We Are the Crusaders

By the last decade of the 11th century, Muslim armies had conquered two-thirds of the formerly Christian world–Palestine, Egypt, Asia Minor—all now were under their control.  And the Turks were pushing westward toward Constantinople, the center of Byzantine Christianity.  The Byzantine emperor appealed to the pope in Rome for assistance; and it seemed clear that … Read more

Law in Service of Life

“When freedom does not have a purpose, when it does not wish to know anything about the rule of law engraved in the hearts of men and women, when it does not listen to the voice of conscience, it turns against humanity and society.” —Pope John Paul II The abortion issue is not simply a … Read more

Post-Comfortable Christianity and the Election of 2012

Shortly before he died in Oxford in 1988, the Jesuit retreat master and raconteur, Bernard Bassett, in good spirits after a double leg amputation, told me that the great lights of his theological formation had been Ignatius Loyola and John Henry Newman, but if he “had to do it all over,” he’d only read Paul.  “Everything is … Read more

The Fight for Freedom Begins July Fifth

The Fortnight for Freedom, which ends today, July 4, will hopefully be a great boon to Catholics across the country. Despite the Supreme Court’s recent decision to uphold Obamacare as a tax, hopefully the Fortnight, organized by the United States Bishops, has brought unity and resolve to American Catholics. But I fear that in the … Read more

Social Justice Priorities: Life and Religious Liberty

At this critical moment in history, there are two social justice priorities for the Catholic Church in the United States: the defense of life at all stages and in all conditions, and the defense of religious freedom for all. During this Fortnight for Freedom, in which the U.S. bishops are calling all Catholics to pray … Read more

Spitting on the Crucifix

In the coming months we will learn whether America’s long experiment in ordered liberty must finally be declared dead. It has of late been coughing up plenty of blood.  Consider the public school system: nor forget that what is implied by the word “system” is a vast coordinated network of elementary and secondary schools nearly identical … Read more

Yes, Congresswoman Pelosi, We’re Serious

America anxiously awaits the Supreme Court’s decision on Obamacare. At the core of the decision is a simple question: Is the “individual mandate” in Obamacare constitutional? And thus, is Obamacare constitutional? Several times during the debate and deliberation, my mind harkened back to the words of former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. Remarking on … Read more

Would Jesus’ Ministry Even Qualify for the Exemption?

Since the administration keeps insisting it made an “exemption” or “accommodation” for religious objection to the Obama contraceptive mandate, let’s take a closer look at what exactly that is. In the words of Adma Uddin, a Becket Fund for Religious Liberty attorney who specializes in domestic and international religious liberty cases. In her testimony before … Read more

How Republicans Surrendered the War of Religion

“Duh.” With that word, House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi gleefully delivered a fatal blow to her Republican colleagues who had launched a major political battle against the contraception mandate issued by President Obama’s  Department of Health and Human Services. Pelosi was referring to her Republican colleagues who held a congressional hearing earlier that day to … Read more

Not about Catholics or Contraception

“This is about the government coercing religious institutions to violate their own beliefs.” So clarifies the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty in their feature ‘The Truth Should Not Be A Secret’. It aims to debunk the top myths that quickly circulated out of spin control centers from the administration and their complicit media partners. I’ve … Read more


When the Obama administration made the decision not to exempt Catholic hospitals and universities from the mandate to provide insured employees with contraceptives, morning after pills, and sterilization without a co-pay, one of those consulted was Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood.  Richards obviously has a special interest in having contraception covered, since dispensing contraception … Read more

The Dark Gulf Before Us

In March of 1938, when the naïve among his contemporaries still thought they might cut a deal with the National Socialists, Winston Churchill saw his country “descending incontinently, fecklessly, the stairway which leads to a dark gulf.” A gulf beckons today, and no amount of forced optimism or self-conscious jollity will stop the descent to … Read more

Free Beer Mandate

It all started at the Tune Inn. The age-old dive on Pennsylvania Avenue Southeast has been the launching pad for countless forays into “innovative policy initiatives,” and this one was no exception. A few Capitol Hill staff alumni had gathered for an informal reunion in the back room, beyond the louts, the lobbyists, and the … Read more

Bogus Birth Control Controversy

President Obama’s mandate requiring free access to contraception with virtually no employer exemption is at core a consitutional threat to religious liberty, not a heated debate about contraception and Church teaching. However, it quickly turned into that. So now that we’re on the subject. Advocates of President Obama’s contraception mandate should admit that its main … Read more

In Washington State, a Victory for Conscience

It was a great way to start Lent. On Ash Wednesday, in an eagerly anticipated  case, a federal judge in Washington State issued a ruling that strongly affirmed  the centrality of the rights of conscience and religious exercise. The court ruled that Christian pharmacists could not be required to stock and  dispense medication that violated … Read more

Obama Obeys the Feminists Again

Proclaiming in a New York Times headline that “Obama Adjusts a Rule Covering Contraceptives,” the pro-Obama media tried to dig the president out of the political hole he had jumped into. But calling Obama’s revised rule an “adjustment” or an “accommodation” or another soft-sell word can’t cover the fact that the revision is essentially the … Read more

Was Romneycare Unconstitutional?

You can now divide Americans into two groups: Those who believe government rightfully has the power to force people to purchase goods and services they do not want and those who don’t. Among the former are two subgroups: Those who believe only state governments have this coercive power and those who believe the federal government … Read more

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