Bosses in Bedrooms

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”

Compliance Questions

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 Martyr for 2+2=4

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”

Know Thine Enemy

The following column was published in The Observer on Tuesday, April 29, 2013.

I came to Notre Dame three months after President Obama’s commencement address. Amidst controversy and condemnation by more than 80 bishops, Notre Dame sought to forge a path of dialogue and discourse, ignoring episcopal warnings and insisting President Obama would be a listening companion and ally to the Church. In his speech, he said, “Let us work together to reduce the number of women seeking abortions. Let’s reduce unintendedpregnancies.” We applauded. “Let’s make adoption more available.” We applauded. “Let’s honor the conscience of those who disagree with abortion and draft a sensible-conscience clause.” We applauded. Continue reading “Know Thine Enemy”

Professor Jim Sterba and the Arrogance of the Age

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”