Hendershott: “What, the Devil?

In a futile attempt to broaden its appeal, the Church of England in 2015 removed any mention of Satan from its baptismal ritual. Claiming to have “test-marketed” a simplified service throughout the United Kingdom, clergy concluded that asking parents and godparents to reject the devil and all rebellion against God, “put people off who are offended to be addressed as sinners.” Driven by powerful clergy within the Church of England, and approved by the General Synod in Kent, the new baptismal rite was an attempt to demonstrate their church was sufficiently progressive to longer need to renounce Satan in order to “live in the freedom of the children of God.”

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Krason: “A Role for Government that Nobody Thinks About”

A few years ago, as Obamacare was being put in place, Republican governor John Kasich of Ohio suggested that the Christian obligation to assist the poor was a reason for expanding Medicaid in the state. Catholic social teaching does indeed make clear that the state has a role in assisting the needy, but only—in line with the principle of subsidiarity—when there is no other way it can be done. Is that the case with providing access to health care?

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Hendershott: “First they came for the Confederacy”

While most Catholic leaders have been silent about the removal of the statues of Confederate War hero Robert E. Lee, and the desecration of statues of Abraham Lincoln and Christopher Columbus, it may be time for them to get involved in the debate as religious statues are now on the chopping block.

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Wiker: “Sexbots, or How the Pill Made Women Obsolete”

Nearly every day the news presents yet another article on sexbots, robots that are designed to take the place of women. This is the most obvious “objectification” of women that has followed upon the sexual revolution, the literal creation of an artificial object, a robotic woman, for the sexual pleasure of men degraded enough to prefer a machine to the real thing.

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Wiker: “The Deep History Behind Radical Islam’s Attacks in _____”

Depending upon when you read this article, you can fill in the blank. As I write, the newest was in Barcelona, Spain, perpetrated (so officials think) by an ISIS-inspired Moroccan, 18-year-old Moussa Oukabir. According to reports, Oukabir had recently “joked” on social media, when asked what he might do on his first day as absolute ruler of the world, “Kill all infidels and only allow Muslims to continue the religion.”

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Wiker: “Atheists Don’t Even Trust Other Atheists”

A new study has just found something rather interesting: even atheists don’t trust atheists. Or, to put it the other way around, atheists themselves assume that religious believers are more likely to act morally than their fellow atheists, and atheists are more likely to engage in grossly immoral acts.

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Hendershott: “Reaping What We’ve Sown”

The recent research revelation that sperm counts for men living in the West have plunged by 60 percent since 1971 provides readers of P.D. James’ great dystopian novel, The Children of Men, with a prediction of an unsettling future for a society that can no longer reproduce.  Set in Britain in 2021, James’s frightening fiction described a world of mass infertility among males – a world in which no children have been born in more than twenty-five years.

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Krason: “The Charlie Gard Case Portends a Frightening Future”

The case of Charlie Gard, the British baby afflicted with the rare mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome who a London hospital would not discharge to his parents so they could take him to the U.S. for experimental treatment, brought together a number of increasingly portentous trends and realities that have come to define our age.

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Wiker: “Pray for Justice Anthony Kennedy to Retire and Repent”

You may have heard that Supreme Court Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy may soon retire. Please pray that he does. Have all your friends and friends’ friends do it as well. This is a man who is singularly responsible for the destruction of all law, all rationality, and even all sanity.

And while you are praying for him to retire (and very soon), pray for him to repent of the damage he’s done. He is, by the way, a Catholic—so we are told.

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Wiker: “With Climate Change, Caution is Not the Same as Apocalypticism”

Famed physicist Stephen Hawking has just issued (yet another) dire, apocalyptic warning: the US pullout from the Paris Accords could very well be the thing that pushes Earth into a hothouse meltdown. In his words, “We are close to the tipping point where global warming becomes irreversible. Trump’s action could push the Earth over the brink, to become like Venus, with a temperature of two hundred and fifty degrees, and raining sulfuric acid.”

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Hendershott: “Why are more women choosing to put fertility “on ice”?”

When Apple and Facebook announced in 2014 that they would extend their fertility and surrogacy benefits for employees to cover the costs of egg freezing, Bloomberg Businessweek pronounced that the procedure would do more to “change family and career planning” than the birth control pill. Claiming that access to egg freezing would enable women to “kiss the Mommy track goodbye,” Businessweekasked readers to imagine a world in which life isn’t dictated by a biological clock.

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Wiker: “Why Jesus Wants You to Hug Trees”

A less provocative title might have been, “Why Catholics Need to Be at the Forefront of the Environmental Movement,” but that probably wouldn’t have caught your eye. So, now that I’ve got your attention, let’s make the case for a Catholic Ecology.

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Boury: Some stars may not burn as bright……

This morning, before the dawn, I had a rare opportunity to sit under the stars. I was restless, it was very early and I knew that the decision to rise before the sun may cost me later in the day. After firing up the Keurig, I sat on my porch wrapped in a discarded winter jacket.

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Lee: The Soul: Not Dead Yet

We agree that human beings are both animals and persons, but it is important that the Christian (and Jewish, and Muslim, and classical) description of the soul not be reduced to a caricature. Indeed, properly understood, the traditional philosophical and theological concept of the soul is indispensable in integrating what the empirical sciences reveal about the world and ourselves with what we know about ourselves as rational and moral beings.

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