Wednesday 26th November 2014

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Chilling Free Speech

October 26, 2014 Featured Today Comments Off

By ANDREW P. NAPOLITANO Earlier this week, the federal government’s National Science Foundation, an entity created to encourage the study of science — encouragement that it achieves by awarding grants to scholars and universities — announced that it had awarded a grant to study what people say about themselves and others in social media. The NSF dubbed the project Truthy, a reference to comedian Stephen Colbert’s invention and hilarious use of the word “truthiness.” The reference to Colbert is cute, and he is a very funny guy, but when the feds get into the business of monitoring speech, it is surely no joke; it is a nightmare. It is part of the Obama administration’s persistent efforts to monitor communication and…Continue Reading

Reconnecting With Mary… The Rosary Is As Powerful As Ever Today

October 25, 2014 Featured Today Comments Off

By DONAL ANTHONY FOLEY October is the month of the rosary and the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary is celebrated on October 7. This feast was instituted following the victory of Catholic forces, the Holy League, against an invasion fleet of the Ottoman Empire, near Lepanto in the eastern Mediterranean, on October 7, 1571. The Pope, Pius V, had called for the faithful to pray the rosary for victory, and the Holy League did indeed triumph thus preventing the invasion. At the moment of victory, Pius V, who was many hundreds of miles away in a meeting, at the Vatican, got up, went over to a window, and by means of a special revelation, exclaimed: “The Christian fleet…Continue Reading

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “Does Contraception Lead To Abortion?”

October 24, 2014 Featured Today Comments Off

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 chapter 21 of The Facts of Life, “Contraception,” e-mail him at + + + “No matter how thin you slice it, ladies and gentlemen, family planning is a euphemism. We don’t intend or desire to prevent conception for conception’s sake; we want to prevent conception because of what follows conception. Family planning is the prevention of births, and as birth is the end of a sequence which begins with the sexual urge, then family planning is anti-conception, anti-nidation, and the termination of the conceptus if implanted. This is the societal role of abortion in…Continue Reading

The Purpose Of Education

October 23, 2014 Featured Today Comments Off

By JAMES K. FITZPATRICK It struck me many times during the 30 years I spent teaching history at a public high school in the suburbs of New York City that my understanding of the purpose of an education was starkly different from that of the education establishment. The establishment stressed the importance of teaching students “how to think for themselves,” “values clarification,” respect for “diversity of opinion,” and the dangers of “ethnocentrism,” the importance of challenging “conventional views” to help students “make their own free choices” regarding religion, morality, and politics. My problem was that I favored ethnocentrism and conventional views, if by that one meant the best of Western civilization. My preferred definition of the purpose of an education…Continue Reading

Musings And Concerns On The Synod

October 22, 2014 Featured Today Comments Off

By MSGR. CHARLES POPE (Editor’s Note: Msgr. Charles Pope is the pastor of Holy Comforter-St. Cyprian Parish in Washington, D.C. This October 9 commentary is reprinted with his permission. The Wanderer went to press this week on October 16, prior to the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops’ final report and three days before the synod concluded on Sunday, October 19.) + + + We are seeing in Rome a rather unusual unfolding of the synod, wherein cardinals and bishops with very different points of view are airing those differences quite publicly. Even prior to the synod there was the publication of various competing books. To be fair to the bishops and cardinals, it would seem that Pope Francis himself has largely…Continue Reading

Neither Left Nor Right, But Catholic . . . Is The Church In The U.S. Unwittingly Helping To Promote The Secularist-Leftist Agenda?

October 21, 2014 Featured Today Comments Off

By STEPHEN M. KRASON (Editor’s Note: Stephen M. Krason’s Neither Left nor Right, but Catholic column appears monthly [sometimes bimonthly]. He is 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. Among his books is The Transformation of the American Democratic Republic [Transaction Publishers, 2012], and most recently an edited volume entitled, Child Abuse, Family Rights, and the Child Protective System [Scarecrow Press, 2013]. A slightly different version of this column originally appeared in + + + Recent developments make me wonder if Church leaders and Catholic institutions in the U.S.…Continue Reading

Our Judicial Dictatorship

October 20, 2014 Featured Today Comments Off

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN Do the states have the right to outlaw same-sex marriage? Not long ago the question would have been seen as absurd. For every state regarded homosexual acts as crimes. Moreover, the laws prohibiting same-sex marriage had all been enacted democratically, by statewide referenda, like Proposition 8 in California, or by Congress or elected state legislatures. But today rogue judges and justices, appointed for life, answerable to no one, instruct a once-democratic republic on what laws we may and may not enact. During the past week, the Supreme Court refused to stop federal judges from overturning laws banning same-sex marriage. We are now told to expect the Supreme Court itself to discover in the Constitution a right…Continue Reading

The Government And Freedom

October 19, 2014 Featured Today Comments Off

By ANDREW P. NAPOLITANO This past week, FBI Director James Comey gave an interview to 60 Minutes during which he revealed a flawed understanding of personal freedom. He rightly distinguished what FBI agents do in their investigations of federal crimes from what the NSA does in its intelligence gathering, when the two federal agencies are looking for non-public data. The FBI requires, Comey correctly asserted, articulable suspicion to commence an investigation and probable cause to obtain a search warrant. It does this because its agents have sworn an oath to uphold the Constitution, and their failure to comply with that oath may very well render the evidence obtained by unconstitutional means useless in court. The NSA, as we know, makes…Continue Reading

Religious Freedom In Belarus . . . Strict Controls, “An Invisible Ghetto,” Continue

October 18, 2014 Featured Today Comments Off

By FR. JOHN FLYNN, LC (Editor’s Note: Fr. John Flynn, LC, wrote this commentary for ZENIT News Agency. Fr. Flynn, a regular ZENIT contributor, holds degrees from the University of New South Wales and from the Pontifical Gregorian University.) + + + Current events in the Middle East have drawn attention to the plight of Christians and other groups but there are many other countries in the world where religious freedom is sorely lacking. One of these is Belarus and a short time ago the nonprofit foundation, Forum 18 News Service, published a survey on its situation. Forum 18 is named after Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that upholds the right to freedom of conscience and…Continue Reading

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “The Crisis Pregnancy Center Movement”

October 17, 2014 Featured Today Comments Off

By BRIAN CLOWES (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995.) + + + “Speak, yourself, on behalf of the dumb, on behalf of all the unwanted; speak, yourself, pronounce a just verdict, uphold the rights of the poor, of the needy” (Prov. 31:8-9). + + + The organized American pro-life movement has a very long and honorable history. It is more than 350 years old — a century older than the republic itself. The pro-life movement originated with several chains of crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs), whose operating methods and range of services were remarkably similar to those that exist today. Between the end of the Civil War and the turn…Continue Reading