In Catholic theology, moral judgment must be grounded in Scripture, sensitive to the complexity of issues, and guided by sound reasoning. If such judgment were to be summed up in a single word, it would be discernment.… Read More
Part 1 of this essay discussed the analysis of Islam presented by Nonie Darwish in Cruel and Usual Punishment: The Terrifying Global Implications of Islamic Law. Darwish defines Islam as “less a religion and more a totalitarian system of government by terror,” and she claims that “To be a Muslim is to have a relationship not with Allah but with the Sharia-run State.”
If Westerners were to stop looking at Islam through the lens of Political Correctness, they would fear for the future of Western civilization. That is the message of Nonie Darwish’s Cruel and Usual Punishment: The Terrifying Global Implications of Islamic law. Darwish lived the first thirty years of her life as a Muslim in Egypt and her father died in jihad against Israel. She was still a child at the time and remembers a government official asking her and her siblings, “Which one of you will avenge your father’s blood by killing Jews?” That remark made her begin wondering about her religion’s teachings.… Read More
Applying a double standard means minimizing or overlooking the lapses in logic or ethics of people we like or agree with, while magnifying those of people we dislike or disagree with. Logic condemns double standards because they constitute unsound thinking; ethics condemns them because of their unfairness. Unfortunately, double standards are so common that they have come to define modern discourse, especially in political matters.
A typical example of a double standard occurred in mid-August of 2017 in the media attack on President Trump’s reaction to the violence in Charlottesville, MD.… Read More
For almost two millennia, Christianity has survived innumerable challenges from without, including heresies, schisms and philosophical “isms,” as well as more than a few challenges from within. But the most dangerous challenge of all may be one that was overcome seven centuries ago but is now regenerated—the challenge posed by Islam. Its agents no longer wield battle axes and scimitars, as their militant predecessors did. They travel instead in the peaceful garb of immigrants and refugees.… Read More
The appellation “tough street fighter from Queens” has been applied to both Donald Trump and Anthony Scaramucci to explain their verbal abuse of others, and in some cases, alas, to excuse it. I find the appellation objectionable for several reasons.
One reason is that, though many of its users seem to regard “streetfighter” as a term of admiration, in reality it means a person who ignores rules and fights dirty.… Read More
A number of authors have written probing criticisms of modern journalism, notably Bernard Goldberg, James Fallows, and Bob Kohn. Now award-winning journalist Sharyl Attkisson adds The Smear, an insightful account of the most recent, shameful, and dangerous episode in journalism’s decline.
What the public receives as news today, she explains, is in fact propaganda crafted to “control what you see, what you think, and how you vote.” Although conservative as well as liberal operatives employ it, the latter are more adept at doing so.… Read More
In times past, there was universal agreement among thinking people that words matter and therefore should be used honestly and with precision. However, from time to time many people have forgotten or ignored this precept, so reminders have been needed.
G. K. Chesterton provided one in Orthodoxy (1908) when he wrote, “Most of the machinery of modern language is [labor-saving] machinery; and it saves mental [labor] very much more than it ought .… Read More
The occasion was a recent picnic and my discussion with a pharmacist began well. I mentioned that I have often consulted pharmacists about prescription medicines’ side effects and interactions and that experience had led me to study such matters myself. Along the way, I said, I’ve learned that some doctors pay little attention to patients’ reactions to medications.
For some reason she seemed upset by that statement and dismissed it, saying “The great majority of side effects are minor, and the serious ones tend to occur only in a small percentage of cases.” What an odd response from a pharmacist, I thought; it sounds more like something from a pharmaceutical pamphlet implying that suffering is less real or problematic if it occurs infrequently.… Read More
Recently, in an essay titled The Root of Violence, I proposed that the solution to the problem of violence is not to deny anyone’s freedom of speech, but to restore the moral context of that freedom—respecting others and exercising restraint and civility regardless of our feelings toward them. Such behavior is not inborn but must be modeled and encouraged in the culture.
Much more difficult than saying that respect for others must be encouraged in the culture is determining exactly how that can be accomplished.… Read More