Forgotten Fathers of Child Loss

Fathers are supposed to be the strong ones. The one whose shoulder his wife cries upon. The one who seems unfazed by suffering as he hides his pain from others because few will understand. But whose shoulder does he cry upon?

Making Noise, Not Arguments

In my work as a social conservative, I have been puzzled by some of the rhetorical strategies of my opponents. Sometimes I feel my head spinning, as if I have been going around in circles, with no obvious conclusion in sight. I have been seeking the key to understanding them, a Rosetta Stone that will … Read more

Veterans: What Is Seen and What Is Not Seen

In economics, the first lesson I teach my pupils is the lesson of things that are seen and things that are not seen. Actions have some effects that are readily apparent and others are overlooked or not perceived. It’s the same with our military veterans. We see the obvious price they’ve paid—the time they spent … Read more

The Failure of Our Gay Marriage Arguments

Unless you’re willing to assert that homosexual behavior is immoral or unnatural (or both), you’ll have a hard time making an effective case against same-sex marriage (SSM). It won’t be impossible, just exceedingly difficult. Perhaps you’ll be able to reinforce the convictions of those who, like yourself, are already opposed to SSM. But you won’t … Read more

Benign Neglect or Calculated Malignity?

Why, I wonder, do boys these days get no love? What have they done to deserve their treatment at our hands? Recently, a boy competing for his high school in the Iowa state wrestling tournament chose to forfeit his initial match rather than wrestle against a girl. He spoke about his decision with an admirable … Read more

Giving Gifts, Counting Costs

Rumors are flying. Is she or isn’t she? Will she or won’t she? The subject is celebrity mom Katie Holmes, naturally, and the second child she is rumored to be currently gestating or planning to conceive with her husband, Tom Cruise. Let the talking and stalking begin! I don’t usually pay much attention to tabloid … Read more

Open to Experience

Some years ago I heard a young man — actually, he was a teenager at that time — remark that he wanted to be “open to all experience.” I am pretty sure that I know what he meant. He was an intelligent fellow and eager to distinguish himself from people whose minds were, he felt, … Read more

A Front Yard Field of Dreams

I watched Chippy run down the lawn, across the neighbor’s drive, and around the wall separating the drive from the yard.  As the small football was thrown in the air, I hoped it would come down to him with the point up, making it easier to catch. Years ago, I could make a ball do … Read more

Persons Not Pets

When you see a homeless man with a sign saying, “Hungry, need a meal,” what is the biblical thing to do? Here are possible answers: Be generous: Give him a quarter, a dollar, or a five-dollar bill. Be tough: Go on by, being careful not to make eye contact. Select some other option. Lots of … Read more

A Common Friend to Both: A Visit with Archbishop Chacour

Archbishop Elias Chacour of the Melkite Church in Israel is a remarkable man. Nominated several times for the Nobel Peace Prize, the author of three books on religion, and now in his early 70s, he’s an internationally recognized leader in the effort to find a peaceful solution to the hostilities between Jews and Arabs. “We … Read more

The Right to Have Parents

Please check out this article, at First Things, entitled “The Kids Are Not All Right.” The gist is that a movie has been made depicting the outcome when the children of lesbian couples who conceived by artificial insemination from an anonymous donor encounter their no-longer anonymous dads. Two things in this situation are clear: 1. … Read more

Dads are now as stressed as moms

Men are still the major breadwinners in most families, but over the past few decades they’ve been expected to pull more weight at home. Wives now ask husbands to help around the house, share in child-care, and take leadership in areas other than career and finances.  Men are finding this very stressful, according to an … Read more

She Is Black, but She Is Beautiful

When Dante rises with his guide Beatrice to the circle of the lovers, symbolized in Paradise by the planet Venus, he is told that the most brilliant and most deeply blessed of all the souls in that realm is Rahab, the harlot of Jerusalem who housed Joshua’s spies and assisted the children of Israel in … Read more

Swallows of Capistrano leaving the church of their fathers

Man, church attendance is down everywhere. The famous cliff swallows who nest every year at the Mission San Juan Capistrano in California have bypassed their traditional home for something a little more modern: Instead, they found graceful lodging in the eaves at the year-old Vellano Country Club. The private community boasts a golf course designed by … Read more

Sanitized Childhood

I read a Curious George book to my children a few weeks ago. It was a library copy — one of the very old ones, wrapped in protective plastic with decades-old, handwritten due dates inside the front cover. The story was typical H. A. Rey fare. The man with the yellow hat was exasperatingly clueless … Read more

The Prodigals and the Papa

I meant to spend Lent reflecting on the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy, but events have come vast and various. Between the collapse of our economy, the crisis of a major religious order, and the radioactive fallout from the pope’s own work of mercy toward Traditionalists, it has been tough to hunker down. Sex … Read more

The Fourth Commandment

  With the Fourth Commandment ("Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land which the Lord your God gives you" [Ex 20:12]), we begin to enter into territory that is closer to what we call "natural law." Basically, the command to honor your father and mother is one … Read more

A Church of Memory

“He has remembered His promise of mercy,” sang Mary, in a rapture of praise as she greeted her cousin Elizabeth, “the promise He made to our fathers, to Abraham and his children forever” (Lk 1:54-55). “Remember me, Lord,” said the thief to Jesus, “when you come into your kingdom” (Lk 23:42). God sees all things … Read more

Abortion and the Rights of Fathers

A fundamental assumption leading to the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade was that because women are biologically tied to the birth process, they should therefore bear all responsibility in deciding the life or death of their children. The reason for this perspective is straightforward: Roe v. Wade rejected the idea that another person … Read more

Marriage in a Cubicle

“So what if two men are allowed to marry?” we hear many a pew-warming Catholic say. “What effect can that have on marriage? I won’t love my wife any the less.” True; perhaps the damage has already been done. If that sounds harsh, consider that married life in our world is a diminished thing. Husbands … Read more

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