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Pillar

The Human Person

The first pillar of a decent society is respect for the human person, which recognizes that all individual human beings have dignity simply because of the kind of being they are: animals whose rational faculties allow them to know, love, reason, and communicate. It also recognizes that human beings are persons, members of the human family who flourish in a community that respects their fundamental rights and who long to discover transcendent truths about the nature of reality.

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Constant supervision thwarts a child’s ability to develop important qualities such as resourcefulness, self-awareness, and perseverance. But independence with a strong inner compass, a compass that is oriented toward the safety and trustworthiness of healthy family relationships, helps children eventually carry that attached compass away from home and eventually calibrate it for themselves.
Canada’s infamy has led many to rethink their support for assisted dying, no matter how strong the purported safeguards may be.
Risks are essential to human flourishing. By taking measured risks—to our sanity, our financial stability, our perceived safety—we explore the limits of our ability to withstand discomfort, a posture that then allows us to care for others. In this way, well-ordered risk-taking is fundamentally others-oriented.
If we are to feel at one with the structures in which we labor and dwell, if they are to endorse our existence here on earth, beauty must take precedence over all other factors. Without it, the battle for the soul of civilization cannot be won.   
Understanding homemaking as a craft that produces beautiful (if intangible) results should hopefully encourage young men and women who are thinking about caring for a home and/or children. For the young mother or father overwhelmed by all there is to do and feeling incompetent in the face of the multiple—often conflicting—demands of house and children, it may help to know that homemaking is a skill to be developed over time.
Recovering art as a participation in God’s governance, and as co-creating with God, is crucial to the healthy formation of young people, our places of worship, and our everyday lives. 
For American families, housing has become too expensive. We can make it more affordable if we build enough housing. But in order to do that, we cannot stop at making it legal; we need to make it easy.
The belief that childrearing is prohibitively expensive could be understood as a fruit of our collapsing civil society. Some people today don’t even consider that extended family, neighbors, churches, and other little platoons can, at least theoretically, provide real support to parents. They fall into believing that the only places to turn for help are the market and the state. Parents without community support then shift more burden onto themselves.
The public bioethics conversations of the twenty-first century will be much more nuanced and complicated than the abortion debate of the last fifty years. If we want to speak thoughtfully about how these and other technologies are shaping our future, we will need to move beyond a reductionist approach to human dignity.
By disclosing the folly of our modern worship of the inarticulable Golden Calf, AI could put us on the path to becoming again a rational, serious people, a people of the word. Stranger felix culpas have happened.
The protests are not simply about Gaza, but concern incompatible ways of life and value. They are another moment in the long rejection of Western metaphysics, anthropology, ethics, and epistemology by Westerners coming of age in a culture that teaches them to despise their own civilization.
If our society is to answer the question “What is a woman?” we will have to think more about how women can integrate their professions with their femininity, without stifling it, and about the value of the virtues that women on average exemplify better than men. Considering Edith Stein’s thoughts on these questions is an excellent way to start.
In her popular new book, Abigail Shrier challenges parents to help kids through the hard parts of life rather than relying on the therapy industry.
Maier’s love for the Church comes through in this book and is why others who love the Church will want to read it. Perhaps we can hope for a sequel in which we will get to hear more of Maier in his own words. 
The new Alabama IVF provider immunity law, recently praised by former President Trump, will have pernicious national consequences on parents’ rights to hold IVF providers accountable and will negatively affect Republican unity over pro-life issues.
This moment, among other things, may call for something as banal as looking around, embracing and underscoring the figures and images that capture what is enduringly good about normal American life.
Loving one’s neighbor is a moral imperative. How best to do so, however, is more complex than just recklessly citing this principle as immediate justification. All my point amounts to is a plea for caution. 
Faithfully living what we claim to believe as Catholic Christians shapes the future. And the fact is, we can no longer afford a sclerotic Church, a comfortable Church, a get-along Church. We need to be a confessing Church, not just in our diocesan structures, but in the pews and family homes of every parish.
The post-conversion challenges facing Christians arose when they reentered society as baptized people and navigated the conflicts raised by their new convictions. This process demanded a culturally discerning spiritual life.
What should be at the forefront of everyone’s mind is the question, “How does all this technological tinkering affect the kids?” We are only beginning to be able to answer that question.
Inviting people into joy, both then and now, means also inviting others into possible pain. We must embrace the joys with the sorrows to lead full, rich lives as human beings.
It’s a good day for sorrow, a habit sustaining our decency, humanity, patience, and courage for all the other days yet to come. All days bring their challenges, and there is much in our day to bemoan and condemn. Fair enough, but to have the courage and steadfastness needed to continue on, day in and day out, our sorrow serves us well.  

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