On the “Being a Woman” Argument in Abortion Debates

A male friend of mine recently had an argument with a woman about legal abortion. He opposed, and she favored. As often happens in such disputes, she told him, more or less, “You aren’t a woman, so you don’t have a right to argue about this. Just won’t understand, and you can’t understand what this…

On Being a Zoo Animal

When I started law school, I expected to get into all kinds of contentious debates. I do hold, after all, pretty extreme views. I agree with Catholicism’s teachings on… well… everything – abortion, birth control, marriage, etc., etc., etc. I always suspected that I would become a source of controversy. I never suspected I would…

Winning the Culture Wars

There are two ways you can end a war: you can either destroy the enemy, or you can convert the enemy. In almost every way, the former will be easier, faster, and more obvious. The latter is rarely chosen by culture warriors for one reason: within the context of cultures wars, it is nearly impossible. 

The Problem of “Catholics for Equality”

I have many Catholic friends who don’t understand how self-proclaimed Catholics can identify as “pro-choice,” “pro-marriage-equality,” etc, etc, etc. How can such incompatible beliefs as Catholicism and “pro-marriage-equality” be held within one person? How can one claim a religion as his or her own, while holding views that are directly opposed to the teachings of…

Newman, and the development of Catholic teaching on abortion and homosexuality

“… and old principles reappear under new forms. It [a great idea] changes with them in order to remain the same. In a higher world it is otherwise, but here below to live is to change, and to be perfect is to have changed often.” So goes the argument of Blessed John Henry Newman’s Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine. Like any great idea, doctrine must change in order to remain the same. Only dead doctrine cannot change, for “a power of development is a proof of life.”

Losing to the Gay Rights Movement

It’s no secret that, state after state, advocates of “traditional marriage” are losing to advocates of “marriage equality.” This comes with great public support. Christians seeking to preserve the institution of marriage are coming to understand that they are losing to the culture. Those who oppose “marriage equality” are seen largely as homophobic, as bigots,…

From the archives: The Christian Menace

In October 1980, Dr. Ralph McInerny, one of my personal heroes, wrote an article for Notre Dame’s Scholastic Magazine. It is well worth reading, and I have copied it below: At the joint press conference held by Ronald Reagan and John Anderson in Baltimore, Soma Golden of the New York Times raised the issue of all these crazy Christians…