family

The Modern State Causes the Problems it Pretends to Fix

Pope Leo XIII affirms that a well governed State will promote the material and moral prosperity of its citizens, will honor private property and free association, and will protect the poor from abuse or depredation by the rich. How to do these things?  Leo lays down four principles. The first is what I’ll call the [...]

Why Marriage Matters

It was, not so very long ago, widely regarded in this country as morally wrong and, not infrequently, socially ruinous, for a man to walk out on his wife and children.  In 1961, for example, Nelson Rockefeller, who was then Governor of New York, decided to divorce his wife of more than twenty years, for [...]

Leo XIII Knew Socialism Would Fail Because it was Evil

It is generally held that Catholic Social Teaching begins with Pope Leo XIII’s masterly encyclical, Rerum Novarum (1891).  That, as I’ve tried to show, is a dreadful mistake.  Pope Leo considered it his duty to apply to current concerns the constant teaching of the Church and of the word of God.  Like Thomas Aquinas, the [...]

The Cause of America’s Declining Birthrate

The birthrate in the United States has fallen to record lows, according to a new study published by the Pew Research Center. What’s more, the report says the most dramatic drop has been among foreign-born Hispanic women. We have been content for some time that the U.S.-born Caucasian birth rate was below replacement but that [...]

More Educated Women Opting to Have Families

Many people I talk to are worried that it seems to them that the ‘wrong’ sort of people are having all the babies – those who are not in stable relationships or who are, rightly or wrongly, perceived to have lower morals and to be less educated.  Concerns are voiced especially among my parents' age [...]

Marriage or Savagery: Lithuania Debates the Family

Some of the most interesting debates on family policies are taking place in the European countries of the former Soviet bloc. In 2008, Lithuania passed legislation to define “family” as the married union of a man and a woman together with their children, adopted or biological. The point was key in terms of who gets [...]

Subsidy or Subsidiarity

Individualism and community are the opposite halves of the American character. For every myth of the self-made man, there is the image of the closely knit New England small town. For every lone cowboy on the frontier, there are the social, political, and cultural groups that Americans have formed since the beginning of the Republic. [...]

Catholic Schools: Toeing the Party Line

Robbed of much of their vitality by the violent implosion in religious orders, especially those devoted to teaching the young, over the past fifty years, our Catholic schools have struggled to stay alive - and many have closed their doors forever. Those that remain retain but a shell of their former orthodoxy. Prior to 1960 [...]

The Speed of Change in the Republic of Rights

“I grew up in Kansas. When I began my book Render Unto Caesar in 2006, I had in my mind the America I always knew—or thought I knew. But that America, I admit, has been passing for fifty years, and probably longer.” —Charles Chaput, September 2010 The Catholic thinkers, in the past century or so, [...]

Coming Apart: The State of White America

The American working class isn’t clinging bitterly to guns and religion; it is letting go of everything that once distinguished it. That’s what American sociologist and recent wave-maker Charles Murray says in Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010, along with his essay “The New American Divide.” Despite the considerable evidence Murray offers to [...]

Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows

“The clever men at Oxford Know all that there is to be knowed. But they none of them know one half a much As intelligent Mr. Toad!” A human being can be at home in the world just as he can feel a sense of comfort and belonging in his own household, or a person [...]

Progressive Inhumanity, Part One: The State against the Family

When they were casting for the old western The Rifleman, one small boy was brought into the room after another, to meet the star Chuck Connors and the director.  Then young Johnny Crawford came in, a little gangly in the arms and legs, with tousled hair and large brown eyes.  “That’s the son of Lucas [...]

Quixotic Rick Santorum

I half expect to stumble upon a YouTube video of Rick Santorum galloping through a field, lance in hand. Coming upon a small hill, he spurs his trusty steed onward, picking up speed as he nears the crest. Suddenly, he sees the arm of the enemy swing toward him. Pulling his head close to the [...]

Beating the Competition

Business leaders are blaming the education system for the loss of jobs offshore. But aren’t they forgetting that other institution that turns out good workers?

Gian Lorenzo Bernini

Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598-1680) was marked out for greatness at a very young age.  The son of a well-known sculptor, he arrived with his family in Rome as a young boy, and had soon captivated the city with his artistic genius.  Pope Paul V, amazed at such skill in one so young, said of him: [...]

Should the Government be Involved in Marriage?

Some libertarians, notably Ron Paul, say it should not. Another says that is foolish and irresponsible.

Modern Kids: Raised by Wolves

Digital textbooks. That is the latest idea from the White House for lifting the performance of American schools -- a strategy on which Korea and other countries are already ahead. Something certainly needs to be done; a new report from the Harvard Business School identifies the education system from kindergarten through to the end of [...]

Gingrich’s Fourth Wife: America

In a piece written for Fox News on January 20, 2012, Dr. Keith Ablow, a psychologist,opines that Mr. Newt Gingrich might make an excellent President of the United States, not despite his three marriages, but because of them, or rather because of the rare personal qualities that would made the trigamy possible. Allow me at [...]

Some New Church Music That Isn’t Sickening

The music you hear in a family’s household says a great deal about that family. For instance, if all they ever play is the shallow, repetitive stuff that gets churned out of the modern pop music machine then they deprive themselves of the richness and depth that God intended when he gave us the gift [...]

Of Human Dignity and Shoes

For most of you this weekend contains a date you'll never forget, along the lines of September 11, or December 7 -- anniversaries of profound wounds to our country as a whole, even if we didn't lose a relative in those surprise attacks or the wars that ensued. For millions of Americans, however, January 22 [...]

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