Joe Hargrave

Joe Hargrave is an adjunct professor of political science at Rio Salado Community College in Tempe, Arizona.

recent articles

Is There a “Right” to Birth Control?

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Tuesday from opposing legal counsel on the HHS contraception mandate cases. The media consensus appears to be that the justices were hard on the mandate and appear likely to issue a narrow ruling exempting “closely-held” corporations, which both of the plaintiffs are, while leaving open the question of … Read more

Rescuing American Civilization: A Response to Stephen M. Krason

Yesterday, Crisis published a piece by Stephen M. Krason in which he argues that “the strong exertion of presidential power may be the best way after Obama to restore liberty and begin to mend the social fabric whose erosion has accelerated during his administration.” This appears to be part of an ongoing tendency, recently and … Read more

Man vs. Nature?

“Environmental stewardship” is a concept that has grown more important in Catholic political discussions over the past few decades. Our rights and responsibilities with respect to the natural world have been addressed in many recent social encyclicals, including Pope Benedict XVI’s Caritas in Veritate. While the pope is quite clear that we are to respect … Read more

Catholics and the Tea Party Movement

Since it became the latest media sensation, commentators have attempted to exploit whatever demographic or philosophical fault lines they can discover within the Tea Party protest movement. One of the media’s favorite themes so far has been the alleged tension between fiscal and social conservatives, or between libertarians and Christians. Some believe that incidents such … Read more

Catholic Anti-Americanism

Inevitably, writing for a blog called “The American Catholic“ will force you to think long and hard about the relationship between Catholic and American ideals. When I began blogging there a year ago, I held to certain prejudices found among Catholic traditionalists and progressives alike — prejudices that amounted to what I would describe as … Read more

Reform of the Reform

Since the beginning of his pontificate, it has been widely understood that Pope Benedict XVI is working on a “reform of the reform” of the Catholic liturgy. The pope’s statements suggest that his intention is to clear up many of the distortions of Vatican II with regard to the liturgy, to combat widespread liturgical abuses, … Read more

Forgive Us Our Isms

As Catholics, it comes as no surprise to us that the human brain is hard-wired for religion. We believe in a God who created us in His image so that we would come to know and love Him. But for Enlightenment thinkers, who had committed themselves to the “liberation” of human thought from the shackles … Read more

A New Conservatism

The prospects for conservatism as a political force in the United States are arguably grim. The GOP’s electoral prospects may be on the verge of drying up due to demographic shifts, particularly the growth of the Hispanic vote — the kind of shifts that, in the past, have driven major political parties into extinction. There … Read more

Why Catholics Should be Communitarians

  Modern communitarian political thought began as an academic reaction to the publication of John Rawls’s A Theory of Justice in 1971, which sought to establish liberal philosophical assumptions as universally valid. Since then communitarianism has developed as a more penetrating critique of liberalism, though it has in turn been criticized for failing to develop … Read more

Abortion and the Consumer Society

Pro-life Catholics fall into two camps on the issue of abortion: those who see it first and foremost as an individual moral failing, and those who consider it primarily a social moral failing.   There is nothing mutually exclusive about the two positions, of course, but that isn’t the problem. The real issue here is … Read more

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