What a Veteran Knows

“Thank you for your service,” they say, as they shake our hands and pat our backs. We smile and thank them for their gratitude and try to think of something else to talk about. These encounters with strangers happen from time to time, though always on Veteran’s Day. It’s the one time we can count on civilians”a group from which we came but can never fully return”to think about us… . Continue Reading »

Saturday Night Strategery

On Saturday night the Democrats narrowly passed a monstrosity of a health-care bill that will cut doctors’ Medicare payments, raise taxes on entrepreneurial medical device manufacturers, and ultimately lead to rationing of care. Some conservatives blamed the National Right to Life Committee. How is that possible? … Continue Reading »

Health Care Without Abortion

That the House of Representatives managed not to fund abortions while passing the new health-care bill is the good news. That it managed to pass the health-care bill without funding abortion is the bad news, too. In an odd way, it’s maybe even worse news than if the leading Democrats in the House had succeeded at including abortion funding, which is clearly what they wanted to do… . Continue Reading »

Also: Remembering 1989 by Michael Novak

Remembering 1989

For the ten years beginning in 1982, I had the privilege of serving on the Board of Radio Free Europe (for East-Central Europe) and Radio Liberty (for the vast Soviet Union). President Reagan had declared it the goal of the United States to win the Cold War, not just accept it as our long-term fate, and our job was to report the realities on the ground as accurately as we could… . Continue Reading »

A Healthcare Problem Washington May Have Missed

With more than 620 Catholic hospitals serving the public around the United States, hundreds of Catholic medical clinics and shelters, and even a few Catholic-affiliated medical schools, Catholics have a keen interest in healthcare reform. That interest isn’t new. It’s rooted in experience, including the experience of trying to help people with little or no health insurance at all… . Continue Reading » Also: Remembering 1989 by Michael Novak

A Catholic Among the Evangelicals

In 2005 I accepted a position at CURE International, an evangelical mission organization. Today I serve as CURE’s director of government and foundation relations. At first blush, my story appears unexceptional”until I add that I am a Catholic. CURE’s motto is “Healing changes everything,” and the organization is devoted to overcoming brokenness on many levels. Although I did ponder the implications of accepting such a position, I must admit I was in no way prepared for the ramifications this job would have on my life… . Continue Reading »

Muhammad and Man At Yale

A good cartoon ought to make its reader shake with laughter, but that was neither the intention nor the effect of the twelve cartoons depicting “the face of Muhammad,” published by the Danish newspaper Jylsend-Posten in September 2005. Over the course of five months, the cartoons became the impetus for Muslim protests and riots across Europe, Africa, and the Middle East that ultimately resulted in the deaths of more than two hundred people. The cartoons stood at the center of what seemed to be a monumental clash between the West’s reverential respect for free speech and Muslim piety… . Continue Reading »

Into the Land of the Living

The second day of November is a busy one for parish priests. On that day, we celebrate three Masses for the dead. These liturgies follow directly on the previous day’s joyous celebration of the saints in glory. The living”those souls who are truly living because they have entered heaven, the Land of the Living”and the dead”those who died in the state of grace yet need purification before they may enter eternal life”are joined to us in worship and prayer… . Continue Reading »

Reformation Day

It was around two o’clock in the afternoon on the eve of the Day of All Saints, October 31, 1517, when Martin Luther, hammer in hand, approached the main north door of the Schlosskirche (Castle Church) in Wittenberg and nailed up his Ninety-Five Theses protesting the abuse of indulgences in the teaching and practice of the church of his day. In remembrance of this event, millions of Christians still celebrate this day as the symbolic beginning of the Protestant Reformation… . Continue Reading »

The Drama of Hallowmas

As a friend of mine observed recently, there is something medieval about Halloween. The masks, the running around in the dark, the flicker of candles in pumpkins, the smell of leaves and cold air—all of it feels ancient, even primal, somehow. Despite the now-inevitable preponderance of media-inspired costumes, Halloween seems, in execution, far closer to a Last Judgment scene above a medieval church door, or to a mystery play, than it does to Wal-Mart. Continue Reading »