SPIRITED THINKING SINCE 1888
C C Pecknold

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June 28, 2019
The U.S. Bishops have made religious liberty a top priority for many years, especially in the face of serious challenges from the HHS contraceptive mandate to the most recent Bladensburg Peace Cross decision.  For a number of years the bishops highlighted the issue for American Catholics during their “Fortnight for Freedom” campaign. That campaign faced
June 25, 2019
Alexis de Tocqueville fashioned himself “a new kind of liberal.” He did not want the kind of liberalism that produced the French revolution, with its profound hostility to the Catholic Faith. American democracy, on the other hand, seemed to offer a different kind of liberty, and a different kind of liberalism. One difference that Tocqueville
June 21, 2019
“The cross is undoubtedly a Christian symbol,” Justice Alito remarked in his lead opinion defending the 32-foot-tall Latin Cross, erected in 1925 in Bladensburg, Maryland in memory of 49 area soldiers. Just imagine their world, only a hundred years ago. Americans sacrificed their lives for the common good of their country, and so their friends
June 18, 2019
This week’s scarlet letter scandal is that Harvard College, founded by Puritans in 1636, rescinded an offer they made to Kyle Kashuv, the articulate young man who survived the Parkland Shooting in Florida last year to become an unexpected advocate for gun rights in America. Opposition campaigns can arise against anybody these days, and the
June 05, 2019
The Catholic Herald is a venerable Catholic magazine, and I was honored to join them as a Contributing Editor earlier this year. I was so honored, in fact, that I wanted to do something to help boost the magazine in America. The promotional idea we came up was the Daily Herald, and the response has
May 31, 2019
Augustine is often remembered for being against things. He was against the Manichaeans, after having been one, because they denied the goodness of the created world. He was against the Donatists because they thought the sacraments depended on the holiness of the priest, rather than the holiness of Christ communicated in the sacrament. He was
May 30, 2019
Conservatives are fighting. Could any three words be sweeter to the Left than those? But it’s true. And while it’s been true for a long time — something has changed. The old disputes are passing away, and a new set of disputes are arising with great force, vigor, and urgency which sometimes verges on the
May 29, 2019
Justice Clarence Thomas has written the first Supreme Court opinion in history which documents at length the eugenicist origins of abortion in America. What does this matter, and what does it mean for the future? There are simpler and more complex answers to those questions. The simple reason is that while the Court upheld a
May 28, 2019
Socialism is enjoying a strange renaissance in America, and as Matthew Continetti writes at National Review, this surge in popularity is largely due to a kind of vagueness in what the word means. Socialism is in vogue because no one is sure what it is. The classic definition of abolishing private property, a planned economy,
May 27, 2019
If you want to see how socialism will work in America, visit a Native American reservation and you’ll see the sad truth of it. I just spent four days with the Franciscan Friars of the Holy Spirit, a new mendicant religious community which wants to revive the Latin Mass, and serve the poor. They do
May 24, 2019
Threats to the Catholic Church in America, as elsewhere, are often external ones. But as the clerical abuse scandals have amply demonstrated, Catholics themselves can sometimes be the Church’s own worst enemies. Augustine once taught that we should fear the internal threats more than the external ones. Emperors might tear apart bodies in the Coliseum,
May 23, 2019
Last week the House Democrats passed the Equality Act, legislation which adds sexual orientation and gender identity to the definition of “sex” in federal civil rights laws. In the Democratic primary race, this legislation seems perfectly timed. Bernie Sanders congratulated House Representatives for voting “on the right side of history.” No longer would transgendered persons