Mere Links 09.03.14
Wednesday, September 3, 2014, 10:00 AM

The Five Stages of Religious Persecution
Msgr. Charles Pope, Archdiocese of Washington

The usual transformation from respect to vilification progresses in stages that grow in intensity. And thus the Catholic Church, once a respected aspect of American life (along with the Protestant denominations), has become increasingly marginalized and even hated by many.

The Myth of Catholic Social Teaching
John Zmirak, The Catholic Thing

Self-styled Catholic critics of the free market and “Americanism” have adopted the term “social Magisterium” to suggest that there is a coherent and morally binding body of papal teaching on politics and economics, from which we can derive specific policy initiatives and firmly condemn alternatives as “un-Catholic” or even (that dreaded word) “dissenting.”

Beards in Prison Hold Next Religion Test for Supreme Court
Adam Liptak, New York Times

The new case, to be argued on Oct. 7, the second day of the next term, concerns whether prison officials may prohibit Muslim inmates from growing the beards required by their faiths.

The Osteens’ Donald Sterling Moment
Hans Fiene, The Federalist

The flap over Victoria Osteen’s recent comments is anticlimactic, given the Osteens have said a thousand even more theologically indefensible things.



Mere Links 09.02.14
Tuesday, September 2, 2014, 10:00 AM

Demons Believe and Tremble before the Real Presence
Msgr. Charles Pope, Aleteia

A reflection on the theft of the eucharist by satanists.

Many religions heavily concentrated in one or two countries
Conrad Hackett and Joseph Naylor, Pew Research Center

While Christians and Muslims are more widely distributed around the world, the other groups have a majority of their populations in just one or two nations, according to 2010 estimates from our Global Religious Landscape report.

Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev: No Winners in a World War
Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev, Breitbart

A century ago, the First World War began. On 28 July 1914, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, then on 1 August, Germany declared war on Russia, and over the course of a few short days, several more world powers joined the conflict either on their own initiative or by needs.

Why the Abortion Rate Is Declining
Chuck Donovan, The Daily Signal

Over the most recent decade for which data are available (2001–2011), the overall U.S. abortion rate, calculated as the annual number of abortions per 1,000 women of childbearing age (15 to 44), has dropped, continuing a trend that first appeared in 1980.



Mere Links 08.29.14
Friday, August 29, 2014, 10:00 AM

India Christians Still Await Justice Six Years After Radical Hindu Attack
Anto Akkara , Aleteia

But Hindus and Muslim join Christians in solidarity march to mark anniversary.

Dostoevsky’s The Eternal Husband: Adultery, Butchery, and Prophecy
Sean Fitzpatrick, Crisis Magazine

Pulsing through The Eternal Husband like a pounding heartbeat is an almost unbearable discomfort caused by implicit fear and hatred. Though it is truly almost unbearable, it is worth bearing, even barely, for the sheer vicarious experience of it all.

Thuggery wins, free speech rights lose
Eugene Volokh, Washington Post

Behavior that gets rewarded gets repeated. People who are willing to use violence to suppress speech will learn that such behavior is effective, at least when the police don’t come down particularly hard on the thuggery.

Utah Polygamy Law Partially Struck Down By Federal Judge Following ‘Sister Wives’ Lawsuit
Mark Hanrahan, International Business Times

A federal judge has struck down part of Utah’s anti-polygamy law, following a lawsuit brought by the family featured in the reality TV show “Sister Wives.”



Mere Links 08.28.14
Thursday, August 28, 2014, 10:00 AM

How Natural Family Planning Shaped My View of Sex
Liuan Huska, Christianity Today

A more intensive method of birth control reminded me that it’s God who’s in control.

Modern Bondage: Slavery is Very Much Alive Today
Mark Gordon, Aleteia

From Nigerian schoolgirls to sex trafficking in the US, the total number would fill California.

Classical Education, Freedom, and the Ordered Soul
James V. Schall, S.J., Catholic World Report

Understanding is a spiritual thing, though rooted in really existing things, even ultimately in divine things.

The Wrong Kind of Christian
Tish Harrison Warren, Christianity Today

I thought a winsome faith would win Christians a place at Vanderbilt’s table. I was wrong.



Mere Links 08.27.14
Wednesday, August 27, 2014, 10:00 AM

How Tennessee incentivizes abortions
Elizabeth Stoker Bruenig, The Week

We need legislation that protects pregnancy and mothers, not just unborn infants.

Thomas More: Virtuous Statesman
John M. Vella, The Imaginative Conservative

In Thomas More on Statesmanship, Wegemer, who teaches English literature at the University of Dallas, portrays a man who successfully synthesized the Christian humanism of his time with a deep appreciation of the broader legal and political traditions of England.

Hemmed in by Glory
http://preachersinstitute.com/2014/08/24/hemmed-in-by-glory/, Preachers Institute

I wonder how many of us have considered what is implied by the juxtaposition of two biblical verses that are, I concede, juxtaposed but rarely.

Abortion Advocacy Gets Ugly
Susan E. Wills, Aleteia

As the appeal of “choice” wanes, abortion promoters seek new ways to keep abortion legal.



Mere Links 08.26.14
Tuesday, August 26, 2014, 10:00 AM

Heroic Sisters
Tom Hoopes, Aleteia

Some very gutsy religious who are, by the way, faithful to Church teaching.

Moses, Calvin, and the Puritans Would’ve Listened to NPR If They Were Around Today
Paul Seaton, Library of Law and Liberty

In literary terms, Marilynne Robinson is a national treasure. In political terms, not so much. “When she was good, she was very, very good, but when she was bad she was horrid,” as the nursery rhyme has it. Robinson might not even mind my saying that, by the way. As an essayist she deliberately tries to make countercultural moves, intellectually and spiritually.

What Makes A War Just?
Holly Scheer, The Federalist

With so many evils, persecutions, and abuses in the world, it’s hard to know which provide a moral pretext for declaring war.

Global religious hot spots get their own U.S. envoy
Lauren Markoe, Religion News Service

As the Islamic State tears across Iraq and Syria this summer, sending religious minorities fleeing for their lives, Congress created a new job at the State Department — one the president needs to fill immediately, say those who pushed for the position.



Mere Links 08.25.14
Monday, August 25, 2014, 10:00 AM

Making It A Fair Fight for the Devil
Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon, Preachers Institute

According to Athanasius of Alexandria, man’s repentance from sin would not have been sufficient to restore him to friendship with God. To imagine otherwise is to suppose an inadequate and unbiblical view of sin.

Why It’s Wrong for Christians to Mistreat Creation
Justin Holcomb, Chrisitanity.com

One reason Christians have been particularly weak in dealing with ecological issues and the deterioration of the natural environment is a misunderstanding of what it means to “have dominion” over creation.

Seeking Death: ‘Suicide Tourism’ to Switzerland Doubles
NBC News

More than 600 people traveled to Switzerland to die between 2008 and 2012, and the numbers doubled over those years, researchers reported Tuesday.

New HHS Rules Still Problematic for Religious Liberty
Barrett Duke and Andrew T. Walker, ERLC

When a law is revised eight times, it’s worth asking whether or not it should ever have been enacted in the first place.



Mere Links 08.22.14
Friday, August 22, 2014, 10:00 AM

Christ: The Trojan Horse of Redemption
Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon, Preachers Institute

The same monastic tradition that determined the psalms to be prayed at Thursday Matins also prescribed Psalms 75 and 91 (Hebrew 76 and 92) to be recited at Matins of Friday (Cf. The Rule of Saint Benedict, ch. 13).

The Korean Martyrs and the Power of Lay Witness
Marge Fenelon, Aleteia

The throngs who greeted Pope Francis in Korea are testimony to the power of the laity to spread the Faith.

Supreme Court Puts Gay Marriage on Hold in Virginia
Alan Rappeport, New York Times

The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued a last-minute order putting a hold on same-sex marriages in Virginia less than a day before officials there were to begin providing marriage licenses to gay couples.

The Moral Divide Between Progressives and Traditionalists
James Kalb, Crisis Magazine

A recent account of moral sentiments, proposed by social psychologist Jonathan Haidt in his book, The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion (Pantheon, 2012), has attracted attention for its explanation of the difference between progressives and traditionalists.



Mere Links 08.21.14
Thursday, August 21, 2014, 12:01 AM

Who Will Stand Up for the Christians?
Ronald S. Lauder, New York Times

Why is the world silent while Christians are being slaughtered in the Middle East and Africa?

Four reasons why God forbids adultery
Rey De Armas, ERLC

The prohibition against adultery doesn’t make sense until we understand God’s original design for sexual expression within the confines of marriage. From the beginning, God established a blueprint for the family.

Victoria Beeching And Plato’s Third Form of Atheism
Robert P. George, First Things

The mortal threat to Christianity today—and, I would venture to say, to Judaism and (in the West at least) Islam as well—does not come from Plato’s first and second forms of atheism, but from the third.

Married parents vs cohabiting parents
Nicole M. King, Mercatornet

A new study by the National Center for Health Statistics reveals “a baby frenzy happening among unmarried couples who live together.” According to the report, 58% of all unmarried births now occur to cohabiting couples, compared to 41% in 2002.



Mere Links 08.20.14
Wednesday, August 20, 2014, 12:01 AM

A New Direction for Death
Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon, Preachers Institute

According to the structure of the Canonical Hours in Western monasticism, two specific psalms were traditionally appointed for Thursday Matins: Psalms 87 and 89 (Hebrew 88 and 90) (Cf. The Rule of Saint Benedict, Ch. 13).

Is Ugly the New Beautiful?
Sean Fitzpatrick, Crisis Magazine

Summer has become a season of strange and stark irony. While it brings forth the beauty of the world, it also brings forth the ugliness of the age.

What Does Social Justice Look Like in an Abortion Culture?
Jeffrey Walton, Juicy Ecumenism

Part of the role of government is to provide for the common defense – a protection of the population from those who would seek to do harm. With this understanding, I propose that protection of the unborn should be a priority of a just government. But what of social justice for the unborn?

The New Nonconformist Conscience
Helen Andrews, First Things

Mozilla’s Brendan Eich, the Miami Dolphins’ Don Jones, HGTV’s Benham brothers: 2014 has been a good year for those seeking to enforce the new moral orthodoxy by depriving others of their livelihood.


« Newer PostsOlder Posts »