Russell Hittinger

Russell Hittinger is the William K. Warren Professor of Catholic Studies at the University of Tulsa.

recent articles

Solesmes Monks coming to Tulsa

In January 1999, as the pope was preparing to fly from Mexico City to St. Louis, a rumor rippled through Cherokee County, Oklahoma. Perched in the foothills of the Ozarks, Cherokee County is the capital of the Cherokee Nation; here ended the 1839 Trail of Tears, the 1,000-mile forced march of the Cherokees from Georgia … Read more

Physicians Killing Patients

The makers of our Constitution undertook to secure conditions favorable to the pursuit of happiness. They recognized the significance of man’s spiritual nature, of his feelings and of his intellect. They knew that only a part of the pain, pleasure and satisfaction of life are to be found in material things. They sought to protect … Read more

Law and Liberty in Veritatis Splendor

One of the most curious and disturbing trends of our culture is the belief that the chief purpose of law is to annul the law itself. When authority is used to divest the community of its obligations under law, or when authority is used to recognize rights as so many immunities against the law — … Read more

The Pope and the Theorists: The Oneness of Truth

Since few readers are likely to have read all of John Paul II’s new encyclical, Veritatis splendor, a quick tour should be helpful. I will not pretend to provide a complete analytical summary of the document, but I will offer a sense of the whole of it, and explain in some small measure why it … Read more

The Supreme Court v. Religion: Judicial Perceptions of Belief

Yale scholar Harold Bloom asserts that: “No Western nation is as religion-soaked as ours, where nine out of ten of us love God and are loved by him in return.” While polling data give only a fuzzy picture of the state of religion in America, the numbers indicate that, despite the secularization of culture, religious … Read more

Et Tu, Justice Kennedy? What Really Happened in the Casey Decision

Roe v. Wade looked doomed. Both pro-choice and pro-life activists were convinced that the Supreme Court was on the verge of overturning the right to abortion on demand, legalized nationwide in 1973 by the infamous Roe decision. The perfect case for a re-examination of Roe seemed to be Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which hinged on … Read more

How to Legislate Morality: Our Annual Book Survey of Philosophy and Law

Alexander Hamilton wrote in Federalist 78 that judges must regard the Constitution “as a fundamental law,” by which he meant that no legislative act contrary to the Constitution can be valid. The Constitution is the rule of law intended by the people. Of course, this “fundamental law” reflects certain underlying convictions. As the preamble to … Read more

Our Tradition: Southern Conversions

Shortly before the Civil War, Henry Timrod lamented the fate of the “poor scribbler so unfortunate as to be born south of the Potomac,” for it was a firm conviction in the North, he said, that genius “is an exotic that will not flower on southern soil.” His judgment, of course, was premature, for it … Read more

The Lessons of Vietnam: Ten Years Later

This spring will mark the twentieth anniversary of the landing of the U.S. Marines at Danang (March 8, 1965), as well as the tenth anniversary of the fall of Saigon (April 30, 1975). It is remarkable that there is as much or more interest in the war today than there was either when the marines … Read more

The Christian Soldier

In the Offices, Cicero observes that no virtue is more extolled among men than courage; so much so, in Rome, that “almost all statues are done in the habit and garb of a soldier.” When all is said and done, the peculiar virtues of the politician or the sage are not as compelling as the … Read more

The Vietnam Memorial: A Monument to the Living Dead

My brother and I grew up in the shadow of Civil War battlefields in Virginia, only a short drive from the monuments in Washington. This corridor, from Gettysburg to Richmond, abounds with shrines. Seven members of our family — two parents, four grandparents, and an uncle — are buried in Arlington National Cemetery. In our … Read more

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