A Time for Testing

We’re in a moment of mass hysteria, one that vindicates Indiana Governor Mike Pence’s decision to sign his state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). This law establishes a strong standard for religious liberty: A person’s free exercise of religious can be “substantially burdened” by a law only if that law advances a “compelling government interest” in a way that involves “the least restrictive means.” Continue Reading »

Manual for Love

Gay and Catholic: Accepting My Sexuality, Finding Community, Living My Faithby eve tushnetave maria, 224 pages, $15.95 I have almost no conscious interest in the possibilities of being gay and Catholic, so I find it hard to explain why I was first drawn to Eve Tushnet’s writing over a decade . . . . Continue Reading »

The Concordat Analogy

Yesterday I wrote about the likelihood that many Catholic institutions will capitulate to the spirit of our age, which has made gay rights into the Great Cause of justice. Alan Jacobs zeros in on an analogy I make to the Catholic Church’s 1933 Concordat with Germany negotiated by Eugenio Pacelli, then Vatican Secretary of State. (In my original article I called him Pius XII. It was not until 1939 that he was elected pope.) He finds the analogy unhelpful and suggests that I am blind to the imperatives of charity. Continue Reading »

Catholic Capitulation on Marriage

Fr. Timothy Lannon, President of Creighton University, my former employer, has announced that starting in 2015 the school will provide benefits to legally married same-sex spouses. Most Jesuit universities already do so, as will Notre Dame, which recently announced its new policy that also will take effect in 2015. Continue Reading »

A Tale of Targeting

I am a professor of English and Classics at Cal State-Northridge, where I began teaching in 2008 after earning my doctorate in English and MA in Classics from SUNY. I specialize in American literature and published a scholarly study of American writers and conservatism in 2011. Continue Reading »

A Church In Exile

Religion, and maybe Ebola, owned the news this week. From the confusion and public relations nightmare at the Vatican over the Synod’s Relatio, to the Caesarism of Annise Parker and the City of Housing subpoenaing sermons from pastors, it’s a been a busy week for the religion beat. Continue Reading »