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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 »

A Pastoral Failure

I was recently accused of (actually, praised for, but it seemed to me an accusation) supporting “marriage equality”—a slogan that indicates whoever uses it fails to understand either of the terms it combines. The occasion for this slander was, rather ironically, a piece I had written rejecting calls for gay marriage. The piece was misread, I think, because I had positive things to say about gay people and about the love present in countless gay relationships. Apparently this fact was significant enough that there was no need to attend to my actual conclusion. Continue Reading »

How I Became an Evangelical Voice for Marriage Equality

Evangelicals are changing their minds on gay marriage. So argues the Log Cabin Republicans’ David Lampo in a recent op-ed in the Daily Caller. In defense of his thesis, Lampo trots out the examples of two prominent evolved evangelicals: David Blankenhorn and yours truly. There are two problems here: Blankenhorn is not an Evangelical and I have not changed my mind on gay marriage. If David and I are the two best examples of an evangelical evolution, it ain’t happening. Continue Reading »

To Substitute Another Thirst

If there’s one theological commitment that unites both sides of the same-sex marriage debate, it’s semi-Pelagianism. Taking its name from the fourth-century monk Pelagius, semi-Pelagianism may be thought of as a theological mood or a set of impulses that’s opposed to a strong doctrine of original sin. Fearing that talk of our broken wills may hamper moral striving, the semi-Pelagian stresses perfectibility as a motive for action. Continue Reading »

Richard Posner’s Delusions

The Seventh Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals put out its ruling on same-sex marriage yesterday. A unanimous three-judge panel declared that Wisconsin and Indiana’s refusal to recognize same-sex marriage (misdescribed by the press as a “ban”) is unconstitutional. Continue Reading »

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