Archive for Moral Action

Living in a World of Delusion

“You are here because you have failed in humility, in self disciple. You would not make the act of submission which is the price of sanity. .. You believe that reality is something objective, external existing in its own right. You also believe that the nature of reality is self-evident. When you delude yourself into thinking that you see something, you assume that everyone else sees the same thing as you. But I tell you Winston, that reality is not external. Reality exists in the human mind, and nowhere else. Not in the individual mind, which can make mistakes, and

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July 4th Intentions

In adoration yesterday I decided to aim my intentions at our country and citizens, on our national birthday. For our country, to turn to God for guidance and wisdom For our country, to adopt a Christian worldview and the associated virtues For our civil leaders, to discern God’s will and act in accordance with it For our county, to end abortion For our bishops and priests, to show manly courage to lead their flocks against the many arrayed secular-atheist-heretical influences For the Catholic laity, to be faithful to the Magisterium and its teachings For myself, to seek the wisdom and

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Cardinal Confusion

Cardinal Reinhard Marx made headlines again last week by suggesting that the Catholic Church and society as a whole should apologize for the institutionalized scandalous and negative treatment and marginalization towards individuals with same-sex attraction.  This proclamation from the notoriously heterodox German episcopal leader coincidentally came at the same time Pride celebration events were taking place across the globe. If he meant by these words that the negative treatment was discrimination, disrespect or uncivil conduct directed at homosexuals, he may have legitimate point.  We as Christians are called to treat all others with respect and love – as in the

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Catholic Grit

A recently published book by psychologist Angela Duckworth, Grit: Passion, Perseverance and the Science of Success, seeks to quantify the characteristics that make some innately mediocre people succeed and some innately talented people perform just so-so.  Similarly author Paul Tough’s book, How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character, Whatever It Takes, describes why character matters and how to instill it in our children.  Both works indicate the importance of “grit” in rising above one’s natural place, whether it be physical challenges, intellectual pursuits, business, etc.  Grit itself might be distilled into a set of synonyms:  perseverance, toughness,

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Have We Become “Sin Eaters”?
or Catholic Answers on The Bomb

As a group, we’ve discussed more than once the morality of dropping The Bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of World War II. I don’t know that we’ve ever reached consensus on the topic. In our deliberations, I have tended to speak less and listen more, since most of you are better read in both history and moral theology than I am — but I tend to think that dropping the bomb was a bad idea. Some might call it a “necessary evil,” but my basic understanding of Catholic morality suggests to me that there is no such

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Children (Poorly) Masquerading as Adults

College commencement exercises are beginning, meaning that the silly season of childish campus antics of demonstrations, ridiculous demands to college administrations, and relentless public harassment will taper off over the summer.  The 2015-2016 academic year topped the charts and serves as a preview of the caliber of new workforce recruits we will be dealing with in our workplaces.  From Amherst College, to the University of Missouri to Yale, civil discourse and rational debate and disagreement have been forced to the sidelines in unprecedented occurrences. I ran across an interesting article – here – concerning moral psychologist Jonathan Haidt, a secular liberal

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Trumpet

From the start of  Donald Trump’s run for president, all conventional wisdom wrote him off as a joke, predicting, and predicting again … and again his inevitable crash and burn. Yet with each such prediction and with each successive condemnation of him from all quarters, his popularity has grown. Not only do people support him, but they do so with numbers and enthusiasm not enjoyed by any other candidate running. With the focus on Trump himself, less attention has been paid to his supporters, who are often brushed aside in the discussion, dismissed as a bunch of angry bigots or

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The New Evangelization Hype Cycle

Gartner, Inc. has developed a useful tool in the graphical representation of the maturity and adoption of technology and its applications known as the Hype Cycle.  For example, here is an interesting hype cycle that the company put out in August of 2015 that is a snapshot of notable technologies and products at that time. The hype cycle can also be used to track the history of a specific technology over time. I find hype cycles fascinating.  While they are subjective in nature, they are also helpful in explaining the interaction between ideas and the public. I also think introducing concepts from one

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Abortionomics: Shibboleth of Death

In a recent CSPAN “After Words” interview, criminologist Dr. Barry Latzer discussed his book, The Rise and Fall of Violent Crime in America, in which he examines trends between the 1960s and 1990s.  Dr. Latzer was asked about two theories regarding the drop in violent crime starting in 1994:  removal of lead from gasoline starting in the mid-70s, and the federal legalization of abortion in the infamous Roe v Wade decision in 1973. The latter theory, offered by John Donohue and Steven Levitt in the May 2001 edition of The Quarterly Journal of Economics, purports to show that children who were

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Chump Change

Is it finally official?  That short of divine intervention, this grand old republic is a goner?  It seems so.  Oh, we may continue our slow fade from world power into relative obscurity (may we join you, Great Britain?), or we may suffer a more catastrophic collapse (move over, Ceausescu), but the political rhetoric about restoring America’s greatness is more than ever form without substance.  Exhibit #1 (the only one we need, as it turns out), is Donald Trump’s candidacy.  It doesn’t matter whether he wins the Republican nomination or not, his status as Republican frontrunner this far down the pike

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