Moral Realism Is A Thing


An op-ed in the New York Times fretting that Common Core is teaching kids that there are no moral facts has generated a bit of discussion. A Common Core poster says there are only "facts" (in the sense of "brute facts") and "opinions." My friend Noah Millman says that we shouldn't fret, and uses a second-grade moral example to illustrate his point. But in doing so he merely repeats the confusion that is being fretted about.Here is Noah's example: Eddie takes Billy’s cookie without pe … [Read more...]

When Did God Stop Beating His Wife?


The (by and large quite good) Aeon magazine has a frustrating story on the question of whether God can lie and how it was supposedly the case that the Scientific revolution solved what had been hitherto a frustrating theological question. I say frustrating because it doesn't contain outright falsehoods but does contain enough omissions and prevarications that a misleading impression is left.As the piece itself eventually and grudgingly admits, classical Christian doctrine actually never had m … [Read more...]

Why Catholics Can’t Sing And The Crisis Of Catholic Education


First Things has a great little post by a dejected Lutheran convert about how Catholic liturgical singing is like "plaintive squeaks from depressed marmosets."This is a permanent pet peeve of mine.And yes, this is something parish priests should do more about. You know the phenomenon of how a church will be crowded--except the two front pews. I knew a priest who often wouldn't start Mass until those pews were filled. He would go out in front before Mass and ask people to move to the firs … [Read more...]

The “Demands of Propriety” and the Hands of the Living God

By Abmg (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

"Fearful it is to fall in the hands of the Living God" Hebrews 10:31"The matter is quite simple. The bible is very easy to understand. But we Christians are a bunch of scheming swindlers. We pretend to be unable to understand it because we know very well that the minute we understand, we are obliged to act accordingly. Take any words in the New Testament and forget everything except pledging yourself to act accordingly. My God, you will say, if I do that my whole life will be ruined. How … [Read more...]

Obama’s Christianity And Religion In The Public Square

Durningen_StsPierrePaul_45 (1)

I don't like talking about politics here directly, but just a quick riff on Ross Douthat's post on how Republican presidential candidates should answer the "Is Obama a Christian?" question.First, Douthat and I had the same reaction: for conservatives to endorse a secularist vision of religion in the public square ("His religion is no one's business!") to duck a very easy question is incredibly short-sighted.Religion does have consequences, and it's perfectly legitimate to talk about it. A … [Read more...]