Death by Bad Reasoning: Depressed Mothers Deserve Treatment Not Bereavement

In a mortifying follow-on to our discussion of why we mustn't do evil in an attempt at good, here's a case out of Australia that demonstrates the deadliness of bad ethical systems.  Mother and father are expecting a baby.  It's a desired pregnancy, and mother is doing just fine.  Then, in a routine ultrasound, an abnormality in the baby's hand is discovered.The mother, having been reared in a culture where any physical deformity is a source of both lifelong discrimination for the child and sh … [Read more...]

IVF, Torture, and Other Hot Moral Topics: Do the Ends Justify the Means?

The topic of ends-vs.-means has been circulating a bunch lately.  Are you allowed to do something that's a little bit bad if it makes it possible to do something very, very good as a result?For example, can you torture your enemies, if you goal isn't pure brutalism, but your own safety?  Others have covered the Catholic response to the recently released torture reports quite thoroughly.  Just a couple:Simcha Fisher tells you: No.Aggie Catholic tells you: No.Another one big one, on … [Read more...]

Are You Smarter than a Notre Dame Theologian? Episode 2, IVF Edition

Tom McDonald pointed me to this article, co-authored by Joel Baden and Candida Moss -- the latter being a professor in the Theology Department at Notre Dame University.  Who doesn't know Catholic moral theology.  Let's walk through the article and compare Notre Dame vs. The Catholic Church. In 2011, Emily Herx was teaching English at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School in Fort Wayne, Indiana. She was also having trouble getting pregnant, so she began in vitro fertilization treatments. When she i … [Read more...]

To Make Things Beautiful is to Make Yourself Human


In time for the Advent Wreath link-up at, my daughter put together this for us:She had to use boiling water to clean out the votive holders of the old crusted-on wax, left over after salvaging the burned-out candles and melting them down with a splash of vanilla extract to make herself a scented candle.Then she painted the inside bottom of each newly-cleaned votive glass either purple or pink, and put in a tea light.  She found a copper plate from my parents' circa-1970 … [Read more...]

In Favor of Incompetent Housewives

 Your must-read column for today is Calah Alexander's essay on what it's like being part of the current generation of incompetents, "Those Pathetic Millenial Moms.". . .  I was raised by a loving, attentive mother who stayed home until I was in high school. But culture is pervasive. Kids learn it through osmosis, and unless you lock them in a fortress, they’re gonna pick up on it. “Stay-at-home-mom” had a negative connotation for me from the time I began hearing “mom” qualified as su … [Read more...]

ISIS and Just Warfare: Is Now the Time for Men of Good Will to Intervene?

To join the discussion about Rise of ISIS, a Threat We Cannot Ignore, or to order a copy, go here. This month at Patheos we're discussing Jay Sekulow's book Rise of ISIS.  For a general review, check out Rebecca Hamilton's comments here.  She's been documenting the state of affairs in Iraq all summer, so her perspective is well worth your consideration. What is this book? The Rise of ISIS is a call to arms, plain and simple. The authors document the heinous crimes committed by ISIS and … [Read more...]

What California Consent Teaches Us About Women’s Needs


There's some exasperated amusement in St. Blogs over the new California laws concerning sexual consent on campus.We can learn about the human heart from doubtful laws.   Implicit in this law is the question, "Are you sure you want to do this?"Why do we ask that question?Because we know that sex outside of marriage is bad for women.If sex were, as corners of our contemporary culture so desperately insist, just this thing you do, a way to relax, a hobby, the new handshake, the … [Read more...]