Pope calls conclave to re-examine sexual teachings

At this rate, maybe Pope Francis will be the last pope!

Contraception, cohabitation, divorce, remarriage and same-sex unions: They’re issues that pain and puzzle Roman Catholics who want to be true to both their church and themselves.

Now those issues are about to be put up for debate by their leader, a man who appears determined to push boundaries and effect change.

On Pope Francis’ orders, the Vatican will convene an urgent meeting of senior clerics this fall to reexamine church teachings that touch the most intimate aspects of people’s lives. Billed as an “extraordinary” assembly of bishops, the gathering could herald a new approach by the church to the sensitive topics. [Read more…]

Social conservatives rising in France

There is talk of a “French tea party,” as citizens alarmed at abortion, gay marriage, and other social issues are mobilizing politically and taking to the streets.  Something similar is happening in other European countries.  The movement is one of  social conservatism, not necessarily other kinds of conservatism, with the protesters often being fine with big government and controlled economics.  But still. . . [Read more…]

Why Margaret Sanger opposed Abortion

Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, held to some outrageously racist and eugenicist positions.  But she drew the line at abortion. [Read more…]

Defining dissent as violence

First you define the expression of ideas that you disagree with as a form of “violence.”  Which means you are justified in using actual violence against those ideas in the name of self defense.

From Pete Spiliakos, When Dissent is Equated with Violence | First Thoughts | Blogs | First Things:

UC Santa Barbara Professor Mireille Miller-Young is more imprudent, but no more ideologically insane than the administration of Stanford University. Miller Young forcibly took a sign from, and allegedly assaulted a pro-life protestor at her college. The Volokh Conspiracy cites the police report, in which Miller-Young argues that her actions were “in defense of her students and her own safety.” [Read more…]

Annunciation as a pro-life holiday

Yesterday was the celebration of the Annunciation, the ancient church holiday nine months before Christmas that marks the angel’s appearance to Mary and the conception of our Lord.  That’s when the Incarnation began, with important implications for the pro-life cause. [Read more…]

Supremes hear Hobby Lobby’s case today

Today the Supreme Court hears the case being brought by Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties challenging the Obamacare mandate that pro-life business owners, as well as non-church religious institutions, must provide their employees health insurance that includes contraceptives and “morning after” pills.

After the jump, a remarkably cogent explanation of why pro-life Christians need to oppose the law’s provisions from Matthew Harrison, the president of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod.  (Note particularly what he says about the administration’s offer of compromise, that in cases of conscience insurance companies can just provide the “services” for free.) [Read more…]