United States

A Tea Party Thanksgiving

Ask me what I am thankful for this year, and one of the first things that comes to mind is the social/political phenomenon of the Tea Party. To me, it represents a loud "enough is enough" -- not only to the nonsense being perpetrated by the White House and the Congress, but also to the [...]

The Forgotten Freedom

"Man is a political animal," said Aristotle, meaning that man is that sort of living creature who thrives best in the context of a polis, a free and self-governing city state. St. Thomas Aquinas would take up this dictum of Aristotle's and flesh out its implications for a Christian culture, but before we consider that, [...]

Sunday Comics: Catholics in Action 5

Here's part 5 in 1953's serial "Catholics in Action," an exploration of living the Church's social doctrine in one's day-to-day life, no politics necessary.  Today, the focus is on evangelizing. As always, these pages come from Catholic University's online archive of Treasure Chest of Fun and Fact. This fits in so well with the "New [...]

Locally Grown Produce: Coming Soon to a Wal-Mart Near You

(This one's for Zoe!) The New York Times has a story today about Wal-Mart's new push to source more of its produce from local (read: in-state) farmers: The program is intended to put more locally grown food in Wal-Mart stores in the United States, invest in training and infrastructure for small and medium-sized farmers particularly [...]

Retrieving the Strays

There may be 30 million "recovering Catholics" (as they often call themselves) out there, across America, north of the Rio Grande -- this according to a study cited by the Boston archdiocese. Perhaps 10 percent of the adult population of the United States count among our own lost sheep. It was part of their "market [...]

Do atheists know more about religion than the religious?

Early this morning, the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life released its survey on religious knowledge in the United States, and the results are sure to draw attention. Here's why: On average, Americans correctly answer 16 of the 32 religious knowledge questions on the survey. Atheists and agnostics average 20.9 correct answers. Jews and [...]

If We Become Like Them, Will They Like Us?

Hardly a day goes by when I fail to see some news report or op-ed on the advisability of the Catholic Church to end the male-only priesthood, the mandatory celibacy requirement, the ban on contraception and abortion, or its view of homosexuality. Usually, the story is set against the backdrop, imagined or otherwise, of declining [...]

Quasi-Religions

Two basic needs that we human beings have are the need for meaning and the need for morality. We need to feel that our lives are meaningful, that they have a purpose. And we need to have an authoritative moral code that tells us what's right and what's wrong, what's good and what's bad. Absent [...]

Peaceful Kashmiri Muslims respond to Koran desecration by burning down a Christian school

This was as predictable as the sunrise: At least 13 protesters died Monday when Indian police clashed with tens of thousands of Kashmiris who took to the streets and torched a Christian missionary school in demonstrations fueled by reports of Quran burnings in the United States…. Agence France-Presse reports that the protests began after video [...]

The USCCB and Cultural Diversity

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has set five goals to pursue until the end of 2011. They are: Strengthening marriage Faith formation focused on sacramental practice Priestly and religious vocations Life and dignity of the human person Recognition of cultural diversity The USCCB Web site contains a link to a timeline for [...]

Protecting Our Most Basic Right

After seven long years of war in Iraq, President Barack Obama declared last week: "It's time to turn the page." America's military role in Iraq is over, our "responsibility has been met," and our troops are coming home. His was not a message of victory, however, but a message of "progress" -- but progress toward [...]

The Associated Press isn’t buying it…

The Associate Press isn't falling for the administration's "end to combat operations in Iraq" business. Tom Kent, AP standards editor, sent a memo to his colleagues yesterday afternoon making that point: [C]ombat in Iraq is not over, and we should not uncritically repeat suggestions that it is, even if they come from senior officials. The [...]

Mark your calendars. Here it comes!

The much-discussed new English-language translation of the Roman Missal has been issued by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.  Read the article here. The USCCB has set a date for implementation throughout all US parishes of the First Sunday of Advent, which is November 27 2011.   "Cardinal George announced receipt of the [...]

The Unfinished Reform of Catholic Colleges

Twenty years ago, the opposition of certain Catholic college leaders and professors to Pope John Paul II's Ex Corde Ecclesiae was strident. They claimed the Vatican's guidelines for Catholic colleges would encourage dictator-bishops to violate academic freedom. Non-Catholic faculty members would sue bishops and colleges for discrimination. Colleges would become second-rate catechetical programs. Many others [...]

Decorating Naked Public Squares

Fribourg is a small town on the border between French and German Switzerland. A visitor would not be exaggerating if he claimed that there was a church on almost every street corner. In that part of the world, it is not unusual to see so many churches. What did catch my attention, however, was St. [...]

Consumers of Human Trafficking?

By now, most of the world knows something about human trafficking. Basically, if you’re not dwelling among consumers, you’re likely at a place of origin or along a transit route. But this story drew my attention  yesterday: In this impoverished town in central Mexico, a sinister trade has taken root: Entire extended families exploit desperation and [...]

Meeting the Latin Patriarch, and a parish priest, in Jerusalem

The Latin Patriarch in Jerusalem is His Beatitude Fouad Twal. Don't let his name or title intimidate you -- the Patriarch is extremely kind and hospitable, making everyone comfortable from the moment he enters the room. Walking at his side is a parish priest, Rev. Firas Aridah, known by some Catholics in the United States [...]

On Guns and Government Authority

In his recent article "On Handguns and the Constitution," Ronald J. Rychlak touched on the subject of private gun ownership and regulation in the United States. The occasion was the Supreme Court ruling McDonald v. Chicago, which established that the Second Amendment, like all the other items in the Bill of Rights, recognizes and protects [...]

Almost 1 billion in federal funds given to abortion groups during Bush administration

I missed this one: In June, Nancy Frazier O'Brien at Catholic News Service wrote about a new Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on the amount of federal funding given to organizations that perform or promote abortion. Between 2002 and 2009 -- during the Bush administration, in other words -- the number was a staggering $967 [...]

Loss of Language, Loss of Thought

Loss of language among the younger population -- that is to say, the ability to formulate and enunciate properly constructed sentences that reflect clear thought -- is growing at a staggering rate in the United States. Even among students whose academic aptitude is well above the national average, my years as an undergraduate business professor [...]

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