Archive for Moral Action

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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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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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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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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Ireland’s Flagging Abortion Stance

The Irish Times recently hosted a discussion on their podcast regarding the effort to repeal or reform the Eighth Amendment to Ireland’s constitution. The Eighth was voted in by popular referendum 33 years ago by a 2-1 margin, largely through the influence of the Catholic Church.  The addition to the constitution reads: The State acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right. I don’t pretend to know

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Asylum Living

A good chunk of humanity is insane.  By a good chunk I mean a very big chunk, possibly the majority.  This isn’t hyperbole or poetic exaggeration; I mean quite literally that billions of people in the world are insane.  “Now hold on,” you may say, “a lot of things in the world are in pretty rough shape, but that is going way too far.  Maybe that statement shows that you are the insane one.”  Well, maybe so, but I’m betting my life that I’m not.  And not this piddly earthly life with maybe a few pathetic decades left either, but

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Mercy Is Not Accidental

Mercy as it is here contemplated is said to be a virtue influencing one’s will to have compassion for, and, if possible, to alleviate another’s misfortune. It is the teaching of St. Thomas Aquinas that although mercy is as it were the spontaneous product of charity, yet it is to be reckoned a special virtue adequately distinguishable from this latter. … Its motive is the misery which one discerns in another, particularly in so far as this condition is deemed to be, in some sense at least, involuntary. Obviously the necessity which is to be succoured can be either of body

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War Is Hell

In 1622 Powhatan Indians killed 347 men, women, and children at Jamestown, nearly 1/3 of the entire colony. Fifteen years later at the Mystic River, English colonists and their Indian allies trapped an entire village of 600 Pequots inside their fortified wooden houses. The structures were set afire and the inhabitants burned alive. The few who escaped the flames were put to the sword. With each new wave of military technology, the scale of killing in war continually inundates the sensibilities of the past. Before the American Civil War, infantry fought at close range with muskets, one bullet at a

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Mercy Is Not Strained Part One

Pope Francis is now three years into his pontificate. He is a popular pope, but there are Catholics who believe his popularity has come at a cost. After many of his extemporaneous remarks as well as some of his more deliberate pronouncements, he has been roundly criticized for avoiding clarity and arguably even undermining Catholic doctrine, as though he views Catholic teachings as simply too much for people to accept and thinks that the nice thing to do is to blur or ignore some teachings and doctrines to make Catholicism more palatable for those he wants to win over. These

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