Carolyn Moynihan

Carolyn Moynihan is deputy editor of MercatorNet.

recent articles

Boy Scouts Rules out Gay Members

In the teeth of protests the Boy Scouts of America is sticking to a membership standards policy which excludes homosexual persons, both adult leaders and Scouts. That, according to media reports, is the meaning of a press release which mentions neither the word “homosexual/ity” nor “gay” and only once refers to “same-sex orientation”. Under pressure … Read more

The Harm of Same-sex Marriage in a Nutshell

Same-sex marriage and related claims, such as adoption of children, are fast becoming flavor of the month among western politicians. Irish pollies are among the latest, so the family-oriented Iona Institute has prepared an excellent, short, briefing paper on the subject. Iona’s director, David Quinn, introduces the brief, noting that “even people who are instinctively … Read more

Pictures in a Cave

To one who has seldom given a thought to cavemen as a popular category, let alone to their proper scientific classification, last week’s news that they were painting pictures on cave walls more than 40,000 years ago required some intensive research on Wikipedia as well as an effort of the imagination. What does it mean … Read more

The Queens English No More

On the last day of June a sad event in the long and noble history of the English language is scheduled to take place: the Queen’s English Society will formally be wound up. Forty years of trying to raise the awareness of fellow Englishmen about the misuse of apostrophes and semicolons, the overuse of the … Read more

Too Much Information, Too Little Thought

World Telecommunication and Information Society Day is an anniversary whose purpose is, to quote the United Nations body responsible for it, “to help raise awareness of the possibilities that the use of the Internet and other information and communication technologies can bring to societies and economies, as well as of ways to bridge the digital … Read more

Marriage or Savagery: Lithuania Debates the Family

Some of the most interesting debates on family policies are taking place in the European countries of the former Soviet bloc. In 2008, Lithuania passed legislation to define “family” as the married union of a man and a woman together with their children, adopted or biological. The point was key in terms of who gets … Read more

The Unaccountable Popularity of “The Scream”

There seem to be two types of people in the world; those who think Edward Munch’s picture, The Scream, is an inspired and profound work of art, and those who can’t see what all the fuss is about. The anonymous buyer who paid nearly US$120 million for the pastel on board version (one of four … Read more

Of Female Bondage

Here’s something strange. Just when you thought women had cast off the last of their chains, it turns out that they are rushing headlong back into bondage. Female enthusiasm for a sadomasochistic “romance” called Fifty Shades of Greyhas seen tens of thousands of suburban mums downloading copies from Amazon and now snapping up hard copies … Read more

Greek Youth Getting Back to Basics

A couple of weeks ago a retired Greek pharmacist shot himself outside the country’s parliament in protest at austerity measures that include major cuts to pensions. But alongside this story of despairing protest comes news of youths who are adapting to their country’s plight by getting back to basics. Applications to the American Farm School … Read more

The Culture Behind the Cartagena Scandal

President Obama has called them “knuckleheads”.  A CNN columnist says the actions of a dozen Secret Service agents in Colombia amounted to “stupidity”. United States Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said the episode, also involving military personnel, was a “huge disappointment”. The official message seems to be that consorting with prostitutes in Colombia while on … Read more

Catholic Melinda Gates Fighting for Birth Control

Melinda Gates was holding forth at a conference in Berlin earlier this month about the necessity of universal access to contraception in the developing world, claiming that it is the only way that 200 million people who do not already have “access” will have a choice about how many children they will have and when. … Read more

The End of Women

The recent death of the American feminist poet Adrienne Rich has brought many accolades on account of her literary gifts and contribution to the feminist movement over the past 50 years. In her transformation from conventionally married mother of three sons in the 1950s, to lesbian partner and apologist in the 1970s, she became not only the … Read more

Time to Quit the New York Times

I am thinking about quitting the New York Times. Ever since I took my present job six years ago I have been frequenting the website of what is generally regarded as the leading paper of record in the United States and, frankly, I find it sadly predictable. A Timesheadline on any topic that matters to … Read more

A Musical Path out of Poverty

Public School 129 in Harlem, New York, has a name straight out of the bureaucrat’s bottom drawer, and its street frontage is pretty dreary too. But inside, something beautiful and inspiring is going on. Kids who live in what can politely be called challenging neighbourhoods and who struggle with reading and basic maths are learning … Read more

Yes, Video Games Kill Attention Span

The few glimpses I have had of video games, courtesy of young relatives, have left me with the impression that one needs a very agile mind, able to constantly react to developments in the game and make instant decisions. Does that mean they are good for training children to pay attention? Not necessarily. It seems … Read more

Beating the Competition

Business leaders are blaming the education system for the loss of jobs offshore. But aren’t they forgetting that other institution that turns out good workers?

Should Our Kids Be Happy?

A British media personality has pricked the country’s happiness bubble by declaring that she does not want her kids to be “happy”. Kirsty Young, a Scot with two young daughters and two teenage step-children (and a husband who is a millionaire), said in an interview that it was impossible to be happy all the time … Read more

Modern Kids: Raised by Wolves

Digital textbooks. That is the latest idea from the White House for lifting the performance of American schools — a strategy on which Korea and other countries are already ahead. Something certainly needs to be done; a new report from the Harvard Business School identifies the education system from kindergarten through to the end of … Read more

The Family’s Not-So-Secret Strength

Coming in the wake of last month’s looting and burning riots in British cities, a UN report pinpointing materialism as a particularly British blight was bound to make the country sit up and take notice. The youths who rampaged through the streets of London and Birmingham seemed to both covet material goods and despise them … Read more

Are Romance Novels Pro-Marriage?

  Who reads the (British) Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care? A few more people this month than last, judging from the coverage given to an article in that worthy publication by British psychologist and agony aunt, Susan Quilliam. Her essay spiced up the journal’s usual menu of condoms and chlamydia with the attention-grabbing headline: “‘He … Read more

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