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How old is the Earth?

June 16, 2018 (1,787 words)
I was reminded of this burning question by our youngest son, who had a lot of trouble with his just-completed junior year of high school biology. The job of finding a tutor to help with his summer-school…

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Love City

June 13, 2018 (437 words)
On the day of the latest British royal wedding, the one between Prince Harry and the American actress Meghan Markle…

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Raise Taxes, Lose Taxpayers

June 10, 2018 (2,244 words)
This pithy formula is favored by economists of a libertarian bent, erstwhile academics specializing in theoretical constructions based on elaborate data. Data, as we know, has firmly established itself…

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Boy Wonder

June 8, 2018 (333 words)
The Wanderer, a venerable Catholic newsweekly that’s been going to press since October 1867, has now had two of its regular contributors review the new Ross Douthat book on this troubling papacy…

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A Father’s Lament

May 28, 2018 (108 words)
One minute, your house is full of cute little kids whose mission in life is to bounce around and spread joy. The next minute these same sweet children have become surly young…

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Repealing the Eighth

May 26, 2018 (1,528 words)
Yesterday voters in Ireland overwhelming decided to roll back the Eighth Amendment to their constitution, originally passed in 1983, and remove the restriction it had placed on abortion. In dramatic…

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Identifying the Enemy

May 23, 2018 | (2,304 words)
I am now well into my seventh decade of continuous residency on the western fringe of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, though I did enjoy a twenty year sabbatical from belief and practice in the middle trimester, to pursue some bad…

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Nearing the End

May 16, 2018 | (1,124 words)
I’ve noticed that people my age are starting to check out and die, which is a most disconcerting development. My long-ago best friend and one-time business partner, Jim Gillis, passed away recently…

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A Book, not a Movie

May 9, 2018 | (299 words)
Life is more like a book, than a movie. Consider the way our faith tells us that sexual activity outside of marriage is contrary to the natural law that is written on our…

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Conscience and Discernment

May 6, 2018 | (1,883 words)
Pope Francis is certainly a hotly debated topic of conversation these days. The discussion ranges from the uncritical praise of his every act or utterance, to the ruthless criticism of his every ambiguous…

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Taking Center Stage

May 2, 2018 | (1,969 words)
The fifty-year anniversary of the papal encyclical Humanae Vitae is fast approaching (July 1968). That’s the one in which Paul VI reaffirmed traditional Church teaching on the dire consequences of artificial…

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Protecting Pluralism

April 28, 2018 | (1,982 words)
William Galston writes for the Wall Street Journal, is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institute, teaches at the University of Maryland, and was a former policy advisor in the Clinton…

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What I Believe

April 3, 2018 | (1,185 words)
The gentleman who is trying to drive traffic to this web site has asked me to provide a series of descriptive words that define it. He has also asked a series of basic questions with the same idea in mind. My descriptive words and attempts at…

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Bells and Smells

April 1, 2018 | (141 words)
Provided one is able to muster the necessary stamina, there is nothing like a long, thorough Holy Saturday service at an observant Catholic parish to remind one of the benefits of communal…

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False Gods

March 31, 2018 | (816 words)
Yesterday was both Good Friday and the first night of Passover. Late last night, as I was drifting off to sleep, a gentleman on a National Public Radio broadcast explained…

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Ties That Bind

March 17, 2018 | (1,000 words)
I’ve been thinking about my wife’s dead parents a lot lately, almost as much as my own. After some thirty-six years in relationship, persistent annoyance interspersed with transcendent joy…

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Sustaining Habits

March 11, 2018 | (2,224 words)
Is it just me, or does columnist Ross Douthat also strike you as being fundamentally different from other high profile op-ed writers? His relative youth (b. 1979) is one distinguishing characteristic, to be sure. He is the youngest full-time…

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Controlling Access

March 1, 2018 | (869 words)
“For centuries, the Catholic Church sought to limit the circulation of Bible translations in order to control access to the word of God.” This sentence, a little landmine of libel to some of us, is found in the DEUS EX MACHINA essay by…

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Understanding Sex

February 24, 2018 | (2,282 words)
In the Fall of 1960, still one full year shy of turning seven and achieving the age of reason, my formal classroom education commenced that September under the watchful eye of a small handful of Catholic nuns.

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Creation and Evolution

February 9, 2018 | (1,412 words)
Most of us made up our minds on this subject years ago. So we have no need for, nor do we pay particularly close attention to, the periodic announcements that continue to pop up in the news from time-to-time…

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The Feminine Mystique

December 28, 2017 | (1,370 words)
After an exhilarating half-century of sexual revolution, now is a good time to maybe step back and take stock. As everyone knows, our contemporary era of free love was initiated by the invention of a…

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The Ages of (this) Man

December 15, 2017 | (91 words)
The first twenty years are an introduction to things. The next forty years are a matter of making one’s way in the rowdy world. Now having given up the chase, the last twenty years of this man’s lif…

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Grisly Procedures

November 24, 2017 | (4,346 words)
For those who may be unfamiliar with her work, Linda Greenhouse is a New York Times Contributing Op-Ed Writer who covers the Supreme Court and the law. Her November 12, 2017 effort is entitled “The W…

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Pope Francis in Context: An American Responds

October 3, 2017 | (15,215 words)
Well, the long wait is finally over. With “Bergoglio in Context: Have the End Times come to Buenos Aires,” appearing in the June 2017 issue of Culture Wars magazine, readers now know where their fear…

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Life in the Universal Church

September 12, 2017 | (295 words)
Some Catholics find themselves drawn to a charismatic expression of their faith, while others are more naturally given to a quiet, contemplative pose. Some are what might be described as being of the…

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Civilization and Digestion

August 6, 2017 | (280 words)
Once our children reach the age of reason, a good deal of their subsequent development into civilized human beings occurs at the dinner table. There is the mastery of basic cutlery, of course, along…

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A Brief Word on Cultural Diversity

June 26, 2017 | (3,678 words)
It’s now been several decades since the slogan “our diversity is our strength” first became a popular refrain, and entered the vernacular as an accepted piece of wisdom. This is generally considered…

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A Commercial Republic and the End of Desire

May 30, 2017 | (5,255 words)
Advertisers, along with Las Vegas odds-makers, possess a Solomon-like understanding of their target audience. With remarkable precision they parse the buying public into pertinent demographic groups,…

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A New Pope Registers an Old Complaint

April 3, 2017 | (8,395 words)
The March 2003 invasion of Iraq was a polarizing event for American Catholics. If you recall, we were given a choice between supporting the American gospel of “spread democracy,” and adhering to the…

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Fabric Merchants and Fairness

March 1, 2017 | (1,803 words)
At this late date no reasonable person disputes the broad outline of the positive effects of free enterprise, expressed by Arthur Brooks in his essay “Confessions of a Catholic Convert to Capitalism,”…

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