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The Alabama Republicans’ Dilemma

The special election in Alabama is over, with Democrat Doug Jones having defeated Republican Roy Moore, but the dilemma faced by Christian Republican voters remains a fascinating case study in ethical decision-making.

The contrast between the candidates’ positions on the issues could not have been sharper:

Jones supports abortion, stating “I fully support a woman’s freedom to choose what happens to her own body. That is an intensely, intensely personal decision that only she, in consultation with her god, her doctor, her partner or family [can make], that’s her choice.” Moore opposes all abortion, as well as any federal funding of its chief provider, Planned Parenthood.… Read More


The Age of the Double Standard

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


The Challenge of Healing America

Trump, 23231295_sThroughout Election Day I suffered from what might be termed anticipatory depression. I dreaded that the outcome shamefully engineered by the mainstream media and carelessly prophesied by most pollsters—the election of Hillary Rodham Clinton—would come to pass.

I told myself that the voters would surely see through the incessant demonization of Trump and the absurd depiction of Hillary as America’s last best hope. Yet I was not sure they would do so.… Read More


The Catholic Vote in 2016

62154044 - usa presidential election day concept vector illustration. putting voting paper in the ballot box with american flag on background. voting concept in flat style.According to most reports, a majority of Catholics intend to vote for Hillary Clinton this year. The reason, at least in part, is that Democrats have always claimed to champion working class voters, and Catholics still believe them. In the days when Democratic ideals and programs were compatible with Catholicism, such unquestioning allegiance posed no great danger. But today the situation has changed.

Democratic ideals and programs are not what they once were, particularly concerning abortion.… Read More


My Political Disgust

24055032 - washington dc skyline in watercolor backgroundCall me a malcontent, if you wish, but I am disgusted with most politicians, their paid spokespeople, and the media that both cover them, in the journalistic sense, and provide cover for many of them, in the lickspittle sense.

I am disgusted with the Obama administration for misleading the country about, among other things, the Affordable Care Act, which is neither affordable nor caring; for disrespecting the police and the military; and for handling domestic and foreign affairs with gross incompetency.… Read More


Thinking Catholic with Mike Pence

mike-penceThe Vice-Presidential debate provided a perfectly articulated argument for the traditional Catholic view of a politician’s obligation regarding abortion. Ironically, if unsurprisingly, it was not expressed by Catholic Tim Kaine, but instead by Evangelical Mike Pence. Here is what Pence said:

What I can’t understand is [how you can] support a practice like partial-birth abortion. I mean, to hold to the view . . . that a child that is almost born into the world could still have their life taken from them is just anathema to me .… Read More


How Did Trump Treat His Ghostwriter?

Trump's Book CoverA friend of mine recently referred me to a New Yorker article entitled “Donald Trump’s Ghostwriter Tells All” and asked whether I thought the story would hurt Trump’s chances of winning the presidency. After reading the article, I concluded that it would not, at least not among careful thinkers.

Not everyone is a careful thinker, of course. Some people who read the New Yorker piece will no doubt leap to the conclusion that Trump is a fool for not being able to write for himself or a dishonest man for taking credit for someone else’s effort, or both.… Read More


Trump’s Deus Ex Machina

Masks, Comedy & TragedyGreek and Roman plays often ended with a divine being descending from above (by means of a crane) and resolving conflicts in the plot. This device was known as Deus Ex Machina, literally “god from the machine.” The term later came to mean a turn of events that solves an apparently insoluble problem.

Donald Trump has such a problem. It is not that Hillary’s positions on key issues are stronger than his.… Read More


Eye of the Beholder, Cinema Style

Hillary's AmericaIf you had a choice between a movie that was rated 5% (out of 100%) and one rated 84%, which would you choose? That’s a silly question. Surely you’d choose the one with the higher rating. But wait a moment. Suppose both ratings were for the same movie? That is currently the case with Dinesh D’Souza’s documentary Hillary’s America.

On July 25, three days after the movie opened, RottenTomatoes.com posted both ratings.… Read More


Ted Cruz’s Missed Opportunity

Ted CruzSenator Ted Cruz is a born-again Christian and the son of an Evangelical pastor who exhorts his congregation to “tithe mightily” and to be “biblically correct.” The senator has ignored the first exhortation and missed a singular opportunity to demonstrate the second.

According to his tax records, Ted Cruz ‘s tithe is not the biblical 10%, but a paltry 1%. Contrast that with Bernie Sanders’ 5%.… Read More