The Francis Effect and the Fight Over Catholic Identity

  It’s a familiar scene: a “radical” speaker is invited to a college campus, until the skittish university decides to rescind the offer to avoid controversy. The twist? The radical figure here is a Jesuit priest, Father James Martin, and the university was Catholic University. Father Martin was scheduled to speak at Catholic University’s seminary Theological College, on September 15, when the seminary decided to cancel his appearance.  In an official statement the following day, Catholic University expressed disappointment that Father Martin had been uninvited. Nonetheless, the offer was rescinded,…

My Take on Roger Stone

If my only exposure to American politics was through the hyper-politicized society of New York City, and I assumed the rest of the nation was just like it, I would come to the conclusion that the country is a sort of pseudo-socialist state, where anyone slightly right of center, let alone Donald Trump, could never become president. However, that isn’t the reality we face as a nation. Pseudo-socialistic political culture represents the two coastal bubbles that liberal America lives in, but the big stickler is the near 3,000 miles and…

Social Media Mental Health Crisis: Its Potential Politicization

Social media have political utility; as feeds of information and news, as instruments for connectivity and organization, and even as weapons of civil oppression. Between Facebook’s role in disseminating spurious political news during the 2016 election; Turkey’s recent mass arrest of 1,600 dissident social media users; and even Twitter’s facilitation (though only partial) of protest during the Arab Spring, the political dimensions of social media are ever apparent. But what can be said about the recreational users of social media? The people who routinely check their Instagram or Facebook or Snapchat…

The Bane of Democracy: The Average Voter

Alexander Tytler was a historian at the University of Edinburgh, and he is attributed with claiming in 1787 that the average lifespan of a democracy is 200 years. He remarked that “a democracy is always temporary in nature, it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government,” and pursuant to his observation of Athens and Rome, he recognized the following cycle, which he posits all democracies follow: From bondage to spiritual faith; From spiritual faith to great courage; From courage to liberty; From liberty to abundance; From abundance to…

President Trump’s Climate Change Apathy Threatens the Global Community

President Donald Trump isn’t exactly a champion of environmentalism. To this day, he has made no indication, either in word or action, that he supports the goals of environmentalists in any way.  During his campaign, he made great waves by claiming that  climate change was a “hoax” created by the Chineseㅡan unabashed declaration of his disbelief in the scientifically-proven phenomenon. It became clear that Trump was not making idle threats about his opposition to climate change regulation once he assumed office, where he began to put into motion several relevant…

The Cultural Dichotomy: In Defense of Marijuana Legalization

Last week, Paul Ingrassia wrote an article reflecting upon the social impacts associated with the decriminalization and legalization of marijuana. While he did acknowledge that there are numerous economic benefits resulting from legalization, even conceding that the war on drugs was a failure, he portends that cannabis is a threat to public health and safety. We would, however, be remiss to look at this as a debate on the economic, medical, or social benefits of marijuana. His opposition highlights a larger battle in the U.S., a cultural dichotomy between conservatives…

A Conservative Media Reckoning

When allegations arose from a New York Times investigation that Bill O’Reilly had sexually harassed women for years while working for Fox News, the reaction was swift and decisive. In a matter of days, more than twenty national advertisers had pulled their programming from The O’Reilly Factor, throwing O’Reilly’s future at the network into doubt and sending shockwaves through a company that, only months before, had ousted its former chief executive on similar charges. Since then, O’Reilly’s been fired. The firing comes as the capstone to a tumultuous period at…

Unam Sanctam Catholicam: A Call for a Renewal of Tradition in the Catholic Church

It has been over a half-century since the closure of the Second Vatican Council, which ran in multiple sessions from 1963 to 1965 under the papacies of Pope Saint John XXIII and Pope Paul VI. Vatican II, as the ecumenical council is colloquially known is considered the defining moment of the Church in the twentieth century.  The Council brought forth historic change to the Roman Catholic Church, thereby fundamentally altering the liturgy and dispensing with centuries of tradition to appease a world society that had freshly emerged from the two…