The “Pernicious Habit of Charity”

As Catholic bloggers (or bloggers in general) know all too well, it’s easier to get into heated personal arguments on the internet than it is in person. Debates about various hot-button issues — abortion, capital punishment, just war, nuclear weapons,

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Abolitionism and Pro-Life: Failure Precedes Success

Pro-life advocates frequently compare abortion, the great American moral issue of the 20th and 21st centuries, to slavery, the great American moral issue of the 19th century. The pro-life movement (like other movements dedicated to resolving social injustices) often compares

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Civil Disobedience and Afflicting the Comfortable

Several years ago I composed this examination of civil disobedience and the different forms that have developed since Henry David Thoreau coined, or at least popularized, the term in his 1849 essay “Resistance to Civil Government” (AKA “On the Duty

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States of Discontent

Longtime readers of TAC are familiar with many of the problems confronting the State of Illinois, mainly due to the diligent postings of fellow Sucker State resident Don McClarey. However, I have to admit I was taken aback by the

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Why Live In Tornado Alley?

Response to the devastating EF-5 tornado in Moore, Okla., which left 24 dead and more than 200 injured, has generally been compassionate. Thousands of ordinary Americans — including fellow survivors of natural disasters — are doing what they can to help.

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The Cultural Divide Quiz

The notion that America is becoming increasingly divided between a liberal-leaning, coastal- or urban-dwelling elite and more conservative folks living in “flyover country” has been around for some time. However, author Charles Murray put a bit of a new spin

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The “Other” Winston Churchill

Most TAC readers are familiar with Winston Churchill, the British statesman. But they may not be familiar with another Winston Churchill whose fame, at one time, eclipsed that of his British counterpart. The “other” Winston Churchill was an American novelist

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If You Want to Send the GOP A Message, Now Is The Time

At least every four years (or more frequently when Congressional, state and local elections are considered) the Catholic blogosphere starts erupting with debate over whether voting for a major party candidate who is not fully pro-life or in line with

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The Blind Men and the (Economic) Elephant

It was six men of Indostan To learning much inclined, Who went to see the Elephant (Though all of them were blind), That each by observation Might satisfy his mind. The poem “The Blind Men and the Elephant” by American

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Our Lady of Good Help

About three months ago a groundbreaking development with significant nationwide implications occurred in Wisconsin. No, I’m not talking about the showdown between Gov. Scott Walker and public employee unions, nor even about the Green Bay Packers winning the Super Bowl.

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The Battle of Wisconsin, Part II: Abp. Listecki Weighs In

In response to continuing protests against (and some in favor of) Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal to severely restrict public employee bargaining rights, Archbishop Jerome Listecki of Milwaukee issued the following  statement on Feb. 16: The Church is well aware

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The Economic War Between The States

Years ago, this satirical piece in The Onion poked fun at interstate rivalries with its account of “Middle West peace” in peril. Thankfully, battles between U.S. states haven’t resulted in actual violence for nearly 150 years. However, there is another

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The Wages of Sin Is… Higher Taxes?

A few months ago I wrote this reflection on the idea that bad leadership can be seen as a punishment or consequence of sin, and how the ethical and fiscal train wreck that is Illinois state government might serve as

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A Plea for a Cease Fire in the War on Christmas

Is it possible at this late date to call a cease-fire in the War on Christmas? The kind of cease-fire I am talking about is not a surrender to aggressive secularists who want all mention of Christmas, or of the

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"We Are Elected!"

Since a number of regular bloggers and visitors here at TAC are Abraham Lincoln and Civil War history buffs, I thought it would be appropriate to share with you my impressions of a unique event held last night in Lincoln’s

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A Chicken or Egg Question

The question above has nothing to do with cooking.  Rather, it has to do with the ongoing debate over the role of government vs. the role of the family, churches, charities, and other voluntary private organizations in assisting vulnerable persons

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Are Public Employees Overpaid?

If you believe what you read on blogs or hear from certain politicians and pundits, a new kind of haves-vs.-have-nots class war is brewing across the land. Not between the rich and the poor, but between private and public sector

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The Third Rail of the Catholic Blogosphere

The “third rail” to which I refer — a topic likely to severely burn any Catholic blogger, particularly a male blogger, daring or foolish enough to touch it — is the issue of modest and appropriate dress … specifically, whether

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Deliver Us From Blago

According to legend, the Vikings were so greatly feared by the people of northern Europe during the Dark Ages that they used to pray “From the fury of the Norsemen, Lord, deliver us!” Of late, I suspect that many Illinois

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The Varieties of Civil Disobedience

The 1849 essay “Resistance to Civil Government”, better known as “On the Duty of Civil Disobedience”, by Henry David Thoreau is one of the most influential writings of the 19th century. Written to expound Thoreau’s ideas on resistance to a

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Should Catholic Hospitals Remain Tax Exempt?

On the heels of the Catholic Health Association’s endorsement of Obamacare comes another precedent-setting decision affecting Catholic hospitals and other institutions. The Illinois Supreme Court ruled Thursday that a Catholic hospital in downstate Urbana is not entitled to exemption from

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Genuine Urban Renewal As Envisioned By Pope Benedict

Hat tip to Amy Welborn Pope Benedict XVI on Tuesday took advantage of a traditional homage paid to Our Lady by residents of Rome on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception to deliver this timely reflection on urban life. Some

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Moving Halloween to Saturday: Treat or Trick?

In recent years Halloween has gone from a primarily child-oriented holiday to an occasion of commercial importance comparable to Christmas or Easter. National retail sales figures indicate that Halloween is the 6th biggest holiday for retailers — behind Christmas, Valentine’s

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Faster, Higher, Stronger… in Faith

Next month, the International Olympic Committee will decide whether the 2016 Olympic Games will be held in Chicago, Rio de Janeiro, Madrid, or Tokyo. The Windy City’s Olympic bid is believed by many to have a good chance of succeeding, although

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Clout and Catholic Education

Too often, Catholic education, particularly at the high school level, seems to be valued not so much for its moral and religious content as for its prestige in the community, or for its ability to produce graduates who get into

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