Three’s A Crowd

A few months ago, New Scientist revealed that a baby was born earlier this year using a newly developed technique which used DNA from three people, allowing parents with rare genetic mutations to have (allegedly) healthy babies.  The science itself is fascinating, of course, as science often is; another testimony to the creative genius of fallen man.  I won’t summarize the article here as it is short and easy to understand, but will rather point out a couple of ironies. Leaving aside the immoral act of IVF, the Jordanian couple who underwent the procedure couldn’t use the method approved in

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Bird Brains and Screen Junkies

A friend shared a frightening article on social media the other day, on the terrifying effects of electronic gadgets on the minds of young children. Many parents today have a love-hate relationship with tablets, smart phones, computers, and game systems: they see educational benefits, entertainment options, and opportunities to reward or punish, but they also have an instinctive (if not firsthand) sense that time spent on these gadgets is not quality time and fosters ugly attitudes and habits in their progeny. But this article goes further, relating a story of a boy whose early and constant exposure to electronics put him

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Of Wine, Windmills and . . . Nuclear Power?

Recently, on a lovely Saturday afternoon, during a business trip to France, I had the opportunity to wind through the French country side and join in the annual Beaujolais Wine Festival. The festival starts on the third Thursday in November, where by law, the wine is released at 12:01 am, and just weeks after the grapes have been harvested. The celebration is marked with fireworks, music, and, of course, plenty of wine tasting. The Beaujolais region is about 34 miles long from north to south and about 9 miles wide and home to nearly 4,000 vineyards. What I found most

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The Lost Fine Art of Discourse

I am nearly finished reading the late Neil Postman’s book Amusing Ourselves to Death, Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business. Published in 1985, Postman, an educator and media theorist, lays out a postulation that television had created the latest (at that time) step change mode of public discourse and therefore initiated a resulting negative effect in the culture. As described by Postman, verbal public discourse was superseded by the written word, then subsequently superseded by radio, finally by television. For each of these new communication mediums to take hold and gain popularity, they were required to do two things:

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Legion of Decency Might Sound a Little Corny, but…

In his recent post on “family” films Didymus cautions us to be wary of secular or even anti-Christian elements of some very popular films.  His words give us something important to think about – not necessarily to avoid these films altogether but to at least approach them with due caution. I was reminded of several of the writings of the American Hierarchy during the early 20th century, wherein a series of Resolutions and Statements warned of the wanton and unfettered state of motion pictures of the time. “Unemployment has imposed upon millions of men and women more leisure time… The

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Generation Snowflake

The reaction shown by our younger citizens is somewhat puzzling.  To be upset and disappointed about their candidate losing in a surprising and unprecedented upset is understandable, but the response has gone far beyond that.  Never has a group ever lived up so completely to their generational moniker – Generation Snowflake. Below is a short video that has an interesting take on how this generation thinks and what has lead to their madness. Notice:  There are a few coarse words used – but hey, come on, he’s Irish.  View at your own discretion.  

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Ambushed by Family Movies

“The original stone tablets that Moses brought down out of Mt. Horeb…and smashed, if you believe in that sort of thing” (Raiders of the Lost Ark). Most of us would accept that the description of a movie as “good” is highly ambiguous.  However, we seem to accept the phrase “good family movie” with less circumspection.  Yet might that outward family-friendliness sometimes be cloaking a wolf in sheep’s clothing?  Our junto has discussed the idea of creating opportunities for families to see older movies that will not only entertain but also illuminate – perhaps a moral principle, a historical perspective, or

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Terrifying Tales of the Late Jack Chick

I grew up in the 1980s loving Halloween: carving fantastic faces in pumpkins and toasting the seeds, dressing up in homemade costumes, prowling the neighborhood scaring my friends and collecting candy and treats from our moms and assorted little old ladies. The only hint of Hell was on the news the night before: the annual bout of arson and mayhem in Detroit that had been dubbed Devil’s Night. Beyond that Halloween was, for me, good clean fun. But we kids had heard hints of another side to the sugar-fueled frivolity — of tampered candy and razor-infested apples, of pagan rites and

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Practical Catholic Junto Book Now Available!

Friends of the Junto, We are pleased to announce the release on Amazon of the Kindle book, The Collected Writings of the Practical Catholic Junto, containing 23 essays gleaned from our private meetings.  Although some of the essays have been converted to posts on the PCJ blog, many are original works that are published here for the first time. We invite you to read this extended collection of our writing. Thank you for your interest in, and support of, our work. St. Thomas More, pray for us!

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Abortion is (Really) Hell

A 2014 article in Britain’s Guardian points out that with the withdrawal of UK troops from Afghanistan the Commonwealth will have seen its first peacetime period in a century.  This dubious consistency extends back into previous eras, as befits an imperial power dominating hundreds of colonies.   Of course it is joined by many other major powers, including the United States, in its destructive tendencies–only two humans in history have avoided the effects of the Fall. The war casualties of the 20th century are breathtaking:  Great Britain: 1.5M; France: 2.5M; Germany: 10M; and the Soviet Union: 30M (including losing 13%

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