A New Movement for Marriage

The approval of same-sex civil marriage by the New York state legislature did not bring on the end of the world, or of history. It did not even mark, as Michael Potemra claimed in a post at National Review, “the end of the long road” for those who advocated it. The path to same-sex civil marriage still must go through many more states that are far less susceptible to the emotional bullying of the SSM lobby than was New York, and it is by no means certain that advocates will ever reach their destination. More importantly, it is far from clear”even to them”what that destination is… . Continue Reading »

A Dangerous Freedom

I have no wish to pile on the infamous Canadian couple who recently made headlines when they decided not to reveal the sex of their child in order not to prejudice the child’s choice of gender. For when you really get down to it, this couple is really just being consistent with the notion of freedom that has come to dominate the contemporary world… . Continue Reading »

How to Destroy a Culture in 5 Easy Steps

In his book The Future of Marriage, David Blankenhorn, a liberal, gay-rights-supporting Democrat and self-professed “marriage nut,” offers this sociological principle: “People who professionally dislike marriage almost always favor gay marriage.” As a corollary, Blankenhorn adds: “Ideas that have long been used to attack marriage are now commonly used to support same-sex marriage.” Blankenhorn provides almost irrefutable proof that this is the expressed agenda of many”if not most”professional advocates of same-sex marriage. … Continue Reading »

Miracles in Soho

Soho, in the West End of the British capital, has had a rather dodgy history. Wikipedia notes that, by the mid-19th century, “all respectable families had moved away, and prostitutes, music halls and small theaters had moved in.” So had Father Arthur O’Leary who, in 1792, established in Soho the first Catholic church since the Reformation that had not been located on some foreign embassy’s territory. … Continue Reading »

Illusions of Equality

About 15 years ago a new Catholic parish was erecting its single-building church and social center. The pastor asked the religious sister who acted as Director of Religious Education to choose the tiles for the parish center’s bathrooms. The gentleman’s bathroom was outfitted in a rather pretty shade of gray with darker accents. The ladies room, however, startled everyone who entered it; gazing into the mirrors at their bilious reflections, woman after woman grimaced and asked “who on earth decided on spicy-mustard yellow?” … Continue Reading »

Cosmogirl Freedom

The Smokers was, I think, meant to be a black comedy, but is too accurate to be funny, because you know that hundreds of thousands of young women exactly like the three girls whose story it tells move through their teenage years just as unhappy and confused and desperate, and you cannot laugh at children who are lost in the dark… . Continue Reading »

Hegel and John Paul II

Hegel is perhaps the greatest defender of marriage and family life among philosophers of the modern era. First, Hegel argues against Immanuel Kant and others who see marriage as a contract for mutual sexual use. He faults this view for failing to subordinate sex to a durable, spiritual, rational love whereby two become one. Genuine love rises above the contingency of sexual passion, whereas sexual urges are “destined to be extinguished in [their] very satisfaction.” … Continue Reading »

Solicitous Nation

Modern American Presidents have a rare predilection for crusades. Wilson sent American troops into World War I to “make the world safe for democracy,” and a few days after 9/11 George Bush outbid Wilson by declaring that history calls us to “rid the world of evil.” British Prime Ministers warn darkly of iron curtains and bolster the nation with stiff-lip realism about defending civilization. That’s too modest for American Presidents, who give their military engagements apocalyptic labels like “Operation Infinite Justice,” the original name for the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan. … Continue Reading »

Larkin’s Heavenly Body

Corpus Christi is the liturgical feast for poetry. The audacious claim that bread and wine become body and blood for the life of the world needs the poet’s dense art to reveal the mystery without pretending to strip it bare. It is no coincidence that one of the Church’s greatest Eucharistic theologians, Thomas Aquinas, also wrote some of Christianity’s finest hymns when the feast was instituted in 1264… . Continue Reading »

A Small Untangling

For some four weeks now I’ve been traveling to Gothenburg, Nebraska, to conduct worship services for a mission church that split off from a congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The mission church”newly named Trinity Lutheran”has aspirations of becoming a congregation of the North American Lutheran Church and, so it seems, I am the only NALC pastor available within three hundred eighty-three miles, one way… . Continue Reading »