On Marriage

"What adventure can there be if you must always have all the odds reckoned up?  Who wishes to sail to an unknown island with a calculator?"

- Anthony Esolen


some latin

 “nemo dat quod non habet” (no one gives what he doesn’t have).



Thoughtful explanation of the utility of the Electoral College here.

Read Rod Dreher on "what to make of Steve Bannon".

Learn about how the media influences us at the Federalist.

Or, check out these folks.


Questions for the Pope

These are good yes/no questions for our Pope:
1.    It is asked whether, following the affirmations of "Amoris Laetitia" (nn. 300-305), it has now become possible to grant absolution in the Sacrament of Penance and thus to admit to Holy Communion a person who, while bound by a valid marital bond, lives together with a different person "more uxorio" (in a marital way) without fulfilling the conditions provided for by "Familiaris Consortio" n. 84 and subsequently reaffirmed by "Reconciliatio et Paenitentia" n. 34 and "Sacramentum Caritatis" n. 29. Can the expression “in certain cases” found in note 351 (n. 305) of the exhortation "Amoris Laetitia" be applied to divorced persons who are in a new union and who continue to live "more uxorio"?

2.    After the publication of the Post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation "Amoris Laetitia" (cf. n. 304), does one still need to regard as valid the teaching of St. John Paul II’s Encyclical "Veritatis Splendor" n. 79, based on Sacred Scripture and on the Tradition of the Church, on the existence of absolute moral norms that prohibit intrinsically evil acts and that are binding without exceptions?

3.    After "Amoris Laetitia" (n. 301) is it still possible to affirm that a person who habitually lives in contradiction to a commandment of God’s law, as for instance the one that prohibits adultery (cf. Mt 19:3-9), finds him or herself in an objective situation of grave habitual sin (cf. Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, Declaration, June 24, 2000)?

4.    After the affirmations of "Amoris Laetitia" (n. 302) on “circumstances which mitigate moral responsibility,” does one still need to regard as valid the teaching of St. John Paul II’s Encyclical "Veritatis Splendor" n. 81, based on Sacred Scripture and on the Tradition of the Church, according to which “circumstances or intentions can never transform an act intrinsically evil by virtue of its object into an act ‘subjectively’ good or defensible as a choice”?

5.    After "Amoris Laetitia" (n. 303) does one still need to regard as valid the teaching of St. John Paul II’s encyclical "Veritatis Splendor" n. 56, based on Sacred Scripture and on the Tradition of the Church, that excludes a creative interpretation of the role of conscience and that emphasizes that conscience can never be authorized to legitimate exceptions to absolute moral norms that prohibit intrinsically evil acts by virtue of their object?


The 2016 Presidential Election

On the presidential ballet this November, there is no morally acceptable candidate.  A vote for Hillary or Trump is a vote for a morally unacceptable leader, an assent to the decision of a nation whose capacity for moral (good) decision making is broken.  There is a point, and we have reached it here, when participating in a “lesser of two evils” political calculation is unacceptable.  Good people must unite, and must unite in saying that this is wrong, that this is not good enough.  A vote is always a compromise, but there is a point when the compromises required to vote cause us to abandon fundamental moral commitments.  And abandoning our basic commitments, for whatever perceived political calculus, is anathema to any person of sound conscience, and perhaps more significantly, our democracy.

There is present in the arguments for Trump a fatalism, an assent to the liberal view of government:  a belief that this election and retention of the office of the presidency is all that matters, that it is our best hope for salvaging what is left of Christian culture and law.  But this is untrue.  The presidency is but one office in our republican government.  The president is not yet our King. There are other avenues for enacting good law.  There will be other elections, there will be other presidents.  By abstaining from voting for the office of the president, I will be able to stand before my fellow countrymen and say with total honesty that I rejected the evil choice with which I was presented in the year 2016. 

I encourage all fellow Christians, and men and women of good will, to do the same. 


Trump needs to step down.

Trump needs to step down.  Get out of the race.  Get out of politics, get out of the American public's eye, go away.  Shame on the Republican party and shame on all Trump's supporters.  This man is a national disgrace. 


what this election is about

Over the past half century, the Reagan years notwithstanding, our ruling class’s changing preferences and habits have transformed public and private life in America. As John Marini shows in his essay, “Donald Trump and the American Crisis,” this has resulted in citizens morphing into either this class’s “stakeholders” or its subjects. And, as Publius Decius Mus argues, “America and the West” now are so firmly “on a trajectory toward something very bad” that it is no longer reasonable to hope that “all human outcomes are still possible,” by which he means restoration of the public and private practices that made the American republic. In fact, the 2016 election is sealing the United States’s transition from that republic to some kind of empire.
Electing either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump cannot change that trajectory. Because each candidate represents constituencies hostile to republicanism, each in its own way, these individuals are not what this election is about. This election is about whether the Democratic Party, the ruling class’s enforcer, will impose its tastes more strongly and arbitrarily than ever, or whether constituencies opposed to that rule will get some ill-defined chance to strike back. Regardless of the election’s outcome, the republic established by America’s Founders is probably gone. But since the Democratic Party’s constituencies differ radically from their opponents’, and since the character of imperial governance depends inherently on the emperor, the election’s result will make a big difference in our lives.
Angelo Codevilla at Claremont


The media is still controlled by progressives

Everyone rightly catalogues Donald Trump’s fibs, distortions, and exaggerations: his assertions about his net worth, his charitable contributions, his initial supposed opposition to the Iraq War, or his “flexible” positions on illegal immigration. After all, he is flamboyant, right-wing in his present incarnation, and supposedly bends the truth either out of crass narcissism or for petty profiteering. So the watchdog media and popular culture have no problem with ridiculing Trump as a fabricator.
But not so with Hillary Clinton, whose untruths far overshadow Trump’s in both import and frequency, but are so often contextualized, excused, and forgotten because of who she is and the purpose her outright lying supposedly serves.  
Lying in America has become not lying when “good” liars advance alternative narratives for noble purposes — part of our long slide into situational ethics and moral relativism.
- Victor Davis Hanson at NRO


Eyes to See

Monsignor Robert Sokolowski, who taught me many years ago at Catholic University, shared an image that has long stayed in my mind. The integrated icon of Christian doctrine, he said, exploided at the time of the Reformation and the Enlightenment, and its charred and distorted fragments have landed here and there, littering the contemporary cultural environment. Accordingly, we are not going to find, at least very often, the whole Catholic thing on beautiful display, but we are indeed going to find bits and pieces of it practically everywhere, provided we have the eyes to see.
- Bishop Robert Barron, Seeds of the Word: Finding God in the Culture


The Rule of Law is Dead in America

Carly Fiorina describes the situation clearly:
Today, the FBI admitted that Hillary Clinton endangered the American people—and confirmed that the worst things any of us imagined about Hillary’s email server were true.  FBI Director James Comey concluded that Clinton was “extremely careless” in handling our nation’s secrets.
He admitted that no reasonable person could have believed putting these emails on a private server was at all appropriate or acceptable.  He admitted that 110 emails on the server were classified at the time they were sent—showing that Hillary not only lied, but knowingly endangered national security as Secretary of State. He admitted that Hillary deleted work-related emails before turning them over to the State Department, despite her claims otherwise.  And most shocking, Mr. Comey even admitted that it’s likely foreign governments hacked her emails--and that our adversaries could know critical secrets about the U.S. government because of Hillary’s actions.

But when you’re a Clinton, none of this matters. Not when you have the ear of the President, or you can call a secret airport meeting with the Attorney General. Not when you behave as if you’re above the law, and will never be held responsible for your actions.

Mr. Comey admitted that someone caught in a similar situation would “often” be punished. And yet, he announced the FBI would not recommend criminal charges for Hillary Clinton.

It’s not just a miscarriage of justice, but a blow to the very heart of our democracy. This is a shameful day for the rule of law and the security of our nation, no matter what your political beliefs may be. 
The Obama Administration might be circling the wagons, and doing all they can to prop up their corrupt, incompetent, untrustworthy Democratic nominee—but the American people know better.

And if our government won’t make her face consequences, voters will.
Via Facebook


Pray for the victims in Orlando

If you believe prayer is useless, you likely believe statements like the one above are useless as well.

However, if you believe prayer to God is one of the only things that can actually make a difference in the face of such great evil, you'd probably think otherwise.


A Third Party becomes a good idea when...

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are the presumptive nominees for President of the United States of America.

At this point, I would join a constitutionalist party.  Yes, I'm aware this new party could not win the election in the short term.  We must think long term.  The Republican party doesn't deserve to survive this election cycle. 

We need to reclaim local elections: the Presidency is not and should not be the only seat of political power in this country.  The President is not our king; the President cannot solve all of our problems; the President should not solve all of our problems.

We can't give up hope for a healthy politics. 


End of An Era

Sad to see you go Peyton!  Brady wouldn't have been as great as he is without you as a competitor. Via ESPN:
Peyton Manning's Super Bowl 50 victory over the Carolina Panthers was indeed his last rodeo.
The five-time NFL MVP is retiring, the Denver Broncos announced Sunday. The team will hold a news conference at 1 p.m. ET Monday for Manning to discuss his stepping away from the game after 18 seasons and two Super Bowl victories.

"When you look at everything Peyton has accomplished as a player and person, it's easy to see how fortunate we've been to have him on our team," Broncos executive vice president of football operations and general manager John Elway said in a statement. "Peyton was everything that we thought he was and even more -- not only for the football team but in the community. I'm very thankful Peyton chose to play for the Denver Broncos, and I congratulate him on his Hall of Fame career."


For Antonin Scalia

Go forth, O Christian soul, from this world, in the name of God the Father Almighty, who created thee; in the name of Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, who suffered for thee; in the name of the Holy Spirit, who was poured forth upon thee; in the name of the glorious and ever blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God; in the name of St. Joseph, chaste Spouse of the same Virgin; in the name of the Angels and Archangels; in the name of the Thrones and Dominations; in the name of the Principalities and Powers; in the name of the heavenly Forces, Cherubim and Seraphim; in the name of the Patriarchs and Prophets; in the name of the holy Apostles and Evangelists; in the name of the holy Martyrs and Confessors; in the name of the holy Monks and Hermits; in the name of the holy Virgins and of all the Saints of God: may they place be this day in peace, and thine abode in holy Sion. Through Christ our Lord.


Sad to see this great man pass.


It's a shame

My state is going to propel Donald Trump towards the presidency.


The Candidates

Marco Rubio is my choice.  I do not agree with the media's narrative of last night, of his supposed self-destruction.  Everyone on that stage put their foot in their mouth at some point during those three hours - it happens, no one is perfect. Rubio clearly has some understanding of limited government, of the fundamental injustice of abortion, and speaks intelligently enough on the economy and foreign policy to compete with Hillary.  He can handle hard questions and his answers generally do not make me squirm (a few moments from last night are the exception).

Ted Cruz would be a good candidate, but I do not believe he passes the "likeability" test.  Politics these days is a popularity contest - witness President Barack Obama and his two terms - and conservatives would be wise to remember that the candidate we choose has to win the general election.  Our candidate has to attract voters who generally do not pay attention to politics or concern themselves with political things.  I believe that Rubio has a significant advantage over Cruz in this aspect. 

Carly Fiorina is regrettably not electable, for whatever reason.  The polls don't go her way.  If she were still in contention she would probably have my vote because she is, as far as I can tell, the most competent, commanding and conservative character running for office. This is especially disappointing because as far as I can tell the media made this choice for the American people.  Or maybe she needs a better "outreach" system or whatever.

I am especially disappointed in the way Dr. Ben Carson has performed in the last 8 months of the campaign.  At the outset of primary season I was encouraged by his grasp of the language of republican (lowercase r intentional) politics.  But it has become clear, especially last night, that his ability to command a room and his grasp of the details are lacking.

Trump is an egomaniac, entertaining at times, terrible at others, but ultimately empty.

The rest of 'em are liberals -!  Go Rubio!


"Hell yeah I would" ... "No, look, you gotta step up, man."

It's like Will Ferrell is impersonating the politician Jeb Bush.  Except it's Jeb.