Culture Wars: It’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt

From the mind of Deacon Greg, whose comments are always closed.

So, yesterday was a most interesting day. Having worked until the wee small hours of Tuesday morning, I decided to sleep in a bit and then do an hour on my bike before getting down to serious work. As I biked, I checked email and learned that there was a twitterconflagration in effect, concerning this piece at First Things.As our culture wars progress, we're apparently supposed to stake out purist territory, declare "Here I stand, I can do no other" and then battle relentlessly; since we're … [Read more...]

Little Sisters, HHS Mandate, Al Gore and Incurious Press – UPDATED

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I've mentioned before that both President Obama and his press secretary, Jay Carney are wearing identical facial expressions; they both look like men who wish it would all go away.And "make it go away" was the first thing that came into my head when I saw this headline over at Deacon Greg's: "WH Says Birth Control Mandate Doesn't Apply To Little Sisters of the Poor".Let's skip over the fact that this isn't exactly a "birth control" mandate. It's also a free-sterilization and … [Read more...]

Can Pro-and-Anti Gay Marriage People Co-exist?

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Still stuck in my writer's block, the only way I could write a column this week for First Things was to format it as a playlet -- a little one-act thing called "Suitable Recommendations" -- wherein I try (and I have no idea whether I succeed) to showcase a story we're increasingly seeing being played out as gay marriage becomes more common: the business owner whose conscience can't let him or her provide services to a same-sex couple planning a wedding.Gentleman: That’s some religion you’ve … [Read more...]

In the Year of Faith, I promised you Poetry!

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When I wrote about our dedicated Year of Faith page last week, I mentioned that you should keep checking back to it every day (or, okay, a couple times a week) to see what new voices were contributing, and I also promised (or threatened) poetry!And today, we have the poet and essayist Sally Thomas musing -- briefly but effectively -- on something we all could stand to do more of -- a habit we might especially try to adopt most particularly and consciously, in this Year of Faith! Check it … [Read more...]

St. Thomas More and a Letter

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Kathy Schiffer is using the Fortnight for Freedom to bring out some of the church's well-and-lesser-known freedom fighters. Today she is serving up Saint Thomas More:From prison, More spoke out strongly against Henry VIII’s marriage, calling the King’s Act of Supremacy “contrary to the laws of God and his holy Church.” More explained that no temporal prince could take away the prerogatives that belonged to St. Peter and his successors, according to the words of Christ. Although most of the … [Read more...]

The Busy Servants of Moloch – UPDATED

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When the "learning opportunity" of the Susan G. Komen/Planned Parenthood debacle was taking place, I wrote:[the past day's high drama had given] me a mental image of Moloch, enraged and stomping and roaring because there was a threat of less meat coming to his fire.Today, Moloch is appeased; the media’s heartbeat and respiration are returning to normal. They and their pals in DC can take a nice, deep cleansing breath and sit back and smile, understanding what they have just demonstrated … [Read more...]

All Your Conscience Are Belong to Us

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My First Things column from today:Through its mouthpieces, the administration has already begun to argue that “an institution does not have a conscience.” This is utter nonsense. The missions of the church are predicated on conscience, and conscience and mission feed and build upon one another. Conscience is what sent Catholic religious women to drag Civil War soldiers off the battlefields and into their hospitals, regardless of uniform; it is what put Catholic charities and hospitals and sch … [Read more...]

Administration’s Dismissal of Religious Conscience

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Deacon Greg has something to say about this week's Gospel reading and the Obama/HHS assault on freedom of religion and our consciences:This goes far beyond whether or not someone agrees with the Church’s teachings about birth control and abortion. But this is, in a fundamental way, a life issue. This is about respecting the most personal and private aspect of human life: the conscience. This is about protecting it. Honoring it. Defending it.A great saint to remember is St. Thomas M … [Read more...]


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