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Giving Thanks

November 25, 2014 Featured Today Comments Off

By DONALD DeMARCO The word “thanks” is etymologically rooted in the word “thought.” With this in mind, G.K. Chesterton could say: “I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” Chesterton had a genius for expressing expansive ideas in a concise way. Many of his phrases belong to the province of compressed wisdom. In life, we either take things for granted or we offer thanks. The factor that causes us to stop in our tracks when we think about something extraordinary is wonder. That very wonder that prompts us to think also confers upon us a certain happiness. It is indeed wonderful to be alive! To be filled with wonder…Continue Reading

Changing Their Tune

November 24, 2014 Featured Today Comments Off

By PHILLIP DEAN (Editor’s Note: Music has always been especially important to Phillip Dean. Gifted as a singer and musician, the high school sophomore leads a Wednesday night youth band at his Rock Hill, S.C., church. And, though he completes his academic coursework online from home, he played for the last four years in the band of nearby York Preparatory Academy, a public charter school. Like many in the band, he was looking forward last Christmas to playing the holiday concert, which was scheduled to feature, for the first time in memory, a medley of carols with religious themes. (The Alliance Defending Freedom posted this commentary, which appeared in ADF’s Faith & Justice, volume VII, issue 3. All rights reserved.)…Continue Reading

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “The Birth Control Pill: Unintended Consequences”

November 23, 2014 Featured Today Comments Off

By BRIAN CLOWES Part 2 (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For a CD containing hundreds of patient information pamphlets showing that the most common methods of birth control are abortifacient in their actions, e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.) + + + We have seen that the birth control pill is so ineffective that it fails hundreds of thousands of times annually in the United States, leading to hundreds of thousands of surgical abortions. We have also covered some of the more serious physical side effects inflicted upon women by the Pill, including more than 30,000 deaths and tens of thousands seriously injured since its introduction. The indirect impacts of…Continue Reading

The Synod And The New Evangelization

November 22, 2014 Featured Today Comments Off

By JOHN F. KIPPLEY (Editor’s Note: John F. Kippley is the author of Sex and the Marriage Covenant: A Basis for Morality and other books and articles. With his wife Sheila, he is a coauthor of Natural Family Planning: The Complete Approach and cofounder of NFP International. This commentary appeared on his blog [johnkippley.com] of November 10 and is reprinted with permission.) + + + I think it is certain that the Synod on the Family will address preparation for marriage and will probably do this in the context of Humanae Vitae. What is not at all certain is how the synod fathers will do this. Considering what came out of the first synod meeting of October 5-19, it would…Continue Reading

A Book Review . . . Detailed Studies Of Galileo

November 21, 2014 Featured Today Comments Off

By JUDE DOUGHERTY Finocchiaro, Maurice. The Trial of Galileo: Essential Documents, translated and edited by Maurice A. Finocchiaro. Indianapolis, IN: Hackett Publishing Co., 2014. Pp. xii+160. This book draws upon Finocchiaro’s previously published works, The Galileo Affair: A Documentary History (1989) and Retrying Galileo: 1633-1992 (2005), at once making those masterful works more readily accessible, while adding some new material. The narrative really begins with Copernicus, who in 1543 published his epoch-making On the Revolutions of Heavenly Spheres. The book updated an idea originally advanced in ancient Greece by the Pythagoreans and by Aristarchus of Samos — namely that the Earth rotates on its own axis daily and revolves around the sun yearly. Copernicus advanced a new argument supporting an…Continue Reading

Reconnecting With Mary . . . The Apparitions At L’Ile Bouchard

November 20, 2014 Featured Today Comments Off

By DONAL ANTHONY FOLEY Part 1 This is first of two articles about the Marian apparitions at L’Ile Bouchard, in northwestern France, near Tours, which took place from December 8-14, 1947. The situation in postwar France was very serious, and there was a real threat from Communism, and even of civil war, but, unknown to nearly all, the remedy was at hand. L’Ile Bouchard is important because it is a sort of compendium of previous apparitions with aspects of some of these being recapitulated, particularly those which took place in France, although Guadalupe and Fatima also seem to be prominent too, as will become apparent. And it is also important because it emphasizes the great power of the prayer of…Continue Reading

Applying Just War Theory

November 19, 2014 Featured Today Comments Off

By JAMES K. FITZPATRICK The conditions that must be present before military force can be justified, according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, are as follows: “1. the damage inflicted by the aggressor on the nation or community of nations must be lasting, grave, and certain; “2. all other means of putting an end to it must have been shown to be impractical or ineffective; “3. there must be serious prospects of success; “4. the use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated. The power of modern means of destruction weighs very heavily in evaluating this condition” (CCC, n. 2309). George Kendall did an admirable job explaining this teaching of the…Continue Reading

A Parody From Hell

November 18, 2014 Featured Today Comments Off

By DONALD DeMARCO “My symbol for Hell is something like the bureaucracy of a police state” — C.S. Lewis in The Screwtape Letters. + + + Screwtape: I am proposing a new method for promoting hatred. Wormwood: There is already a great deal of hatred in the world. Shouldn’t we set our targets on something that is not so common? S: But my proposal is ingenious. I will promote hatred by getting people to think they are opposing it. W: That would be ingenious, but how would it work? S: We’ll encourage bureaucrats to pass a law declaring that hate is a crime. “Hate” will be so broadly defined that the slightest offense will be interpreted as a crime. W:…Continue Reading

“The Birth Control Pill: Unintended Consequences”

November 17, 2014 Featured Today Comments Off

By BRIAN CLOWES Part 1 (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For a CD containing hundreds of patient information pamphlets showing that the most common methods of birth control are abortifacient in their actions, e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.) + + + One of the most prominent features of the Culture of Death is its shortsightedness. It puts grand plans into action and makes sweeping promises about how many lives will be saved or improved by its initiatives. And then its architects are invariably shocked and surprised when a galaxy of negative unintended consequences quickly emerge, usually making the situation much worse than it was before. To put it simply,…Continue Reading

The Kumbaya Temptation

November 16, 2014 Featured Today Comments Off

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN November 4 was a national vote of no confidence in Barack Obama. Had a British prime minister received a vote like this, he would have resigned by now. The one issue on which all Republicans agreed, and all ran, was the rejection of Obama. And by fleeing from him, some even refusing to admit they voted for him, Democrats, too, were conceding that this election was about Obama, and that they were not to blame for his failures. Yet, though this was a referendum on Obama and his policies, and though both were repudiated, some pundits are claiming that America voted for an “end to gridlock” and a new era of compromise and conciliation. How so?…Continue Reading