raising children

Is There a Right to be Left Alone?

With respect to social/moral issues, contemporary liberalism or progressivism is flourishing in certain states, among which are California and Colorado. And under this “new federalism,” the direct governmental attempt to coerce individuals is prominent. But the Supreme Court, as set out below, has largely resisted attempts to curtail individual religious and moral liberty. And two [...]

A World Without Hope

I've written recently that our schools introduce young people not to that guide of intelligence and beauty, Lady Faith, but to her current impostor, the bitch, Politics. Our “sins” are political, and we are to be “saved” by giving our assent to the Right Things about sex and marriage, climatic changes, organic food, the evil [...]

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 [...]

The Faithlessness of Public Education

In the wake of the dreadful massacre at the high school in Florida, I asked, via social media, what I thought was a question so obvious that everyone was bound to miss it, just as you do not notice the air you breathe. It was simply this. Why is no one surprised that a deranged [...]

“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 [...]

10 Books That Every Boy Should Hazard

Thanks to the adulterators of children’s literature, the natural anticipations when approaching forgotten classics have been skewed. Everyone expects that everything will be picturesque, nice, and most importantly, safe. For reality is far too dangerous, far too harsh a thing, and children must be protected from it at all costs. Real stories for real boys, [...]

Why Young Readers Need Real Books

A young lady I know won a Kindle in an academic contest. She is a voracious reader. In eighth grade, she enjoys Austen, Chesterton, Lewis, and Wodehouse, among many others. A trail of books seems to follow her everywhere she goes. Her parents, wary of potential negative effects of screens on growing minds, would have [...]

The Wisdom in Wonder: Children at Christmas Time

And they came with haste; and they found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger. And seeing, they understood of the word that had been spoken to them concerning this child. And all that heard, wondered: and at those things that were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these [...]

Talk to Your Father

In a recent article for Crisis, I took to task Fr. James Martin, S.J., for calling it a cause for celebration, when a teenage boy declared to his father, on Thanksgiving, that he was a homosexual. I said that it would be the worst day of the father's life, because he would know that he and his [...]

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, [...]

Why Catholic Schools Should Scrap Scholastic Book Fairs

This fall, parents may notice something missing from the piles of paper their children bring home from school each day. Book fair flyers from the Scholastic company, the world’s largest publisher and distributer of children’s books as well as the leading operator of school-based book clubs and fairs in the United States, are no longer [...]

Are Our Schools Overdosing on Self-Esteem?

I was recently in a Catholic school assembly of about 6oo elementary students watching various children receive awards and recognition. After the various awards were given, a music video was shown on the screen and all the children began to sing the lyrics. It was here, watching this music video about how “I am great, [...]

On Prioritizing the Values Taught to Children

“You can’t die in every ditch.” It was a favorite saying of Fr. Ed Madden, my pastor and boss, when I was a greenhorn DRE back in Boulder. So many problems, so many complaints, so many challenges crop up in the course of ordinary parish work, and I was motivated (at first) to tackle them [...]

“Family-Friendly” Islam Comes to Europe

“If you want to see the face of Europe in 100 years, barring a miracle, look to the faces of young Muslim immigrants.” Thus said Philadelphia archbishop Charles Chaput at a recent Napa Institute conference. “Islam has a future because Islam believes in children,” he said. “Without a transcendent faith that makes life worth living, [...]

The Children of Divorce Speak Out

“As a kid I was always sad and always trying to keep everyone else happy. I felt like I had to be one person when I was with my dad and another when I was with my mom.” So says an anonymous child of divorce, describing how her parents’ divorce impacted her childhood. She is [...]

You Are Gods

God created the world not out of necessity but out of generosity. Eternally blessed and perfect in himself, God had no need to create and no need of creation. Instead, in freedom he created in wisdom and in love. Each creature God endowed with gifts proportionate to its role, but he crowned man with a [...]

They Asked Him to Leave

“The entire population of the region of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them because they were seized with great fear. So he got into a boat and returned.”  (Luke 8:37) It is amazing. Our Lord has just freed a man from a legion of demons, a man that presumably these folks had, at one [...]

What To Do About Honey Baby Dolly?

In 7th grade, I started acting up. My father died suddenly near the end of 6th grade and when he was gone, my behavior changed. One fine day in 7th grade, Mr. Mac, my language arts teacher, whose first name was Harry, came into my social studies class to convey something to our teacher, Mrs. Gooding. [...]

Note to Pollsters: What “Practicing Catholic” Really Means

First consideration is due to the offspring, which many have the boldness to call the disagreeable burden of matrimony.  ~ Pope Pius XI, Casti Connubii If someone says “practicing Catholic,” what do you think of? If your first thought it involved Mass attendance, you’d be in good company. Pollsters and pundits tend to clump Catholics into [...]

The Transgender Movement Targets Autistic Children

Last May, Dr. Kathleen Levinstein, a professor of social work at the University of Michigan, wrote a heartbreaking piece about her autistic daughter, a teenaged girl who became convinced that she was really a man trapped inside a woman’s body. With encouragement from transgender activists at the local organization of PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends [...]