I Think, Therefore I Am Whatever I Think I Am: From Rene Descartes’ Dictum to Obama’s Bathroom Policy
Anybody remember the old Kinks song “Lola”? I was in my early teens the first time I heard it and this line leaped out at me: “Girls will be boys and boys will be girls / It’s a mixed up muddled up shook up world…” Well, the mixed up and muddled up is now the law of the land.
Last week the world marked the 400th anniversary of the death of the greatest writer in the English language and one of the three or four most significant artists the human race has produced. William Shakespeare simply contains so much.
In my capacity as regional bishop of the Santa Barbara pastoral region, which covers two entire counties north of Los Angeles, I am obliged to spend a good deal of time in the car. To make the long trips a bit easier, I have gotten back into the habit of listening to audio books.
As any apologist worth his/her salt will tell you, the great objection to the proposition that God exists is the fact of innocent suffering.
If I might make bold to summarize a complex 264-page document, I would say that Pope Francis wants the truths regarding marriage, sexuality, and family to be unambiguously declared, but that he also wants the Church’s ministers to reach out in mercy and compassion to those who struggle to incarnate those truths in their lives.
Reliable sources have informed me that for the millennial generation Bill Nye is a figure of great importance, due to his widely-watched program from the 1990's called "Bill Nye the Science Guy." Evidently, he taught a large swath of American youth the fundamentals of experimental science and became for them a sort of paragon of reason. Well, I'll take their word for it.
On March 23, the Supreme Court of the United States will hear oral arguments in Zubik v. Burwell, a consolidated lawsuit against the HHS Mandate. Thomas Aquinas College, where I serve as president, is one of the 35 plaintiffs in the case, which includes the Little Sisters of the Poor and The Catholic University of America, among others. The College objects to the Mandate’s requirement that we provide coverage to our employees for contraceptives, abortifacients, and related services because the Catholic Church teaches that their use is gravely immoral.
“Don’t wait for a crisis to make a change.” It was the fourth Sunday of Lent, and the homilist during Mass was talking about conversion. And I was completely distracted by the protest in my head: “Don’t wait for a crisis? How many crises do we need already?”
We were very far away from Iowa and New Hampshire and Super Tuesday. A few nights into the New Year, 3,000 Catholic college students were gathered for the Fellowship of Catholic University Students’ Student Leadership Summit. Their surprise speaker — who might look out of place if he had been on the official agenda — was former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum.
As Robert Hugh Benson’s apocalyptic novel “Lord of the World” moves toward its shocking conclusion, a naïve young woman who has placed simple-minded faith in the utter goodness of the antichrist figure at the center of the story awakens to the fact that her hero has artfully constructed a regime of violence, oppression and thought control.
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