Friday 2nd December 2016

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A Disillusioned Marxist Professor

October 23, 2016 Featured Today Comments Off on A Disillusioned Marxist Professor

By JAMES K. FITZPATRICK I spent much of my adult life observing left-wing academics who professed a fondness for socialism in one form or another. Some were my professors, others colleagues. More than a few were New Left Marxists who spoke openly in admiration of Mao, Fidel Castro, and the Sandinistas. One woman I taught with in a high school in a suburb of New York City adorned her classroom with posters that glamorized Communist China’s Red Guards and Che Guevara. Her everyday conversations were filled with references to the evils of capitalism and American militarism. I can remember speculating to myself about what would happen if these individuals ever had to actually live under a Marxist government committed to…Continue Reading

The March To Totalitarianism

October 22, 2016 Featured Today Comments Off on The March To Totalitarianism

By DONALD DeMARCO Hannah Arendt, best known for her denunciation of totalitarianism in her book, Eichmann in Jerusalem, has made the comment that “the aim of totalitarian education has never been to instill convictions but to destroy the capacity to form any.” Totalitarianism can appeal only to the unthinking masses. A true education, let it be said, cannot occur in the absence of truth. What often passes for education these days is a systematic deconstruction of truth. Ironically, students are taught to believe that their ignorance of truth is actually a virtue since it is achieved by a mind that is liberal and open. What is more, truth can be offensive to some and for that additional reason should be…Continue Reading

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “Advance Medical Directives: The Living Will”

October 21, 2016 Featured Today Comments Off on Culture Of Life 101 . . . “Advance Medical Directives: The Living Will”

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 23 of The Facts of Life, “Euthanasia,” e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.) + + + “Evil committed for a good cause remains evil.” “Even when it succeeds?” “Above all when it succeeds” — Victor Hugo, History of a Crime (1877). + + + An advance medical directive (AMD) is a legal document that allows a person to specify the medical treatment he wants and does not want in case he becomes incapable of making his desires known. AMDs generally have four parts: Naming another person to act as your health-care agent in the event you…Continue Reading

The Joke’s On Us

October 20, 2016 Featured Today Comments Off on The Joke’s On Us

By DONALD DeMARCO The definitive Jack Benny joke is well known. Originally aired in a March 28, 1948 episode, the legendary comedian is accosted by a mugger and given the option, “Your money or your life!” A long pause follows. The gunman reiterates, “Look, bud! I said your money or your life?” Benny replies, “I’m thinking it over.” Being well aware of the skinflint persona Benny portrayed, the audience howls with delight. Part of the interplay’s humor is logical and rests on the fact that in choosing his life over his money, he would have lost both. There really was not much to think over. Benny was prepared to take his parsimony to a laughable extreme. Only the Benny character…Continue Reading

“Pope’s Day” . . … The Lost Tradition Of A November 5 Anti-Catholic Feast Day

October 19, 2016 Featured Today Comments Off on “Pope’s Day” . . … The Lost Tradition Of A November 5 Anti-Catholic Feast Day

By RAY CAVANAUGH In much of colonial America, November 5 was known as Pope’s Day. This was not a day of celebrating the Pontiff, however. In fact, violence would erupt over who got the privilege of burning the Pope’s effigy. Pope’s Day (also known as “Pope’s Night” or just “Pope Day”) was the colonial offshoot of the November 5 British holiday Guy Fawkes Night, which commemorates a foiled 1605 Catholic plot to assassinate the (Protestant) King, James I. Upon being exported to America, the annual celebration became less about the assassination plot and more about bashing Catholicism, most notably the Pope. It is unknown exactly when Pope’s Day got started in colonial America. Reportedly, youths in Boston were apprehended for…Continue Reading

Restoring The Sacred . . . Words Of Timeless Faith And Truth From An Old Irish Hymnal

October 18, 2016 Featured Today Comments Off on Restoring The Sacred . . . Words Of Timeless Faith And Truth From An Old Irish Hymnal

By JAMES MONTI Sacred music has been a fundamental component of the Church’s liturgy from Day One, as manifested by the hymn that the apostles sang when our Lord was about to leave the Cenacle for Gethsemane following the Last Supper (Matt. 26:30). Even earlier, music had been a key feature of Jewish worship for centuries. Across the ages, the Church has not only offered praise to God through her music, but she has also annunciated her teachings by this means. It is precisely because of sacred music’s efficacy in forming the hearts of the faithful that sadly those seeking to re-engineer what we believe as Catholics have for several decades sought to fill parish churches with banal and theologically…Continue Reading

A Book Review . . . Channels Of Grace: Famous U.S. Converts

October 17, 2016 Featured Today Comments Off on A Book Review . . . Channels Of Grace: Famous U.S. Converts

By MITCHELL KALPAKGIAN The Mississippi Flows Into the Tiber: A Guide to Notable American Converts to the Catholic Church, by John Beaumont (South Bend, Ind.: 2014), 1013 pages. Limited copies available through amazon.com. A collection of short biographies of American converts from colonial times to the 21st century, these accounts provide biographical information about each person, excerpts from their writing or conversation that explain their reasons for conversion, and commentary about their lives and works from other observers. A voluminous work, the book presents many stories that encompass the lives of people from all professions, all religious affiliations, all educational backgrounds, and all social classes who all found a home in the Catholic Church and the deepest fulfillments of their…Continue Reading

St. Paul And Philosophy

October 16, 2016 Featured Today Comments Off on St. Paul And Philosophy

By JOHN YOUNG There is an opinion that St. Paul had little regard for philosophy. If we look at the Jerusalem Bible translation of his First Epistle to the Corinthians, this opinion may seem to be borne out by comments he makes. In several places we find the words philosophy or philosophers used in a derogatory way. According to that translation Paul says that when he came to the Corinthians, “It was not with any show of oratory or philosophy. . . .” (1 Cor. 2:1). But the word philosophy is not in the original. In his speeches, “There were none of the arguments that belong to philosophy. . . .” But a literal translation of the Greek is, “I…Continue Reading

The Donald Lives!

October 15, 2016 Featured Today Comments Off on The Donald Lives!

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN Donald Trump turned in perhaps the most effective performance in the history of presidential debates on Sunday night, October 9. As the day began, he had been denounced by his wife, Mike Pence, and his own staff for a tape of crude and lewd remarks in a decade-old “locker room” conversation on a bus with Billy Bush of Access Hollywood. Tasting blood, the media were in a feeding frenzy. Trump is dropping out! Pence is bolting the ticket! Republican elites are about to disown and abandon the Republican nominee! Sometime that weekend, Trump made a decision: If he is going down to defeat, he will go out as Trump, not some sniveling penitent begging forgiveness from…Continue Reading

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “The Mathematics Of Death: Quality Of Life Criteria”

October 14, 2016 Featured Today Comments Off on Culture Of Life 101 . . . “The Mathematics Of Death: Quality Of Life Criteria”

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 23 of The Facts of Life, “Euthanasia,” e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.) + + + The quality of life formulas described in the previous article are not just fanciful academic exercises with little relevance to real life (or death). They have already been used to kill not only individual handicapped newborn babies, but entire groups of them. In the early 1980s, a team of four physicians and a social worker at the Oklahoma Children’s Memorial Hospital evaluated 69 babies born with spina bifida using a formula that was described in the previous article. The medical…Continue Reading