July 13, 2020

There’s been a lot of talk recently about “cancel culture” and it’s deleterious effect upon our freedom of speech. On July 7 Harper’s published an open letter signed by over 150 noted writers and public intellectuals that claimed that “the free exchange of information and ideas, the lifeblood of a liberal society, is daily becoming more constricted.” Rebuttals ensued, including one noted by the New York Times, which included its own list of signatories. What exactly is cancel culture?  It depends who… Read more

July 9, 2020

I grew up on this kind of music.  Seems like we need it now more than ever. (Lyrics below).  By the way, for those who don’t know about Laura Nyro, you can read about her here.  One of the great talents to come out of the burgeoning singer/songwriter movement of the 1960s, she died much too young. Come on, people, come on, children Come on down to the glory river Gonna wash you up and wash you down Gonna lay… Read more

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




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