One of the knee-jerk reactions to the Turpin family child abuse case is to call for closer scrutiny of homeschoolers.  Otherwise, how will anyone be able to know if these children are being neglected or abused?  Let’s see what the Washington Post has to contribute: Not long after the family arrived in Fort Worth, an older girl tried to run away but was returned by a local resident, Vinyard, the Turpins’ former neighbor, told the L.A. Times. He said he and his… Read more

For those just joining this discussion (as I am): Elizabeth Bruenig at the Washington Post argues against a GOP proposal to raise the work requirements for receiving government benefits. There are many plausible reasons for making such an argument, but . . . Darwin Catholic observes that her justification is not a sound one. I’ll pause here and say that I find this argument from Ms. Bruenig to be entirely true: The lion’s share of poor people are elderly, children… Read more

A friend posed the question many are asking: Why on earth did Cardinal Law receive the funeral that he did?  She was looking for someone to justify that decision in a way that didn’t make her seethingly angry. I am not the person for that task, since I don’t know the man and have nothing to say in his favor.  Nor do I have information on how the funeral rated in comparison to what other men holding similar office are… Read more

My husband once had a business trip to a notoriously crime-ridden city.  The client he was visiting advised him, “Keep $20 in your pocket when you’re on the train.  If someone holds you up, you give them the $20 and they won’t shoot you, they’ll move on.” There was a price on your life in that town, and that price was $20. Apparently in the Netherlands these days, the going rate is 5,000 Euros.  That’s what normal people “cost” society, according… Read more

If you are feeling penitential, you can read the transcript of the Supreme Court oral arguments in the Masterpiece Cakeshop trial.  It opens with an exercise in muddled thinking, but there are moments of clarity.  Particularly relevant is the question of how Colorado has treated the question of religious discrimination.  From pp. 98-99 of the transcript: MS. WAGGONER: . . . I have three brief points in rebuttal: First of all, the bias of the Commission is also evidenced in… Read more

The GOP’s Senate version of this year’s tax bill apparently repeals the mandate to purchase health insurance.  The Chicago Tribune reports on it here.  Business Insider reports on it here. This is good news. All fall I have been seeing reports from friends around the country who are being sunk by the purchase-or-perish provision of the “Affordable” Care Act.  Neither the fine for not-purchasing, nor the mandatory purchase itself, are affordable for many middle-income families.  If you don’t have traditional employer-sponsored… Read more

More and more of my Catholic friends are struggling to stay Catholic.  They are demoralized and discouraged.  They see many people who claim to be faithful Catholics, but who: Show blatant indifference to the suffering of others. Defend behavior that is utterly contrary to the faith. Carve out reasons why the Church doesn’t really teach what she plainly teaches. Take advantage of the goodwill of fellow Catholics. Consider anyone who isn’t of “their tribe” to be worthy of spite and… Read more

A friend pointed out that a common theme in date rape, molestation, and sexual assault cases is the role of alcohol.  Abuse of alcohol is a problem in itself. Because it compounds a wide variety of sexual sins, it is easy to fall into the mire of muddy thinking.  This is where we get arguments like “If only college girls wouldn’t drink so much, there wouldn’t be a campus rape problem,”  and the counter-argument, “A girl should be able to… Read more

Up that Register: 11 Ways to Prepare Your Boy to be a Great Priest.*  I’ve never had a son of mine be ordained (the kid’s only 17, it’s a little early for that), so it’s not an article about Things I Did That Caused My Little Angel To Show Everyone What A Wonderful Mother I Am.  My kids are normal kids with the regular amount of free will; their  parents are worse than that still.  We don’t do the Catholic Family… Read more

Go visit the Darwins for an excellent discussion of what is, and is not, the role of NFP in marital chastity.  A few excerpts, beginning with a recap of what NFP is: By now the term “NFP” is almost too fraught, carrying connotations of some big oppressive system. Say it with me, though: all it is is 1) observing the signs of female fertility — a morally neutral act — and 2) using those observations as part of a prudential… Read more

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