On Tolerating the Intolerant and Other Paradoxes of a Living in a Democracy

Last night I attended my first congressional town hall meeting. My local representative, House Republican Rod Blum, graciously took the time to meet with a crowd of about one thousand at a local high school. A lottery system was used to allow participants to ask questions. Topics included health care, climate change, tax reform, immigration, [Read More…]

The Real Threat to Reproductive Health

As the congressional battle lines over health care are drawn yet again, Republicans have been awkwardly coming to grips with the second half of their “repeal and replace” mantra.  Especially to the most right-liberal wing of the GOP, any replacement of Obamacare will look too much like it, simply by being a health care bill.  This [Read More…]

To Resist or Rise Above?

I find myself in a disorienting dilemma. Everything about Donald Trump repels me – to the point that, quite frankly, I can’t even bring myself to legitimize his presidency by referring to him by the title, a feeling reinforced every time a bratty, self-absorbed tweet is reported as news.  During his improbable campaign, I vacillated [Read More…]

Bring Boring Back

If anything is widely agreed on in current U.S. politics, it is that Washington is dysfunctional. But a lack of reflection on what’s been feeding the dysfunction may be giving us the kind of purported solutions that really only exacerbate the problem. As near as I can tell, as I tried to puzzle it out in [Read More…]

Abortion as Political Profit: the Unspoken Consensus

There is a timely yet potentially endangered bill making its way from the House to the Senate, intended, as its name suggests, to protect the pain-capable unborn past 20 weeks.  (It is not my purpose here to analyze the bill at length, but as an aside it is interesting to note that the rape and incest [Read More…]

The ‘Culture War’ Trope in Catholic Discourse: Useful Construct or Dangerous Weapon?

Vox Nova is pleased to welcome the following guest post by reader Mike McG. The terms ‘culture war’ and ‘culture warrior’ name very real tensions in both secular and religious domains. And yet I wonder if these phrases deepen the very polarization they seek to describe. The terms came into common usage in the early 1990s with [Read More…]

We Are All to Blame

The US government is (technically) functional again, and the national crisis has been (sort of) averted, for the time being.  But whatever our political persuasion, we all know that the recent government shutdown was only the latest episode in an ongoing pattern of melodramatic debt crises ending in hard-fought, down-to-the-wire agreements to kick the can a [Read More…]

Parsing Papal Popularity, Part II: Is the Pope Catholic?

I must confess, I am a beat behind.  Partly for personal reasons, partly for stylistic ones, and partly because our pope is so full of surprises (and provokes so many reactions), it’s been a little hard to keep up.  But if the first wave of reactions to the impactful interview with our pope of surprises that America [Read More…]