We simply cannot ignore theology when looking at social problems. For Christians, the notion of sinful structures is based on the difficult but ultimately liberating admission that the existing social positions we occupy are often not in conformity with the order of God.
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.
Researchers find an absence of regret in 97.5 percent of participants who continue a pregnancy in which the baby is “doomed to die.” With emphatic certainty, women report enhanced relationship with the baby, with themselves, and with family despite giving birth after lethal fetal diagnosis. Abortion does not have similar results.
According to Rémi Brague, the dialectic of modernity results in a paradox. Man is both the conquering lord of nature and a part of nature to be controlled. His well-being is the purpose of the modern project, which simultaneously places his distinct dignity in doubt.
If we are to correct the wayward course of contemporary democratic societies, we must preserve what is true and good and mitigate what is false and harmful in both liberalism and nationalism. We would do well to embrace core principles of the Anglo-American constitutional tradition—principles grounded in and sustained by the virtue of prudence.
A new nonprofit, Them Before Us, aims to defend children's rights in the family. We use story to highlight the true victims, and we critique all practices and policies that prioritize adult desires above children's rights.
Humanitarianism has become the implicit faith of our time. In his new book, Daniel Mahoney offers a sharp indictment of its fatal flaws: its denial of transcendence, its inability to confront the reality of evil, and its refusal to acknowledge that human beings’ attachment to the particular is precisely what enables them to access and understand the objective moral order.
The main dividing line between pro-life and pro-choice is not which side cares more about women, families, and their basic freedoms. It's how each group applies the scientific facts to determine what constitutes women's rights.
All people should be protected from harassment and harm, no matter how they identify. But we as a society must be allowed to reasonably act on the basis of sex when medical treatment, privacy, and safety are at stake. If “gender identity” becomes a protected class, women and children are the ones who will suffer most.
Good intentions are not enough. Pro-lifers need good arguments too. We should avoid the temptation to make these popular, emotionally compelling, but badly reasoned arguments against abortion.
If our pursuit of simplicity is not informed by the concept of Christian charity, focusing on mere minimalism will come up short. Too often, we cling to our “stuff” out of a desire for security. This failure to trust in God’s providence results in attachment to our earthly possessions that distracts us from more valuable eternal things: our faith and our duty to love and care for others.
Fr. Richard John Neuhaus got to the central question facing us: Is it true that postmodern liberal societies are incapable of sustaining the religious values without which they could not have been born, and without which they cannot long function? Neuhaus was unwilling to surrender to that proposition. Neither should we be.
We have the scientific data we need to understand the relationship that a woman’s ovulation has to her overall health, and that healthy ovulatory patterns are a prerequisite to being fertile. We also have the data to teach women to observe their biomarkers, to check whether they ovulate in any given cycle, and to teach doctors to diagnose and treat the underlying abnormalities these observations reveal. So why don’t we?
Indifference to human life in the prenatal phase is the original sin of the multilateral system, enshrined in its constituent agreements and diligently propagated throughout its institutions. Nothing short of a revolution in international policy will do if the human rights project is to be truly reclaimed.
Our culture increasingly treats human bodies, sex, reproduction, and family structures as malleable to a radical degree. We need to recognize that the human body was chosen by God, in whose image and likeness we are made.
This Friday, the Court will decide whether to review a case about an Indiana law that prohibits abortions performed solely because the unborn child has Down Syndrome or another disability. Regardless of our nation’s polarized views on the policy and politics of abortion, it is clear that our Constitution does not include a right to abort children merely because of disfavored characteristics.
The small surprises and sacrifices of Christmas—the time, resources, and care our loved ones expend in order to place under glowing trees those bright bundles upon which our own names are written—recall the marvel of Christ’s entry into the world in order to sacrifice himself for those he calls by name. This is the unexpected gift that we ought to be surprised by, over and over, every Christmas—indeed, every morning.
Christianity is so much more solid, and real, and human, than the “spiritual, but not religious” imitations of today. Christian faith touches every aspect of our lives—material, social, cultural. It does so because our God was born as a human baby in a stable and nurtured by a teenaged girl named Mary.
The Catholic Church in the United States has been rocked by revelations that multiple bishops actively covered up sexual abuse cases. The time has come to take responsibility away from Church tribunals and diocesan bishops, even if that means changing canon law to create mandatory compliance mechanisms like those developed and enforced by for-profit corporations.
A genuinely moderate feminism must begin with an acknowledgement of the goodness in human love, human community, and responsibility, not with a radical embrace of independence and self-created identities. It must acknowledge and respect some differences between the sexes and see them as part of human being.
Conservatives cannot afford to abandon the institutions of power that seek to redefine human rights for the entire world.
Public Discourse is launching two new features: short book notes and longform essays. They'll run occasionally, on Saturdays and Sundays. Today is our first book note. In it, Charles K. Bellinger reviews Katie Watson's Scarlet A, arguing that books about abortion often fail to address deeper and broader issues.
Why should a doctor perform surgery when it won’t make the patient happy, it won’t accomplish its intended goal, it won’t improve the underlying condition, it might make the underlying condition worse, and it might increase the likelihood of suicide? Sound medicine isn’t about desire, it’s about healing.
Melting Pot or Civil War? is a policy book. It’s a good one, to be sure. But our immigration crisis needs more than just policy. When making policy changes that relate to immigration, we need to consider the human cost.
It’s a mistake to think the Church cannot accommodate a multiplicity of different philosophers and theologies. The Church is united doctrinally, sacramentally, and by its moral ethos. That real unity can accommodate diverse visions of theology within itself without any rupture, so long as they are each receptive of the complete doctrinal teaching of the Church. Not everybody has to be a Thomist, but it is vital to the Church that there is a Thomistic tradition and culture, which is not only a culture of intellect but also a way of life.
Thoughtful Catholics should integrate the discoveries and insights of economics and science with the principles of Catholic social teaching, and ultimately, with the natural moral law and revealed theology.