The National Catholic Review

Opinion

  • August 4-11, 2014

    The evidence is piling up that too many Americans are wasting away in prison. The National Academy of Sciences, for example, recently concluded in a major two-year study that the United States “has gone past the point where the numbers of people in prison can be justified by the social benefits.” Other groups, like Human Rights Watch, the Brennan Center for Corrections, Corrections Today and the University of Chicago Crime Lab, have also raised their...

  • August 4-11, 2014

    Rapprochement in Vietnam

  • August 4-11, 2014

    Israel is at it again. Given political orthodoxy in the United States, I should probably say Israel and the Palestinians are at it again, or, more precisely, Israel and Hamas are at it again, yet the disproportion between the two sides is such that there is no equivalence. One side is offering ineffectual resistance with rockets that are striking chiefly for their inaccuracy; the other is using the most sophisticated weapons of war to terrorize a population...

  • August 4-11, 2014

    There is an old chestnut, still circulating among agnostics, secularists and even a few believers, that goes something like this: “I don’t believe in God/organized religion. Look at all the violence religion has caused. Take the Middle East; those people have been killing each other for years.”

  • July 21-28, 2014

    ‘So this is what it’s come to?” a friend asked me recently. After she had been advising students for years at a large Jesuit college, her school’s student affairs office asked her to speak to a freshman orientation team. The topic they wanted her to cover? Consent.

  • July 21-28, 2014

    A mere 100 years ago this summer, miscalculation and madness brought forth the War to End All Wars, the first of the 20th century’s twin cataclysms and humankind’s gruesome introduction to total warfare on a global scale. In the opinion of Europe’s intelligentsia at the time, it was not supposed to have happened. As Barbara Tuchman points out in The Guns of August, her masterly account of the initial months of World War I, enlightenment values and...

  • July 21-28, 2014

    Homeless in Honolulu

    The local chamber of commerce in Hawaii wants visitors to think of Honolulu as a place where one can—at least temporarily—relax and forget about life’s problems. But this tropical paradise is not immune to serious economic hardship. Homelessness in Honolulu has risen 32 percent over the last five years, a troubling—and increasingly visible—trend.

  • July 21-28, 2014

    Having grown up in central New York State, not far from the Adirondack Park, I have always had a special place in my heart for the beauty of deciduous forests. The green trees and shrubs, the rolling hills and glacial valleys, the clear blue lakes and streams illustrate for me the truth of Gerard Manley Hopkins’s poetic vision, inspired as it was by the Franciscan John Duns Scotus, that “the world is charged with the grandeur of God.”

  • July 21-28, 2014

    The fireworks had not yet filled the sky, but the week of July Fourth started with a celebratory explosion for those who hold close one of the same civic values as our revolutionary forebears, namely the free exercise of religion. In a 5-to-4 decision on June 30, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the so-called Hobby Lobby case that the federal government cannot force the owners of closely held corporations to provide, through employee health plans,...

  • We live in dangerous times. The assault of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria on Baghdad, as well as other sectarian violence, challenge the very essence of the human person. No longer is this merely a clash of civilizations, but a struggle for the preservation of human life. Since religion or religious belief is often viewed as the origin of the hatred and bloodletting, it is not surprising that religion is treated as a toxic substance incompatible with peace or the human good, and thus...