JB: Big Brother is watching your womb

"The path to prison starts at conception," explains Kaye McLaren , a researcher helping New Zealand investigate its crime problem. And so, she—along with the nation’s top Youth Court judge and its Children’s Commissioner—propose setting up national databases of (1) . . . . Continue Reading »

ML: B16 and liturgical music

In one form or another, the headlines all read, "Pope Forbids Guitars" (although my favorite variation appeared in the Irish News : "Pope’s Rock Rap Hits Just the Right Chord"). But Benedict XVI didn’t really ban guitars, or any other instrument. He just urged that . . . . Continue Reading »

Stephen Webb: The Academic Left

Cultural studies, postcolonialism, and postmodernity have so completely corrupted higher education that one wonders if their infiltration of English departments beginning some twenty years ago was a right-wing plot. The unreadable jargon, coupled with a seamless blend of utopianism and cynicism, . . . . Continue Reading »

JB: War and Trauma

Frederica, you write , "One way that war is hell, and something that may be a clue to some mysterious spiritual truth, is that soldiers who kill are much more traumatized by that than by any injuries they sustain." That’s certainly been the conventional wisdom since Vietnam, and I . . . . Continue Reading »

JP: More on Lord of the Rings

Further to my comments about The Lord of the Rings , I wanted to mention a new documentary about Tolkien’s epic that does it anything but justice. Tolkien described The Lord of the Rings as "a fundamentally religious and Catholic work" and, on another occasion, insisted that the fact . . . . Continue Reading »

RTA: Marriage and the Public Good

In his post yesterday, my former boss Robert P. George did not mention the public statement on marriage signed by an impressive array of scholars to which he is a signatory. Likewise, he didn’t note that this scholarly document has already made significant contributions to the public debate . . . . Continue Reading »

Saints and Martyrs

A friend asks if I know the difference between a saint and a martyr: A saint is someone who radiates goodness and bears no faults. A martyr is someone who lives with a saint. (Access contributors’ biographies by clicking here .) . . . . Continue Reading »

Fr. Oakes on Relativism

Ever since he coined the term “the dictatorship of relativism” shortly before his election as Pope Benedict XVI, the phrase has continued to haunt me. At first glance it sounds like an oxymoron: How can a relativist seek to impose a dictatorship? Aren’t dictators called absolutists . . . . Continue Reading »

Miller on Bonandi: Part One

Sandro Magister reports from Rome that Fr. Alberto Bonandi, a famous moral theologian, has published an article in Teologia , the journal of the Theological Faculty of Milan and Northern Italy, in which he argues that Catholics, married in the Church but subsequently divorced and remarried civilly, . . . . Continue Reading »