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, 16 June 2019 16:00

Just a Little Clarification

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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...

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Sunday, 09 June 2019 16:00

What Is a Common Good?

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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...

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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...

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Sunday, 26 May 2019 16:00

The Old, Middle, and New Liberalism

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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...

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Sunday, 19 May 2019 16:00

Is God a Legal Positivist?

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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...

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Sunday, 12 May 2019 16:00

Who is to say?

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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...

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Sunday, 05 May 2019 16:00

How to View Loving as Hating

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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,...

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Sunday, 28 April 2019 16:00

Antisemitism

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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...

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Sunday, 21 April 2019 16:00

Western Rite

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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...

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Tuesday, 16 April 2019 16:00

The Sexual Revolution in One Lesson

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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...

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Sunday, 14 April 2019 16:00

The Feminine Form of Misogyny

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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...

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Sunday, 14 April 2019 16:00

What Makes Men Men?

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Sunday, 07 April 2019 16:00

Burning Minds, Thoughtful Feelings

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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 --...

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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...

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Saturday, 23 March 2019 16:00

Reading an Empty Book

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image“It’s impossible to know anything about God.”  You would have to know a great deal about God in order to know that you couldn’t know anything about God (I mean anything about Him).  At the you would have to know either that He doesn’t exist,...

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Sunday, 17 March 2019 16:00

Men Again

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imageLast month I posted a link to “What Makes Men Men?” delivered at the conference “Patriarchy:  Fatherhood and the Restoration of Culture.”  Here, slightly edited, is the text.

What Makes Men Men?

I am a little amused, because it may at first...

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Tuesday, 12 March 2019 16:00

Utrum or Ultrum?

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imageQuery:

A mail from Sweden.  I recently read your excellent commentary to the Treatise on Law by St. Thomas.  A work of that kind was long overdue, and to my humble mind you made it brilliantly.  A small thing bugged me though:  I think the Latin word you render ultrum should...

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Sunday, 10 March 2019 16:00

Self-Ownership

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imageThe other day some young people argued to me that there is nothing wrong with sniffing glue.  The premises of their argument seemed to be that (1) each of us owns himself, and (2) owners may do whatever they want with their own property.  One student’s version of the argument...

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Friday, 08 March 2019 15:00

Visiting Oxford

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For all you audiophiles, the audiofiles of the talks at the colloquium on “Aquinas and the Development of Law,” which took place last week at Blackfriars, Oxford University, are already posted online.  The four talks were by Richard Conrad, O.P, Ryan D. Meade, Jonathan Price,...

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Wednesday, 06 March 2019 15:00

The Sins of the Fathers (and Their Virtues)

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The First Commandment’s prohibition of worshipping false gods concludes with the warning that God “visits the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me.”  Notwithstanding the fact that Deuteronomy also declares...

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Annual Colloquium, “Aquinas and the Development of Law,” Aquinas Institute, Blackfriars, Oxford, March, 2019.

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Authors: jbudziszewski...

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Sunday, 24 February 2019 15:00

Musings

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imageIsn’t it curious that tattoos, piercings, and scarifications are considered cool, but circumcision is considered a barbaric mutilation?

I wonder why pundits describe certain politicians as ideology-free, since that’s not possible.  Everyone has some view of the world. ...

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Sunday, 17 February 2019 15:00

Making Good Laws, Then and Now

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imageTo make and evaluate laws, one must always consider the circumstances.  Viewing former ages from the perspective of our own narrow slice of time, it is easy to overlook this fact.  Consider, for example, the legal rule in the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy that if a man seizes an...

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Sunday, 10 February 2019 15:00

No World, Just Word Games?

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Please see the message at the bottom of this post!

Query:

I have been studying natural law for my master’s thesis, but so far I haven’t been able to see how to answer the following objection which has been thrown at me.  It runs like this.  Given the implications of...

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Wednesday, 06 February 2019 15:00

New Talk: Faith, Natural Law, and the Common Good

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imageIn October, a conference on “Christianity and the Common Good” was held at Harvard Law School.  My own talk at the conference, “Faith, Natural Law, and the Common Good,” is now available for viewing, and has been added to the Underground Thomist Talks Page. ...

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