family dysfunction

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 [...]

A Church Policy for LGBTs and Their Families

On a blog promoting the documentary, “Seventh-Gay Adventists,” David Neff, past editor of Christianity Today magazine, posted, “Conservative churches need to think in advance how to relate to families and committed [LGBT] couples who long to be part of their fellowship.” Neff went on to say the film features a lesbian couple and their daughter, [...]

On Those Things a President Cannot Solve

There are many issues that President Trump can solve. His first great accomplishment was solving the election. Almost all conservatives adopted a thank-God-it’s-not-Hillary approach to the Trump presidency. There was a general sigh of relief over a bullet dodged. As time passes, the administration now stands on its own merits beyond being not-Hillary. In this [...]

The World Has Little of Value to Teach the Church

I recently commented on the signs of the times, and noted that they tell us to pay more attention to eternity. The topic deserves further discussion. In the 1960s, it became common for Catholics to look to the world for guidance. This attitude inspired the widespread false belief that Saint John XXIII said the Second Vatican [...]

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. [...]

Lucifer’s Game

In generations past, the great majority of American children were raised by their mother and father, who lived in the same home. In such a culture, the rest of the community had little to do with the rearing and nurturing of the children. The bulk of the child’s maturation was due to the decisions and [...]

Why Private Sexual Vice is a Public Concern

One of the Holy Week events at my old school, Providence College, was a march in favor of a wide variety of sexual inclinations, all of them disordered by biological nature, and considered to be so also by the Catholic Church, which takes its lead in this regard from Scripture and from the doctrine taught [...]

Dealing with a Walk-Away World

A colleague told me of an intriguing incident at a conference of accountants that were studying recent changes in tax regulations. One speaker gave a talk on recruiting new staff and how to deal with turnover. An attendee then asked a question remarking that from the context of her presentation, it seemed companies were facing [...]

Shootings and Fatherlessness: A Clarification on the Data

Earlier this week I published a piece at Crisis for which I owe readers an apology and explanation. In 30 years of commentary writing, I’ve never had to do this, which surely has been God’s grace, given my many bouts of arrogant stupidity, but maybe the good Lord gave me this one for some badly [...]

Fatherless Shooters … as Liberals Push for Fatherless Families

Editor’s note: The following column reports figures on the fatherlessness of mass shooters that turned out to be inaccurate. Immediately upon discovering the error, Dr. Kengor took it upon himself to do his own research to find out what the actual numbers are and recorded his discovery in a new column published in Crisis several [...]

Invite Children of Divorce to Cupich’s Amoris Laetitia Seminars

I see where Cardinal Cupich is planning a series of seminars on Amoris Laetitia. According to a letter obtained by the Catholic News Agency, the “New Momentum Conferences on Amoris Laetitia,” will “provide formative pastoral programs.” As someone who has listened to many victims of the Sexual Revolution, I am eager to learn about the “pastoral [...]

“It’s Time to Do Something!”

In the wake of the recent Florida school shooting, a chorus of well-meaning folks is demanding, “Enough—it’s time to do something!” As usual that “something” includes tougher gun controls and universal background checks—technocratic “solutions” that are ineffective at best and detrimental at worst. In Fyodor Dostoevsky’s epic novel, The Idiot, a well-meaning prince is driven [...]

The New York Times Reacts to Falling Fertility Rates

A recent article in The New York Times on America’s declining fertility rates—“American Fertility Is Falling Short of What Women Want” (I note the article’s title appears to have changed)—was as concerning and risible as the news they reported. The concerning part was its statistical confirmation of a trend bedeviling (not just) the Western world: [...]

When Will the Shooting Stop?

The gun control debate has reignited with the recent Florida shooting. Despite the passionate commentaries on all sides, no one seems to be able to answer the question of when the shootings will stop. As much as liberal media want to blame guns, police or government, this is a moral problem. It involves the acts [...]

The Spiritual Roots of Working Class Woes

Secular readers have seen J.D. Vance’s recent best-selling Hillbilly Elegy as the prophetic book of the political year, explaining if not predicting Trumpism, and even as the most clear-eyed, dismal report on the moral state of the new American millennium, zeroing in on our national “family and culture in crisis.” Vance’s personal memoir knows that deep [...]

How Not to Analyze the Modern Family Crisis

The Sexual Revolution continues to inspire an outpouring of new books, not all of which present a benign picture of the consequences. Yet it is still rare for a scholar employed at a state-funded university to weigh in on family-sexual issues with any viewpoint other than sympathy for radical left ideology, and even rarer for [...]

Facing Squarely the Spiritual Roots of Contemporary Violence

Whenever we undergo another mass shooting or terrorist attack, I am struck by the stampede of blame that ensues in the media. The question that always surfaces for me in these moments is this: do we know how to make sense of such evil acts in this age of relativism? It has become commonplace to [...]

Statistics We Refuse to Collect 

“There are no statistics!” cried a critic of an article I wrote for Crisis a couple of weeks ago. I had asked a prominent Jesuit to open his eyes and look at the vast human misery caused by the breakdown of sexual mores in the West. Had I laced the piece with statistics, people would [...]

Islamic Family Values

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 [...]

Questions in the Aftermath of the Las Vegas Shooting

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 [...]

Open Your Eyes Father Martin

Father James G. Martin, S.J., is either a cruel or a foolish man. It does not seem to be the first. But if it is not that, it must be the second, because that alone can explain how a Catholic priest can live in the midst of massive and unprecedented family breakdown, and the chaos, [...]

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