August 23, 2016

Time to Park It

Dear Readers:

Over the past six years or so, both here and on The Big Pulpit / God and Caesar blog (here), I have been reading and posting interesting links. Here, as well, I have posted the occasional independent thoughts, which have been often well-received. Yet, lately, having taken on a job as an adjunct law professor, and being very busy with my law life (and writing a small, semi-comedic book, still in writing-phase), I have had little time to even read the links I am posting. That has defeated part of the purpose of this blog, although I can say that I always post links of interest, from sources I trust. However, I simply lack the time, at this point, to continue doing this blog, and giving it the time it deserves. So, while I will leave it up, at the goodwill (so to speak) of Google, which provides this space free of charge, I will no longer be updating it - at least for the foreseeable future. Perhaps in a few years, when my life has more settled, and I feel up to it, I will return to the project.

So for now, thank you, God Bless, good reading, good thinking....


CathCon Daily - 8/23/2016

Gravitational Waves and the Universe - Dan Hoak, Aeon

Special Report on Sexuality and Gender - Meyer & McHugh, New Atlantis

153 Conservative Academics Come Out Of The Closet - Joseph Larsen, The Federalist

Pre-K’s Dangerous Tradeoffs - Max Eden, City Journal

Sense and Nonsense on Transgender Ruling - Jonathan Adler, NRO

“It’s Your Fault I Killed" - Theodore Dalrymple, City Journal

The War on Charters Escalates - Walter Russell Mead, American Interest

A Rebel Against Rebellion - Richard Cocks, University Bookman

The Coming Free Speech Apocalypse - Daniel Payne, The Federalist

Congress and Funding of Junk Science - Miller & Stier, NRO

Why Relativism is Wrong - Roger Kimball, New Criterion

Two Letters on our Moral Inversions - Hadley Arkes, The Catholic Thing

The Violent Assault Upon Imagination - Marion Montgomery, Imaginative Conservative

Principled Dissent vs. the Lesser Evil - John B. Londregan, Public Discourse

August 22, 2016

CathCon Daily - 8/21/2016

CNN Column Blasts Trump... - Jonathan Turley

A Campaign for a Seamless Rule of Law - John O. McGinnis, Liberty Law Blog

All Eyes on Wikileaks - John Fund, NRO

3.5 Million Children Into Third World Poverty? - Robert Rector, Daily Signal

Who Put the West in Western Civilization? - Robert Royal, Imaginative Conservative

A Thomistic Perspective on Donald Trump’s Proposal - Joseph G. Trabbic, Public Discourse

How Obergefell Continues to Warp Reality - John M. Grondelski, Crisis

The Media and Sexual Orientation - Ryan T. Anderson, Daily Signal

Who Still Speaks for Conservatism? - Paul Gottfried, Imaginative Conservative

What Makes a Sentence a Masterpiece? - Jenny Davidson, Aeon

Charming Billy and Me - Matthew Hennessey, City Journal

Do Self-Interest and Morality Conflict? - Naomi Goulder, Prospect

The Culture Of The Smug White Liberal - Nikki Johnson-Huston, HuffPo

August 20, 2016

CathCon Daily - 8/20/2016

Libertarians...Should Focus on Religious Liberty - Robert Tracinski, The Federalist

Farm Subsidies Lead to Gluts and Calls for More Subsidies - Norbert Michel, Daily Signal

The Social Message of Social Media - Christopher Morrissey, Imaginative Conservative

The Real Story About Free Trade and Manufacturing - Walter Williams, Daily Signal

The Death of Community? - Jane Clark Scharl, Imaginative Conservative

How the Government Is Mandating Food Waste - Allen & Bakst, Daily Signal

Who's Afraid of Religious Liberty? - Richard Samuelson, Mosaic

Debunking Centuries of Anti-Catholic History - Rick Garnett, Mirror of Justice

Trump to Louisiana - Donald McClarey, American Catholic

Trump On The Bayou - Rod Dreher, American Conservative

Elites Happy to Pass Off Burdens - MD Harmon, Central Maine

Freedom and Bondage - Dwight Longenecker, Imaginative Conservative

On Cold Fusion - Huw Price, Aeon

August 19, 2016

CathCon Daily - 8/19/2016

Rise of the Teen Dystopias - Faith Bottum, Liberty Law Blog

The High Cost of Virtue: “The Watchmen” - Bradley J. Birzer, Imaginative Conservative

What's in the Games - Michael Bradley, Public Discourse

Anthropic-ism Revisited - David Warren, The Catholic Thing

College Scrimps on Citizenship...While it “Invests” in Luxury - Jason Fitzgerald, Pope Center

What’s Wrong With Factory Farms - Daniel Kishi, The Federalist

Tradition: Worthy of Being Ignored? - James Kalb, Imaginative Conservative

More Families Homeschool - Nicole Russell, The Federalist

August 18, 2016

CathCon Daily - 8/18/2016

You Don’t Need To Vote For The Lesser Evil - John H. Boyer, The Federalist

Women Should Appreciation Masculine Virtues - Rachel Lu, Crisis

Why Don’t Teachers Make More Money? - American Interest

Obamacare Is Still A Giant Cronyistic Disaster - David Harsanyi, The Federalist

On Academic Freedom - Paul M. Quay, S.J., The Catholic Thing

The Abolition of God and the Annihilation of Man - Regis Martin, Crisis

Why So Many Families Who Want To Adopt Can’t - Paula Rinehart, The Federalist

Learning and Dialogue - Francis J. Beckwith, The Catholic Thing

Our Welfare System Penalizes Marriage - Draper & Sheffield, Daily Signal

The Heart of Liberal Education - Thaddeus Kozinski, Imaginative Conservative

Trump, the Declaration of Independence, and the GOP - Carson Holloway, Public Discourse

Conservative Brands - Peter Augustine Lawler, NRO

Everyone Fails, but Only the Wise Find Humility - Costica Bradatan, Aeon

My Daughter Came Out... - Ana Todorović, Aeon

What Do we Hold in Common? - Nathaniel Peters, Liberty Law Blog

EPA Analysis Used to Justify New Fuel Standards for Trucks - Nicholas Loris, Daily Signal

Obama Official Assaulted Me For Wearing A Redskins Shirt - Bre Payton, The Federalist

The Transgender Contagion - David French, NRO

August 17, 2016

CathCon Daily - 8/17/2016

The Nature of Power in the Work of J.R.R. Tolkien - Anselm LeFave, Contemplation

Sharp Conflicts In Reporting Of Race Retaliation and Violent Speech - Jonathan Turley

Alaska Court’s Ruling on Abortion and Parental Notification Hurts Teens - Jana Minich, Daily Signal

Even ‘Medical’ Marijuana Has Dangers - Seymour & Stimson, Daily Signal

How Will America Commit Suicide? - Patrick Buchanan, Imaginative Conservative

The FDA, the New Regs, and Freedom Up in Smoke - James M. Patterson, Liberty Law Blog

The Glory of Chamber Music - James O. Tate, Imaginative Conservative

The Real Tragedy of Milwaukee Riots - Scott Erickson, Daily Signal

Resistance to Its Social Agenda Is Useless - Bruce Frohnen, Nomocracy in Politics

Religious Liberty Crisis Averted in California - Guerra & Walker, Public Discourse

Daughter Admits To Have Made False Rape Allegations Against Father - Jonathan Turley

Divine Fire of Philip K. Dick's Religious Visions - Kyle Arnold, Aeon

Why Milwaukee Burns - Heather Mac Donald, City Journal

‘Conservatives Need Not Apply’ Pledge For Potential Hires - Lea Z. Singh, The Federalist

Pence Shies From Another Religious Liberty Battle In Indiana - J. Claybourn, The Federalist

The Plight Of The White Working Class Isn’t Economic, It’s Cultural - J.D. Davidson, The Federalist

Adventures in the Old Atheism, Part II: Sartre - Ed Feser

Dangerously Close to Holding Clinton Accountable - Charles C.W. Cooke, NRO

How $15-per-Hour Minimum Starting Wages Would Affect Each State - James Sherk, Heritage

August 15, 2016

CathCon Daily - 8/15/2016

Truth in Stereotypes - Lee Jessim, Aeon

Drop Him Like a Hot Rock - Nicholas Frankovich, NRO

California for Whom? - Wendell & Cox, New Geography

Nihilism, American-Style - George Stanciu, Imaginative Conservative

Professors...Working to Restore Free Speech on Campus - Stephanie Keaveney, Pope Center

Republican Voters Are Not "Moving On" From Marriage - Frank Schubert, Public Discourse

How A War Hero Launched A War On Bad Math Instruction - Nakonia Hayes, The Federalist

The Charisma Effect - Matthew Hutson, The Atlantic

Judicial Rebellion Against Voter ID - Mark Pulliam, Liberty Law Blog

Does WikiLeaks Have Hillary Clinton’s October Surprise? - James H. Hyde, The Federalist

August 14, 2016

August 12, 2016

CathCon Daily - 8/12/2016

Severing of Any Connection Between Is and Ought? - Aeon

Martha Nussbaum on Emotions, Ethics, and Literature - Ana Sandoiu, Heterodox Academy

These Olympians’ Stories Of Motherhood Add To Their Awesomeness - M.K. Ham, The Federalist

Americans May Be Tried In Military Tribunals Under His Administration - Jonathan Turley

Gibson and the First Amendment - Eugene Volokh, Volokh

The ‘Ghostbusters’ Post-Mortem - Brad Slager, The Federalist

Picking a Justice Who Can Resist the Lure of the Liberal Side - James Phillips, Public Discourse

The System is Rigged - Donald McClarey, American Catholic

Abandonment of Traditional Values Has Hurt the Black Community - Walter Williams, Daily Signal

Diverse Thoughts on Diversity - Peter Augustine Lawler, NRO

Students Are Moral Relativists: Problem and Solution - Richard Cocks, Pope Center

A Tyranny Film Festival - Mark Judge, Liberty Law Blog

Tocqueville’s Insights Into Donald Trump’s Identity Politics - James Poulos, The Federalist

Progressive Income Tax is a Danger to your Liberties - Mark Skousen, Human Events

Rescuing “Diversity” from Affirmative Action and Campus Activists - Peter Minowitz, Prespectives

Suspended And Required To Attend Cultural Events For Writing “All Lives Matter” - Turley

Most Churches Avoid Polarizing Social Issues - Michael J. New, First Things

Justice Thomas on the Tiers of Scrutiny - Mike Rappaport, Liberty Law Blog

Trump's Proposal to Try US Citizens by Military Commission - Quinta Jurecic, Lawfare

Some Corporation Fight, Some Corporations Cave - Jack Fowler, NRO

August 11, 2016

August 10, 2016

CathCon Daily - 8/10/2016

Is the United States a Republic or a Democracy? - Bruce Frohnen, Imaginative Conservative

Are College Presidents Paid Too Much? - Richard Vedder, Pope Center

Standards v. Diversity in Law School Accreditation - John O. McGinnis, Liberty Law Blog

Which Candidate Poses the Greater Risk? - Thomas Sowell, NRO

“The Ring of the Nibelung”: Romantic Nonsense? - Roger Scruton, Imaginative Conservative

The Five Major Types of Dissertations - Jason Brennan, BHL

Must Science be Testable? - Massimo Pigliucci, Aeon

Intellectuals are Freaks - Michael Lind, New Geography

Finding the Roots of the Old Republic - Bruce Frohnen, Nomocracy in Politics

The Historic Christian Teaching Against Contraception - Sherif Girgis, Public Discourse

It’s Not Just About Consent - Gracy Olmstead, American Conservative

Fear Not, the Federal Reserve’s Relevance Is Declining by the Day - John Tamny, Liberty Law Blog

The Cult Of Transgender - Rod Dreher, American Conservative

Millennials, Technology, and Short Attention Spans - Mike Rappaport, Liberty Law Blog

3 Reasons Why Obamacare Is Bad for Millennials - Timothy Doescher, Daily Signal

August 9, 2016

CathCon Daily - 8/9/2016

Trump, the Bad, Bad Businessman - Neil Barsky, NYT

Exercises in Unreality - Anthony Esolen, ISI

Friedersdorf on Trump Appointments - Thomas Berg, Mirror of Justice

No Strict Liability for Soliciting Minor Online - Eugene Volokh, Volokh

Imagine There’s No Border - V.D. Hanson, City Journal

Why We Must Refuse to Vote for the Lesser of Two Evils - Gregory Brown, Public Discourse

A Sentimental Journey - Hadley Arkes, The Catholic Thing

The Violent Assault upon Virtue - Marion Montgomery, Imaginative Conservative

Conservatism Must Get Busy Living... - David French, NRO

Right Should Speak To America’s Forgotten Fishtowns - John Daniel Davidson, The Federalist

Our Deadly Covenant With Sloth - Timothy D. Lusch, Crisis

The Blue State Model has Failed - Richard Epstein, Hoover

USA Shooting Just Shut Down Piers Morgan - Christine Rousselle, Townhall

Advocates Warn California Bill Would Punish Religious Colleges - Bre Payton, The Federalist

George Will’s Constitution - Mark Pulliam, Liberty Law Blog

Cap With “Don’t Tread On Me” As ‘Racially Offensive” - Jonathan Turley

Why the Centre Cannot Hold... - Jonathan Haidt, Heterodox Academy

What is "The Treachery of Images?" - Aeon

August 8, 2016

CathCon Daily - 8/8/2016

Europe's Founding Mother - Peter S. Rieth, Imaginative Conservative

A Madisonian Lament - John C. Chalberg, University Bookman

Cryogenic Monks - Richard T. Whittington, First Things

What Does Literature Have To Do With Politics? - David Whalen, Imaginative Conservative

Why Autonomy Cannot Explain Marriage and Family Life - Scott Yenor, Public Discourse

Why Midwestern GOP Governors Fail - Peter Spiliakos, NRO

Comments at Work on Clinton and a Lawsuit - Eugene Volokh, Volokh

Why Libertarians Should be Originalists - John O. McGinnis, Liberty Law Blog

St. Augustine: Why People Really Seek Assisted Suicide - Amanda Achtman, Crisis

The Meaning of a Martyrdom - Ross Douthat, NYT

Hope in this Vale of Tears - Bradley Birzer, Imaginative Conservative

The Return of Douglas MacArthur - Francis P. Sempa, University Bookman

How Did Our Politics Go Insane? - Michael Greve, Liberty Law Blog

How American Politics Went Insane - Jonathan Rauch, The Atlantic

How The Left Is Weaponizing The American Legal System - Daniel Payne, The Federalist

Theologian...Grudem Is Wrong About Trump Being Good Choice - Madison Peace, The Federalist

Sex Abuse Scandal Hits Gymnastics - Kelsey Harkness, The Federalist

Iranians Execute Scientist Mentioned in Clinton's Emails - Jim Geraghty, NRO

August 7, 2016

Roman Catholics and Trump

I recently ran across a blog post by Steve Ray on the "Defenders of the Catholic Faith" website, entitled "10 Reasons Catholics Should Vote For Trump – and why we certainly will." It links to, and cites, a post by Colleen McCrum on "Catholic Stand," so I will use the latter article in reply.

As advertised, Ms. McCrum gives ten (well, nine) reasons that Catholics should vote for Donald Trump. Briefly, she argues that: he's not Hilary Clinton, he might be pro-life, voting for an imperfect man is not a sin, voting for a third-party is a vote for Clinton, he might appoint good justices to the Supreme Court, Ben Carson endorsed him, religious freedom is important, he's a successful business man, how he hurts our feelings is irrelevant, and he's still not Hilary Clinton.

Frankly, the only one here that vaguely appeals to me is the question of the Supreme Court justice appointments. However, let me go through each of her reasons briefly, and discuss them. I am not sure that any of them are deal makers or breakers - rather, they are questions of prudential judgment for voting for Trump. Therefore, my approach is to note why the reasons (or most of them) are not sufficient for me to consider voting for the man.

Ms. McCrum's first and last reasons are that he is "Not Hilary Clinton." On the bare statement, anyone must agree. He is not Hilary Clinton. Her reasoning is, first and last, that Hilary is a known bad quantity, which must not be permitted to be president. As the only chance of stopping her is Trump, you should vote Trump. This reasoning presumes, of course, that Trump is a better option than Hilary. I do not think this is proven. In fact, Trump seems equally likely to engage in all sorts of questionable, and perhaps immoral, behavior. Certainly, he has no qualms about doing that during his campaign, sounding quite insane in the process: "(Cruz’s) father was with Lee Harvey Oswald prior to Oswald being, you know, shot. I mean the whole thing is ridiculous. What is this, right, prior to his being shot? And nobody even brings it up...." "But, Hillary! She lied about the emails! She...Benghazi!" Yes, I agree. But that still doesn't mean that Trump gets the vote, particularly if (like me) you think he's off his rocker.

As to passing and protecting pro-life laws...I am not sure what Ms. McCrum means here. Congress passes laws - the President's role is limited to vetoes and suggestions of legislation. So, Trump could not pass legislation. What does "protect" pro-life laws mean? I'm not sure. This argument seems a continuance of the first - Hillary will be pro-choice and ramrod it - Trump has pro-life "potential." I agree - "potential" seems to be the best thing you can say for him. When asked if he donated or donates money to Planned Parenthood, he waffles the question, never quite getting around to "no, I haven't." He also has said their work is great, though he would not fund them. So, on an issue where Congress is the real entity to pass laws, we have one bad candidate and one...less bad? Flip flopping?

True, voting for an imperfect man is not a sin. Only one man every fulfilled the perfection idea, and we're waiting for Him to come back....and when He does, He's...not likely to be running for president. It's not that he's imperfect, it's how he's imperfect. He's a loudmouthed, buffoonish, machismo clown, with delusions of grandeur. He is completely driven by appetite - and that's quite bad. I would wager, to reference Aristotle, that he is nearly a vicious man. Does he regret making personal attacks at every turn? Does he even realize what he's doing? C.S. Lewis once noted that it would be better to live under robber barons than omnipotent moral busybodies...but what about robber barons vs. intemperate bullies? Charles Krauthammer, commenting on Trump's attacks on a Gold Star family, noted:
Trump’s greatest success — normalizing the abnormal — is beginning to dissipate. When a Pulitzer Prize-winning liberal columnist (Eugene Robinson) and a major conservative foreign policy thinker and former speechwriter for George Shultz under Ronald Reagan (Robert Kagan) simultaneously question Trump’s psychological stability, indeed sanity, there’s something going on (as Trump would say).
Ms. McCrum then proceeds to a common argument - voting third-party is a vote for Hillary, because "every vote counts." Actually, not precisely, no, they don't. In some states, the odds are so far in favor of one candidate or another that voting has much less effect. In other states, not voting for either candidate simply removes one vote from the rolls. Moreover, no matter how you logic it out, not voting for candidate X is never voting for candidate Y, unless you switch sides and pull the lever for Y. It just isn't. Moreover, if you can't stomach either of them, don't vote. As Michael Brendan Dougherty stated on "The Week:"
You know that Donald Trump is an unstable imbecile. But this knowledge doesn't oblige you to discover new qualities in the bottomlessly cynical, power-mad grifter Hillary Clinton. In your heart of hearts, you may suspect that if she thought it would get her four centimeters closer to the presidency, Hillary Clinton would devour your squealing grandchild, or her own, live on the set of The View. It's a terror to contemplate. But in no way should this terror obviate your equally credible suspicion that Donald Trump is rabies in human form, likely to drive our country into a feverish search for scraps in the neighbors' garbage only to get us run over by a truck.
Of all the arguments she makes, Ms. McCrum is on the most stable ground when it comes to the question of Supreme Court nominees. Here, it really stacks up to how much you trust Trump. He released a list of potential nominees for the Supreme Court slots, if elected. However, he refused to say that those would constitute a short or exclusive list. (He noted that his sister would make an excellent Supreme Court justice.) The best you can say here is that Trump might listen to someone else (he must do that, at some point, right?) and appoint a decent justice or two....or he might not. For discussion of this point, I recommend Eugene Volokh, Damon Root, and Mike Rappaport.

Ben Carson endorsed him...and Carson is a good man. But plenty of people have endorsed Trump who are good men and women. It doesn't mean that the endorsements are entitled to any greater weight then the good men and women who have refused to endorse him. Arguments from authority are somewhat fraught when the basis for the authority of the individual is "I really like him."

As for religious freedom...Ms. McCrum makes no argument here for Trump. There's an anti-Hillary argument, but...see Dougherty, supra.

He's a successful business man. As Congress makes the laws, I am not sure what Trump can do as President. His plans range from incomprehensible to mundane. Of his tax policies, The Street noted:
Nonpartisan tax research group the Tax Foundation calculates that Trump's plan would cut taxes by $11.98 trillion over the course of a decade. It would lead to 11% growth in the GDP, 6.5% higher wages and 29% larger capital stock as well as 5.3 million jobs. However, it would also reduce tax revenues by $10.14 trillion, even when accounting for economic growth from increases in the supply of labor and capital.
"That tax cut would produce faster economic growth and a bigger economy -- as long as you pay zero attention to the fact that it would dramatically increase the deficit and budget debt," said Pethokoukis.
Finally, Ms. McCrum states that she will vote for Trump despite the hurt feelings his statements have caused others. That's well and good - nobody speaks perfectly all the time, to please everyone. However, it's not really an argument for voting for him.

August 6, 2016

CathCon Saturday - 8/6/2016

Apologies for no posting yesterday - I was out of the house / office most of the day, and when I returned, I was too tired to do much.

Notre Dame Has Reached the Point of No Return - Alexandra DeSanctis, NRO

Government’s Proposal to Put Human Cells in Animal Embryos - Prentice & Donovan, Daily Signal

Secondhand Gulag - Donald Devine, Liberty Law Blog

Homosexuality and Bad Arguments - John Skalko, Public Discourse

The Ransom That Dare Not Speak Its Name - Rich Lowry, NRO

Mistaken Belief That All Strict Liability Crimes Are Morally Objectionable - Paul Larkin, Heritage

Beginning St. Thomas Aquinas - Randall Smith, The Catholic Thing

The Fifty Worst (and Best) Books of the Century - Intercollegiate Review

The Dirty Little Secret [of] Pot Pushers - Cully Stimson, Daily Signal

When is a Ransom Not a Ransom? - Jonah Goldberg, NRO

Supreme Court and Transgender Bathrooms - Kelsey Harkness, Daily Signal

Brave New World Should be an Election Issue - Wesley J. Smith, First Things

What Good is a Faculty Senate? - George Leef, NRO

Higher Education as American Counterculture - Peter Lawler, Imaginative Conservative

Seven Books Every Conservative Should Read - Matthew Continetti, NRO

The Heresy of Equality - M.E. Bradford, Modern Age

The Lie That Is The Student Debt Crisis - Christopher Nelson, Imaginative Conservative

Conservatism is Dead.... - James Heaney, The Federalist

August 4, 2016

Can You Be a Christian and Wrong?

Yes, absolutely. In our postlapsarian state, we are pretty much guaranteed to stray, make errors, make stupid decisions, misinterpret, fail to interpret, and so forth. However, in an interesting article on the Federalist website, Kira Davis, while agreeing that Christians can be wrong, goes on to make several statements which I think are unsupportable.

In fairness, here is what I understand Ms. Davis to be saying. If this is incorrect, I hope she will reach out to discuss and correct any of my misunderstandings. After providing her impetus for writing the post (others' statements that one cannot be Christian and vote for Trump, and similar claims), she goes on to list a series of questions which occur to her - not an an exhaustive prospectus of questions to be answered, but rather examples of the kinds which occur to her and others. A sample: "Can you be gay and Christian? Can you be Jewish and Christian? Can you be pro-choice and Christian?"

Ms. Davis then indicates that the Bible is the only reliable source for answers to these questions. In consulting her Bible (she limits herself to the New Testament, for the most part), she indicates she sees many "dos," but very few "don'ts." So, for instance, she finds "Do treat your neighbor the way you would wish to be treated, do love the Lord with all your heart, do turn the other cheek, do be patient and kind and honest." She also outlines the requirements she finds for being a Christian, which are "fairly simple:" After citing verses from Galatians 3:22, John 1:12, John 3:16, and Mark 16:16, and referencing "a hundred more verses just like," she states (and let us call this the "Davis beliefs" for shorthand, as I do not feel hunting around in theological history to label it as any particular Christian belief set - I suspect it is similar to what many Christians would say):
If you believe Jesus Christ is the living Messiah and was sent to lead us back into relationship with Jehovah, than you are a Christian. If you believe the only remedy for sin is the blood of Jesus, you are a Christian. If you believe God has created you to be an adopted son or daughter and partake in his blessings through the mystery of Jesus Christ, you are a Christian.
The quotes seem like textual cherry picking. One wonders what Ms. Davis makes of St. Paul's statement from 1 Corinthians 6:9:
Do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! Fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, male prostitutes, sodomites, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, robbers—none of these will inherit the kingdom of God. (NRSV-CE).
or, if we want to go straight to Christ:
But I say to you that every one who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother shall be liable to the council, and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be liable to the hell of fire. 
True, St. Paul says that those who have been "washed, sanctified, and justified" by Christ have been changed, but he does not say that this changes those who are fornicators, etc. to those who will inherit the kingdom if they fail to change - that is, if they profess Faith in Christ and believe that this Faith then makes deliberate persistence in these ways forgivable and forgiven.

I think this selective reading of the New Testament (while completely ignoring the old) enables Ms. Davis to do what she does next, which is to minimize or eliminate the differences between "status" and "behavior." So, she argues that one can be "an alcoholic and a Christian," "a liar" and a Christian, pro-abortion and a Christian, progressive socialist and a Christian and so on. That sets the stage for this statement:
If the legitimacy of our faith is based solely on our opinions—political or otherwise—then is that to say we are always moving in and out of the grace of God? In and out of Christianity? That’s a scary thought, and also completely antithetical to what we just read in Scripture.
So, if I understand Ms. Davis correctly, the only decision that matters is to affirm the contents of the Davis beliefs, and after that, as long as one makes honest errors, nearly anything one believes short of dis-affirming the Davis credo will not move you out of God's Grace. While beliefs "if you choose to continually live in your sin while unrepentant....will have different consequences for your spiritual health and how you influence others," they are not enough to make one "not Christian."

In the end, Ms. Davis concludes:
Some Christians may have heard my pro-choice chatter and thought I was a heretic, but truth was (and is) that I was a very passionate follower of Jesus and believed with all my heart that he saved my life. I was also wrong. That’s it. Does God abandon us for being wrong sometimes? If so, we’re all screwed.
So can you be [insert stereotype here] and still be a Christian? Yes. You can be gay or vote for Donald Trump or even be pro-choice and still be a Christian. Faith in Christ is not qualified by anything but faith in Christ. The end.
I think that Ms. Davis, having (rightfully) abandoned the idea that God "abandons" us when we make a mistake, now has gone too far in the other direction. Our beliefs, our choices, our actions, etc. all effect us spiritually. We can turn away from God. We can make choices that, while professing Faith in Christ, empty that Faith. She also fails to distinguish between those who make broad, sweeping, statements "nobody can be pro-choice and Christian," and those who, individually and careful, counsel others that being pro-choice is, in fact, antithetical to life in Christ. She admits that being pro-choice was wrong, but she also claims that someone else making the judgment that her being pro-choice as wrong is...itself wrong. Surely an odd stance, especially if one assumes (as Christ seemed to) that the Holy Spirit may work through other people.

If Ms. Davis is correct that Faith is what is required, why does it really matter if anyone is "wrong," or "right?" Why does it matter that we "influence others," if we are all wrong-headed, and that we damage our "spiritual health?" If we cannot or should not tell others that they are wrong, even in Christian charity, does it matter whether we hold opinions entirely contrary to Scripture? If our interpretation of Scripture is wrong, even completely wrong? Does nobody have an accurate interpretation of Scripture?

CathCon Daily - 8/4/2016

The West’s War on the Family - Bruce Frohnen, Crisis

Notre Dame's Deal with the Devil - William Dempsey, First Things

The Rising Health Hazards of Megacities - Joel Kotkin, New Geography

The Problem of Democratic Prejudice - Bruce Frohnen, Nomocracy in Politics

The Cheapest Date in American Politics? - Greg Forster, First Things

Reagan vs. Trump - Carson Holloway, Public Discourse

Yes, You Can Be A Christian And Wrong - Kira Davis, The Federalist

6 Things To Know About The New After-School Satan Clubs - Jordan Lorence, The Federalist

August 3, 2016

Survey for Website Visitors (continued...)

(This is a re-post of the same survey I posed on 7/22 - just looking for more responses.)

I'm collecting some information about visitors to my blog. If you would, please click on the link and answer the brief survey. Thank you!

Blog Survey - Survey Monkey

CathCon Daily - 8/3/2016

New Study on Guns Used in Crime - Christopher Ingraham, Washington Post

A Profile in Courage - Ron Capshaw, Liberty Law Blog

America's Lost Boys - Samuel D. Jones, First Things

Tolkien Alternatives to the “Benedict Option” - David Michael Phelps, Crisis

How the Abortion Movement Echoes Radical Slavery Rhetoric - Miles Smith, Public Discourse

Trump’s Shallowness Runs Deep - George Will, Human Events

Business and the Roberts Court - Jonathan Adler, NRO

A Libertarian Ticket Hostile to Elements of Liberty - John McGinnis, Liberty Law Blog

Paradise Lost? - David Forte, Liberty Law Blog

Protect Rights of Pro-Life Medical Professionals - Minich & Slattery, Daily Signal

Newest ‘Star Wars’ Fan Theory Will Blow Your Mind - Brandon Morse, The Federalist

August 2, 2016

August 1, 2016

CathCon Daily - 8/1/2016

A Little More than Kin and Less than Kind - David Whelan, Imaginative Conservative

Law Abidingness: A Virtue and Its Limits - Bruce Frohnen, Nomocracy in Politics

The Habsburgs, a Reconsideration - William Anthony Hay, The University Bookman

The Quicksand of Research - Dwight Longenecker, Imaginative Conservative

Trump's Race to the Bottom - David French, NRO

Modern Progressives as the New Iconoclasts - John O. McGinnis, Liberty Law Blog

Carson Holloway’s Recovery of a Nobler Debate - Paul O. Carrese, Public Discourse

In Search of a Resurrection - Robert Royal, The Catholic Thing

A Look Inside 4 Important Goals of the LGBT Movement - Kelsey Harkness, Daily Signal

Egalitarianism, American Style - Bruce Frohnen, Imaginative Conservative

Mind-Reading and the Rule of Law - Theodore Dalrymple, Liberty Law Blog

Hillary Clinton Is A Big Fat Hypocrite On Women’s Rights - Veronica Lyter, The Federalist