Gratitude in an Angry Time
We must resist the sense that gratitude has no place in this era of frequently justified outrage. In fact, gratitude may be exactly what can help us distinguish justified from unjustified outrage. And, in any case, gratitude is the proper disposition toward all the good we have been given that we have done so little to earn.
Faith and Reason in the Thought of John Henry Newman
Faith and Reason, Saint John Henry Newman argues, are not opposed mental actions, but a similar intellectual act operating on different grounds. Faith reasons not from direct empirical evidence placed before us, nor from principles that the intellect has grasped on its own, but from grounds of trust or probability based on inclinations and dispositions of the heart.
Giving One’s Life for One’s Friends: A Secular or Religious Value?
The self-sacrificing love of friends has a religious origin, even if it has secular expressions. Precisely by putting us in touch with the sacred, with a perception of reality that transcends our day-to-day existence, such values give human life its meaning and make our “secular” civilization possible. Attempts to censor expressions of these values show how difficult it can be to disentangle their religious and secular uses.
The Case against Judicial Supremacy
Debates over judicial review and constitutional interpretation only stand to benefit from deeper reflection on the type of political community the Constitution established. The Political Constitution invites us to take the word republic, and its vision of self-government, seriously.
The Deadly Dance of Perfectionism: How the Rhetoric of Family Planning Hurts Children
Growing up in the culture of sociology taught me—and others of my generation—to engage in a set of behaviors to ensure that we would “always be wanted.” Although the term “wantedness” was a quality originally assigned to births, the concept began to touch all aspects of children’s lives, teaching us to engage in a dangerous—sometimes deadly—dance of perfectionism.
Why the Hippocratic Oath Prohibits Physician-Assisted Suicide
The Hippocratic Oath rightly prohibits doctors from giving deadly drugs, even if autonomous patients ask for them. By assisting in the suicide of a terminally ill patient who wants to determine the manner of his death, the physician inappropriately medicalizes mortality itself. He also jeopardizes the welfare of other vulnerable patients.
Can War Really Be Just or Unjust?
War has the complexity of most of the human condition—so complex, indeed, that it often behaves like a force of nature, but with a human face. And that renders the question of determining the justice of a war a little like determining the justice of a tornado.
Pastor Jeff Looked at Me through the Eyes of God
As a transgender woman, the most loving and compassionate help offered to me came from people who pointed me toward Jesus. Affirming false cross-gender identities is not love; helping someone reclaiming their true identity in Christ is.
Reproductive Technologies and Human Dignity
Given the risks of assisted reproductive technologies and gene-editing technologies for both individuals and society as a whole, a hands-off, libertarian approach to these issues is ethically irresponsible. Because these technologies imply a radical transformation in our understanding of the meaning of parenthood and our approach to the next generation, we must ask ourselves what sort of world these technologies are creating, and whether it is the sort of world that we want for our children and grandchildren.
Václav Benda’s Politics of Shared Responsibility
Through his life and writings, Czech dissident Václav Benda showed that political activity, in the highest sense, requires one to adhere steadfastly to moral principles and to take care that one’s efforts be effective. Above all one must act with and for one’s community: humbly seeking mutual understanding among community members and, as far as possible, fighting for the common good together.
New Data Show “Gender-Affirming” Surgery Doesn’t Really Improve Mental Health. So Why Are the Study’s Authors Saying It Does?
Data from a new study show that the beneficial effect of surgery for transgender people is so small that a clinic may have to perform as many as 49 gender-affirming surgeries before they could expect to prevent one additional person from seeking subsequent mental health treatment. Yet that’s not what the authors say. That the authors corrupted otherwise-excellent data and analyses with a skewed interpretation signals an abandonment of scientific rigor and reason in favor of complicity with activist groups seeking to normalize infertility-inducing and permanently disfiguring surgeries.
Dear Senator Warren: Don’t Penalize Moms Who Choose to Stay Home with Their Kids
Senator Warren, please don’t compromise what you know to be true for the sake of political expediency. Don’t hurt American families by pushing them farther and farther into the two-income trap. Most of all, please don’t create a system that penalizes moms who choose to stay home with their children.
Is America More Like a Business or a Family?
How should we understand the common good of a political community? Is membership in a political community purely instrumental, like membership in a business venture? Or is it intrinsically good, worth pursuing in itself? The answer to this philosophical question has far-reaching political implications.
The Place of Christian Religion in the American Founding
Mark Hall’s new book adduces solid evidence to dispel many contemporary myths concerning religion and the American founding. Let us finally be done with false claims that the founders were deists, or that they were hostile to religion and wanted to exclude it from public life.
Saint John Henry Newman and Freedom of Conscience: Countering a Modern Apostasy
In the 130 years since John Henry Newman’s death, few concepts have been more misunderstood and distorted than “conscience.” The danger is greater today than when the great saint wrote. The distorted view of conscience that Newman described as oriented to self and not to God has penetrated Western culture and religion. For many, the obligation to follow one’s conscience has been embraced, but fidelity to truth has been set aside. This untethered and counterfeit “freedom of conscience” has led to a widespread subjectivism that Newman saw emerging within modern European society, even in his own day.
From Christians Who Formerly Identified as LGBTQ: A “Thank You” to Our Allies
I want you to know that your opposition strengthens and encourages people like me—Christians who have struggled with same-sex attraction. When we see Barronelle refuse to lay her cross down, she becomes Simon to us and helps us shoulder our own.
Common Good Capitalism and the Dignity of Work
Common good capitalism is about a vibrant and growing free market. But it is also about harnessing and channeling that growth to the benefit of our country, our people, and our society. Because after all, our nation does not exist to serve the interests of the market. The market exists to serve our nation and our people. Adapted from remarks delivered at the Busch School of Business at the Catholic University of America.
Use and Abuse: The Exploitative Reality of Surrogacy and Egg Donation
No one has the right to a child, and the bodies of women and children should never be treated as commodities.
Is There a Battle of the Sexes in “Consensual” Non-Monogamy?
The data suggest that we should be more skeptical about the term “consensual” in consensual non-monogamy, the umbrella term for various kinds of sexually open relationships. Perhaps we need to challenge the idea that these kinds of relationships lead to greater gender equality rather than less.