Flag Frenzies, Social Media, and the Demise of Human Rights

June was a busy flag month, and I'm concerned it's costing us our humanity.In the wake of the SCOTUS decision overturning state marriage laws, Facebook broke out in rainbow flags, and if you run in the circles I do, you saw a rash of yellow-and-white Vatican flags pop up in reply.  So be it.  People like their flags.  But something more nefarious seems to be happening: People are becoming their flags.We have become such a symbol-heavy culture that we no longer see the humans anymore.  Th … [Read more...]

10 Things Christian Kids Need to Prepare for an Uncertain Future

In a private conversation Elizabeth Scalia posed a question, and I'm going to paraphrase it wildly: If you are the parent of young children, are you afraid for what the future holds for them?It's a question people are answering this week whether it's been asked or not: What does the future hold for faithful Christians in a culture that despises our faith?My answer is, very bluntly, is that whenever I've had my head on straight, I've always been terrified and I mean that in a good … [Read more...]

Gay Marriage, Slack Parents, and Religious Ceremonies: An Even Simpler Solution

The usually sensible Fr. Longenecker proposes that the Catholic Church get out of the civil marriage business as a way to avoid being forced to officiate at same-sex ceremonies.There is a much simpler solution: We could decline to offer Catholic wedding ceremonies to couples unless at least one of the two is a practicing Catholic.We already try to do this, witness the massive hoops that Catholic couples are forced to jump through in order to get a church wedding as it stands.  We attempt … [Read more...]

Why It’s Worth Bothering About the Fortnight for Freedom

Some years ago my grandparents had a chance to fulfill a lifelong dream of visiting Ireland, where some of the ancestors come from.  They had a wonderful time, and brought back gifts and enthusiasm, but also this comment: "There's just nothing like the good old USA."  Rightly so.  Three-quarters* of my grandparents are buried in national cemeteries; they took this freedom business seriously.Father's Day I had the privilege of attending the interment of a beloved father and husband, departed w … [Read more...]

Quick Links – SC, the Confederate Flag, Speaking Out Against Bigotry. Sursum Corda!

As I write this, there's a rally at the SC Statehouse about to get underway, and you can read what the organizers had planned at Brad Warthen's place.  [Tip: He's a good guy to follow for all things SC Politics.]Some quick thoughts and links:1. It's time for the Confederate flag to move all the way off the statehouse grounds.2. I love this photo of the Daughters of St. Paul praying in front of Mother Emmanuel AME Church. Put that in your head as you read Peggy Noonan's tribute to the … [Read more...]

The Terrible Problem with Laudato Si’

"Living our vocation to be protectors of God's handiwork is essential to the life of virtue; it is not an optional or secondary aspect of our Christian experience."Laudato Si' 217 The difficulty, the dreadful, unspeakable, shield-your-eyes difficulty with the Pope's new encyclical on the environment comes down to one nasty problem: The man is right.For the popular press, hoping all this time that Pope Francis would be something new and different, created in the image of The Today Show, t … [Read more...]

On Racism in the American South and the Shock of the Charleston Shootings

When I first heard about the murders at Mother Emanuel A.M.E. Church down in Charleston, the news was barely onto it.  So I went where the reporters were going, which is #CharlestonShooting on Twitter.  It's a hashtag that's been used before, for a different white-on-black shooting.  If you peruse the comments with any sense of interest in your fellow man, you'll note the race theme real quick.  At this writing,  half a day later, all the evidence is pointing towards an unequivocally hate- … [Read more...]