Government Forms (or Deforms) Your Soul

That is the title of an article I published last year (vol. 21, no. 5, September 2010) in This Rock (now Catholic Answers Magazine), the magazine of Catholic Answers. It is now available online. Portions of this article are adapted from portions of my most recent book, Politics for Christians: Statecraft as Soulcraft (InterVarsity Press, 2010). Here's how the article begins: “Statecraft,” Aristotle instructed his pupils, “is soulcraft.” What he meant is that the state or government, by its polici … [Read more...]

President Obama: Ex-Liberal

That's the title of my latest entry over at The Catholic Thing. Here's how it begins: President Barack Obama has abandoned liberalism.  What I mean by liberalism is not the political philosophy that we typically associate with left of center politicians and candidates.  The President, of course, remains unabashedly in that camp. What I am referring to you is a particular posture concerning moral questions the President has publicly embraced on several occasions. It is from that liberalism he has … [Read more...]

Robert P. George and Russell Moore discuss religion in the public square

Here's an outstanding discussion between a Catholic, Robert P. George (Princeton University), and an Evangelical, Russell Moore (Southern Baptist Theological Seminary), entitled Faith in America: Religion in the Public Square. The discussion took place on Monday, October 3, 2011, at Princeton University. You can watch the video here. Both these men are friends of mine, I am proud to say. … [Read more...]

Secular Gnosticism and “The New York Times”

That's the title of my latest entry over at The Catholic Thing. Here's how it begins: Just this past week, Bill Keller of the New York Times opined about the religious beliefs of several Republican presidential candidates, suggesting clusters of questions that he would like to ask each of them. Keller’s column has been justly criticized and ridiculed by many writers, including the folks at Get Religion. Not only because of the factual errors that pepper Keller’s epistle, but the crude and uncha … [Read more...]

A Lesson on Rhetoric from the “West Wing”

President Obama should hire Rob Lowe's character as a speech writer. … [Read more...]

Statecraft, Soulcraft, and the Politics of Envy

That's the title of my latest entry over at The Catholic Thing.  Here's how it begins: Suppose a politician suggests that increasing the sales tax on yachts and private jets from 8 percent to 25 percent will increase government revenues that will onlyaffect the wealthy (who can afford it). So with this increased revenue the government may provide financial assistance to other citizens, including college students, the poor, and public employees. Imagine that this policy is implemented but the p … [Read more...]

Unexamined Ballot, Not Worth Casting

That's the title of my latest entry over at The Catholic Thing. Here's how it begins: During the 2012 political campaigns for a variety of local and state-wide offices, chances are that you will have a candidate ring your doorbell or you will encounter one at a public gathering.He will tell you all about himself, hand you a piece of literature, and then ask if you have any questions. This is your chance to find out what the candidate really thinks.You have to be very careful, however, … [Read more...]

Mormonism, Catholicism, and the Romney Candidacy

That's the title of my latest entry over at The Catholic Thing. It begins this way: In a piece recently published in the Catholic and Evangelical portals of the Patheos website, Warren Cole Smith explains why he cannot support Mitt Romney’s candidacy for President of the United States.  “A Vote for Romney is a Vote for the LDS Church” reminded me of the sort of anti-Catholic screeds that were widely published during the presidential candidacy of Senator John F. Kennedy.Catholics conversant wit … [Read more...]

Newsweek’s offensive cover

Imagine it is the summer of 2000 soon after presidential candidate Al Gore chose Senator Joseph Lieberman, an Orthodox Jew, to be his vice-presidential running mate. Newsweek does a cover story on Lieberman's historic selection. Blazed across the cover are the words, "The Jewish Moment," with a photograph of Lieberman, though the image is photoshopped. The face is clearly Lieberman's, but in the image he is bearded in full rabbinic garb sitting at a desk preparing a sermon.  And over his left s … [Read more...]

Analogies and the death of Bin Laden

That's the title of my latest column over at The Catholic Thing. Here's how it begins: N. T. Wright, former Anglican Bishop of Durham, is one of the foremost theologians and biblical scholars in the world. Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at the University of St. Andrews, his work on the doctrine of justification, controversial among Evangelical Protestants, is in many ways remarkably close to the Catholic view. For this reason, Professor Wright’s work, much to his chagrin, has b … [Read more...]


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