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An Honest Conversation About Gun Control

I’d love to have an honest conversation with a liberal about gun control, but the truth is, the liberals I know are willing to talk to me, or at me, but not with me, at least not about this subject. So I’ve decided to have an imaginary conversation. The challenge for me is to avoid making my imaginary liberal friend (LF) a straw man, so I’ll do my best to put in my liberal friend’s “mouth” only what I have heard actual liberals say on the subject.… Read More

 

Education’s Failing Grade

In 2016, Minneapolis scholar Katherine Kersten reported that public schools were the most dangerous places in St. Paul, MN. The use of obscene language, overturning of furniture and trash cans, and fistfights had become common in grade schools, she noted, and even worse behaviors—including physical attacks on teachers, death-threats, and multi-student riots—were occurring in high schools.

When I read Kersten’s report, my mind flashed back to my visit to Singapore in the late 1980s, not because my experience had anything in common with what Kersten described, but because it was so dramatically different!Read More

 

Why Such Divisiveness?

We hear much lamentation about “divisiveness” today and the cause is generally identified as one political party or both. But the main cause is neither political party, though both contribute to the problem. In fact, the cause is not any person or group but instead two intertwined ideas that became embedded in mass culture decades ago. The first is that we all have a right to our opinions.… Read More

 

The Tragedy of Suicide

Whenever a suicide occurs, those who knew the person are usually shocked, grief-stricken, and confused. “Why did he (she) make that choice?” they wonder. “Were we in any way responsible? Were there warning signs we should have noticed? If we had cared more, loved more, would he (she) still be with us?” Worse, because the questions can never be fully answered, the wondering never ends.

Throughout the ages, although philosophers have disagreed about whether suicide is justifiable, most religions have considered the act to be a grievous sin.… Read More

 

The Challenge of Being a Priest

Being a priest bestows the incomparable honor of changing bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ, as well as the opportunity to help others understand the wisdom of Scripture, solve their spiritual and psychological problems, and find meaning in their lives.

The life of a priest, of course, has never been easy. It has required living as a celibate, foregoing the consolations of marriage and family life, receiving an income far below what one’s level of education would command, and practicing a demanding form of obedience.… Read More

 

When Prayer Becomes Propaganda

At first glance, the prayer that Father James Martin, S.J. recently published in America, the magazine he edits, seems a heartfelt petition. On closer reading, however, it is more a political statement framed as a prayer.

To be sure, it contains elements that qualify as prayer, notably a plea for God to care for the souls of the dead, the injuries of the wounded, the pain of families, and the exhaustion of caregivers, as well as for the soul of the offender.… Read More

 

Taking a Knee . . . for What?

The NFL kneeling syndrome is no longer on the front pages. It has been displaced by the hurricanes and the Las Vegas massacre. But before it is forgotten, we need to examine it closely and identify the lessons it holds for us.

Sparked by Colin Kaepernick’s example a year earlier, the kneeling behavior spread to large numbers of players and some managers and owners. The public was divided over it.… Read More

 

Moral Theology and Muslim Immigration

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2

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

 

Islam Examined, Part 2

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.”

Sharia is a “fundamental religious concept of Islam” that combines ethics and law on the principle that both express the will of Allah.… Read More

 

Islam Examined, Part 1

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