Category: The Social Order

Trayvon Case Shows ‘Racist’ Epithet Persists
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Trayvon Case Shows ‘Racist’ Epithet Persists

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If there’s one way to determine whether an event has devolved into a circus maximus, surely it must be the entry into the public debate by Roseanne Barr. The erstwhile comedian and celebrity took up the Twitter cause last week on behalf of the late Trayvon Martin, the black teenager killed on Feb. 26 by […]

Secular Scapegoats and <em>The Hunger Games</em>
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Secular Scapegoats and The Hunger Games

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The Hunger Games trilogy penned by Suzanne Collins has proven to be hugely successful, and deservedly so. The tale of post-apocalyptic love, poverty, war, and oppression poignantly captures the fundamental injustice of tyranny. As the film premiere of the first book dominated the box office this past weekend, it’s worth reflecting on what can be […]

Human Nature: The Question behind the Culture Wars
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Human Nature: The Question behind the Culture Wars

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Culture wars can produce nasty rhetoric. Political discourse quickly becomes emotionally charged and divisive. We are tempted to view those with whom we disagree as not only irrational but evil. The culture of demonization of our political opponents is what moral psychologist Dr. Jonathan Haidt seeks to dismantle with his new book, The Righteous Mind: […]

99¢ Can Buy You a Practical Answer to Our Nation's Woes
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99¢ Can Buy You a Practical Answer to Our Nation’s Woes

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Archbishop Charles Chaput has written one of the most insightful pieces of our time on modern journalism and the role, or should I say, “non-role” of religion in today’s public square. His searing piece, A Heart on Fire: Catholic Witness and the Next America, is a must read for all those who seek to live […]

What Can We Learn from the Trayvon Martin Story?
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What Can We Learn from the Trayvon Martin Story?

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Was the Trayvon Martin story about race? I can’t sit in judgment on what was in Zimmerman’s heart and mind, but objectively, from what the media has passed on to us, it does look to me like an issue involving prejudice. As a white girl growing up in the fifties and sixties in Washington State, […]

The Triumph of Greed
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The Triumph of Greed

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Goldman Sachs executive Greg Smith made headlines last week with a public letter of resignation from the legendary firm.  Smith’s letter chronicled the ethical decline that led to his departure, and has sparked renewed interest in the culture of unmitigated greed that animates the world of high finance.  In his letter, Smith refers to a […]

Sin and the Body Politic
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Sin and the Body Politic

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The response to the HHS mandate concerning insurance and contraception has been shocking to many, as they realize that there is a yawning rift in the American population between those who understand the Constitution and those who don’t, and between those who consider sexual morality an important element of our cultural fabric and those who […]

CL37 - hbratton notxt
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The Attack on the Family

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Many of the most violent attacks on morality taking place today seem to be centered around questions of sexual morality. The controversies surrounding sex education in schools, acceptance of homosexual conduct, pornography, divorce, and, of course, the paramount matter of abortion—all these would seem to have sex as their common theme. But though all these […]

Limbaugh and the, um, Lady
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Limbaugh and the, um, Lady

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Saul Alinsky is alive and well in the political maneuverings of the secular left. The problem is, we all have the play book now. As most know, Rush Limbaugh has been under fire of late for comments he made about 30 year-old “reproductive justice” radical Sandra Fluke. Ms. Fluke recently gained national attention while testifying […]

Overcoming the Merely Therapeutic: Human Excellence and the Moral Life
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Overcoming the Merely Therapeutic: Human Excellence and the Moral Life

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In Soul Searching: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers (2005), researchers Christian Smith and Melinda Lundquist Denton argue that for many young adults in America, the spiritual life is understood in moralistic terms. But where orthodox (and Orthodox) Christianity focus on the necessity of “repentance from sin, of keeping the Sabbath, of living as a servant of a sovereign divine, […]

Rome in Lent: Like a Mist
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Rome in Lent: Like a Mist

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A quiet time in Rome, the end of February. A time of silence. This evening in a completely empty and silent Vatican, I had the rare experience of running into a little child inside the city. He was walking with his father near the back of the basilica. The child’s mother, a member of the […]

The Suppositions Behind Obama’s Contraception Coverage
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The Suppositions Behind Obama’s Contraception Coverage

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Recently, the Obama administration declared that all employers, including Catholic institutions, will be required to offer free insurance coverage for birth control to their employees. In the weeks since the declaration, the controversy that it stirred up caused the administration to revise its decision, putting in place “accommodations” by which it hopes to quell the […]

The Social Kingship of Christ
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The Social Kingship of Christ

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In the Gospel reading for the First Sunday of Lent in the Ordinary Form of Holy Mass, Jesus proclaims, “The Kingdom of God is at hand,” but what does that mean? Is this Kingdom still to come such that we might participate in bringing it to fulfillment, or is the reign of Christ the King […]

Despite Economic and Social Ills, Blacks Give Obama a Pass
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Despite Economic and Social Ills, Blacks Give Obama a Pass

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With the celebration of Black History Month we are reminded of the historic presidency of Barack Obama, the nation’s first African-American president. Some black leaders, however, believe that Mr. Obama has let the black community down. For example, prominent voices like Dr. Cornell West and PBS’s Tavis Smiley, former supporters of Obama, believe that having […]

Dot-Gov Has It All to Help Americans Do Better
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Dot-Gov Has It All to Help Americans Do Better

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Last week in his State of the Union address, President Obama claimed to share President Lincoln’s opinion “that government should do for people only what they cannot do better by themselves, and no more.” I thought about that today while running errands and noticing that virtually every billboard in my town directs citizens to federal […]

The Problem with Compassionate Conservatism
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The Problem with Compassionate Conservatism

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The rise — at least temporarily — of Rick Santorum has given rise to speculation of late, most notably by David Brooks, that it might facilitate a rethinking on the right about how America addresses some of the hard-to-deny social pathologies that characterize much of American society. Chiming in to this debate is Michael Gerson. He argues […]

Masquerades in the News
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Masquerades in the News

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The Culture of Death reminds me of the dragon from the Book of Revelations; it is an “enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns” (NIV Rev 12:3). Two items in this week’s news reveal just how the Culture of Death masquerades as something supposedly good as it rears two of its ugly heads—the […]

Defending Traditional Marriage: Washington State vs. Maine -- 2009
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Defending Traditional Marriage: Washington State vs. Maine — 2009

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“As Maine goes, so goes the nation.” On election day, November 2009, the Pine Tree State harkened back to its old bellwether status — at least on the issue of same sex marriage. Defying the governor, the legislature, and the other powers-that-be (except the churches), stalwart citizens upheld the historical definition of marriage. By a […]

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