An important new blog on moral and social issues

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My friend, David Boonin, a philosopher at the University of Colorado (where he also serves as the department chair), has recently put together a philosophically serious blog, What's Wrong?. Self-identified as "the not quite official blog of cu-boulder's center for values and social policy," it includes on its advisory board not only your truly but also Elizabeth Brake (Arizona State), John Corvino (Wayne State), Robert George (Princeton), Dale Jamieson (NYU), Christopher Kaczor (Loyola Marymount) … [Read more...]

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Serious work on abortion by female prolife scholars

In my previous post, I listed and linked to six books author by prolife authors, only one of which was not a college or university professor.   It was brought to my attention by writer Sara Pulliam Baily that none of the authors are women. She writes on twitter:@fbeckwith@between2worlds I could see the point that these authors aren't consulted. Also, are there women you'd add? Thanks for dialogue.— Sarah Pulliam Bailey (@spulliam) August 10, 2015 To which I repl … [Read more...]

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Why do prolifers believe that pre-born human beings are one of us?: Some resources

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Given the recent discussions about Planned Parenthood's alleged selling of fetal parts and organs, and the outrage and responses that have ensued, it's important to remind ourselves that opponents of abortion, that is, prolifers, have offered a strong case for their position. It is a case that is almost unanimously ignored by the mainstream media as well as online outlets (e.g, Slate, Salon, Huffington Post, Media Matters, etc.) that seem more gifted at issuing rhetorical flourishes rather than a … [Read more...]

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Important article on understanding fetal tissue research by Biola’s Scott B. Rae

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With all the attention on the Planned Parenthood videos produced by the Center for Medical Progress, it's important that both critics and supporters become better acquainted with the case against the research and medical use of organs and parts procured from dead fetuses resulting from elective abortions. Although published over 20 years ago in Christian Research Journal (Fall 1991), I highly recommend Scott B. Rae's article, "Spare Parts from the Unborn: The Ethics of Fetal Tissue … [Read more...]

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Call for Papers: “Doing Justice Without Doing Harm”

HT: Rick Garnett at Mirror of Justice This looks really interesting.  What follows is republished from Rick's post at Mirror of Justice: Call for Proposals “Doing Justice without Doing Harm” Pepperdine University School of Law, Malibu, California March 11-12, 2016 We hope you will join us for the conference discussed below.  Mark your calendar, submit a proposal, and forward this message to blogs, list serves, and people who might be interested. Speakers already confirmed include the followi … [Read more...]

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St. Anthony, Pray For Us

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I have not written anything for The Catholic Thing (TCT) since late January. There were two reasons for this: my semester research leave in Rome and the death of my father, the latter of which occurred 8 days after my wife and I arrived in the Eternal City.  My most recent installment over at TCT is about those first days in Rome and our abrupt return to the US upon hearing from my parents about my father's declining health. The title, "St. Anthony, Pray for Us," will make perfect sense once you … [Read more...]

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Another summer at Summit Ministries in Manitou Springs, Colorado

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During this upcoming summer (2015) I will be lecturing at 4 of the 7 two-week sessions at Summit Ministries in Manitou Springs, Colorado. (June 11; June 16; July 24; August 10; August 19). I will be giving two talks dealing with philosophical challenges to Christian belief, as well as conducting a one hour open forum. At the open forum students can ask me questions, though this session always develops into an extended conversation on a variety of issues. I have been a lecturer at Summit since … [Read more...]

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The Smartest Woman You Never Knew: Gretchen Passantino Coburn

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Gretchen Passantino Coburn died last week at the age of 62. Although virtually all of my Catholic readers, and most of my Protestant ones, have likely never heard of her, she was, along with her late husband, Bob Passantino, an important influence on many of us who considered ourselves to be intellectually serious Evangelicals.Although I had heard of the legendary Passantinos during my days in college in the early 1980s, I had never actually met them until April 1991, when I was in southern C … [Read more...]

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On “Slippery Slopes”: A Response to Richard Mouw

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That's the title of my latest essay over at The Catholic Thing. It is a response to a First Things blog post by Richard Mouw. Here's how my piece begins: My friend, Richard Mouw, a philosopher and former president of Fuller Theological Seminary, has raised an important challenge about the use of counterexamples when making one’s case on certain controversial moral and political questions.He shares one of the arguments he employs to explain to his friends why he opposes the legal recognition … [Read more...]

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Tim Challies says Pope Francis is a false teacher, but misunderstands Catholic view of justification.

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You can read it here. I had heard of Tim Challies years ago. And I may have actually met or corresponded with him at some point in the past, but I do not recall.  He seems like a nice guy, and I have no doubt that he is a devoted pastor, husband, and father.In any event, I bring his blog post to your attention, since it serves as an excellent example of a talented writer misunderstanding the Catholic view on justification. Although there is more to Challies' judgment of the Holy Father than h … [Read more...]

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My chapter in the new book, Reason, Revelation, and the Civic Order: Political Philosophy and the Claims of Faith

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Northern Illinois University Press has just published Reason, Revelation, and the Civic Order: Political Philosophy and the Claims of Faith. Edited by Paul DeHart (Texas State University)  and Carson Holloway (University of Nebraska, Omaha), I am proud to be one of the contributors along with Peter Augustine Lawler (Berry College), Robert C. Koons (University of Texas), J. Budziszewski (University of Texas), James Stoner, Jr. (Louisiana State University), R. J Snell (Eastern University), Ralph C. … [Read more...]

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Happy Birthday, Frankie!

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Today is my wife Frankie's birthday.What follows is one of the many poems I wrote to her over the years. This one in particular was penned in the mid-1980s while we were dating. It is called "Elusive Valentine." Elusive Valentine I'm finally relaxed After two weeks of being here And my time is never taxed Whenever she is near She doesn't wear a monogram She's got an independent mind She admires Billy Graham She's an elusive valentine There's something 'bout this city That always … [Read more...]

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The paper I gave in Rome published in NCBQ: “On Making the Case for Life: On St. Peter’s Counsel to Always Be Ready”

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Last year I was invited by the Pontifical Council for Promotion of the New Evangelization to participate in an education conference in Rome on John Paul II's 1995 encyclical Evangelium Vitae.  Held at the Pontificia Università Urbaniana, the keynote address was given by Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, which was followed by papers given by myself and Robert Royal (Faith & Reason Institute). A revised version of my  Rome talk, entitled "On Making the Case for Life: On St. Peter's Counsel to Always … [Read more...]

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Justice Kagan, You Gotta Serve Somebody

That's the title of my latest entry over at The Catholic Thing. Here's how it begins: Reading the transcript of Tuesday’s oral arguments before the Supreme Court in the Hobby Lobby and Conestoga cases, I came across this exchange between Justice Elena Kagan and the attorney for Hobby Lobby, Paul Clement:MR. CLEMENT: Well, just to put this in concrete terms, for Hobby Lobby, for example, the choice is between paying a 500 – a $475 million per year penalty and paying a $26 million per year cov … [Read more...]

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