Lincoln’s Faith and America’s Future

Though Abraham Lincoln was neither baptized nor joined a church of any kind, he was the most spiritually minded president in American history. His faith was wrought on the anvil of anguish, both personal and national, and because of this he has much to teach us in our own age of anxiety.Some historians interpret Lincoln as a proto-secularist, not only because he never professed Christian faith in a public way but also because he made a number of skeptical comments about Christian teaching in his early years. But it’s well to remember that even great people of faith, including Mother Teresa, experience dark nights of the soul. John Calvin once said that all true faith is tinged by doubt. Continue Reading »

Marriage, Sex, and Politics

On Saturday Eric Holder announced he will apply the recent Supreme Court Windsor ruling as widely as possible. “In every courthouse, in every proceeding and in every place where a member of the Department of Justice stands on behalf of the United States, they will strive to ensure that same-sex marriages receive the same privileges, protections and rights as opposite-sex marriages under federal law.” Continue Reading »

Also, They Will Need to Use Electric Typewriters

This is rather silly. Inside Higher Ed reports that the International Studies Associationu2014according to its website, “the most respected and widely known scholarly association dedicated to international studies”—has proposed a ban on personal blogging by editors of its journals. The proposal would allow editors to blog only at official sites affiliated with their journals. The ISA’s President says the association is concerned about the lack of professionalism at many academic blogs and that it doesn’t want readers to confuse editors’ personal posts with the association’s official products. Continue Reading »

Muslims, Our Natural Allies

I am a Catholic. My Church teaches me to esteem our Muslim friends and to work with them in the cause of promoting justice and moral values. I am happy to stand with them in defense of what is right and good. And so I stand with the young woman in the above video in defense of modesty, chastity, and piety, just as I stand with Muslims like my dear friends Shaykh Hamza Yusuf and Dr. Suzy Ismail against the killing of unborn children and the evil of pornography, and with my equally dear friend Asma Uddin of the Becket Fund in defense of religious freedom. In the great document Nostra Aetate, we Catholics are taught the following by the fathers of the Second Vatican Council: Continue Reading »

Bread Upon the Waters

The death of Richard John Neuhaus shocked and saddened me. I learned of it by calling to express concern and assure him of my prayers in his fight against that cancer of unknown origin. It was too late. He had died the previous morning. . . . Continue Reading »

Little Sisters in the Political Madhouse

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor has blocked the administration’s mandate that the Little Sisters of the Poor contract to provide contraception coverage to their employees. That the case has gone this far illustrates the sickness of the left, the complacence of our popular media culture, and the weakness (partly self-inflicted) of President Obama’s political opponents. . . . Continue Reading »

Evening Prayer

The Richard I knew and loved was a man of prayer and of liturgy. He knew that the greatest gift we could offer to God was not our words, not our ideas, not our projects, but a heart ablaze with the fire of love. “Honor and glory belong to God alone,” said St. Bernard, “but God will receive neither if they are not sweetened with the honey of love.” . . . Continue Reading »

The Poorest of the Poor

Pope Francis has ignited a useful and necessary conversation about our responsibilities to the poorest of the poor—those who some may be tempted to write out of the script of history as hopeless cases. That conversation would be enhanced if participants in it took a close look at Paul Collier’s suggestive book, The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries Are Failing and What Can Be Done About It . . . Continue Reading »