The Darkened Intellect Serves the Fallen Will

  Somebody (I’ll say Chesterton, just to start another meme falsely attributing great quotes to him) once remarked that "the man who declares ‘The modern intellect can no longer accept the primitive doctrines of the Resurrection of the Dead, Transubstantiation, and a Trinitarian Godhead’ typically means ‘I’m sleeping with my neighbor’s wife.’"   These days, … Read more

Bedrooms and Battlefields

For modern folks like me, perhaps the most frustrating thing about the Church is her failure to be ambiguous. The Catholic moral code is frightfully clear about a long, long list of things, and leaves no wiggle room for those of us who’d rather form our consciences from papier-mâché and wishful thinking. For some 20 … Read more

Gay Marriage and the Slippery Slope to Polyamory

  The juxtaposition of same-sex “marriage” being approved in California with the raid on the Texan polygamists seems to have made a few people ponder the logical connection between homosexuality and polygamy — and, in some cases unhappily, reflect that former senator Rick Santorum was right when he said the Supreme Court’s Lawrence decision would … Read more

A Mother’s Space

This morning, I conducted an experiment. 8:15 a.m.: I lock myself in the bathroom.    8:15 a.m. and 4 seconds: The baby’s fat fingers appear at the bottom of the doorway. “Mama?” he calls out in alarm. He plunks his bottom on the floor just outside the door and whines. 8:17 a.m.: Three-year-old beats on … Read more

Five Myths about No-Fault Divorce

Almost four decades after the “no-fault” divorce revolution began in California, misconceptions abound. Even the many books about divorce, including myriad self-help manuals, are full of inaccurate and misleading information. No public debate preceded the introduction of no-fault divorce laws in the 1970s, and no debate has taken place since. Yet divorce-on-demand is exacting a devastating … Read more

The Pleasure of Learning

  The central thesis of our civilization is found in the following passage from Plato’s Gorgias: "For no one who is not totally bereft of reason and courage is afraid to die; doing what’s unjust is what he’s afraid of. For of all evils, the ultimate is that of arriving in Hades with one’s soul … Read more

‘Are They All Yours?’

I once met a mother of triplets in the parking lot outside of Wal-Mart. Her three babies had bright, blinking eyes, honeyed hair, and rosebud lips. They reached toward their mother with chubby arms, dimpled at the elbows, and made the most delicious slurping sounds as she scooped them from their car seats and plunked … Read more

The Epidemic of School Sex Abuse

In March, a Florida school district that was already dealing with one teacher being arrested for teacher-student sexual relations had to deal with another young female teacher involved with an underage boy. Anecdotal evidence and statistical studies hint that sex abuse in American public schools is at epidemic proportions and that school districts regularly sweep … Read more

The Pope Versus the Media

Given limited space, let us begin by taking the case for media bias as proved. Also, the direction of the bias. No Catholic in his right mind (okay, I’m already being selective) could possibly imagine the Mainstream Media (MSM) to be sympathetic to Catholic interests — even when they are juxtaposed with the interests of … Read more

Evangelizing the Hiltonized

  One of my deepest hopes for Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to America is that it will have something of the same tectonic effects that John Paul II’s visit to Poland had in 1979. We are, like the Poles at that time, a people living “under the ice,” in the memorable phrase of Timothy Garton … Read more

An Open Letter to Pope Benedict

Holy Father, welcome to my country. Your presence cheers thousands of us Catholic professors and students who love the Church and want her to be more of a presence in our lives at school. You will find more enthusiasm than suspicion among the young, who are coming to see that the secularism they have been … Read more

Not So Bright

As we know, Chesterton famously observed that the mark of madness is not the loss of reason, but the loss of everything except reason. Periodically, something in our culture will show me the brilliance of that insight with great force. Long ago, I remember watching some film about human evolution narrated by Richard Leakey Jr. … Read more

The Lord Alone

In Exodus 22, we read, “Whoever sacrifices to any god, except to the Lord alone, shall be doomed.” The word “sacrifice” in this passage means to offer an oblation whose consummation acknowledges the Lordship of Yahweh over all things. By extension, it forbids the performance of any act that implicitly praises or honors a god … Read more


Faith, Hope, and Charity are what the Church teaches, urbi et orbi, from day to day to cities and worlds embittering themselves by their attempts to deny Christ. But what first attracted me to Catholic teaching, from far off when I was young and still un-Christian, was the teaching on Reason. This wasn’t the church … Read more

In the Company of Good Men

A term paper on Aristotle ended with the following sentence, not in quotation marks: “After all, a good man can only be truly good in the company of other good men.” The sentence struck me. Was it a citation from some place? I checked Google. The references it gave were no help. Many passages used … Read more

The Place of Religion in Public Life

As questions abound concerning the role of religious faith in the political process, it seems an apt time to reflect on the proper place of religion in our American culture. Few issues in recent years have been as controversial or have evoked as much heartfelt emotion on all sides of the question. I believe a … Read more

Schall at Eighty

Schall was born January 20, 1928, on a farm in Pocahontas County, Iowa. You cannot get more American than that. My mother was Bohemian and my father German-Irish. To my Jesuit colleagues at breakfast on my birthday I hint that this memorable event happened in a log cabin. Most doubt this as too picturesque, while … Read more

Technological Messianism

Glenn Reynolds (aka "Instapundit") is the blogosphere’s resident libertarian transhumanist. We owe him a debt for leading the charge in making the blogosphere an important counterweight to the Usual Stuff from the mainstream media. And he has lived that belief personally by becoming the single most influential member of the New Media, simply by setting … Read more

The Nativity

“The Word was made flesh, and dwelt amongst us” (Jn 1: 14). We begin with the Beginning. The Word was with God. The Word was God. Flesh did not make the Word. What “dwelt amongst us” was the Word, the Logos, nothing less. This is a fact. The whole world is different because of it. … Read more

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