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The Truth of Things

Jan 25, 2024

Claudine Gay, Jimmy Lai, and the Truth of Things by George Weigel at First Things. Hard as it may be for normal people to grasp, the notion that there is only “my truth” and “your truth,” but nothing properly describable as the truth, is virtually axiomatic in the humanities departments of American “elite” universities, and has been for some time. Now, following the Orwellian script in Animal Farm, the woke plague has created a situation in which some of those personal “truths” are deemed more equal than others’ “truths”—the superior truths being the “truths” of political correctness. Read


The Key to History by John Barry at The Catholic Thing. For [Christopher] Dawson, the dynamic changes brought about by the Christian culture of the Middle Ages are part of Western culture more broadly in innate and inextricable ways. “The importance of these centuries. . .is not to be found in the external order they created or attempted to create, but in the internal change they brought about in the soul of Western man – a change which can never be entirely undone except by the total negation or destruction of Western man himself.” Indeed, the total negation of traditional Western man is the goal of modern-day “progressives” who in their Nietzschean Will to Power, seek the destruction of Christianity, family, and gender through various ideologies and in illusory calls for “social justice.” Read


How Tolkien Influenced the Conversion to Christianity of His Friend C.S. Lewis by Almudena Martínez-Bordiúat at Catholic News Agency. The topic of discussion was the nature and function of the stories for which they both felt great passion. On the one hand, Lewis argued that myths “were nothing more than beautiful lies,” while Tolkien asserted that they were “a form, imperfect but noble and beautiful, with which men explain a universal truth.” These were central questions for Tolkien, the basis of his literary work and of his conviction that human creativity was a great gift from God, in which his same creative power is reflected and propagated throughout history. Read


A Founder with a Vision: Tech-based Catholic University in Los Angeles to Open this Fall by Kate Quiñones at Catholic News Agency. When a Catholic mother in California couldn’t find a university with a strong math and science program that she felt comfortable sending her kids to, she decided to found one herself. The Catholic Polytechnic University (CPU) in Los Angeles announced that it will welcome its first inaugural class of students in fall 2024 after receiving its license from California at the end of 2023. Jennifer Nolan, a neuroscientist, mother, and now president of Catholic Polytechnic University, hopes to build a culture that immerses its students in the Catholic faith while also giving them a firm background in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Read


Two Suburban Catholic Schools to Close Months after Scholarship Tax Credit Program Expires, Archdiocese Says by Alysa Guffey at Chicago Tribune. Two west suburban Catholic grade schools will close this summer, the Archdiocese of Chicago announced Thursday, citing an “overwhelming financial cliff” after the loss of a state tax credit scholarship program for school choice…. School and church leaders said more than half of students at the schools rely on the program to attend. Between the two schools, 164 students attended through the tax credit scholarship program, the archdiocese said, and the schools have been open for a combined 196 years. Read


Teen Hits Major Fundraising Feat in Attempt to Save Her Childhood Catholic School by Joe Bukuras at The Catholic World Report. Seventeen-year-old high school senior Susan Lutzke may have successfully saved her childhood Catholic elementary school from closing after raising more than $400,000 to address the institution’s financial difficulties. The principals of St. Bede School in Ingleside, Illinois, announced on Dec. 13, 2023, that if the money wasn’t raised by Jan. 26, the school could face closure. Loving her experience at St. Bede, Lutzke immediately sprung into action. Read


Ohio Bans Sex Changes for Kids, Overriding Gov. DeWine’s Veto by Tyler Arnold at Catholic News Agency. Ohio lawmakers voted overwhelmingly to prohibit doctors from facilitating sex changes for children on Wednesday, Jan. 24, in a successful override of Gov. Mike DeWine’s veto of the legislation. The bill, which will go into effect in 90 days, prohibits all “gender reassignment surgery” performed on minors and the prescription of puberty-blocking drugs and hormone treatments designed to facilitate a gender transition for minors. More than half of the country still makes these procedures and drugs available to children. Read


Congress Should Join the Effort to Verify Ages of Pornography Viewers by Jeremiah Poff at Washington Examiner. In 2022, Louisiana became the first state to enact legislation that required age verification software for websites where at least 33% of the hosted content is sexually explicit. Last year, the state was joined by Virginia, Utah, Montana, North Carolina, Texas, Arkansas, and Mississippi…. 2024 is poised to bring many more. An age-verification bill cleared the Indiana Senate this month on a 44-1 vote. Similar bills have been introduced in Florida, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, Missouri, Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, New Hampshire, Nebraska, Iowa, Oklahoma, and Arizona. Read


Throwback Thursday


The Difference Christianity Made by George Weigel at National Review on December 16, 2021. Christianity redefined “heroism” and the human capacity for heroic virtue. Before the Christian martyrs, hero­ism was understood as an aristocratic virtue — think of Odysseus — and the typical classical hero was an aristocrat from a leading family: a strong and wily man, successful in human and material terms. The Christian martyrs changed all that. Martyr-heroes came from every social class, including the slave class. They were women as well as men (as the Roman canon of the Catholic Mass reminds us to this day). Martyr-heroes democratized heroism — their witness was available to everyone, and their sacrifice embodied a new form of self-respect that was not a function of class or sex. Read

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