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July 31, 2015

This post is the fourth in a series about the most prevalent modern myths about the Crusades and how to refute them.

This month we remember the 916th anniversary of the liberation of the Holy City of Jerusalem by the First Crusaders (July 15, 1099). News of the success of the First Crusade was enthusiastically welcomed by the inhabitants of Christendom. Unfortunately, Bl. Pope Urban II, who inaugurated...

July 31, 2015

Muslim scholars teach the “doctrine of tahrif,” which means “corruption” in Arabic. Christians and Jews, they claim, have “corrupted” the Torah and the Gospel (Injil in Arabic). However, I cannot emphasize enough the importance of the fact that Mohammed himself did not teach this. As we will see in a moment from the Koran itself, Mohammed commanded his followers to follow the Torah and the Gospel and to seek those out among the Jews and Christians who were in possession of...

July 27, 2015

As my first book was going through the publishing process at Ignatius Press, the editors sought endorsements from prominent Catholics. Among those who were asked for a blurb was Roger Mahony, then Archbishop of Los Angeles, a see to which he was appointed in 1985. (Six years later he was named a cardinal.)

Three weeks after receiving the manuscript of my book, Mahony replied to Ignatius Press with a letter dated January 28, 1988:

“I am very enthusiastic about the new book, ...

July 20, 2015

As the last weeks of July become the first weeks of August, print and digital media are filled with articles, letters, and comments about the 1945 atomic bombings.

Year after year, the middle of summer is given over to reiterating the same arguments, often made by the same people and in the same words.

Year after year, I shake my head at what is written and wonder why it is that no progress seems to be made in the discussion. So many people talk past one another. Very few even...

July 17, 2015

No, I don't mean deliberate promotion. I mean the inadvertent kind that results from one group clamoring for a boycott of a book (or movie) whose content or message they strongly reject. 

Take for example the 50 Shades of Grey series by British author E.L. James. There were many calls for a boycott, stern warnings, and tsk tsking from Christians -- months before the film version appeared. Talk about music to a movie producer's ears. 

I understand the impulse to speak...