Do The Rapes of Rotherham Tell a Tale of Conquest? UPDATED

For days I avoided the story, as I know many others have. Coming on the heels of the atrocities of the Islamic State, the take-over of Mosul (now a holding camp for kidnapped Yazidi "brides") the purging of the Iraqi Christians from their ancient lands and the pursuit of genocide -- the disheartening knowledge that, despite the official pivot away by our government, there are still thousands on Mount Sinjar who will not be rescued, because they are very old, or very young, or very weak -- who … [Read more...]

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Unhappy Nation America: Not a Family, Not a People

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America is not happy. However it might look on paper, in reality we are not getting along. We are e pluribus unum, no more.I wrote that, and later struck it as being too harsh, for my latest column at First Things, which was written after an evening's troubling conversation with an African American friend who is feeling done with everything and everyone. The militarized police in Ferguson so strained his basket of disciplined goodwill that I suspect one more straw, no matter how light, will … [Read more...]

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Can Finding Peace and Joy in Life Really Be This Simple?

Not easy, mind you, but simple? As in not overburdened with worldly reason and trendy thought; as in intuitive, rather than taught; as in off-the-grid, beyond the collective and as singular as you and I really are?This is a pretty good argument that yeah, peace and joy may not be easy to find, but the method to attaining them is actually pretty simple. I think she's correct.Again, and again, Saint Gregory of Nyssa proves true: Only wonder leads to knowing. … [Read more...]

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Editorial: “The World Can’t Afford US Gov’t This Bad for So Long!”

Wow, first Dana Milbank, then Richard Cohen, then New York Magazine and now this*:After [the president's] truth-challenged oversell of the Affordable Care act, the unconscionable overreach of his CIA and his disastrous indecision on so many foreign policy issues, it's unnerving to realize that his presidency still has two more years in office. An administration with no agenda and no competence would be hard enough to live with on the domestic front. But the rest of the world simply can't … [Read more...]

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The West Lacks One Essential Tool to Defeat ISIS

In an article covering President Obama’s reluctant decision to begin limited airstrikes against the so-called Islamic State (IS), New York Times writer Peter Baker quoted Ambassador Ryan Crocker, who affirmed US national security interests and added “This is evil incarnate.”Few would disagree. Do not click here unless you are willing to see horrific images of beheaded children, or videos of young men being led into trenches and summarily executed, but their existence -- along with news that t … [Read more...]

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Ann Coulter’s Strange God Renders Her Blind

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Others tell me it is "schtick" meant to "make us think" but if that's what Ann Coulter is serving up with her "charity begins at home" number, she's doing it badly. Leading people into productive thought shouldn't involve dragging them through a toxic swamp, where all sorts of rank and dubious detritus may become attached to our thinking.Writes Coulter:America is the most consequential nation on Earth, and in desperate need of God at the moment.And how does she think Americans will … [Read more...]

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Sometimes you just have to say, “okay, fly away…”

Mama Bird Waves Bye Bye

So, Max Lindenman, one of our earliest bloggers here at the Catholic channel, has folded up his tent, for now. He's gone all Bedouin on us, and is going to be wandering the heated deserts of the secular freelance world:After a long hiatus and a lot of hard thought, I’ve decided to close up shop here at Patheos. With all the loyalty and generosity you’ve shown, you’ve earned an explanation, so here it is:I’m not enough of a Catholic to blog about being a Catholic. At best, my faith is an o … [Read more...]

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The Carmelite Nuns of Compiègne Wore Priestly Collars

As with the Martyrdom of St. Charles Lwanga and his companions we today remember a group of martyrs whose story is not nearly as well-known as it should be. And as with Lwanga and the Ugandan martyrs, the martyrdom of the Carmelite nuns of Compiègne speaks urgently to our own age, and offers instruction:After the fall of the constitutional monarchy and the execution of King Louis XVI in 1792, Maximilien Robespierre created rituals to honor the Cult of the Supreme Being even as he led the … [Read more...]

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Before October’s Synod on the Family, Read this Book!

Eberstadt book

When the Patheos Book Club told me they were going to be featuring the paperback release of Mary Eberstadt's How the West Really Lost God, I wondered what else I could possibly say to recommend the book? I had brought it up -- not once, but twice -- at First Things, and referenced it here on the blog a number of times -- always with the recommendation that people read it for themselves because How the West Really Lost God gives us a fresh, and very wise, perspective on how we as a society (and … [Read more...]

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A Value of a Sickly Pope and 5 Other Thoughts

1) Over at his new blog, David Mills (who appears to be having quite a jolly time of it, over here, and we had him first!) responds to Marc Barnes' notion that Popes should resign more often.Writes Mills:I agree with everything he says, with one qualification: It would also be a good thing, a thing in the proper order, for a pope to continue as pope till he died, even if he suffers years of declining ability. . . His public endurance of suffering might be a needed witness, or the … [Read more...]

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