First Things RSS Feed - Patrick J. Deneen
Patrick Deneen is David A. Potenziani Memorial Associate Professor of Constitutional Studies at the University of Notre Dame. His previous “On the Square” articles can be found here. en-usCopyright 2016 First Things. All Rights Reserved.firstname.lastname@example.org (The Editors)email@example.com (The Editors)Fri, 28 Oct 2016 10:04:49 -0400https://d25wp47b6tla3u.cloudfront.net/img/favicon-196.pngFirst Things RSS Feed Image
60The Power Elitehttps://www.firstthings.com/article/2015/06/the-power-elite
Mon, 01 Jun 2015 00:00:00 -0400As the dust from the recent explosion over Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act begins to settle, one thing is clear: Republicans and Christians lost, Democrats and gay activists won. Republican leaders initially supported the legislation for what was likely a combination of strategic political reasons and the belief that religious freedom is a positive good. Passage of RFRA laws was an intensifying demand in conservative Christian circles. Having concluded that the culture war was lost, conservative Christians retreated to the castle keep of American political order: the right to the free exercise of religion, a right that had been bolstered by the bipartisan passage of the federal RFRA law in 1993. Governor Mike Pence no doubt thought he was practicing good politics: giving his base something they dearly wanted, while only potentially alienating committed members of the opposition party.
Against Great Bookshttps://www.firstthings.com/article/2013/01/against-great-books
Tue, 01 Jan 2013 00:00:00 -0500 For many years, traditionalist thinkers have promoted the teaching of a set of core texts—the “great books”—as a vital element of a liberal arts education during a time when demands for multiculturalism led to the dismantling of a number of traditional programs of study. In more recent years, thinkers such as Harold Bloom and John Searle have argued that the well-rounded, thoughtful individual must have an education grounded in the great texts of the West.
]]>President Obama’s Campaign for Leviathanhttps://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2012/10/president-obamas-campaign-for-leviathan
Wed, 03 Oct 2012 00:01:00 -0400 Based on a report in yesterdays
, the decision by the Obama Administration to require many religious institutions to provide contraception through existing health care plans is bearing electoral fruit: President Obama leads Mitt Romney among women by a remarkable 18-point margin. Though the HHS mandate represents an expansion of government power into the heart of many religious institutions, efforts to resist this expansion were portrayed by HHS Secretary Sebelius as a war against women, a label that has stuck and a narrative that the Democratic party during its Convention sought to make a dominant theme of the campaign”it would seem, with considerable success.
We should not let its electoral motivations blind us to the actual significance of the HHS mandate.
The origin of the mandate lies in an impulse that can be dated back to the beginnings of the modern era and the rise of the state. Before the latters ascent, memberships in various social settings were overlapping and varied, ranging from families, neighborhoods, townships, boroughs, regions, guilds, Church (parish and Catholic), nation, even empire.
The state undermined competing allegiances by demanding primary allegiance to itself alone, and only secondarily and voluntarily to these preexisting institutions. Such memberships became less and less constitutive. Rather, such associations and memberships came to be viewed as secondary to our primary allegiance to a State that reserves the right to control, oversee, and define any other institution.
No one was more influential in the definition of the modern state than Thomas Hobbes, who through the conceit of the state of nature, portrayed humans as naturally autonomous and individual, with a shared membership solely through one institution”the State. While unitary State sovereignty represented a limitation on our natural liberty in the abstract, in fact it promised a new kind of liberty”liberty from the myriad forms of constitutive identification and membership in non-state institutions, especially the Church.
William T. Cavanaugh describes in his excellent study of the rise of the modern state,
Migrations of the Holy
, how Hobbess new arrangement promised liberation, not oppression:
Wed, 01 Aug 2012 00:00:00 -0400 “Unsustainable Liberalism” is one of three addresses given to a symposium on “After Liberalism,” put on in late February with the support of the Simon/Hertog Fund for Policy Analysis and of Fieldstead and Company.
Daniel J. Mahoney
Paul J. Griffiths
responded to this paper. The first address and responses appeared in the
; the second address and responses appeared in the
]]>“Forward” Into a Sterile Futurehttps://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2012/06/ldquoforwardrdquo-into-a-sterile-future
Wed, 20 Jun 2012 01:38:00 -0400 Stumping in Iowa on May 24, President Obama declared, We dont need another political fight about ending a womans right to choose, or getting rid of Planned Parenthood, or taking away affordable birth control. We dont need that. I want women to control their own health choices, just like I want my daughters to have the same economic opportunities as my sons. Were not turning back the clock. We’re not going back there.
Instead, throughout his speech the President insisted that we are going forward. The suggestion is that the HHS mandate that requires all employers”except for houses of worship”to provide access to free contraception, abortion-inducing drugs, and sterilization procedures is a part of, but not the completion of, a journey forward toward some future destination envisioned by Progressives. Toward what destination are we going forward? What does going forward mean in matters concerning human reproduction?
For one clear and bold vision of the future toward which this defense of the current policy seems to point, we need for a moment to look back”specifically, to revisit an argument made by second-wave feminist, Shulamith Firestone in her landmark 1970 book,
The Dialectic of Sex
The Dialectic of Sex
, Firestone embraced Marxs call for a revolution, but faulted Marx and Engels for failing to extend their analysis of the division of classes to the division of the sexes. She called not only for a revolution in which the proletariat would seize the means of production, but a sexual revolution in which women would seize the control of
Firestone held that liberation would not be achieved until all forms of reproductive differentiation by sex were eliminated through technology. Thus, she called not only for the full restoration to women of ownership of their own bodies, but also their (temporary) seizure of control of human fertility”the new population biology as well as all the social institutions of child-bearing and child-rearing. Women had to be liberated from the bondage of their bodies in order to achieve equality.
Thus: The end goal of feminist revolution must be,
unlike that of the first feminist movement, not just the elimination of male privilege but of the sex
itself: genital differences between human beings would no longer matter culturally. The reproduction of the species by one sex for the benefit of both would be replaced by (at least the option of) artificial reproduction: children would be born to both sexes equally, or independently of either, however one chooses to look at it; the dependence of the child on the mother (and vice versa) would give way to a greatly shortened dependence on a small group of others in general, and any remaining inferiority to adults in physical strength would be compensated for culturally. The division of labour would be ended by the elimination of labour altogether (through cybernetics). The tyranny of the biological family would be broken.
The means by which this would be achieved was a radical embrace of technological intervention in human natural processes. Firestone was unambiguous about humanitys relationship to nature: feminists have to question, not just all of
culture, but the organisation of culture itself, and further, even the very organisation of nature.
Firestone favorably cited Simone de Beauvoir that human society is an anti-physis”in a sense it is against nature; it does not passively submit to the presence of nature but rather takes over the control of nature on its own behalf. This arrogation is not an inward, subjective operation; it is accomplished objectively in practical action. Nature oppresses and limits human freedom and human equality, and so we must extend the fullest possible human mastery over it.
How does the unquestioned Progressive commitment to human mastery over sex and reproduction fit with Progressive criticism of technological control of the natural world? The very same environmentalist commitments that lead to criticisms of techno-optimism in its application to nature do not appear to extend to
nature, including human reproduction. This juxtaposition is at least puzzling, if not outright contradictory.
This contradiction has been increasingly called out and criticized by a younger generation of Catholic women who”to their great credit”have embraced a consistent green philosophy that does not stop at the point of their own fertility. Writing in the new journal
, Ashley Samelson McGuire exposed this absurdity:
]]>E.J. Dionne and the Contradiction of Progressive Catholicismhttps://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2012/06/ej-dionne-and-the-contradiction-of-progressive-catholicism
Wed, 06 Jun 2012 03:32:00 -0400 For over seven years, I have had a mailbox just above E.J. Dionnes in the Department of Government at Georgetown University. E.J. and I have always shared cordial relationships, periodically getting together to discuss our shared and differing opinions on American politics. We have speculated on what might be a blood relationship, as my mothers maiden name is Dionne and we both have family that hail from Fall River, Massachusetts, by way of French Canada. In graduate school I was impressed and influenced by E.J.s book
Why Americans Hate Politics
, a book I hoped some day to emulate in sensibility if not sales. E.J. recently wrote an admiring blurb for a book of essays that I co-edited by my mentor, Wilson Carey McWilliams.
Thus it goes against my personal inclination to criticize E.J., but I have grown increasingly distressed by his tendency to define the Church and its activities in terms of American partisan politics. By doing so he diminishes the Church and threatens to make it merely an extension of modern politics and even the State.
Dionne has written in the past that the Churchs positions, reflecting a commitment to a seamless garment of life, should have the effect of making us feel guilty about the tendency of American Catholics to identify first as political partisans and only secondarily as Catholics. Indeed, the Catholic Churchs teachings do not map well, or at all, with the particular way in which American partisan positions have developed in the last fifty years, particularly out of the cauldron of the Cold War and its aftermath.
Dionne has been lambasting the Catholic leadership for its conservative positions, and praising the Churchs moderate and liberal elements, whether bishops, religious, or lay. He has accused the bishops of becoming too cozy with the Republican party and engaging too directly in electoral politics leading up to the 2012 election, particularly in regard to its stance against the HHS mandate and in the actions of a number of bishops and Catholic organizations filing suit against the mandate.
Yet, Dionne was a signatory on a letter signed by 90 Georgetown faculty that approvingly cited the wisdom of the Bishops when they responded critically to aspects of Paul Ryans budget. There was no alarm raised here by the partisan nature of such pastoral letters, nor fear expressed that the Bishops criticisms aligned them too closely to the Democratic party and would unduly engage them in a major issue animating the upcoming election.
He has written approvingly of the Churchs work on behalf of social justice, which would include (by his lights) not only the many corporal works of charity performed around the world by the Churchs many institutions, but as well the Churchs support for immigrants, its opposition to the death penalty, and its support for health-care reform that respects the inherent dignity of every human.
These activities Dionne regards worthy of support by liberal or progressive Catholics, while opposition to the HHS mandate reflects a worryingly conservative position. Yet, the Churchs leaders themselves do not use this language to discuss these various commitments, for the simple reason that they would not recognize this language to be an appropriate or accurate description of the work or teachings of the Church. The Church understands these commitments to be internally consistent; only a partisan would not.
In one recent column, The Battle Among the Catholic Bishops, Dionne divides the Bishops between moderate and liberals and conservatives, and points to the vast majority of dioceses that did not file suit against the HHS mandate as proof that there is a silent majority of liberal Catholics. He points with particular delight remarks by Bishop Stephen E. Blaire of Stockton, CA, who broke the silence on his side to express reservations about the lawsuits.
Yet, while Bishop Blaire expressed concern about tactics, he stated robust agreement with his fellow bishops who very strongly support whatever action has to be taken to promote religious liberty. That is, Bishop Blaires concerns are prudential, not categorical. Such differences do not suggest the fundamentally opposed worldviews of liberals or progressives against conservatives. They are properly and appropriately Catholic, in which there are properly and appropriately differences that are prudential in nature.
For American liberals and conservatives, there is a yawning divide regarding the legitimacy of abortion, gay marriage, and stem-cell research. There is no such divide among the Bishops and, thus, they are not appropriately accorded the same label as political liberals and conservatives. By describing discussions within the Church in terms of American partisan labels, he threatens to instruct his readers that there is no difference between internal Church discussions and debates in American politics. Dionne portrays a Church whose internal discussions are simply an extension of contemporary political debates.
The labels themselves are inappropriate, particularly that of progressive Catholic
”a combination that is fundamentally a contradiction in terms, yet a label that Dionne uses again and again to describe his approach to the Catholic faith. The Progressives were theologically millenarian, even Arian, believing that salvation could be achieved through human effort and especially through the twin avenues of science and politics. In the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century Progressives such as John Dewey, Herbert Croly, and Walter Rauschenbusch were self-described critics of the past and hostile to tradition. John Dewey equated Christianity and democracy, believing that democracy had become the new means of ongoing revelation, and in which the teacher should seek to bring about the kingdom of God”progress advanced in the classroom could accelerate the coming of the millennium on earth.
G.K. Chesterton wrote that the fatal metaphor of progress, which means leaving things behind us, has utterly obscured the real idea of growth, which means leaving things inside us. Catholicism is an accumulation of tradition, including a magisterium that does not waver from the fundamental truth as divulged in the teachings and life of Jesus. It is a faith that traces itself back through apostolic succession to its point of origin with Jesuss commission to his apostles to go forth and spread the Word. It is a faith that is populated by constant remembrance of the cloud of witnesses, the communion of the saints, who are remembered in every Mass during the Eucharistic prayer. While Catholics look forward to the future with hope, they do not invest their hopes in perfection of the City of Man. If Catholics are anything, they are not progressives, and to import the political term for the description of Catholics is to collapse the Church into a political program that cannot be reconciled to the Catholic worldview.
If less pernicious, Dionnes other preferred form of self-description”Social Justice Catholic”appears only to endorse the Churchs charitable work on behalf of the poor, with a heavy preference for governments role in that effort. But is the Churchs efforts on behalf of the dignity of every human life”born or unborn”any less a part of its commitment to social justice? Is not the defense and preservation of the family a central focus of social justice? Should not we understand the Bishops opposition to the HHS mandate, and preservation of the Churchs ministry without needless interference by the State, also to be a part of social justice? Dionne seems to define social justice to be activities that conform solely to the platform of the Democratic Party, but, here again, American partisan positions map poorly onto the Churchs rich tradition of Catholic Social Thought. His portrayal of Social Justice Catholics as distinct from conservative Catholics is a disfigurement of the fullness of Catholic teaching.
Of course, those who too closely equate the Church to the Republican Party (though such individuals rarely seem prone to self-describe as conservative Catholics, as far as I can tell) should be similarly called to task. However, Dionne bears a particular responsibility for distortions and confusions, given his status as among the only few distinguishable Catholic voices and spokesman in one of the nations mainstream news publications, a position that burdens him with special responsibility to be careful in distinguishing the politics of the City of Man from the positions of the Church.
At his best, Dionne understands and is rightly suspicious of the temptation of American Catholics to define their faith in terms of their political allegiances. He rightly encourages American Catholics to allow their faith to correct the narrow vision imposed by partisan blinders. That best E.J. has not been in evidence of late, and too often he has displayed anything but a guilty conscience about his own coloring of the Churchs teachings based on partisan positions. As any Catholic knows, it is difficult to practice what is preached, and a particularly probing self-scrutiny is warranted, doubtless and especially during an election year when the cacophony arising from the City of Man threatens to drown out that clear song that orders us rightly toward the City of God.
Patrick J. Deneen was, until May 30, 2012, the Tsakopoulos-Kounalakis Chair of Hellenic Studies and Associate Professor of Government at Georgetown University. In 2006 he founded the Tocqueville Forum on the Roots of American Democracy. On July 1, 2012, he will begin an appointment as Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame. RESOURCES
]]>“For the Salvation of Souls”: A Farewell to Georgetownhttps://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2012/05/ldquofor-the-salvation-of-soulsrdquo
Fri, 18 May 2012 00:30:00 -0400 In yesterdays
, in anticipation of todays address by Health and Human Secretary Kathleen Sebelius at Georgetown University as part of its graduation exercises, the editorial staff pronounced that
Georgetown Gets it Right
. Like many defenders of the invitation to Secretary Sebelius, the editorial at once denied that the invitation constituted an honor”since the event is not officially a commencement and an honorary degree is not being conferred”and asserted that the invitation constituted an opportunity for the legitimate exchange of ideas. The editorial archly stated that Cardinal Wuerl of the Archdiocese of Washington”who, in an extraordinary step, publicly criticized the invitation”fails to recognize the critical academic function of open-minded debate.
These two reasons”that the invitation did not constitute an honor for Secretary Sebelius, and that her presence on campus is an opportunity for open-minded debate”have been the main responses of defenders of the invitation amid the intense controversy that has arisen in the wake of last Fridays public announcement of the invitation. They have been invoked by spokespersons of the university, and even suggested by Georgetowns President John J. DeGioia in an
published on May 14, and cited in the
What the first defense appears to concede is that, were an honor in fact being conferred, there might indeed be something untoward about the invitation (however, this concession was not on display when President Obama was awarded an
Honorary Degree in 2009 by the University of Notre Dame
). This defense implies that, in particular, the bestowal of an honor upon Secretary Sebelius at this time would in fact be inappropriate. After all, Secretary Sebelius is the architect of the HHS mandate that would require Catholic institutions such as Georgetown to provide abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization, and contraception to its students and employees, and which in turn has provoked
strong and unanimous opposition from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
. This justification seems to concede that
an honor were being conferred, that those who have opposed the invitation might in fact be justified in their belief that this invitation constitutes an offense to the Bishops and a scandal for the Church.
The second justification depends on the first: if the invitation does not constitute an honor, then it ought legitimately be understood to be nothing more than a regular university event, the opportunity to exchange ideas and debate views. This second justification thus depends upon the legitimacy and correctness of the first claim. If, however, the event
in fact constitute an honor to Secretary Sebelius because of the inherent honorific nature of an invitation to appear as a commencement event speaker, then this raises significant doubts about the legitimacy of the second claim that such an appearance can be understood as part of a Universitys ordinary activity of debate and exchange.
In fact, neither of these conditions apply” and the editorial writers at the Post ,
other defenders of this decision, and even the official explanation of the leadership at Georgetown gets it wrong to suggest otherwise. For this reason, I was one of ten faculty of Georgetown to publicly state opposition to the invitation and, in a
, asked for Georgetown President DeGioia to withdraw the invitation.
Each spring, members of the Georgetown faculty receive a letter from the universitys Provost and from their Dean and Chairman reminding them that they are contractually obligated, and strongly encouraged, to attend
of the universitys Commencement exercises. These include the university-wide Convocation, presided over by the President and Provost; the conferral of diplomas, presided over by the Deans of the various schools; and each schools Tropaia (Greek for trophy), also presided over by the schools Dean (The event to which Secretary Sebelius has been invited combines these latter two events). At each event, faculty and administrators are to don their academic regalia and march in procession at the beginning and conclusion of the ceremony. For the duration of the event itself, they are to sit in array upon a raised podium or stage during the ceremony and addresses, a highly visible presence, separate from and facing the students and the audience.
The presence and display of faculty in this manner at these events”with all attendant academic pomp and circumstance”is intended to send a strong signal of approval, blessing, and witness upon such events. We pay honor and respect to our students who have successfully completed their course of education, conferring upon them our collective blessing and congratulation by our presence. Our presence denotes the universitys blessing (indeed, on these occasions we take out the colored robes that reflect that once we were actually professors”of the faith). In seven years teaching at Georgetown, it has never been suggested that any one of these Commencement events is any less deserving of our serious regard or constitutes less of an honor to our students or invited guests than any other”at least until several days ago, when the GPPIs Tropaia was suddenly portrayed as less than a full commencement event. In fact, after the announcement of Secretary Sebelius as one of the many Commencement speakers, the
universitys website was changed
to reflect a kind of demotion of Secretary Sebelius to one of Commencement weekends Other Speakers.
The fact that the Universitys first, and correct, impulse was to acknowledge that the event was centrally part of the Commencement exercises belies the notion that the appearance of Secretary Sebelius should be understood to be part of the regular exchange of ideas and open-minded debate that takes place on a university campus. Every week during Georgetowns regular 28-week academic year, a newsletter of invited speakers, guests and events is circulated to all members of the Georgetown community. Each week there are dozens of planned events of every possible kind. Attendance at these events is wholly voluntary”they are not part of the facultys contractual obligation”and faculty show up in their regular garb, not in the full Technicolor array of academic regalia. They do not sit on a raised dais or stage at the front of the room, but”if they attend any of these events at all”they join and are part of the audience. At most of these events, an opportunity is given to attendees to pose questions and challenges to the invited speaker, thereby permitting the opportunity to engage in the exchange of ideas. At any point during these 28-weeks, Secretary Sebelius would have been an appropriate invitee, and”speaking for myself, a view I think that would be shared by those few other faculty who protested the decision of Commencement invitation”there would have been no protest by faculty and no request for withdrawal in such a circumstance. Assuredly there would have been a vigorous exchange of ideas at such a regular university event”something that will not take place this morning during Secretary Sebeliuss address during Commencement Exercises, when the arrayed faculty and administration of Georgetown will sit largely in silent approval and endorsement of the proceedings. There will be no question and answer period, no exchange of ideas”only the most magnificent, colorful, and stately display of approval, honor, endorsement and beneficence that a University is capable of mustering.
The claims of the
, and those who have defended this decision, are altogether specious and disingenuous. They also finally confuse and mistake the purpose of a
s editorial states that it is the essence of a university to be a place where students can hear from an array of thinkers”and doers. While it is assuredly the case that the editorial staff of the
, no less than the administration of a university, would in fact regard some speakers and topics as out-of-bounds (and assuredly there are some people or views even the
would regard as inappropriate as the recipient of an invitation to speak at a Commencement event, with or without the conferral of an honorary degree), it is nevertheless certainly the case that the life-blood of any university is the exchange of ideas. However, the
rests content to posit that the open-minded exchange of ideas is the sole end or purpose of a university. However, a Catholic university in particular engages (or ought to engage) in the exchange of ideas with a specific and constant goal in view”attainment of knowledge of the truth in the service and worship of God with an ultimate aspiration to join him, his Son, his Mother and the Communion of Saints in Heaven.
Perhaps the most magnificent room at Georgetown University”where many events of Commencement will take place”is Gaston Hall, named for William Gaston, one of Georgetowns first students, who successfully lobbied Congress to grant to Georgetown the right to confer degrees. At the front of that room, amid many frescoes, paintings, insignia, and symbols, is a single phrase that stretches from one side of the Hall to the other in ornate gilded letters:
Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam Inque Hominum Salutem
: For the Greater Glory of God and the Salvation of Humanity. The phrase is the motto of the Society of Jesus and is attributed to its founder, Ignatius of Loyola. In founding the myriad of schools and universities”many of the seals of which are on display high above Gaston Hall”the Society of Jesus sought not merely to ensure the exchange of ideas, but to promote the dogged search for truth in the service of the Church for the salvation of souls. Georgetown is thus not merely a modern university, aimed at producing research (although it does that, and proclaims this activity widely and loudly); rather, it is most fundamentally a part of the Churchs ministry”no less so than its churches, as well as its schools, hospitals, and charities”aimed above all at the salvation of humanity.
The scandal of the invitation to Secretary Sebelius lies in her central role in attacking that ministry
in her words
, of being at war with those who disagree with her positions. The HHS mandate as currently promulgated will force institutions like Georgetown”as an entity of the Church”into an impossible position. In requiring the Church (in this case, its schools, hospitals and other institutions) to act against its own conscience and faith commitments, it requires the Church to cease to be itself.
Georgetown can elect to provide services that Georgetowns own President recently declared it does not provide based upon its
adherence to the Churchs teachings
. It can elect to cease providing service altogether, as in the case of Franciscan University, or to cease admitting and hiring non-Catholics in order to meet the narrow qualification for an exemption. Or,
, it can elect either to secularize or to shut down, given that these other options all constitute a betrayal of faith. While many dismiss this latter option, no less a figure than Francis Cardinal George of Chicago has stated that the HHS mandate, if left unchanged, within two years will result in the shuttering of the schools, hospitals and universities in his Diocese and perhaps beyond. What Cardinal George has concluded is that left the option to be the Church as established by Jesus Christ, or to cease to be the Church on terms set by a mandate by Caesar, the Church will not act against itself; yet, in ceasing to provide ministry to Catholic and non-Catholic alike, it will in fact be forced to do just that.
What is so scandalous about Georgetowns invitation to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is that it incontrovertibly honors the architect of a Mandate that demands that the Church cease to be itself. Georgetown is under an obligation to invite the exchange of ideas to promote an understanding of Gods Creation with an aim of the salvation of mankind; it is under no obligation to honor its persecutor or to engage in self-immolation. Indeed, as an institution of the Church”the oldest Catholic university in the United States”it ought to be in the forefront with the Bishops, the successors of St. Peter and the apostles, in standing against this latest persecution of the Church by the State. I think I again can speak for my nine faculty colleagues who publicly opposed this decision in stating that my reaction was less anger and outrage”of which I felt some”than sadness and hurt.
Since learning of this decision by the University I have served for seven years, and which I leave with sadness and pain to join the University of Notre Dame in the belief that it has the possibility of retaining its Catholic identity”I have mostly felt sharp pain over an institution of the Church honoring one whose policy would force”in some form”the Church to cease to be itself. Of course, if Georgetown were truly and irrefutably acting as the Church, categorically and by definition it could not act in this manner. It is only in its own internal confusion about itself and its mission, a confusion that it sows among Catholics and non-Catholics alike”not, finally, the open-minded exchange of ideas, but
Ad majorem Dei gloriam inque hominum salute
”that it could have issued and followed through on this invitation. I leave the Hilltop with even greater sadness than I felt making the decision to depart earlier in the year”apparently at the very time the decision was made to issue this invitation to Kathleen Sebelius”and will pray for Georgetown and for the Church to be true to itself, and not to be snared by the temptations of Caesar and the world.
Patrick J. Deneen is, until May 30, 2012, the Tsakopoulos-Kounalakis Chair of Hellenic Studies and Associate Professor of Government at Georgetown University. In 2006 he founded the Tocqueville Forum on the Roots of American Democracy. On July 1, 2012, he will begin an appointment as Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame.
]]>A Christmas Tree with Viceshttps://www.firstthings.com/blogs/firstthoughts/2009/05/a-christmas-tree-with-vices
Mon, 25 May 2009 11:27:00 -0400 Thanks to Nathaniel for sending me this, a neat
overview of master filmmaker Orson Welles’ career
—with an eye toward his spiritual sympathies.