Stray Thoughts About Fundamental Option Theory

Fundamental Option Theory is the idea that people take a fundamental option for or against God, and that this, not any particular act, determines salvation. Catholic Answers actually has a good writeup.As the writeup recognizes, and as the Pope did when he condemned this theory, there is something to the circular: in a sense, of course, some sinful actions do not separate us from God if we have a "fundamental option" towards Him--these are known as venial sins. But some do, and they are kn … [Read more...]

Is Catholic Social Doctrine A Set Of Guidelines?

The generally interesting review Ethika Politika has an interview with Patrick Deneen. One of the money quotes that has been circulating around the internet (see e.g. my excellent Patheos co-bloggers David Mills and Sam Rocha) is this, regarding Catholic "neo-conservatives": They have tended, then, to read the Church’s teachings on sexual ethics to be inviolable, but Catholic social teachings regarding economics to be a set of broad and even vague guidelines Can I submit that one reason that … [Read more...]

Human Rights In Catholic Tradition: A Brief History

To write a historical discourse is to presuppose both an objective reality and a point of view. History is a science in the pre-Modern sense of sapientia, a rational discourse tending towards wisdom and understanding. From the literal infinity of historical datapoints, the historian necessarily selects, and this selection necessarily betrays a point of view, a host of presuppositions, and so on; but if one believes that historical discourse is a possibility at all, one believes that despite the n … [Read more...]

To Jessa Duggar’s Boyfriend: Thank You!

The headline popped up on my Facebook feed: "Jessa Duggar's Christian boyfriend deletes anti-Catholic Facebook rant"For those who don't know, the Duggar family is a reality TV family well-known for having many children and being religious Evangelical Christians, the two being connected through their belonging to the "Quiverfull Movement" which says married couples should have as many children as God will grant them. For obvious reasons, even though I've never watched the show, I've had a so … [Read more...]

A Dog’s Breakfast

My friend Michael Brendan Dougherty has a piece arguing against an excessively heartless rationalism that would say that if it's fine to eat a cow then there is, in principle, no reason why you should not eat a dog.Here's the money quote: the reason we shouldn't eat dogs is related to the same reason it is more heinous and hateful to burn a synagogue than a community center, or that it is more of a violation to burn down a man's home than the two rental properties he owns of an equivalent … [Read more...]