human rights

Defy Mob Justice by Celebrating the Life of Robert E. Lee

On October 12, 1870, a good man closed his eyes on this world. Although loved by many, and respected by most at the time of his death, history has since laden Robert E. Lee with abuse and hatred. The change has been long coming, but Dylann Roof's 2015 racist shooting raised disgust to a fever [...]

What “Accompaniment” Really Means

These reflections are written against the background of the way in which many activities, once treated under the natural law, came to be considered human “rights” under civil law. A couple of decade ago, it became clear that the subversion of natural law would be carried out under the aegis of “human rights” as understood [...]

The Meaning of “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness”

As we celebrate once again the anniversary of our nation’s Declaration of Independence, we can rightfully take pride in its recognition that all men are “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” These words remind those in government, not just in this country [...]

A Strategy for Fighting the Cold War with Islam

I’m reading Paul Kengor’s splendid book, A Pope and a President, and it got me to thinking—as everything does these days—about Islam. Kengor’s book tell the story of the partnership between Pope John Paul II and Ronald Reagan, and the role the two played in defeating Soviet communism. Without their commitment to fighting communism, the [...]

Against Choice as the Supreme Good

Arguments based on rights seem irresistible today. Unlike arguments based on natural law, let alone those based on revealed religion, everyone seems to understand them without further explanation. So if someone wants to say abortion is bad he says it violates the right to life, and if he wants to oppose the current deconstruction of [...]

Re-evaluating Today’s Human Rights Regime

Everybody favors human rights—the US, the EU, the UN, the leaders of the Church, and indeed all respectable public figures. But what are they? There doesn't seem to be a good explanation. They are rights we have simply as human beings, but what does that mean? It might mean that each of us has a [...]

Augustine, Aquinas, or Kant? Pope Francis at the UN

One of the world’s worst-kept secrets is the Holy See’s high regard for the United Nations. Since Paul VI, popes have appeared before its General Assembly to express their “great esteem,” as Francis remarked in his recent UN address, for its work. Not all Catholics entertain favorable views of the UN. They point, for instance, [...]

Pope Francis: “Children have a ‘Right’ to a Mother and Father”

Pope Francis continues to elicit much strong reaction among orthodox Catholics and liberal Catholics, Protestants and Jews, agnostics and atheists, progressives and conservatives, collectivists and free marketers, tree huggers and polluters, cats and dogs, fish and birds, and everything in between. But one thing is increasingly certain: When it comes to the Church’s position on [...]

Must Catholics Favor Socialized Medicine?

Among the many debates triggered throughout America by Obamacare, one concerns whether access to healthcare may be described as a “right.” Assuming such a right exists, a related issue is what this means for public policy. For Catholics, the answer to the first question seems clear. In a 2012 message to a conference for healthcare [...]

The Democratic Party and Human Rights: The History Defies the Claims

The Democrats have liked to promote themselves over the years as the party that has been at the vanguard of promoting such causes as civil rights and human rights generally. An impression has been cultivated that we owe advances in human rights to liberalism, which at least since the New Deal has been identified in [...]

China’s Crackdown on Christians

The Roman Catholic Church in China has been persecuted by the Chinese communists for some six decades -- essentially since the nation fell to communism in 1949. As faithful Marxists, Beijing’s despots perceived any allegiance to God or the Church as a threat to their domination, and they acted accordingly. So much of the Church was forced to go underground.

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