Religion

The Road Ahead for Believers: Not So Gay

Featured image I’ll have a lot more to say in here and in several other venues about the status of religious liberty and religious faith in post-modern and post-Obergefell America.  But for now it is worth recalling the observations of Richard John Neuhaus, from his important 1984 book The Naked Public Square: When the democratically affirmed institutions that generate and transmit values are excluded, the vacuum will be filled by the agent »

Unabomber or Unapapa?

Featured image Anyone remember the good old days when you couldn’t tell the difference between the Unabomber’s manifesto “Industrial Society and Its Future” and Al Gore’s Earth in the Balance? There was even an online quiz you could flunk. (Though to remind everyone once again, both owed more to Heidegger.) Well, it’s time to rerun that drill with Pope Francis’s encyclical on the environment. Which is exactly what Colby Cosh does in »

Justice Kennedy’s eyes are wide shut on the gay rights assault on religion

Featured image In Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project, Justice Kennedy acknowledged the dangers of ruling that disparate impact analysis applies to Fair Housing Act cases, and he tried to erect limitations that would avoid these dangers. However, as Justice Alito showed in his dissent, the supposed limitations will not constrain liberal bureaucrats and judges. A parallel exchange can be found in today’s ruling finding a »

Playing the victim game in reverse

Featured image In the aftermath of the Charleston massacre, the left, predictably, is looking for racial slights in developments ancillary to the shootings so it can attribute them to “systemic, pervasive racism.” For example, as I discussed here, it complains that Dylann Roof has not sufficiently been branded a terrorist. Two can play this game, and though we are better advised not to, let me try my hand. In 2011, Jared Lee »

The Pope Steps In It Again

Featured image Pope Francis is rapidly convincing me that he is not just a leftist, but a dope. Speaking to a group of young people in Turin, he departed from his script and launched into a rambling denunciation of, among others, arms manufacturers: “It makes me think of … people, managers, businessmen who call themselves Christian and they manufacture weapons. That leads to a bit a distrust, doesn’t it?” he said to »

The Pope’s Encyclical (1)

Featured image About Laudato Si, the Pope’s encyclical on the environment, some preliminary observations: First, although “encyclical” bears some etymological relation to “encyclopedia,” Laudate Si is either too short to be considered an adequate treatment of the wide range of concrete issues and philosophical themes it treats, or too long because it tries to do too much but does it poorly. It raises specific scientific controversies it would have been better to »

Heartbreaking

Featured image Dylann Roof reportedly told police that he almost didn’t go through with his massacre at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal because everyone was so nice to him. I can believe it. If there is a warmer, more welcoming place than inside a predominantly African-American church, I haven’t found it. Roof is deeply disturbed, so he ignored what he saw and carried out the massacre. The rest of us need to believe, »

Jesus Christ, Climate Scientist

Featured image So the imminent Vatican encyclical on climate change has leaked out, and it sounds from news accounts as though Pope Francis is going all-in with the climatistas.  (If you read Italian, here it is in a PDF.) We’ll wait for the final draft (what leaked may or may not be the final version) to appear in translation for a full verdict, but for now the news sent me running to »

Time for Sachs to Get Sacked

Featured image If there’s anybody who can rival Paul Krugman and Tom Friedman for knowitall smugness, it’s Columbia University economist Jeffrey Sachs. We’ve taken note before of Sachs’s high self-regard (here and here) and even praised him once for taking down Krugman. Last month he wrote in the Catholic magazine America that his fondest hope for Pope Francis’s upcoming fall visit to the United States is that the Pope will try to »

EEOC wins Supreme Court case on religious accommodation

Featured image Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the EEOC in a case it brought against Abercrombie & Fitch. The issue was whether an employer can be liable under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 for refusing to hire an applicant or discharging an employee based on a religious observance and practice only if the employer has actual knowledge that a religious accommodation was required. By »

How Is “Liberation Theology” Still a Thing?

Featured image The New York Times reports on the front page today Pope Francis’s revival of “liberation theology”—a radical creed from the 1970s and 1980s that at the time I summarized as “Marxism with salsa.” Quoth the Times: [Pope Francis] is directly engaging with a theological movement that once sharply divided Catholics and was distrusted by his predecessors, Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI. . . Liberation theory includes a critique of »

There’s something about Katy (and Lizzy)

Featured image I found Corey Kilgannon’s Saturday Saturday New York Times story to be worthy of note and thought readers might find it of interest. Kilgannon’s story is variously headlined “Long separated, sisters have a college reunion” (in the paper, where it caught my eye) and “2 women moved to write stories uncover a surprisingly personal one” (online). I found it a touching story with plenty of material for further reflection. Here »

Obama Insults Christians, Apparently Out of Ignorance

Featured image Barack Obama says he is a Christian. The rest of us can only take him at his word, but for a believer, he seems remarkably ignorant of both Christians and Christianity. At the Weekly Standard, Mark Hemingway writes on “Obama’s Casual Slander of American Christians.” Hemingway begins by talking about sociologist Robert Putnam, who said: [O]ver the last 30 years, most organized religion has focused on issues regarding sexual morality, »

U.S. boots on the ground in Iraq after all

Featured image The Washington Post reports that some former U.S. troops have taken up the fight against ISIS in Iraq: [A] growing band of foreigners [is] leaving behind their lives in the West to fight with new Christian militias against the Islamic State extremist group. The leaders of those militias say they have been swamped with hundreds of requests from veterans and volunteers from around the world who want to join them. »

A Hellish Week For Religion?

Featured image That’s what CNN says: “Religion’s week from hell.” Whether you believe that religious violence is fueled by faith or is a symptom of larger factors — political instability, poverty, cultural chaos — one thing seems clear: Last week was hellish for religion. … The causes of violence are complex, and reducing them to talking points only adds to the problem, scholars say. But if you want to rally troops to »

Lying isn’t what it used to be

Featured image Lying used to be an offense that caused people to stop trusting and believing you. Now, it’s a “mistake” that’s to be weighed against the liar’s virtues before deciding if he is to be trusted. I noticed this in my law practice. When I first started out, you hit the litigation jackpot if you could show that the opposing party had lied about any semi-material fact. If you showed this »

Why did God flood the world?

Featured image By popular demand, I asked Jewish Theological Seminary Provost and Professor Alan Cooper for a summary of his answer to the question: Why did God flood the world? It was the subject of Dr. Cooper’s lunch-and learn presentation at Temple of Aaron in St. Paul on Saturday. He has responded to my inquiry: “The easiest thing to do might be to link to an online d’var Torah [Torah talk] of »