Fr. Jacques Hamel
July 27, 2016

The recent horrific murder of French priest Fr. Jacques Hamel by two ISIS-linked killers has caused worldwide shock and outrage. Not only was Fr. Hamel killed in a gruesome way (having his throat slit), he was killed while saying Mass.

This has led many to discuss his death in terms of martyrdom. Some have spoken as if his martyrdom was certain. For example, writing for the Catholic Herald, Ed Condon states:

Jacques Hamel died a martyr’s death. Of this there can be no question. The 85-year-old priest was at the altar offering the sacrifice of Mass, the moment in which the Church makes...

Tim Kaine
July 25, 2016

Hillary Clinton’s selection of Virginia governor Tim Kaine as her running mate has reignited the debate about whether Catholic politicians can support pro-choice policies but remain “personally opposed” to abortion. In June, Kaine explained his position on Meet the Press:

I’m a traditional Catholic. I’m personally opposed to abortion and personally opposed to the death penalty. . . . I deeply believe, and not just as a matter of politics but even as a matter of morality, that matters about reproduction and intimacy and relationships and contraception are in the personal realm. They’re moral decisions for individuals to make for themselves. And the...

The Incredulity of St. Thomas by Caravaggio
July 20, 2016

There are many charges atheists level at Christians, but one of the most common is that their faith is blind—that is to say, faith is belief without evidence. Leading atheist voice Richard Dawkins writes, “Faith, being belief that isn’t based on evidence, is the principal vice of any religion” (“Is Science a Religion?”, The Humanist, Jan-Feb 1997). Julian Baginni, British atheistic philosopher and editor of The Philosopher’s Magazine, concurs: “Belief in the supernatural is belief in what there is a lack of strong evidence...

Construction on the Ark Encounter nears completion earlier this year.
July 19, 2016

A new Christian tourist attraction, Ark Encounter, opened its doors this month in Williamstown, Kentucky, and thousands have already flocked to see the $100 million, life-size recreation of Noah’s Ark. According to CNN.com:

The massive exhibit, claimed to be the largest timber frame structure in the world, sits on the grounds of a Christian theme park, Ark Encounter, a for-profit enterprise founded by Ken Ham. He said the park is an evangelical tool aimed at teaching creationism, a literal interpretation of the Bible’s book of Genesis. “I find some of the aggressive secularists try to shut down people talking about the Bible,” Ham said. “So for us it’s, ‘How can we get a...

July 14, 2016

Some people look at the darkening cloud and try to find the silver lining. Others see the lining first and pretty much put the cloud out of their minds. I know it may be more responsible to adopt the first attitude, but often enough I find myself taking the second.

We already have entered into a long, hot summer. Temperatures have been in the triple digits here (Fahrenheit, not Celsius, thankfully), and the warmest months are still to come. I wouldn’t be surprised if Southern California ended up with one of its periodic energy shortages, particularly since the sole nuclear power plant in the region was taken off the grid a few years ago and the additional wind turbines haven’t made up the shortfall.

Crude oil prices may be low at the moment—a boon for drivers here but a...

July 13, 2016

When I was a teenager I read a science-fiction short story about a bet between two supernatural beings: which of them, by meddling in human affairs, could create the largest effect by the smallest stimulus? One of the beings triumphed by convincing a man to change one letter in his last name, starting a causal chain that wound up averting a nuclear war. (Nuclear war being what my generation feared before sentient machines and zombie apocalypses.)

With the exhortation last week by Cardinal Robert Sarah, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, for priests to return to the practice of saying Mass ad orientem—...

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Absolute Relativism: The New Dictatorship And What To Do About It
In his best-selling booklet Absolute Relativism: The New Dictatorship And What To Do About It, Chris Stefanick tackles all the tough qu...