The Fever Chart

"Our only health is the disease / If we obey the dying nurse …"

Category: Catholic Social Teaching (CST)

Boxed In

This piece originally appeared at Solidarity Hall. A few years ago, my wife and I were assigned a case through our local conference of the Society of St. Vincent DePaul. It involved a family – Dave, his girlfriend Ellen and their three small children* – who had fallen behind on their rent and electricity bill. [...]

The Future of ‘Conservatism’

If it is to survive, the Republican Party must come to represent a conservatism that hews closer to the vision of Burke, Kirk, Fleming, Oakeshott, Burnham, Weaver, Scruton, Berry and Blond; a conservatism that stands opposed to the corrosive cultural influence of laissez-faire capitalism and the mass consumer society; opposed to the concentration of economic [...]

Water and the Dignity of Persons

Today is World Water Day, a UN-sponsored annual event intended to focus attention on the importance of fresh water and the sustainable management of fresh water resources. Up to 80 nations experience chronic fresh water shortages. Some are systemic, others intensely localized, but together they affect over 2 billion people, including an estimated 400 million [...]

The More Things Change …

The following excerpt from Dorothy Day’s House of Hospitality was written in 1937/38. This particular scene takes place during a speaking trip Dorothy took to California. Seventy-five years later, things really haven’t changed that much, have they? Yesterday on the bus to San Diego two older men were talking about the President, and loud enough [...]

Not-So-Strange Bedfellows

George Weigel has a column today at National Review titled “The Catholic Betrayal of Religious Liberty.” It begins as an indictment of Democratic Catholic officeholders Nancy Pelosi, Patty Murray, Rosa DeLauro and Kathleen Sebelius, women he describes as “Catholic Lite,” and goes on to add Sr. Carol Keehan, president of the Catholic Health Association, to [...]

A Modest Proposal Regarding Religious Liberty

Religious liberty is on all of our minds these days, specifically the notion that people of faith should not be forced to pay for things that violate their consciences. In the case of the HHS mandate requiring employers to provide healthcare plans that include no-cost contraception, Catholics across the board have objected, noting the Church’s [...]

A Fragment on “Liberty”

What my friends on the Catholic right don’t seem to get is that abortion and gay marriage are social and moral expressions of the same liberalism they champion in economics. The fundamental incoherence of contemporary “conservatism” – and, in fact, the reason that it is not conservative at all, but merely liberal – is its [...]

The Conservative Critique of Capitalism: A Brief Florilegium

It is commonly thought that criticism of capitalism has its exclusive provenance on the Left, but in fact there is a long tradition of conservative unease with capitalism. Now, by “conservative,” I obviously do not mean that weird and contradictory stew comprised of obscure Austrian economic theories, the “objectivist” ethics of Ayn Rand, Wilsonian idealism, [...]

“Responsibility to the Order of Being”

Vaclav Havel died yesterday. Poet, playwright, political dissident and prisoner, non-violent revolutionay, president of his beloved Czechoslovakia and later, the Czech Republic. His motto was ”truth and love must prevail over lies and hate.” His constant concern, both as a playwright and as a politician, was the connection betwen morality and responsibility. As he said in [...]

Catholic Citizenship and the “Dorothy Option”

My first “guest post” at the Catholic group blog, Vox Nova, appeared on June 17, 2011. Last Monday’s Republican debate at St. Anselm’s College in New Hampshire was billed by CNN as the first major event of the 2012 presidential campaign. The choice of a Benedictine institution was weirdly appropriate because the debate also kicked [...]