Ridiculing Catholicism for being out-of-touch with the modern world is super easy, and it’s so much fun! Okay, yes, that sentence is gratuitous, and designed to get your attention.
As my little amateur history draws to a close, I will be offering two concrete suggestions for improving the economic status quo. As a preface to making those suggestions allow me to state for the record I do not disagree with the libertarian premise about regulation stifling innovation and undermining incentives that drive capitalism. Or that capitalism is the best economic system for “freeing” large masses of human beings from lives of misery and poverty.
My goal in assembling this very amateur and oh-so-brief history is three-fold. To disabuse everyday conservative Catholics (my friends and neighbors) of the notion economics has nothing to do with morality. To challenge the contention of intellectual conservative Catholics (the scholars I have been reading for the last thirty years) that free market capitalism is inherently moral. And lastly to assure both groups (and any other readers who may wander in) that I am not suggesting any form of socialism as an alternative.
In analyzing the ideological schism that plagues present-day Catholicism, we tend to focus on the fall-out from the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) and the sexual revolution of the 1960s that surrounded it. With good reason, since both did indeed play a large role in splintering Catholics into the current opposing camps of “liberal” and “conservative.”
First Things has always been a classy journal featuring quality contributions from orthodox scholars and academics. Father Richard John Neuhaus (1936-2009), the founding editor and famous Lutheran convert to Catholicism, was a prose stylist par excellence. Anything he chose to write about in his monthly dairy entries was a pleasure to read.
It sort of goes without saying every good movie is made up of a series of enjoyable, engaging scenes. But the really good movies, the ones that stick with you, have what I would call a magic scene. Or maybe even more than one.
As a resident of Pennsylvania, I will be called on in a few months to help elect a new Governor. As usual, I am less than thrilled with the two major party candidates we are able to choose between. And also as usual in recent years, the Republican option in this election is even more of a concern to me than is the Democrat.
Yesterday the latest in a seemingly endless series of mass shootings occurred in a small Texas town, when 18-year-old Salvador Ramos walked into an elementary school with an AR-15 style rifle. He killed nineteen children and two teachers, and wounded seventeen others.
In recent months I have struck up a close friendship with a fascinating, age-appropriate woman who has never stopped learning, never stopped taking classes and acquiring certifications.
It always fascinates me when successful, fiscally conservative Catholics express an unbridled distain for organized labor on ideological grounds. To hear them tell it, unions are nothing but an affront to individual liberty and self-determination, two hallmarks of the American lexicon.
Since returning to the fold almost thirty years ago, identifying as “Catholic” has come naturally to me. Though I can’t say there are many practicing Catholics who share my perspective on the state of the world, let alone the state of the Catholic Church.
Astrology doesn’t have many defenders these days, and with good reason. The idea of a horoscope that can predict your future based on the month you were born and your “sun sign” is more than a little far-fetched. The very thought strikes most reasonable people as silly, and a complete waste of time.
No matter how old we grow or how feeble we become, let us remember the excitement of this morning’s embrace. That way, should we ever wish to conjure the sense of healing love that so easily envelopes us today, all we need do is gaze into each other’s eyes.
What are you looking for in a woman? This is one of the first questions asked of a man on an internet dating site. Since subscribing last June I haven’t had a ready answer. Other than the obvious, self-depreciating one: Anyone who will put up with me.
Finding love at any age is one of life’s mysteries. An intimate relationship is a delicate thing, with many a twist and turn to navigate. In every instance the intrinsic joy being produced springs from the same source: Discovering and exploring every aspect of this new, amazing human being.
The intellectual tradition to which I subscribe believes in an economics based on virtues such as justice and charity, instead of ‘laws’ like supply and demand. The earliest guidelines for this preferred system can be found in the Acts of the Apostles, when the first band of followers were said to have shared all they had with one another, according to need. This is what Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) identified back in the 13th century as “distributive justice.”
Because each of us is blessed with the Imago Dei, we possess an inherent dignity that is worthy of respect. This is true regardless of our level of formal education and resulting station in life. It is true no matter how meager our material circumstances might be.
Every stage of life comes with its own set of problems that need to be figured out. But going from adolescence to early adulthood is particularly tricky, especially for a sensitive young person.
My ex-wife decided in 2014 she no longer wanted to be married to me. That’s when she unceremoniously moved out of the second-floor master bedroom, and took up residence in the little in-law suite we had carved out of a couple rooms on the first floor.
What is lonelier? To lack any semblance of female companionship in one’s life, or to conduct a series of hopeful first encounters in search of an elusive match when it comes to emotional intelligence and temperament, only to come up empty?
February 14, 2022 | 175 words | Personal History
The are many reasons why a marriage hits the rocks, and many ways to describe the demise of a long-term relationship. Here’s one way…
This is being addressed primarily to my three brothers and one surviving sister.
You may know the voice of Rachael Price from her work with the group Lake Street Dive, who first met as students at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. That was about twenty years ago, and they’ve been recording and touring together ever since. They have a very relaxed “unplugged” sound, which puts the focus on the musicality of the music, if that makes any sense. Four friends sitting around riffing. Their original stuff is always fun, and they do some of the best covers around.
The primary race for the Democratic nomination in the 2020 presidential election is old news by now, but I only just watched a documentary about the quixotic run made by the youngest member of the field, Mayor Pete.
Do you adore a little baby in a wretched hovel, wrapped in miserable rags?
January 1, 2022 (218 words)
“A wonderful New Year’s resolution for the men who run the world: Get to know the people who only live in it.”…
December 25, 2021 (1,937 words)
Today’s catchy title is taken from the subject line of this week’s email blast from the long-time President of a small but highly-regarded liberal arts college located in the beautiful…
December 8, 2021 (401 words)
Concern over finding oneself on the wrong side of history forces intelligent, well-intentioned people to abandon the formal practice of religion, while still thinking of themselves as being “spiritual” at…
December 1, 2021 (593 words)
How can an innocent newborn come into this world burdened with what religious zealots refer to as “the stain of Original Sin”? This is just the sort of mean-spirited clap-trap that…
November 21, 2021 (756 words)
Do you happen to remember that twenty-five-year-old story about a Massachusetts industrialist who refused to lay-off his 1,400 employees, even after the textile plant they worked in suffered a catastrophic…
November 14, 2021 (317 words)
The young balladeer Adele has done it again. Her latest hit, Go Easy on Me, is currently playing…
November 7, 2021 (2,413 words)
The actor Stanley Tucci has appeared in over 70 films, and he always manages to be an authentic, relatable presence, even as a villain. The other night he was interviewed on NPR about a new book…
October 31, 2021 (373 words)
In the ongoing debate over whether or not to vaccinate for the COVID-19 virus, I recently heard an interesting take on the subject from the BBC World Service in London, courtesy of my local NPR affiliate…
October 18, 2021 (802 words)
In the dating world of ‘mature singles’ there is something known as the “90-day syndrome.” That’s how long it takes for a new infatuation to run its course, and for the two adults…
October 10, 2021 (34 words)
The physical intimacy we shared led me to believe you were more into me than it turns out you really are. And made me think we had…
October 5, 2021 (174 words)
There are many forms of physical and emotional distress that can befall us in the course of our lives. Some folks have to cope with more of these challenges than others, often for…
September 28, 2021 (87 words)
The headline read: “California Governor Gavin Newsome proposes seven new laws to address homeless.” This is no doubt a well-meaning gesture on the…
September 27, 2021 (210 words)
It’s funny how some words can fall out of favor, while others acquire a new luster. Acceptance, tolerance, diversity, and love – especially when grouped together like a slogan, as on a…
September 24, 2021 (70 words)
In touting the latest round of his seemingly never-ending infrastructure stimulus package that recently received Congressional approval, President Biden…
September 12, 2021 (446 words)
The second reading at Mass this morning was that famous passage from James (2:14-26) about faith and works, the one biblical scholars and religious apologists have been arguing about for…