Am I an intellectual prostitute? As a professional student in contemporary America, what else could I be? Former Cornell Law School dean, Roger Crampton, once said that law school tends to present the “hired gun” as one of the main “models of professional conduct to law students.” I suspect this is the implicit model of most professional and technical schools. As a hired gun, the professional functions as an “intellectual prostitute”, who hires out his intellectual talents to the highest bidder.
Even at Notre Dame, our graduates largely outsource their talents and capabilities to employers who dictate to them the expectations and requirements of professional life. The highest-paying jobs are usually those in which recent graduates have the least control, in terms of the ends and means of their work. Yet these are the jobs most respected and sought-after. Many of our graduates are taught to desire prestigious positions in large multi-national corporations or the organizations that serve such companies. And the more money that is offered, the more our graduates are willing to give employers control over their lives and work. Continue reading “Selling oneself to the highest bidder”
Following today’s decision that Hobby Lobby would not be required to provide birth control to its employees, I did a google image search for “hobby lobby supreme court.” A few images came up from protestors on both sides of the case. In one image, a group of women hold up signs saying, “NO BOSSES IN MY BEDROOM.”
You might be surprised to discover that these women did not mean to show their support for the Christian craft store. I suspect they were confused (as we all are from time to time, especially when we’re carrying posters). Regardless of their intent, perhaps both Hobby Lobby and its past critics can come together in appreciating one consequence of today’s decision: one more boss is out of the bedroom. Continue reading “Bosses in Bedrooms”
No act has greater public consequences than the act of sexual intercourse between a man and a woman. Few greater fictions exist than the idea that such an act is a purely private act. Continue reading “The Public Act of Sex”
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 become a zoo animal. Continue reading “On Being a Zoo Animal”
The following column was published in the Irish Rover on Thursday, March 20, 2014.
On February 12, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals held an oral argument in Notre Dame’s case against the HHS mandate. Among the more surprising moments was Judge Posner’s question to Notre Dame attorney Matthew Kairis, asking whether the use of birth control was a mortal or a venial sin. Even more surprising was the admission of ignorance by Kairis, a graduate of Notre Dame’s Program of Liberal Studies, followed by Judge Posner’s answer that it is a mortal sin.
Continue reading “Compliance Questions”
The Myth of Persecution by Candida Moss, professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at the University of Notre Dame, seeks to correct commonly-held beliefs about Christian persecution in the early Church. Through a compelling and thorough history, she shows that, contrary to the rhetoric of many today, persecution was often sporadic and irregular in the early days of Christianity. Continue reading “The Martyr for 2+2=4”
This is a revised version of my earlier post by the same title, which was submitted to but not published in Notre Dame’s Irish Rover.
In the last edition of the Irish Rover, Dr. Jim Sterba, professor of philosophy at Notre Dame, offered remarks in “Point-counterpoint: debating Notre Dame’s HHS lawsuit.” At the crux of his argument is the claim that, if the University is to be successful in its lawsuit, it “should abandon its opposition to providing contraceptives, unless it can come up with a reason-alone (non-religiously-based) argument in support of its opposition.” Indeed, a reason-based argument is one that ought to be sought out by the University and its members. However, the motivations to pursue such an argument, as stated in this article, are quite questionable. Continue reading “Professor Jim Sterba and the Arrogance of the Age”