Biblical Heritage Leads to Freedom, Religious Toleration & Human Rights

The new atheist crusaders (such as Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins) like to pretend that the concept of universal human rights just popped out of thin air in the 17th and 18th century, the creation of the agnostic and atheist thinkers of the French Enlightenment. But the truth is precisely the opposite: The […]

Why Evolution Can’t Explain Evolutionists

John Haught, a Catholic theologian, had yet another interesting but perplexing article in the December 6 issue of America, the Jesuit weekly.  It was entitled “Do We Need God to Be Good?” Haught is a senior fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University and he has spent the last decade, at least, wading […]

Evolution, Creation and Adam and Eve, Part II

People often ask me why I remain a Roman Catholic – given all the scandals over homosexual pedophiles in the Church, the Peter, Paul and Mary liturgies, and so on. They’re not asking me for the party line reason but my own, very personal reason. And this is what I usually say: Whenever I really […]

The Nature of Existence

For a beach philosophizer like myself, it doesn’t get much better than “The Nature of Existence,” the quirky little documentary on the Meaning of Life that is opening this weekend. Filmmaker Roger Nygard wrote down the 85 toughest questions he could think of about the meaning of life — and then set out with a […]


Frank Fenner: Another Crackpot Prediction of Doom

NOTE:  The photo above is an illustration of what the earth would look like if ALL of the ice on earth melted and the worst fears of the climate change doomsayers came true:  About 4% more of the earth’s surface would be covered by water than is true today. I would take the aged scientist […]

Bible, Patriarchy & Wicca

To say that the Bible is patriarchal is like saying that Tai Chi is Chinese: It is such a bewildering statement of the obvious that only an academic or reporter would think it a profound revelation. Yet in the 1970s and ‘80s, literally millions of feminists opened the Bible (some for the first time, some […]

Jesus in Ancient China

It’s an amazing story, one only now being told. More than 1,300 years ago, a Persian Christian monk named Aleben traveled 3,000 miles along the ancient caravan route known as the Silk Road all the way to China, carrying precious copies of the New Testament writings (probably in Syriac). Aleben and his fellow Christian monks […]

Jesus in China

Sex and John Paul II’s Theology of the Body

According to rabbinic tradition, the first commandment God gives Adam and Eve in the Garden is to have sex: Pru vehravu, “be fruitful and multiply.” It’s little wonder, then, that Christian theology has pondered for centuries the place that human sexuality and bodily existence have in God’s plan for the universe. On the one hand, […]

Theology of the Body

Thriving Long-Term Marriages

The break-up of Al and Tipper Gore’s 40-year marriage is sparking a soul-searching among many long-time married couples. The Wall Street Journal today had an interesting article about the shifting marriage patterns among couples who have been married 30, 40 years or more. It turns out the Gores are typical of the baby boom generation: […]

Bernard Lonergan a Closet Kantian?

One of my favorite Catholic blogs, Lex Christianorum, had an interesting post on my philosophical guru, Bernard J.F. Lonergan, yesterday.  Lonergan is accusing of being… the horror!… a Kantian in disguise.  Of course, this comes as no surprise to anyone who knows Lonergan or his work.  It’s the standard slam against almost all of the […]

Practicing Non-Violence in Aikido

Growing up in the 1970s, and attending a Jesuit high school and university, I heard a lot of talk about “practicing” non-violence.  This was the era of the anti-war priests Dan and Phillip Berrigan… of Catholic Worker protests… of James Douglass (author of The Non-Violent Cross) and his wife Shelly.  Everyone was a pacifist, everyone […]

The Eternal City

I took my whole family to Rome this year for Easter… and, as usual, it was an invigorating, life-affirming, faith-building experience for everyone. Rome has a way of doing that to people. I’ve been to many of the great cities of the world – from New York, London and Paris to Berlin, Athens, Cairo and […]

Debating Atheism, Part 1

A week ago, I was scrambling to get my daughters off to a major swim meet at six o’clock in the morning, when I got a strange email: I was being invited to come to the Philosopical Society at University College Cork, Ireland, and participate in a debate about “whether this house would” reject atheism. […]

New York Times Has Predicted Melting Polar Ice Cap for 128 Years

This is interesting.  A blogger at The Daily Telegraph compiled a list of predictions of imminent doom due to the melting polar ice cap featured in The New York Times over the past, oh, 128 years… It’s really true:  Liberals have been predicting the end of the world (unless we immediately do what they say) […]

Confessions of a Climate Change Skeptic

I am one of those people whom the media have dubbed with the ominous title of “Climate Skeptic.” That doesn’t mean that I don’t believe in “climate change,” whatever that means. I am open to persuasion. But as the word “skeptic” implies, it simply means that I am skeptical: I am not wholly convinced that […]

Robert Hutchinson: Author and Essayist

Veteran travel writer, author and award-winning essayist Robert Hutchinson insists his latest book, The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Bible (Regnery, $19.95), grew out of his world travels where he came into first-hand experience with, and developed great respect for, the world’s great religions. His first paid article, he adds, written for an alternative newspaper […]

Aikido’s Strange History

Part of Aikido’s weirdness comes from its strange history. Aikido is a modern martial art that evolved out of Daito-Ryu Aiki-Jujitsu, a deadly, no-holds-barred fighting form taught secretly to the Japanese samurai. The principal aim of the art was to teach samurai how to quickly kill opponents on the battlefield if they lost their weapons. […]

The Real Reason Why Health Care is So Expensive

In the early evening of the Fourth of July, my wife was cutting cilantro for a salad we were bringing to a friend’s party. Distracted by yelling children, she accidentally cut her left index finger with the knife. Yikes! It was a fairly deep cut across a nail, bleeding profusely, and we all agreed she […]

Jean-Jacques Rousseau and a Return to Eden

I just finished reading Leo Damrosch’s magisterial 2005 biography of Jean-Jacques Rousseau (Jean-Jacques Rousseau: Restless Genius) and I’ve been thinking a lot about how Rousseau’s vision ties in, or doesn’t tie in, with the problems of modern urban society. (Full disclosure: My wife hates Rousseau because he forced his lifelong mistress, Therese Levasseur, to give […]

JFK’s Inaugural Address Reaffirmed Divine Origin of Human Rights

Today, I was re-watching the inaugural addresses of previous presidents… in anticipation of Barrack Obama’s inauguration next week.  But what struck me in Kennedy’s address was his powerful reaffirmation of freedom and the religious, even biblical origin of the concept of human rights enshrined in the Declaration of Independence. Here is the key passage: The […]

A Comparison of Catholic and Reformed Views on the Salvation of Non-Christians

“God is not one to show partiality, but in every nation the man who fears him and does what is right, is welcome to him.” — Acts 10: 34-35 In Lumen Gentium, the Decree on the Church in the Modern World, the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council forever committed the Roman Catholic Church to […]

Author Robert J. Hutchinson in Rome

Jesus Christ Remains the Greatest Enigma in History to Believers and Skeptics Alike

In just three years or less, the mysterious figure we now know (or think we know) as Jesus of Nazareth somehow changed the face of the world. His real name was almost certainly Yeshu’a bar Yosef. From all the available evidence, he was a semi-skilled Jewish journeyman from a tiny village in northern Palestine who […]


Lost Gospels Revealed

A final issue when it comes to New Testament studies: The so-called “lost” Gospels. As skeptics tell it, reflecting the worldview captured in The Da Vinci Code, the Christian church systematically suppressed the truth about Jesus and his early disciples, “censoring” alternative accounts of Jesus’ life and teaching because these texts didn’t reflect the “dogma” […]

Atheist Crusaders Misrepresent Both History and Science in their Denunciations of the Bible

“We’re told that four fifths of American homes have a Bible, so go get it,” bellows Penn Jillette of the controversial comedy/magic act, Penn & Teller, on their Showtime TV series, Penn & Teller: Bullsh*t! “Really, no kidding! Go get your goddamn Bible! If you don’t read along with us tonight, you’re going to think […]

The Biblical Roots of Thanksgiving

Unbeknownst to many Americans, Thanksgiving is yet another legacy of the Biblical heritage that shaped American law and culture over the centuries. There is at least some evidence that the deeply pious Pilgrims — who, as Puritans, believed the Old Testament law was binding on Gentiles as well as Jews — may have been partially […]