Saturday 1st October 2016

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Sharpening The Mind With Words

May 21, 2016 Featured Today Comments Off on Sharpening The Mind With Words

By DONALD DeMARCO My biology teacher of many moons ago took perverse delight in terrorizing his students while they were taking an exam. “Plagiarism,” he would bellow, “is arousing the suspicion of the proctor.” He enjoyed the sound of his own voice and repeated this warning many times. He intended it to be more intimidating than cautionary. I found it to be as amusing, however, and remained confident that a mere flicker of suspicion was never going to convict anyone of the heinous crime of plagiarism. At the same time, I realized that our watchful supervisor was giving unaccustomed breadth to the word “plagiarism,” imbuing it with a far-reaching application so that it could indict both the guilty and the…Continue Reading

Jesuit Higher Education

May 20, 2016 Featured Today Comments Off on Jesuit Higher Education

By JAMES K. FITZPATRICK Jesuit universities have been the topic of criticism several times in this column over the years. We don’t apologize for that. Odds are that when you hear about a performance of The Vagina Monologues, an honorary degree being awarded to a pro-abortion politician, or campus activities led by LGBTQ groups, it will be at a Jesuit college. My hunch, however, is that the criticism is not of concern to many modern Jesuits. Their universities remain in high demand, consistently ranking among the most selective schools in the country. I can remember overhearing Jewish students of mine over 20 years ago reacting in disbelief and disappointment when they discovered that Georgetown and Boston College were Catholic universities…Continue Reading

Culture Of Life 101… “Dissenter Tactics”

May 19, 2016 Featured Today Comments Off on Culture Of Life 101… “Dissenter Tactics”

By BRIAN CLOWES (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For an electronic copy of the book Call to Action or Call to Apostasy, consisting of a detailed description of the current forms of dissent and how to fight them, e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.) Conclusion We have seen that the most prominent tactic used by dissenters at the diocesan and parish level is the false and one-sided appeal for tolerance and nonjudgmentalism. There are several other approaches we should be aware of. A second tactic the dissenters use is the classic mixing of lies with the truth in order to confuse people. In order to gain an initial foothold in…Continue Reading

Subserving A Travesty

May 18, 2016 Featured Today Comments Off on Subserving A Travesty

By DONALD DeMARCO David Oderberg is a professor of philosophy at the University of Reading (England). In an address he gave to students at Oxford University in 2008, he offered the following indictment of the current status of bioethics: “The bioethics industry is, unfortunately, populated by many individuals whom one might even call second-rate philosophers. They have found themselves unable to grapple with the more technical or abstract areas of philosophy — or at least to make a name for themselves in such areas — but have found that it is relatively easy to forge a name for oneself in the bioethics business.” He cites the example of one bioethicist who approves the deliberate deafening of a child. “The deaf…Continue Reading

Art In Defiance Of Our Times

May 17, 2016 Featured Today Comments Off on Art In Defiance Of Our Times

By REY FLORES For the last two decades since I rediscovered the Traditional Latin Mass, my Catholic faith has meant that much more to me. Of course the Holy Mass is what really brought me back, but along with that were the sacred art and the sacred music, which somehow I missed out on, having been part of the first generation of children who grew up in the postconciliar era. I grew up with a weakened, watered-down Catholicism which did exactly what I believed it was designed to do: scatter the flock and undermine the Church. Of course, it didn’t work and tradition has somehow survived and is once again thriving, but not without suffering all kinds of damage. The…Continue Reading

Is Opposing Obama Racist?

May 15, 2016 Featured Today Comments Off on Is Opposing Obama Racist?

By JAMES K. FITZPATRICK We hear stories frequently about students who are told by classmates — and sometimes by their teachers — that President Obama is being criticized unfairly by conservatives “because of his race.” The best answer to this claim may be to simply point out to them that conservatives are supporters and admirers of Clarence Thomas, Condoleezza Rice, and Thomas Sowell — and leave it at that. It should close the case. But people on the left sometimes do not leave it there. They will reply that conservatives who admire black conservatives such as Thomas and Rice do so only because they agree with them ideologically. It is a curious response: It concedes that conservatives who admire these…Continue Reading

A Book Review . . . Revealing Thomas Merton’s Character And Career

May 14, 2016 Featured Today Comments Off on A Book Review . . . Revealing Thomas Merton’s Character And Career

By JUDE DOUGHERTY Giroux, Robert and Thomas Merton. The Letters of Robert Giroux and Thomas Merton, edited and annotated by Patrick Samway, SJ. Notre Dame, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press, 2016. x + 397 pp. This is not a biography, but the correspondence between these two Columbia University classmates reveals much about the career and character of Merton, from the death of his mother when he was seven years old and his early education in Europe, to the spiritual journey which led him to embrace life as a Cistercian monk in the Abbey of Gethsemani in Kentucky. Merton, upon graduating from Columbia College in 1938, immediately entered the university’s M.A. program and planned to do a doctorate with a…Continue Reading

Neither Left Nor Right, But Catholic . . . The Rule Of Politics Replaces The Rule Of Law For The Left

May 13, 2016 Featured Today Comments Off on Neither Left Nor Right, But Catholic . . . The Rule Of Politics Replaces The Rule Of Law For The Left

By STEPHEN M. KRASON (Editor’s Note: Stephen M. Krason’s Neither Left nor Right, but Catholic column appears monthly [sometimes bimonthly] in Crisis. He is a professor of political science and legal studies and associate director of the Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life at Franciscan University of Steubenville. He is also co-founder and president of the Society of Catholic Social Scientists. His books include The Transformation of the American Democratic Republic, and two recent edited volumes: Child Abuse, Family Rights, and the Child Protective System and The Crisis of Religious Liberty. (This column is reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.) + + + A review in Washington Lawyer magazine of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer’s recent book, The…Continue Reading

Fantastic Reporting And Interpreting The Past

May 12, 2016 Featured Today Comments Off on Fantastic Reporting And Interpreting The Past

By JUDE DOUGHERTY I did not realize how addicted I was to euphemisms distinctly American until one of my books was being translated into German. The translator had a difficult time rendering into German some of my colloquial expressions. Readers of the American press are used to terms like “bandwagon,” “landslide,” “dead duck,” “breathing room,” and “strident,” particularly in an election year. Most readers will have some idea of what is meant by “Silicon Valley,” “Rust Belt,” and “ivory tower.” Yet many may be puzzled by headlines such as “Russia’s Agenda in Syria a Tight-Rope Act,” or reports of a “hybrid war that fits into Mr. Putin’s comfort zone.” Confronted with such reporting, informed readers will recognize at work the…Continue Reading

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “Dissenter Tactics”

May 11, 2016 Featured Today Comments Off on Culture Of Life 101 . . . “Dissenter Tactics”

By BRIAN CLOWES (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For an electronic copy of the book Call to Action or Call to Apostasy, consisting of a detailed description of the current forms of dissent and how to fight them, e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.) + + + Part 1 So far, we have covered the first three steps of “POPE,” the most effective general strategy for opposing dissent in our dioceses and parishes — Prayer, Organizing, and Planning. The final step is to Expose their activities and Educate others about them. Take confidence in the fact that the dissenters cannot stand opposition and exposure. Lies only flourish when a shroud…Continue Reading