public morality

A Nation That Can’t Forgive Is Doomed

On October 2, former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger was convicted of murdering Botham Jean in his own home. Guyger claims she entered Jean’s apartment by accident (she lived on the floor above) and, mistaking him for a burglar, shot him dead. Jean was eating a bowl of ice cream. Following Guyger’s sentencing, Jean’s 18-year-old [...]

Care for the Common Good Requires Sexual Morality

Catholics who put themselves forward as advocates of social justice seem to behave as if the sexual teachings of the Church did not bear upon the issue at all. These Catholics are not wrong to care for the common good. The quality of their recommendation—whether it is mistaken or not—will depend upon what they recommend, and how, [...]

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 [...]

Why Judaism (and then Christianity) Rejected Homosexuality

Editor’s note: The following essay by Dennis Prager first appeared in the September 1993 print edition of Crisis Magazine. When Judaism demanded that all sexual activity be channeled into marriage, it changed the world. The Torah's prohibition of non-marital sex quite simply made the creation of Western civilization possible. Societies that did not place boundaries [...]

Is “Sexual Immorality” a Useful Concept?

The expression “sexual immorality” seems overly contentious to people today. To say someone has acted immorally is usually to say he’s acted in a way that’s morally repellent. But most people don’t feel that way about non-standard sexual activity. It’s not fornication, adultery, or sodomy that leaders of thought consider repellent, but the pharisaical judgmentalism [...]

Street Harassment: Another Misdirected Cause?

A multitude of people saw the YouTube video, or read the story in the news, about the actress who took part in a planned, secretly filmed ten-hour walk through Manhattan that—as expected—resulted in a substantial number of comments, catcalls, winks and what not from men she passed. The filming was arranged by an organization that [...]

The Illusion of Neutrality

We have all heard what has come to be a liberal dictum, that the State must remain neutral as regards religion or irreligion. One can show fairly easily that the men who wrote our constitution had no such neutrality in mind, given the laws that they and their fellows subsequently passed, their habits of public prayer at [...]

On the Sexual Attitudes of Christian Same-Sex Marriage Supporters

As mainline Protestant denominations increasingly accept the ordination of gay clergy and publicly affirm same-sex unions, the sociologist in me wishes to understand what this development means for people in those denominations. I’m not talking about subtle linguistic shifts. While the difference between speaking of marriage as a “civil contract between a woman and a [...]

Why We Are Arguing About Religion

Most of us have been told from a young age that religious beliefs cause strife. The early modern “wars of religion” are portrayed as merely the most overt form of what happens when religion is allowed too much influence in public life. Of course, Protestant and Catholic forces fought on both sides of these conflicts. [...]

Sex: Our Greatest Natural Resource

Sexual differentiation is our greatest natural resource. The fact that Adam and Eve are not identical, but corresponding, is not just a part of God’s creation. It is the best part. The fruitful tension between husband and wife, the unity-in-diversity of humanity, along with its vital outcome of children, is how continuity and diversity are [...]

The Moral Life Takes a Holiday

When New Jersey-born novelist Philip Roth, arguably America’s most acclaimed author, turned eighty last month, his home town of Newark rolled out the red carpet, determined to honor a local luminary whose fame had reached into every corner of American cultural life.  Did I say fame?  Maybe the more honest appellation should be infamy, since [...]

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