Nothing asserted in Scripture read in light of the New Testament excludes the conclusion that capital punishment is inherently wrong. Nor does any definitive Church teaching. But the new revision of the Catechism, while removing from view an evident instability, remedies none of the underlying tensions and seems likely to obscure the only path to a teaching fully stabilized by adopting that conclusion authoritatively, as an authentic development of doctrine. And the revisionary documents are in other ways disconcerting. Part two of a two-part essay.
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.
A new collection of essays, Aquinas Among the Protestants, demonstrates the impact that Thomas Aquinas has had on Anglican, Lutheran, and Reformed thinkers and explores the ways in which contemporary Protestant Christianity could benefit from Aquinas’s insights, particularly regarding natural law and virtue ethics.
The greatest threat to Christianity is found not in the arguments of the atheist but in the assumptions of the apathetic. The “new apathy” is a more dangerous threat than the new atheism.
States that do not recognize both natural law and the transformation of law and public reason brought about by the raising of religion to a supernatural good will become confessors of false belief opposed to Christianity, and their great power will turn from supporting Christianity to opposing or even repressing it, especially in relation to its moral teaching.
Despite the vast amount of ink spilled in the current controversy over capital punishment, there’s been a real hesitancy to make explicit its analogy with the longer-running and arguably more important debate respecting the Church’s teaching on religious liberty.
For C.S. Lewis, the body and the erotic procreative relationship between men and women are not mere nature, to be manipulated and embellished. They are not mere matter, to be shaped in any way that we please. They are, rather, an indicator of a larger order, something that offers us a clue to that larger order and that has to be understood in the light of it.
The Church’s own history teaches us that her theology matters more than her politics. Now as in the past, those who make robust arguments that coherently develop our understanding of Christ and his message will endure, while those whose arguments diminish the meaning of the cross and resurrection are likely to pass away.
Rebecca Todd Peters’s new book is titled Trust Women: A Progressive Christian Argument for Reproductive Justice. Yet she totally dismisses the arguments and decisions of pro-life women. Perhaps a better title would have been “trust pro-choice women to make pro-choice decisions.”
Though our political institutions are designed to be secular and non-sectarian, our laws rest on Christian ideas about what we owe each other as human beings made in the image and likeness of God.
Although many Jews have been misled into thinking otherwise, Judaism is not compatible with political support for abortion.
Catholics today are not required to believe in a Catholic confessional state. If anything, they are required to believe that everyone has a right under the natural law to religious freedom, that the state has no authority in religious matters, and that coercion of religious activity by the state is morally wrong. In short, integralism is contrary to Catholic doctrine.
Rumors of God’s death may have been greatly exaggerated, but the prevalence of a materialistic philosophy that cannot give an adequate account of human freedom and moral responsibility has put in jeopardy many of the core ideas at the base of our civilization. Without metaphysics we are left simply with physics, and physics is about power, leverage, and force.
How should we understand hierarchies, markets, freedom, happiness, anthropology, and spiritual formation? Three Christian thinkers respond to each other.
Market economies are not inherently hostile to Christian spiritual formation. And expanding the scope of Church authority into the temporal realm is no substitute for traditional spiritual practices such as prayer and fasting.
The current debate about gay Christianity traces back to a centuries-old dispute between Protestants and Catholics about the doctrine of man and the doctrine of sin. Roman Catholics do not regard involuntary desire for sin (concupiscence) to be sinful. Reformed Protestants do.
Assisted death proponents argue for physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia on the grounds of promoting autonomy and suspending suffering. Suicide groups like the Dutch Coöperatie Laatste Wil ask the next logical question: why is physician involvement needed at all?
The process of sanctification in this life is not necessarily about eradicating fallen desires. Rather, we form Christian character when, relying on God’s grace, we refuse to consent to temptations to sin, either in thought or in deed.
Spurred by social comparison, Cain and Abel represent rival responses to the suffering inherent in the human condition following the rise of self-consciousness. Abel’s suffering leads to his self-development as a warrior. Cain’s suffering leads to envy, malevolence, and murder. This essay explicates and develops Peterson’s interpretation of the story.
It is not merely that we “reject the sin, but love the sinner,” though we do that; we reject the sin because we love the sinner—radically love him, willing his good for his own sake, affirming the teaching of the Church in all its richness because we recognize that it is liberating and life-affirming.
The Hippocratic Oath offers physicians of any generation guidelines, proscriptions, and prescriptions about how to be a good physician. We may not agree with all of its conclusions, but if we unthinkingly dismiss them, we do so at our own peril.
The Trump administration must continue to push the United Nations to respect U.S. sovereign prerogatives not to support abortion in humanitarian efforts. It must not give abortion groups a pass to continue to implement their covert strategy to establish an international right to abortion.
The Trump administration has launched several encouraging initiatives to strengthen conscience protection for healthcare workers. But the bills that would enshrine these protections into law are moving at a snail’s pace through the House and Senate.
The city of Philadelphia is targeting Catholic Social Services for its policy, based on religious beliefs about marriage, of not placing foster children with same-sex couples.
We can’t afford to live without physicians who are devoted to always healing and caring, and never harming. Requesting physician-assisted suicide, like legalizing it, erodes that devotion. A refusal to ask, even on the part of those not committed to the inviolability of human life, helps sustain that devotion.
Please use your influence as a major donor to persuade the Southern Policy Law Center to amend its embittering and unproductive campaigns to label any political or social issue opponent as a hate group. Although controversial, organizations that fight to protect the unborn and strengthen families are not motivated by hate. Vilifying them only worsens our toxic and polarized political climate.