July 9, 2020

Nearly twelve years ago I had the honor to contribute two entries to the Encyclopedia of the First Amendment, published by Congressional Quarterly Press and edited by  John Vile, David Schultz, and David Hudson.  (My two entries were on the U.S. Supreme Court cases Carey v. Population Services International (1977) and Meek v. Pittinger (1975)) This morning I discovered that the entire encyclopedia is now accessible on the website of Middle Tennessee State University.  You can access the encyclopedia here.  Given… Read more

October 6, 2015

My graduate assistant, Hilary Yancey, and her husband, Preston, need our generosity. They are proud parents of Jackson, born on September 28th with a craniofacial microsomia.  Little Jackson requires a series of expensive surgeries. Please consider donating at gofundme.com.  Hilary arrived at Baylor in Fall 2014 as a PhD student in philosophy. She has served as my graduate assistant twice, both for Introduction to Medical Ethics.   Preston and Hilary tell their story, and explain Jackson’s condition, more eloquently than I… Read more

August 24, 2015

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), Jan Narveson (Waterloo), Nancy Sherman (Georgetown), and Bonnie Steinbock (SUNY Albany). Although David and I sometimes find ourselves on opposite sides on a… Read more

August 10, 2015

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 replied: @spulliam@between2worlds… Read more

August 3, 2015

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 assessing sophisticated arguments critical of… Read more

August 2, 2015

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 Transplantation?  (You can get it… Read more

July 28, 2015

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 following: Barbara E. Armacost, Professor of Law,… Read more

May 21, 2015

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,… Read more

April 10, 2015

You can read all about it here. Read more

October 9, 2014

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… Read more

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