A Letter to My Teen Daughters, Concerning Racism

It can be difficult for me to get a handle on what I want to say about something, especially on-the-spot. But I wanted to follow up on tonight’s brief post-dinner discussion of something I consider profoundly important in the world today, which is the role the idea of racism plays in the on-going cultural drama of the propagation of modern society’s religious dogmas. I hope you will all find the time to do me the courtesy of reading this through. I have tried to be brief, but that’s a challenge, too… Some information gleaned from reputable-looking sites ...

Some Concluding, Year-End Musings on 2012

Logos: Logos Bible Research scored huge in my estimation this year. I had struggled to be productive with earlier versions of their software, but version 4, released just about 3 years ago, represented a dramatic improvement in usability and performance, and I started drifting toward it then – especially since they were also beginning to release quality Catholic resources (e.g. works by Aquinas). Then, this Spring, they put together a series of terrific Catholic base packages, all of which included an outstanding edition of the Catechism of the Catholic ...

The myth of a democratic socialist society funded by capitalism is finished

Quote of the Day for Thursday, September 6th, 2012: Janet Daley, in The Telegraph, explaining to her fellow Britons why “We should tune in to the Romney and Ryan show”: What is being challenged is nothing less than the most basic premise of the politics of the centre ground: that you can have free market economics and a democratic socialist welfare system at the same time. The magic formula in which the wealth produced by the market economy is redistributed by the state – from those who produce it to those whom the government believes deserve it – has go...

Forced Abortions & Sterilizations in Massachusetts?

Occasionally, I read or hear about something so stunning that I feel like I’m having an out-of-body experience, watching from a detached vantage point as the world unfurls strangely in front of me. Yesterday afternoon, I had one of those experiences. I was at work, pausing to check the headlines, weather and traffic, when I saw the surreal headline: “Massachusetts Appeals Court rules that judge was wrong to order mentally ill woman to have an abortion and to then be sterilized”. Forced abortions and sterilizations in Massachusetts? Granted, the court-ord...

A Final Note on Hvistendahl’s Incoherence

Prior to my summer blogging hiatus, I had posted a couple of entries on some responses to Mara Hvistendahl’s recent book on the social consequences of widespread sex-selection abortions in Asia. I ended up requesting the book from my local public library, and checked it out in mid-July. I couldn’t get past the prologue; it was dreadful. As Hvistendahl laid out her project in the prologue, it was hard not to detect something like a sadness for a great hope gone bad; a belief that abortion should have been not just a means for individual women to “gain con...

The tragedy is that they’re dead

Quote of the Day for June 27th, 2011: The New York Times’ Ross Douthat’s take on the Mara Hvistendahl book I posted on last Wednesday: This places many Western liberals, Hvistendahl included, in a distinctly uncomfortable position. Their own premises insist that the unborn aren’t human beings yet, and that the right to an abortion is nearly absolute. A self-proclaimed agnostic about when life begins, Hvistendahl insists that she hasn’t written “a book about death and killing.” But this leaves her struggling to define a victim for the crime th...

‘I want to abort because if this baby is born it will be a Gemini, but I want a Libra.’

Quote of the Day for Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011: Jonathan Last, in a review published at the Wall Street Journal Online of Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys Over Girls and the Consequences of a World Full of Men, a recent book by feminist Mara Hvistendahl: Ms. Hvistendahl is particularly worried that the "right wing" or the "Christian right"—as she labels those whose politics differ from her own—will use sex-selective abortion as part of a wider war on abortion itself. She believes that something must be done about the purposeful a...

Raphael’s Journey

Music loving Pro-lifers might want to check out the latest solo album from Iona’s Joanne Hogg, entitled Raphael’s Journey. For those not familiar with Ms. Hogg, she is an angelic-voiced Irish beauty who has been the lead vocalist for the Contemporary Christian band Iona since its inception in 1989. Iona falls into more or less the same genre as bands like Clannad or Eden’s Bridge: playing ethereal, Irish-flavored pop, mixing traditional instruments and themes into the standard rock band ensemble. But when Iona rocks, which is not infrequent, they rock wi...

There are no negotiable or even very perplexing issues regarding our moral obligations before the mystery of life

Quote of the Day for Sunday, May 8th, 2011: David Bentley Hart, in an excellent essay posted on a remarkably robust “Religion & Ethics” section of the website of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, which highlights the irremediably divergent visions of God inherent in the worldviews of modern, materialist “transhumanists,” and orthodox Christianity – particularly as expressed in Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body: To one who holds to John Paul’s Christian understanding of the body, and so believes that each human being, from the ver...

The unique depravity of willfully murdering your own flesh and blood for the sake of a hassle-free orgasm

Quote of the Day for Friday, April 15th, 2011: Edward Feser, blogging recently on the perceived phenomenon of what he calls the “temporizing bishop,” operating in an ecclesial milieu afraid to be seen as “reactionary” in the eyes of the modern, liberal establishment: Homosexuality and abortion he cannot keep silent about, because they are matters of current political controversy.  Regarding homosexuality, then, he will issue a vague statement to the effect that the Church believes that we are all called to honor the Creator’s plan for sex and marri...

People cannot claim a right to kill you simply because they will not recognize you as a person

Quote of the Day for Wednesday, January 26th, 2011: Joe Carter, writing an “On the Square” column over at FirstThings.com, on Being a Person: But should all human beings be considered persons? Historically, the answer has been a resounding “no.” Slaves, women, infants, Jews, and “foreigners” all share a common history of being denied legal or moral standing as persons, despite being recognized as humans. The judgment of recent generations, however, has without exception concluded that denying personhood to these members of the human family is a great m...

There can be no lasting prosperity without a moral foundation in law

Quote of the Day for Monday, January 24th, 2011: Indiana Congressman Mike Pence addressing the rallying assembly this morning before beginning the annual Walk for Life in Washington DC: We gather to mark the 38th anniversary of the worst Supreme Court decision since Dred Scott. And we gather today in the shadow of a new pro-life majority on Capitol Hill. And we will keep gathering until Roe v. Wade is sent to the ash heap of history where it belongs. These are trying times in the life of this nation. Our economy is struggling and our national government...