Ignores What Makes for a Better Life

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is an international organization made up mostly of industrialized countries “to promote policies that will improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world.” It emphasizes its commitment to a market economy, democratic rule, economic growth, and environmental well-being. In 2011, it launched its “Better [...]

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