November 27, 2014

CathCon Daily - Thanksgiving Edition

Love and Constraint - Robert Royal, The Catholic Thing

During the First Crusade - Rodney Stark, Intercollegiate Review

When Defense is Dereliction - Greg Weiner, Liberty Law Blog

Accidental Wisdom from the Podium - H. Lee Cheek, Jr., Liberty Law Blog

The Conservative Opportunity - Ponnuru & O'Beirne, The Weekly Standard

Repeal Aid to States - Chris Edwards, Cato

Sexual Assault on the Campus - Mike Rappaport, Liberty Law Blog

NYT Publish Details on Where Officer Lives - Melissa Quinn, The Daily Signal

Our Infrastructure is Crumbling - Pat Buchanan, The Imaginative Conservative

The Virtue of Gratitude - Romano Guardini, The Catholic Things

Lincoln, Separation of Church and State - Carson Halloway, The Daily Signal

The Grand Jury Got it Right - David Harsanyi, Human Events

The State as a Work of Art - Marcia Christoff-Kurapovna, The Imaginative Conservative

November 26, 2014

CathCon Daily - 11/26/2014

Marriage and the Black Family - Jacqueline C. Rivers, The Public Discourse

The President’s Disregard for Constitutive Norms - John O. McGinnis, Liberty Law Blog

An Interview with Christopher Kimball - Ben Domenech, The Federalist

The Ferguson Evidence - Rod Dreher, American Conservative

Voegelin, A Philosopher's Journey - J.M. Porter, The University Bookman

A Tyranny of Silence - Cat Murti, Cato

Ferguson Riots - John Hayward, Human Events

Where Are All the Workers? - James Pethokoukis, AEI

Deconstructing Western Civ - Rod Dreher, American Conservative

Obama Ferguson's Sellout - Heather Mac Donald, City Journal

Defining America Down - Ken Masugi, Liberty Law Blog

Oakeshott on the Rule of Law - Peter Haworth, Nomocracy in Politics

Lessons from Dietrich von Hildebrand - George Weigel, First Things

New Class Order - Joel Kotkin, New Geography

Tolkien, Ordered Liberty, and Catholic Social Teaching - Richards & Witt, Imaginative Conservative

Moral Befuddlement in Ferguson - Patrick J. Buchanan, Human Events

How Not to Screw Up the Next Ferguson - Robert Tracinski, The Federalist

November 25, 2014

CathCon Daily - 11/25/2014

America's Big Economic Slowdown - James Pethokoukis, AEI

On "Payback" - Angelo Codevilla, Liberty Law Blog

EPA's Greenhouse Gases Regulations Meets Federalism - Michael Greve, Liberty Law Blog

Obamacare and the Left's Noble Lie - Christian B. Corrigan, Human Events

The Meaning of the Equal Protection Clause - Mike Rappaport, Liberty Law Blog

Michael Brown Jury Process Fair - Paul Cassell, Volokh

Nobody Pushing Piketty - Michael Barone, Human Events

Moral Divide, Not Racial - Dennis Prager, Human Events

November 24, 2014

CathCon Daily - 11/24/2014

To Rend is Not to Retreat - R.R. Reno, First Things

Why I Changed my Mind on Civil Marriage - Ephraim Radner, First Things

A Reply to R.R. Reno - Sardonicus, Sardonic Ex Curia

Obama, Executive Orders, and Immigration - Erik Root, Nomocracy in Politics

Idealism and the Constitution - Claes Ryn, The Imaginative Conservative

The Economic Consequences of Amnesty - Joel Kotkin, New Geography

Markets Everywhere - Guy Sorman, City Journal

TV’s “Gotham”: Drama at Its Best - Bradley Birzer, The Imaginative Conservative

"Shall Issue" in California - Neil McCabe, Human Events

A Fraternity of Rape - Rod Dreher, American Conservative

Connecting Religious and Economic Liberty - Dylan Pahman, The Public Discourse

These Bureaucracies Have Got to Go - Daniel J. Mitchell, The Federalist

The Right Baby Killer? - Joy Pullmann, The Federalist

Cruz v. Flake on Amnesty - John Hayward, Human Events

November 23, 2014

Agency, Agency, Everywhere - A Reply to R.R. Reno, Ephraim Radner, and Christopher Seitz

The recent spate of federal circuit courts invalidating state marriage laws has produced renewed conversation among Christians (and indeed, religious of all stripes) as to what exactly churches ought to do when confronted with state marriage laws that permit marriages among not only heterosexual couples, but homosexual couples as well, though even that limit may soon go by the wayside as thruples and other unions seek legal recognition. As many Christian philosophers and pundits have observed, as well as some of the more honest progressives, the legal reasoning behind a finding of “animus” towards homosexual couples (or legislation based on “ickiness”) does not admit of limitation to same-sex couples only. As progressive Kent Greenfield noted in The American Prospect: “You know those opponents of marriage equality who said government approval of same-sex marriage might erode bans on polygamous and incestuous marriages? They’re right.”

Included in the conversation on “what to do” have been a number of voices, often intelligent, discussing the idea of “getting the church out of state-sponsored marriage.” One notable example is that of Helen Alvaré, long a pro-life advocate and lawyer, who recently penned the first in a series of articles discussing the pros and cons of the former case, entitled “Should the church abandon civil marriage?”

It is with this problem that the ever-thoughtful R.R. Reno is concerned in a recent FirstThings blog post entitled “A Time to Rend,” in which he discusses a pledge from Ephraim Radner and Christopher Seitz, and argues that the time has come for Christian ministers to withdraw from acting as agents in state-sanctioned marriage. Reno believes that the state has redefined marriage, “making it an institution entirely under the state’s control,” which is “why it’s now time to stop speaking of civil marriage and instead talk about government marriage—calling it what it is.” In doing so, he agrees with Radner and Seitz, who have formulated a pledge which, when signed, “requires ordained ministers to renounce their long-established role as agents of the state with the legal power to sign marriage certificates.” There are several parts of this pledge with which I am concerned, so here are the excerpted parts, combined:

As Christian ministers we must bear clear witness. This is a perilous time. Divorce and co-­habitation have weakened marriage. We have been too complacent in our responses to these trends. Now marriage is being fundamentally redefined, and we are being tested yet again. If we fail to take clear action, we risk falsifying God’s Word….Therefore, in our roles as Christian ministers, we, the undersigned, commit ourselves to disengaging civil and Christian marriage in the performance of our pastoral duties. We will no longer serve as agents of the state in marriage. We will no longer sign government-provided marriage certificates. We will ask couples to seek civil marriage separately from their church-related vows and blessings.

There is truth in this position – divorce and co-habitation have weakened marriage, as have many other cultural forces, such as pornography and contraception, and yes, court decisions. Our long complacency on many of these issues is a cause for scandal, inside and outside of the Christian churches. Clear action is indeed required.

With that said, I do not believe that the action contemplated is clear and completely considered. First, I am not sure that the reason given for refusing to act as ministers bears scrutiny. Second, in order to maintain coherency, an additional statement must be required. Third, I doubt that the ministers are prepared for the inevitable fallout of this step. Please bear with me as I explain my reasoning, for the issues at hand are bound tightly together, consist both of moral and pragmatic concerns (if such can be divided) and must be teased out carefully.

First, I think it is first necessary to clarify what exactly a minister is doing when signing a marriage certificate. In Indiana, where I practice law, certain persons are granted power by the state to “solemnize” a marriage, including mayors, judges, clerk of court, priests, rabbis, and imams, among others. Prior to marriage, a couple applies for (and usually receives) a marriage license from the clerk of courts, which permits them to be married in the eyes of the law. After the marriage ceremony, the minister signs a marriage certificate indicating that the ceremony was performed, gives an original to the couple, and files a duplicate with the clerk of courts. If ministers were to withdraw from this function, in order to have their marriage recognized as valid, the couple would need to “seek civil marriage separately from their church-related vows and blessings,” to borrow from the Pledge, performed by some other minister (mayor, judge, clerk of court, etc.).

Thus far, Reno, et. al., may be correct (one could make the argument that the minister is instead the agent of the couple in their dealings with the state). For the purposes of this argument, let us assume that the minister is acting as an agent of the state in filing the certificate. What has this minister done, precisely? The minister has reviewed a marriage license which under Indiana law “is the legal authority for an individual who is authorized to solemnize marriages to marry two (2) individuals,” and then signed a certificate that the two people were married by the minister in accordance with the marriage license. It is with that certificate that the minister’s action on behalf of the state begins and ends. While there are different types of agents, depending on the scope of representation, an agent who acts for a limited purpose, for a single task (such as witnessing a marriage certificate), is known as a “limited” or “special agent,” which is found in Indiana law as old as 1872, and in earlier cases back to pre-colonial English law.

In doing so, does the minister approve of any other agencies or actions undertaken by the principal? It does not seem so. The authors of the pledge agree that they will only perform Christian marriages – in doing so, they are binding the government to recognize those marriages as valid, and not reducing the inherent value of those marriages. Even if another minister or agent of the government (e.g., mayor), binds the government to legally recognizing a same-sex union, this does not affect the agency of the minister witnessing a Christian marriage, nor does it require such a minister to agree with or approve the actions of the other agent. Consider the parable of the talents from the Gospel of Matthew 25 (so ancient are the norms of agency law)! The two worthy servants are not bound to act in concert with, nor bound to approve, the actions of the lazy servant.

If the objection to acting as an agent cannot be sustained by an objection that one is approving of the acts of other agents, could it be argued that witnessing a marriage for the government is somehow an inherently immoral act? Reno seems to hint at this when expressing his problem with language used in marriage certificates. However, I think the case that semantic differences affect the marriage or witness somehow is weak – use of the placeholders “Spouse A” and “Spouse B” hardly carries the taint of lie, and is not immoral if the underlying act is moral, which I think both Reno and the authors would agree is the case.

Therefore, according to these agency principles, the minister is neither approving of marriages witnessed by other government agents, nor engaged in an inherently immoral act by following a form prescribed by the government simpliciter (as opposed to, for instance, a Christian doctor forced by the government to provide abortions). If neither the signing of the marriage certificate, nor the form used, nor yet the act itself are immoral, these do not provide support for the minister’s action of withdrawal. There is, however, one additional possibility, which (borrowing from Sherlock Holmes), must be the reason, having eliminated all other possible solutions. This is the idea that the principal is so disordered that to perform any act for that principal entails participation in some form of evil. This would be an extreme and rare occurrence, to be sure - as Solzhenitsyn trenchantly observed, it is rare (if impossible) to simply separate evil ones doing evil deeds from the rest of us. Even an imperfect principal may act justly, especially when the ordered act is just. One has in mind the parable of the talents again, where the servants are clearly acting as agents for a master who admits that he “reap[ed] where I sowed not, and gather[ed] where I did not scatter.” And yet, still the punishment given to the servant who did not use his talents well for such a master is just.

If the belief in the irredeemability of the principal is behind the pledge, it makes the action more confusing still, for the ministers then take the curious position of referring newlyweds to other agents of their principal to have their marriages “legalized.” This arguably violates a classical tenet of moral reasoning – in refusing to undertake an action for another that is immoral, one may not then commend the other to a new source for the immoral act. One becomes thereby an agent of an agent, and a secondary participant in an immoral act. In addition, it makes it more difficult to maintain moral coherency. What would a member of a church think if, in one breath, a minister inveighs against state-sanctioned marriage as inherently immoral, and then in the next, refers the couple to the government to be married? Must the minister not state that, as the government idea of marriage is so inherently flawed, couples must avoid state-sanctioned marriage entirely? If not, what is the justification for refusing to witness marriages on behalf of the state, yet not claiming that couples should avoid the state-sanction entirely?

Or, have I intuited the next step? Are the signers of the pledge preparing to take the step that only church weddings are moral and binding, and that believers of all faiths must avoid government-sanction at all for their marriage, for that would be to cause them to participate in an inherently immoral enterprise? This, then, would indeed be morally coherent, which brings me to my second point.

This step would result in disaster. For better or worse, government-sanctioned marriage places the married couple within a massive legal framework, one within which, to borrow from St. Thomas More, the devil is given protection, but so are heterosexual spouses and their children. For instance, there is a presumption in the law that a divorce results in a division of property equally, absent a prenuptial agreement, with fifty-percent to each spouse. Such a presumption is not present in a “breakup of friends,” which is how a “church only” marriage will be viewed legally in most jurisdictions. When the husband of such a couple elects to take all the assets and abscond with a new wife, there will be no such presumption, particularly if his work provided all of the financial support to the marriage. Or what of the presumptions present in most states that a child born of a marriage is a child of both parties? Without the legal framework in place, those children will not have that presumption. Suppose a wife is unfaithful and admits this to her husband while pregnant. Happily, he forgives her, and agrees to continue in marriage. Some years later, he changes his mind, obtains a DNA test, proves that the child is not his, and abandons his wife to her own devices; no child support will be paid. All of this is to say nothing extensive of the wreck this will make of estate law, where the wife has no legal standing whatsoever to her husband’s solely-owned property without a will, in tax law, where the parties will always file separately and incur additional costs to determine who will have the benefit of claiming the children as deductions, and in any other area where marriage confers legal presumption.

To be sure, there are some legal devices in place which will mitigate these occurrences, particularly in the case of legally unmarried couples with offspring, but they are in their infancy, and designed to deal with unmarried couples and unstable relationships, which is where marriages without state sanction fall. If you doubt the rarity of these occurrences, do not. I tell you this as a practitioner, who has read court cases of couples who have been “together” by their own choices for 20+ years, and at the death of one, the remaining couple finds herself in a legal whirlwind of claims from distant relatives who have legal rights to the property in question under the laws of intestacy.

Some may say that what the couples need is contractual marriage – in other words, the couples write a marriage contract dealing with their relationship and all of its aspects. In addition to having to modify such a contract constantly to deal with new variables, and the additional estate planning necessary to take that into account, will the contracts deal with divorce or abandonment? Aside from the difficulties of enforceability of such contracts for legal reasons of consideration and others, what does one reply to critics who accuse Christians of switching sides on prenuptial agreements to suit their own purposes?

Furthermore, and this is my final point, Christian pastors must realize that, if this step is taken and they are prepared to withdraw from acting as agents of government sanction, then the reverse must also be true, and Christian churches must no longer rely on the government. Many Christian churches have long used the government as their own agent in regulating and granting divorces, without protest, and have willingly remarried those civilly divorced individuals without further action within a church court of some form. If the pledged step is taken, it will not be enough to stop being an agent of the government – there must be a concomitant refusal to recognize the legitimacy of the government grant of divorce. Couples married both in Christian churches and civilly could not be remarried in a Christian church based upon the government’s divorce. It would be strange to insist upon the necessity of refusing to act as a government agent as some form of protest, while at the same time, recognizing divorced granted by the government as binding and legitimate within a Christian setting.

And so, every marriage in a Christian church performed by a “pledged minister” would henceforth come with a disclaimer: “The ceremony we undertake marries you in the eyes of the Church and God – but it does not marry you in the eyes of civil society. You should consult the law and an attorney to learn precisely what effect this will have on your children, your finances, and other areas of your domestic life.” To avoid this would be a dereliction of the ministers’ own agency to the couple in witnessing the marriage, for an agent is obligated to inform his principal of any pitfalls or serious problems which may result from an agent taking any particular step.

Are ministers prepared to take these steps of uncoupling from the state, in both directions? Be prepared – the couples who marry only in the churches, who do not follow through with legal sanction, will be turned loose into a legal no-man’s land, with few protections in the law. And when you have cut down the laws, and the devil turns ‘round on these couples…what will be said to the woman who comes after the service, crying that her husband has taken the money and fled…and the courts offer no remedy? 

November 22, 2014

CathCon Daily - 11/22/2014 (Weekend Edition)

California Republican Evolution - Bill Whalen, DatR

The Horror! The Horror! - Stefan Kanfer, City Journal

The Emptiness of Empathetic Judging - John O. McGinnis, Liberty Law Blog

The Problem of the Imperial Presidency - George Carey, The Imaginative Conservative

Biofuels and the Do-Nothing EPA - Dave Juday, The Weekly Standard

A President Who Thinks He's King - Genevieve Wood, The Daily Signal

The Other Side of the Tracks - John Sanphillippo, New Geography

Detective Fiction: Conservative or Liberal - Michael Davis, The Imaginative Conservative

November 21, 2014

CathCon Daily - 11/21/2014 (Extra)

Scripture Doesn't Support Amnesty - D.C. McAllister, The Federalist

Three Keys to a Flourishing Middle Class - Joseph Sunde, Acton

Machines v. Workers, In One Chart - James Pethokoukis, AEI

Good Policy, Bad Law, Terrible Precedent - Ilya Shapiro, Cato

No Plans to Block Amnesty - Michael Warren, The Weekly Standard

The Strange Religious Future - Ross Douthat, New York Times

Supernatural Signs in "I am Legend" - Dwight Longenecker, The Imaginative Conservative

He Did It. - Carl Eric Scott, National Review

Rogue President - Patrick J. Buchanan, Human Events

Dressing My Daughter Modestly - Melissa Langsam Braunstein, The Federalist

The Rise and Fall of Lewis Harvie Blair - James M. Patterson, Liberty Law Blog

Churches and Amnesty - Mark Tooley, First Things

CathCon Daily - 11/21/2014

Shirtgate and Souring on Feminism - Rod Dreher, American Conservative

Link Between Childhood Homelessness and Single Parenthood? - Leslie Ford, The Daily Signal

Google's Failed Effort at Clean Energy - James Pethokoukis, AEI

Congress or Obama Killing the Madisonian System? - Peter Haworth, Nomocracy in Politics

Life, Death, and the New Orthodoxy - Theodore Dalrymple, Liberty Law Blog

Oxford Kills a Legacy - Katelyn Brantley, Intercollegiate Review

The President Should Not Act Unilaterally - David Bernstein, Volokh

Frozen: Politics in Disney Movies - Mike Rappaport, Liberty Law Blog

Officer Wilson and the Rule of Law - Paul Cassell, Volokh

Legal Realism and 'Public Choice' Economics - Brian Domitrovic, The Imaginative Conservative

Obama's Executive Move on Immigration - Josh Siegel, The Daily Signal

Obama Takes Aim at Straw Men - Derrick Morgan, The Daily Signal

November 20, 2014

CathCon Daily - 11/20/2014

The Microaggression Farce - Heather Mac Donald, City Journal

The Pre-Trojan War Avengers - Michael Dirda, Washington Post

Tocqueville and the Culture War - Richard Samuelson, Liberty Law Blog

To Govern Is to Defend the Constitution - Jeffrey H. Anderson, The Weekly Standard

Gravitas and Weight Gain - C.R. Wiley, The Imaginative Conservative

Traditionalists and Libertarians - Peter A. Lawler, N.R.O.

Reconnecting an Unbound Generation - Rachel Sheffield, The Public Discourse

Liberal Education and Politics - Benjamin Lockerd, The Imaginative Conservative

Using Science to Attack Conservatives - Daniel Payne, The Federalist

Reagan, Amnesty, and Executive Orders - Gabriel Malor, The Federalist

November 19, 2014

CathCon Daily - 11/19/2014

Rome and the Dynamic of Freedom and Virtue - Ralph Hancock, NRO

Stop Pretending Sex Never Hurts - D.C. McAllister, The Federalist

Sex Like Animals or Humans? - D.C. McAllister, The Federalist

Vatican II and the Berlin Wall - George Weigel, First Things

The Limits of a Secular Age - Randall Smith, The Catholic Thing

Rabbi Sacks on Marriage - Editors, Aleteia

Understanding the saeculum - Rémi Brague, The Catholic Thing

Civic Trust and My Friend Jose - Ryan Shinkel, The Public Discourse

The Great Enrichment, Its Causes & Limitations - Stephen Masty, The Imaginative Conservative

Obama v. U.S. - Walter Williams, Human Events

Racial Quote Punishment - Thomas Sowell, Human Events

Sex Week at Harvard - Mark Tapson, The Federalist

November 18, 2014

CathCon Daily - 11/18/2014 (Extra)

Prayer in the Facebook Age - Mark Bauerlein, First Things

The Pope and the Media - Russell Shaw, The Catholic Thing

A Snag in the Chevron Defense - Philip Hamburger, Liberty Law Blog

Fraud in the Defense Department - Nicole Kaeding, Cato

Another Argument for Originalism - Mike Rappaport, Liberty Law Blog

Freedom from Food - Steven H. Webb, First Things

Reform Old Age Entitlements Now - John O. McGinnis, Liberty Law Blog

Poverty Causes Crime - Dennis Prager, Human Events

Liberal Lawyer Suing the President - Michael Warren, The Weekly Standard

Secret Science Data - Nicolas Loris, The Daily Signal

Second Thoughts About Amnesty - John Hayward, Human Events

The ISIS Problem - John Horvat, The Imaginative Conservative

CathCon Daily - 11/18/2014

On Marriage and Temple Desecration - C.C. Pecknold, First Things

A Time to Rend - R.R. Reno, First Things

First, Do No Harm - Tod Warner, The Catholic Thing

Would George Washington Mourn NATO? - Angelo Codevilla, Liberty Law Blog

The Middle Class and America's Economy - James Pethokoukis, AEI

Drugs for the Deceased - Nicole Kaeding, Cato

Poverty, Family Breakdown, and the Cross - Dylan Pahman, Acton

Defusing Obama's Amnesty Bomb - John Hayward, Human Events

Obama's Anti-Sexual Assault Policies Legal? - David Bernstein, Volokh

Japan Falls Into Recession - Riley Walters, The Daily Signal

Worthy Conservatism - John M. Vella, The Imaginative Conservative

A Tocquevillian Argument against Contraception - S. Adam Seagrave, The Public Discourse

Liberal Racial Profiling - Bruce Frohnen, The Imaginative Conservative

Siding With People Rather Than Rodents - Ron Arnold, The Daily Signal

A Legacy of Liberalism - Thomas Sowell, Human Events

The Era of Male Guilt - Robert Tracinski, The Federalist

November 17, 2014

CathCon Daily - 11/17/2014

To be Young is Very Heaven - John McGinnis, Liberty Law Blog

Same-Self Marriage - Timothy George, First Things

J.S. Mill and the Pro-Life Cause - Christopher O. Tollefsen, The Public Discourse

SWAT Teams and Family Law - Raquel Okyay, Human Events

The Progressives' War on Suburbia - Joel Kotkin, New Geography

The Disillusionment of Ernest Hemingway - Miles Smith, The Imaginative Conservative

A Murderer's Warped Idealism - George Will, Human Events

Marriage is Pro-Growth - Lawrence Kudlow, Human Events

Denying a Pregnant Woman a Vote - Elizabeth Held, The Federalist

Obsessing About Bad Men - Sabrina Schaeffer, The Federalist

What Jonathan Gruber Got Right - James Poulos, The Federalist

The Philosophy of Edith Stein - Robert Cheeks, The Imaginative Conservative

November 16, 2014

CathCon Daily - 11/16/2014 (Extra)

Space, Science & Stalinism - Rod Dreher, American Conservative

Obama Controls the Agencies - James Gattuso, The Daily Signal

Feigning Competence and Teaching Government - Peter Lawler, The Imaginative Conservative

Only 6 of 10 Work-Eligible Americans Working - Stephen Moore, The Daily Signal

The Leonidan Vision of Frank Miller - Bradley J. Birzer, The Imaginative Conservative

If Obamacare Loses: Part II - Mike Rappaport, Liberty Law Blog

Barry Goldwater's Impact - Kate Scanlon, The Daily Signal

November 15, 2014

CathCon Daily - 11/15/2014 (Weekend Edition)

Delusions of a Goo-Goo - Stephen Eide, City Journal

The Loneliest President Since Nixon - Peggy Noonan, WSJ

The Market, The State, and Human Salvation - Donald Livingston, Nomocracy in Politics

Ian McEwan's The Children Act - Daniel McInerny, The Catholic Thing

Investigating Operation Choke Point - Kelsey Harkness, The Daily Signal

The Closing of the Collegiate Mind -  Ryan Shinkel, The Imaginative Conservative

A Shirtstorm of Comet-Shaming - John Hayward, Human Events

Our Kind of Conservatism - Rod Dreher, The American Conservative

November 14, 2014

CathCon Daily - 11/14/2014 (Extra)

The Tyranny of Compassion - Lauren Weiner, Liberty Law Blog

Babies and Personal Liberty - Elise Hilton, Acton

Thoughts on Men - Claire Halpine, First Things

Ebola's Bureaucracy Lesson - Donald Devine, Liberty Law Blog

The Destiny of the Soul - Edith Stein, The Catholic Thing

The Hermeneutic of Betrayal - David Warren, The Catholic Thing

Myths about Israel and Zionism - Gerald R. McDermott, The Public Discourse

One Nation Under Godlessness - Michelle Malkin, Human Events

Consuming Only Modern Stories... - Anna Mussmann

CathCon Daily - 11/14/2014

Tolkien's Redemption of the Trenches - Dwight Longenecker, The Imaginative Conservative

1% Pay 24% of Federal Taxes - Curtis Dubay, The Daily Signal

Death with Aesthetics - Wesley J. Smith, First Things

Dangers of Signing Unconstitutional Laws - Will Baude, Volokh

We Do the Lying Around Here - Geoffrey Norman, The Weekly Standard

Rich Americans...Rent-Seeking Suits? - James Pethokoukis, AEI

Prosperity and Knowledge Aid Space Exploration - Chelsea German, Cato

Erasing John Gruber - John Hayward, Human Events

Statistic Climate Catastrophists Don’t Want You to Know - Jonathan Gruber, Cato

First Steps for Republicans - George Will, Human Events

What if Obamacare Loses? - Mike Rappaport, Liberty Law Blog

Obama is No Clinton - Larry Elder, Human Events

Progressive Totalitarianism - Bruce Thornton, Front Page Magazine

Newman and the Importance of Catholic Literature - Fr. C. John McCloskey, The Catholic Thing

November 13, 2014

CathCon Daily - 11/13/2014

The Roots of ISIS - Stephen Masty, The Imaginative Conservative

Racial Quotas in Minneapolis - Mark J. Perry, AEI

Evangelicals and the LGBT Community - Andrew Walker, The Public Discourse

The Minimum Wage and Low-Income Workers -  Natalie deMacedo, The Federalist

Neanderthals Made Better Parents Than We Do - Rachel Lu, The Federalist

Conservative Populism - Pete Spiliakos, First Things

Police Misconduct - Tim Lynch, Cato

Rule by the Executive Branch - Peter Haworth, Nomocracy in Politics

Carl Sagan NOT an Atheist? - Cathy Schiffer, Aleteia

November 12, 2014

CathCon Daily - 11/12/2014 (Extra)

A Bishop's Accreditation Process - Randall Smith, Aleteia

Bigots are Really Bigoted - Naomi Schaefer Riley, Books & Culture

Allies and Financing the Enemy - Brian Garrett-Glaser, AEI

Rome and the Dynamic of Freedom and Virtue - Ralph Hancock, NRO

Street Harassment Isn't About Sexism - Kay Hymowitz, Time

Men Can Be Pigs - Carrie Lukas, The Federalist

The Fatal Conceit - F.H. Buckley, Liberty Law Blog

Stagnant Middle-Class Incomes and Inequality - James Pethokoukis, AEI

The Pillars of Reaganomics - Brian Domitrovic, The Imaginative Conservative

CathCon Daily - 11/12/2014

And the Wall Fell - Michael S. Greve, Liberty Law Blog

Tim Scott on Poverty - Joseph Sunde, Acton

Climate, Agriculture, and the Dead Zone - Patrick J. Michaels, Cato

Income Inequality and Household Demographics - Mark J. Perry, AEI

The Proliferation of Trigger Warnings - Jonathan H. Adler, Washington Post

Liberals are Killing the Liberal Arts - Harvey Silverglate, WSJ

The Haunting Images of Theodor Kittelsen - Benjamin Welton, The Imaginative Conservative

Ecumenism and Russian State Power - George Weigel, First Things

The Immigration Decree - Bruce Frohnen, The Imaginative Conservative

14 Ways Obamacare is Still a Disaster - David Hogberg, The Federalist

November 11, 2014

CathCon Daily - 11/11/2014 (Extra)

Our Only Option - C.C. Pecknold, First Things

The Seven Deadly Virtues - David DesRosiers, The Washington Times

Testing and Authoritarianism - Diane Ravitch, The New York Review of Books

The New South - Patrick Buchanan, Human Events

Geo-Engineering the Climate? - Chip Knappenberger, Cato

Republicans and 'Dysfunctional Politics' - Dennis Prager, Human Events

President Obama and Expanded Internet Regulation - John Hayward, Human Events

CathCon Daily - 11/11/2014

Scott Walker Not Ready for 2016 - Joy Pullmann, The Federalist

Scott Walker in 2016 - Rich Cromwell, The Federalist

Murmurs of Sex Change Regret - Stella Morabito, The Federalist

Tolkien v. Belloc on Distributism - Richard and Witt, The Imaginative Conservative

The Pornographic Double Bind - Mark Regnerus, First Things

Nominal Earnings Growth... - Alan Reynolds, Cato

Stupidity of the American Voter - Jeffrey Anderson, The Weekly Standard

4 Charts on the Invisible Side of Homelessness - Kevin Corinth, AEI

Americans Support Limits on Food Stamps - Alexandra Gourdikian, The Daily Signal

The Obamafication of Pope Francis - Rod Dreher, American Conservative

Buying Babies - Elise Hilton, Acton

The Constitutional Mandate of 2014 - Greg Weiner, Liberty Law Blog

Democracy and the End of Marriage - Erasmus More, The Imaginative Conservative

November 10, 2014

CathCon Daily - 11/10/2014

Commerce, Interrupted - Michael Greve, Liberty Law Blog

Gay Marriage and Religious Freedom - Brian Miller, Intercollegiate Review

Reading the Midterm Tea Leaves - Corbin & Parks, The Federalist

Colbert and the Southern Catholic Charism - Drew Denton, First Things

Burke and Another "Translation Error" - Robert Royal, The Catholic Thing

California's Southern Discomfort - Kotkin & Cox, New Geography

Credit Card Industry Bailout by Executive Order - Yaël Ossowski, Human Events

Gilmore Girls and Culture - Elizabeth Held, The Federalist

Children's Rights, or Right to Children? - Alana S. Newman, The Public Discourse

Avoiding Lifelong Adolescence - Mark Bauerlein, Intercollegiate Review

Don't Get Your Hopes Up - Angelo Codevilla, Liberty Law Blog

November 9, 2014

CathCon Daily - 11/9/2013 (Weekend Extra)

The Conservatism of Robert Frost - Ernest Suarez, The Imaginative Conservative

Welfare Programs and Marriage Decline - Stephen Moore, The Daily Signal

The World's Last Night - James V. Schall, The University Bookman

A Canticle for Jew and Catholic - Bradley J. Birzer, The Imaginative Conservative

Why I Often Ignore Our Children - Vanessa Rasanen, The Federalist

November 8, 2014

CathCon Daily - 11/8/2014 (Weekend Edition)

Triumph of the Status Quo - Ben Boychuk, City Journal

Science and Religion, Rightly Understood - Robert Royal, The Catholic Thing

Factors Contributing to the Marriage Crisis - Hilary Towers, The Public Discourse

Ike's Mystique - Ron Capshaw, Liberty Law Blog

What's Past is Prologue - Robert J. Araujo, S.J., Mirror of Justice

S.C. to Hear Federal Exchanges Cases - Elizabeth Slattery, The Daily Signal

The Conservative Vision of Hayao Miyazaki - Peter Schellhase, The Imaginative Conservative

The New Bohemia: Not Where You Expect - John Sanphillippo, New Geography

Illegal to Rent Your House? - Tom Steward, The Daily Signal

Cyrano de Bergerac: Behind the Nose - Dwight Longenecker, The Imaginative Conservative

November 7, 2014

CathCon Daily - 11/7/2014 (Extra)

Environmentalists and the Poor - Mark J. Perry, AEI

Rad Trads and Rad Fems - John Goerke, Intercollegiate Review

City and Suburb 2010-2013 - Richard Morrill, New Geography

Another Job Report With No Wage Growth - James Pethokoukis, AEI

Harvard...Rejects Obama Campus Rape Policies - Stimson & Kloster, The Daily Signal

Accuses Rapists Have Rights, Too - Judith Shulevitz, The New Republic

CathCon Daily - 11/7/2014

Don't Give Up! - Teresa Mull, Human Events

A Few Good Fits - Steven Greenhut, City Journal

Exiting the Progressive Matrix - Richard Reinsch, Liberty Law Blog

MOSLGBT - Mark Tooley, First Things

Criminal Penalty for Feeding the Homeless - Jordan Richardson, The Daily Signal

The President Doesn't Have a Clue - Donald Lambro, Human Events

The Blow to Public Sector Unions - John McGinnis, Liberty Law Blog

Going Off Gold - Brian Domitrovic, The Imaginative Conservative

O'Connor, Maynard, and the Eclipsing of God - Tod Warner, A Catholic Thinker

The Kumbaya Temptation - Patrick J. Buchanan, Human Events

NYT's Frank Bruni on Science - Mollie Hemingway, The Federalist

Platitudes and Problems - Charles Barnitz, Volokh

David Mamet Isn't Going Anywhere - David Marcus, The Federalist

November 6, 2014

November 5, 2014

CathCon Daily - 11/5/2014 (Extra)

Scholar-Athlete Charade - Walter Williams, Human Events

American Founding's Radical and Conservative Roots - Charles Kesler, The Federalist

Post-Election Propaganda Begins - Donald Devine, The Federalist

Debunking Obama-Era Myths - David Harsanyi, The Federalist

Why the Decline of Violent Crime? - Heather Mac Donald, The Daily Signal

The Hunt for an Ebola Vaccine - Paul Howard, City Journal

Takeaways from the GOP Triumph - Mark Hemingway, TWS

Ralph Ellison and the Melting Pot - Carl Eric Scott, NRO

CathCon Daily - 11/5/2014

Conscience and Reality - Randall Smith, The Catholic Thing

Voter Fraud and Voter I.D. - Thomas Sowell, Human Events

Religious Freedom and Gay Marriage - Ben Riggs, Intercollegiate Review

No Bishop Will Die for Religious Liberty - Rod Dreher, American Conservative

Obamacare Predicted to be "Winning Issue" - Jennifer Kerns, The Daily Signal

In Praise of Midterms - John O. McGinnis, Liberty Law Blog

Exploded into Being - George Weigel, First Things

The Pope and the Problem of Punishment - Aaron Taylor, First Things

Remove the Pro-Life Movement from Politics - Bradley J. Birzer, The Imaginative Conservative

Two Auto Companies Fined $100 Million - Nicolas Loris, The Daily Signal

WV Elects First Female Senator - Mollie Hemingway, The Federalist

Cotton Defeats Pryor - Michael Warren, The Weekly Standard

The Truth of Complementarity - Doug Mainwaring, The Public Discourse

Atheist and a Faith-Ful Film? - Randall Smith, Aleteia

November 4, 2014

CathCon Daily - 12/4/2014

Economics of Fixed-Rate Mortgages - Todd Zywicki, Volokh

A Time for Choosing, What? - Angelo Codevilla, Liberty Law Blog

Liberal Bias Corrupting Science - Rod Dreher, American Conservative

Choosing a Responsible President - Corbin & Parks, The Federalist

Prosecuting with Dynamite - Michael S. Greve, Liberty Law Blog

"Aid in Dying" As Political Language - Kevin C. Walsh, Mirror of Justice

Dormant Commerce Clause and Exclusive Commerce Power - Mike Rappaport, Liberty Law Blog

Dunham Family Values - Rod Dreher, American Conservative

The America Today Murals - Maureen Mullarkey, First Things

Academic Freedom...and the State - Daniel Kuebler, The Public Discourse

An Indictment of Crony Capitalism - James Pethokoukis, AEI

November 3, 2014

CathCon Daily - 11/3/2014

Competence and Ideology - Peter Augustine Lawler, N.R.O.

Liberal Cities and Less Affordable Housing - Ilya Somin, Volokh

Taking Offense and Seeking Truth - Pete Jerman, The Imaginative Conservative

Trustafarians Want to Tell You How to Live - Joel Kotkin, New Geography

Catholic Capitulation on Marriage - R.R. Reno, First Things

The Soul of Madness - Stephen Jonathan Rummelsburg, The Imaginative Conservative

Democracts Retreat into Fantasy - David Harsanyi, The Federalist

The Subiaco Sensibility - Brad Miner, The Catholic Thing

Liberal Job Policies, Women, and Minorities - Matt Mayer, The Federalist

Teaching More Poor Kids to Read - Joy Pullman, The Federalist

November 1, 2014

CathCon - 11/1/2014 (Weekend Edition)

French v. American Revolution - Isaac Woodward, Intercollegiate Review

Redefining "Public Interest" - Ian Adams, City Journal

The Dark Side of Russian State Media - Dorin Methfessel, The Daily Signal

Celebrate Consumer Surplus - John O. McGinnis, Liberty Law Blog

Davy Crockett's Election Advice - Rebecca Burgess, AEI

Obama on Stay-at-Home Moms - John McCormack, The Weekly Standard

Remembering the Real Halloween - Russell Kirk, The Imaginative Conservative

A Few Words on 'Gainful Employment' - Neal McCluskey, Cato

Ebola, Political Ignorance, and the Undead - Ilya Somin, Washington Post

Tolkien's Vision of Just War - Richards & Witt, The Imaginative Conservative

Upsetting the Bush Lied, People Died Narrative - Kim Holmes, The Daily Signal

Trigger Warnings? - Gabriella Morrongiello, The Daily Signal

Liberty and the Environment - Ron Bailey, The New Atlantis