Tag: Secularism

Attorney General Barr Speaks up for Religious Liberty

 

AG BarrOn Friday, 12 October 2019, Attorney General Barr spoke at Notre Dame Law School. Notre Dame Law School advertises itself as America’s oldest Roman Catholic law school:

At the nation’s oldest Roman Catholic law school, students of diverse backgrounds are encouraged to broaden their social, spiritual, and personal lives while honing their intellectual and professional skills to serve the good of all.

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I wondered how to structure this post properly, with references, etc. but I am going to dive in off-the-cuff, because I have no reference for the information that I am learning and want to share. I obviously missed key parts of history. So I’m trying to catch up, and now current events are making more […]

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Buddhism, Secularism, and Socialism

 

Two weeks ago, I decided it was time to give away the meditation mats and cushions that I had originally purchased for the meditation group I led. (As many of you know, I practiced Buddhism for over 20 years, and broke with my teacher several years ago. I also re-discovered my love for Judaism, and that is where I find myself now.)

I remembered that there was a Zen center about an hour away from here, and wrote them an email, asking if they would like my cushions and mats. They were delighted. When the representative came to pick them up, he asked if I knew a fellow at their center. As it happens, this fellow, a very nice man, had practiced at the same center in San Diego where I had practiced. We’ve agreed to have a phone conversation.

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Until recently, a manageable level of tension has existed between the secularists in Israel, who dominate the population, and the Ultra-Orthodox Jews. Although these tensions may seem completely different from the secular/religious tensions in the United States, I’m suggesting that the Israelis, as they propose a way to bridge the gap between these two groups, […]

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Member Post

 

It was surreal to get a text from a friend that Notre Dame Cathedral was on fire as we were driving to the funeral home. I saw the headline and shut off my phone. My mother-in-law passed in the early morning hours of Monday, April 15th, our last remaining parent. It’s been months of rushing […]

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How Secularism gets Tolkien Wrong

 

I have had to check out of Ricochet for a while because I was assigned to write a book, which is cool but to get anything done on that project I needed to take a break. I came back to the site and started reading posts and sure enough that made it impossible for me not to write up a post myself. A post by @LoisLane really inspired me to write I post I have been thinking about for a very long time you can find her excellent post and fascinating comment thread here

The Lord of the Rings movies differed from the books in many ways, which is to be expected since a movie and a book are very different mediums. For instance at the “Breaking of the Fellowship” I think it was vital to the movie to show Boromir fighting for Merry and Pippin and Aragorn “avenging” Boromir. I saw the Fellowship of the Ring three times in the theater and each time the audience was on the edge of their seats as Boromir redeemed himself and they erupted in applause when Aragorn dispatched the Uruk-hai that killed Boromir.

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Women for Progress

 

There has been much concern over the election about the suburban women vote. Over the course of the last two years, this demographic has waxed and waned in its support for Republicans and Trump. Many cite a growing distaste for Trump’s demeanor as the reason for their displeasure, but this appears to be more of a guess. While its true, women as a whole have increasingly grown disapproving of Trump’s job performance, the NPR/Marist poll that these interpretations are relying on hardly point to Trump’s demeanor for a growing disapproval among suburban women. This is the only poll I have found cited since Rasmussen reported the uptick from the Kavanaugh Affair.

The Suburban Woman Defined

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Destroying a Man’s Life

 

What is the value of a man’s soul? What is the worth of a man’s reputation? Most of us would say that both are priceless: the first is a gift from G-d, the second created by the toil and sweat of the person who lives a productive and honorable life.

But the Left believes the destruction of a reputation and soul is inconsequential if they determine the cause is just.

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Member Post

 

I keep seeing this commercial for “Bring Your Bible to School Day”. It draws my attention with a catchy little tune that I haven’t sung since I was little, called “This Little Light of Mine”. However, what intrigued me was that, in today’s politically correct and emotionally charged atmosphere, especially at schools and universities, this […]

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How Important Is the Nation-State?

 

Today I’ve been reading over the first issue of American Affairs, a new intellectual journal that appears to have grown out of the (largely Claremont-based) American Greatness movement. American Affairs seems to understand itself as a possible seed-ground for exploring an intellectual foundation to Trumpism.

I should admit forthrightly that I look on this project as a skeptic, and as one who considers that the founders of this project have taken a large (not to say foolhardy) burden on themselves. I’m not, in general, the sort of person who seeks to shut down ambitious intellectual projects. But to my mind, the trouble with American Greatness was always the extent to which it understood itself in rejectionist terms. The spirit of the thing seemed not to be, “The right could use some fresh ideas around now, so let’s explore,” so much as, “The whole conservative movement is intellectually and (probably) morally bankrupt, so we’re starting over. Sign onto our program or be rendered irrelevant.”

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I just read this story in the National Review by Dennis Prager who is Jewish, after receiving an e-card from a cousin out west. She said she went to three different stores and no Christmas cards. I ran out this year and had a hard time finding more.   http://www.nationalreview.com/article/443200/christmas-secularism-assault-meaning More

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Why Does it Matter If We Think G-d Loves Us?

 

imageThe odds of a man deciding that he will jump off a building and try to fly like Superman are much better if the man is convinced that he is, in fact, Superman. In other words, what we attempt to do — regardless of whether we succeed or get scraped off of the sidewalk — is governed by what we think we can do. Our worldview is an essential precondition for the actions we voluntarily undertake.

Our beliefs matter. Even whether or not we have beliefs matters: A person who thinks that G-d loves him and is involved in every facet of his life will act differently than a self-described rational atheist. True, an accountant in a big firm may make the same decisions whether or not he believes that G-d exists. But in other situations, a person’s beliefs can make all the difference in the world. It is the religious person who will take risks that a rational person will not: Perhaps committing to an early marriage, starting a business, or in trying to invent new things. A leap of faith requires faith.

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Standing On Ceremony

 

shutterstock_168595868As a happy break from writing about crime (gloomy) and marriage (even more gloomy) I’ve lately been writing a paper on liturgical theology, which is intended as a chapter for a forthcoming book designed to foster ecumenical dialogue between Roman Catholics and Latter-Day-Saints. It’s proving to be an enjoyable project, which has turned my thoughts to the role of formal ceremony in American life more generally.

Many of you know that I was raised Mormon and am now Catholic, and as a Catholic I developed a deep love of traditional liturgy. Since I developed that taste primarily in my Catholic life, my initial impulse was to think that Mormons are fairly lacking in any kind of formal liturgy. On further reflection though, that’s not as true as it might seem. Of course, the obvious place to find formal Mormon liturgy is in their temple ceremonies. But even in more ordinary settings, Mormons do have a high appreciation of formality and ceremony, along with a very definite sense of decorum. We both (that is, Catholics and Mormons) run against the grain of so much of our mainstream culture, where people are largely ashamed of anything that seems too formal, too ceremonial, or too “scripted”.

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Secular Conservatism, Libertarians, Progressives, and Marriage

 

I take conservatism to be an appreciation and defense of what has been proven to work, and which benefits society and the individual in a balance.

If that seems overly-broad, let me provide an example. Morality is effective in curbing largely destructive impulses and reactions, therefore morality is worth defending in principle, with some room for debate on many fronts. Not all morality is the same, and it is not always helpful in the particulars. But to hold that morality is not a necessary part of society is anti-conservative in my view, as morality is the most tested method for a society to control its own behavior with respect for the society and the individual in balance. 

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Its not often that I can score a hat trick on a Monday, but sometimes life just frowns on you the right way. Dallas Area Catholic blog comments on a Federalist article by Michael Hanby called What To Do When You’re On The Wrong Side of Religion and in the course of his review of Hanby’s […]

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