But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.  1 Peter 3: 14-16

The Underground Thomist - Apologetic Report
Sunday, 18 August 2019 16:00

Disclosure

Written by

imageThe only excuse for broadcasting how one thinks about the upcoming election is that plenty of other people are probably having the same difficulties.  If this sort of disclosure bears no interest for you, try again next week.

The last presidential election was the first in which I did not...

Read more

Sunday, 11 August 2019 16:00

What’s Up with Conscience?

Written by

imageQuery:

I don’t get it about protection of conscience for medical workers.  Why would anyone think doctors should be allowed to refuse to give medical care to people with whose beliefs they disagree?

Reply:

No one thinks doctors should be allowed to do that:  That’s...

Read more

Sunday, 04 August 2019 13:43

Politics in the Pulpit

Written by

imageQuery from a pastor:

When most American Christians think of politics, they think of promoting their favored candidates for office.  I think of politics in the broader, more ancient sense, as promoting the common good.  In this sense, I, as a pastor, can talk all day about politics...

Read more

imageQuery:

I am writing a thesis on the politics of virtues, and I know you have written about this.  But where?

Reply:

The politics of virtues is a way of thinking about government and politics that gives first place to considerations of moral character.  As thoughtful people have...

Read more

Sunday, 28 July 2019 16:00

Only Truth Is Merciful

Written by

imageSays one internet news outlet, “Since his election in 2013, conservatives have sharply criticized Francis, saying he has left many faithful confused by pronouncements that the Church should be more welcoming to homosexuals and divorced Catholics.”

Such reportage is typical. ...

Read more

Thursday, 25 July 2019 16:00

Natural Law for Lawyers

Written by

image 

For years I’ve been teaching a group of law students called the Blackstone Fellows about the classical natural law tradition.  I think this is one of the most important things I do every year, and it is certainly one of the most satisfying.  These young people are interns with...

Read more

Tuesday, 23 July 2019 16:00

Evangelicals in the Public Square RIDES AGAIN

Written by

image

 

Query:

I use your book Evangelicals in the Public Square, about the formative influences on Evangelical political activism, in a course I teach at an Evangelical college.  However, the book is no longer in print.  Though I'm trying to figure out a way to keep it in the course, if it...

Read more

Sunday, 21 July 2019 16:00

I Have Changed, Therefore I Exist

Written by

imageFrom a student:

I like learning about natural law, but the theory of it involves a certain amount of metaphysics, and I’m scared of metaphysics.  A friend of mine wrote an essay for another course, in which he denied the persistence of personal identity.  According to my...

Read more

Sunday, 07 July 2019 16:00

Hooking Up High

Written by

imageNeedless to say, a man who takes advantage of a woman by having sexual intercourse with her while she doesn’t know what is happening is a rapist, and should be punished to the full extent of the law.  But let’s not talk about that.  Let’s talk about

Read more

Sunday, 30 June 2019 16:00

The Philosophical Effects of Broken Homes

Written by

imageWe should always reason logically, but right reason isn’t just about logical arguments.  The pain of growing up in a broken home deeply affects how some of my students think about the natural laws of marriage, family, and sexuality.  Sometimes they draw the wrong lessons.

One...

Read more

Sunday, 23 June 2019 16:00

Connecting the Dots

Written by

image

 

A reader sends this anecdote:

“My nephew and I talked last night about abortion.  I could tell that he was troubled by the fact that at the earliest stage in his or her development, the developing child looks like a glob of cells.  “‘Most people can’t connect...

Read more

Sunday, 16 June 2019 16:00

Just a Little Clarification

Written by

imageSanctuary cities have been much in the news lately.  The idea of cities of refuge is biblical, of course.  They were for those who were in danger of being killed in retaliation for an accidental death.  Far from being means of escaping from law, in fact they were established by...

Read more

Sunday, 09 June 2019 16:00

What Is a Common Good?

Written by

imageI doubt that we give enough thought to what we mean by the common good, because a good may be common, or shared, in a number of different ways:

Type 1.  It may be like the good of conversation for those participating in it:  Unless they are competing for approval, if the conversation...

Read more

image

 

Most of the founders of the Republic took for granted that it was impossible to maintain a decent political order without good moral character on the part of both the citizens and the rulers.  Some, like John Witherspoon, went so far as to think that we always get exactly the government...

Read more

Sunday, 26 May 2019 16:00

The Old, Middle, and New Liberalism

Written by

imageThe old sort of liberalism thought the law should promote good character, but considered it unwise for the law to demand so high a standard that the demand for virtue backfires.  This is a very ancient idea, and it is true.

The middle sort of liberalism said that the law should repudiate...

Read more

Sunday, 19 May 2019 16:00

Is God a Legal Positivist?

Written by

imageQuery:

A note from Australia.  Thomas Aquinas writes in the Summa that “the divine law commands certain things because they are good, and forbids others because they are evil -- while others are good because they are prescribed, and others evil because they are forbidden.”

I&rsq...

Read more

Sunday, 12 May 2019 16:00

Who is to say?

Written by

imageIn debates about right and wrong, selective relativists – I mean people who are relativists when it suits them – often use the question “Who is to say?” as a conversation-stopper.  For example, we might be talking about whether some enactment violates the natural...

Read more

Sunday, 05 May 2019 16:00

How to View Loving as Hating

Written by

imageChristianity, the religion of love, is condemned for being hateful; in the meantime, those who hurl this accusation are wholeheartedly embracing hatred, not least for Christianity.  What is going on?

Well, many things.  But one of them is that the Christian understanding of hatred,...

Read more

Sunday, 28 April 2019 16:00

Antisemitism

Written by

imageFrom a reader in Israel:

I read with interest your article on the early Christian teachings on tolerance.   Unfortunately most of these words were not heeded.  Nor were the primary teachings of Christianity -- “Love thy neighbor” and “Do unto others as you...

Read more

Sunday, 21 April 2019 16:00

Western Rite

Written by

imageYou must remember that this is Texas.

On Easter morning, the children were going downstairs, ready to hunt for their Easter baskets before going to church.  They are well instructed in the liturgy.

Spontaneously, their father said “Alleluia!”

Their mother replied, “The...

Read more

Tuesday, 16 April 2019 16:00

The Sexual Revolution in One Lesson

Written by

image

 

If I twittered, this would be a tweet, because Jennifer Roback Morse has produced the best short definition of the sexual revolution that I have seen.  She accurately describes it as three interacting elements:  The separation of sex from babies, the separation of both of them from...

Read more

Sunday, 14 April 2019 16:00

The Feminine Form of Misogyny

Written by

image

 

The times are strange and getting stranger.  Not least of its ideological brutalities is that according to the fashion of the day, a certain form of contempt for women is called feminism.

For consider:  Men who despise women think that to be worthy of respect, one must be like a...

Read more

Sunday, 14 April 2019 16:00

What Makes Men Men?

Written by
Sunday, 07 April 2019 16:00

Burning Minds, Thoughtful Feelings

Written by

imageQuery:

Greetings from Jerusalem (yes – you also have readers from the holy land).

In many cases, people who tend to provide rational arguments are perceived by others as people who are “anti-feelings.”  I personally tend to talk to many people about all the big issues --...

Read more

image

Recently an Iranian convert to Christianity appealed to the U.K. for religious asylum because he feared persecution.  The Home Office, which handles such cases, questioned his story by quoting several verses from Exodus, Leviticus, and Revelations.  “These examples,” he...

Read more

Page 1 of 11