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Recasting Religious Freedom

Few among us concerned for the defense of religious freedom can doubt that these have become dark times indeed. Most recently, arguments have been brought before the Supreme Court—there has been a veritable cascade of briefs—against the government on Obamacare. Many of these have one way . . . . Continue Reading »

For City Kids and City Neighborhoods

It’s commencement season and tens of thousands of students are graduating from inner-city Catholic elementary schools. As decades of empirical research have shown, these kids have a better chance of successfully completing high school and college, and are better prepared for life-after-the-classroom, than their peers attending government schools. These inner-city Catholic schools are “public schools” in the best sense of the term; they’re open to the public (not just to Catholics), and they serve a genuine public interest, the empowerment of the youthful poor. Continue Reading »

Staying Put

Why not become Anglican? some have asked since I laid out a case for “Reformational Catholicism” at the forum on the future of Protestantism at Biola University last month. Anglicans, they tell me, already have what I want. Others wonder why I stay in a “sectarian” Presbyterian denomination. Others ask, Why not drop the “Reformational” and become just “Catholic”? Continue Reading »

The Anglican Wannabe Fallacy

Prior to April 27’s canonization-doubleheader, I taped a lengthy interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, discussing both John XXIII and John Paul II. The ABC was kind enough to send transcripts of the programs it did on these giants of modern Catholicism, so I was able to read what others had to say about the Church’s two newest saints. Much of it was interesting, but some comments verged on the bizarre. Continue Reading »

The Venn of Q

Noah Toly opens his reply to my recent Q conference review by stating that my piece contained one big weakness. Apparently, this relates to my observation that at Q “bridges are favored over lines in the sand.” Toly replies, “While Q organizers and participants might find this refreshing, Murdock finds it obscurantist, lending a dangerously false sense of reconcilability to what might actually be irreconcilable positions.” Continue Reading »

Check Your Speaker List

The Telos Group works to offer a voice that is “genuinely pro-Israeli, pro-Palestinian, pro-American, and pro-peace, all at the same time.” These are admirable goals, and it is the Telos Group’s self-defined mission to strengthen the capacity of American Evangelicals “to help positively transform the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” To this end, Telos provides many services, such as all-expenses paid pilgrimages to Israel, where they select speakers to address tour participants. Continue Reading »

The Devil on the Charles

Memorial Hall is the ugliest building on the campus of Harvard University, in my view. Built in the 1870s, this Victorian monstrosity is situated between the stately columns of Harvard Yard on the one hand and the Science Center with its modern design on the other. Students frequently gather in the Cambridge Queen’s Head Pub in the basement of Memorial Hall. It was here, on Monday evening, May 12, that the Harvard Extension School’s Cultural Studies Club had planned to reenact a “black mass.” A black mass is a grotesque, sacrilegious ceremony in which the most sacred rite of the Catholic Church is deliberately mocked. Satan and his pomp are invoked, often in Latin, and a consecrated Eucharistic host is desecrated, often in vulgar, revolting ways. That Harvard would host such a bigoted event was a surprise to many. Continue Reading »

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