by David Pence and A. Joseph Lynch
THE TRINITY - THE SOCIAL TEACHING OF THE CHURCH
Whenever I hear people refer to a certain set of papal encyclicals as the "social teaching of the Church," I tighten a bit. First, because I think all of these encyclicals betray a stunted view of masculinity and the nation. They teach what Russell Hittinger calls the "scissors approach" to the State. The State should not infringe on the family which is below it, but in possession of a sacred sanctuary. The State should not infringe on the Church which is bigger than the State, and also has many prerogatives not under the jurisdiction of the state. So the State is defined by two scissors that cut off the extent of its authority. But there is no positive fraternal view of the nations or states as defined public relationships (the res publica) among men. When I think of social teaching, I think of Church, nation, and marriage as forms of communio. All these forms stem from the greatest social teaching of the Church: The Trinity.
THE CHURCH - A CULTURE IN FULL
One of the most influential essays I have ever read was by Robert Louis Wilken on the early life of the Church: Church as Culture.
THE LION SLEEPS TONIGHT
When the problem is one of proportion, the solution is usually to be found in Chesterton by Ahlquist. And speaking about proportion, we should remember the distinction between rich man trophy hunting vs the hunters and outdoorsmen of Pheasants Forever.
A THOUSAND YEARS OF ORTHODOXY AND HER DAUGHTER NATIONS
On July 28, 2015, Orthodox Christians of America joined the Russian government (represented by Vladimir Putin) and the Russian Orthodox Church (represented by Patriarch Kyrill) to celebrate the 1000-year anniversary of the repose of St Vladimir in Moscow. There, all could witness the Christian tie that both transcends and binds the nations of Slavic Orthodoxy. The European nations share a similar pre-national religious bond which they have ignored at their great peril. The statue of St Vladimir which will soon dominate the Moscow city-scape is not without controversy and spiritual significance.
UNDER GOD NO MORE - A DISSENT AT 'COMMONWEAL'
Commonweal magazine is a progressive Catholic journal that was a very important venue of both literature and theology a half century ago. It is now a reliable advocate for Catholics of the feminist, homosexual, pacifist school of Christianity. They have allowed Andrew Bacevich space in their magazine before, because he brings military credibility and foreign policy sophistication to their magazine's antiwar position. It is to their credit that they published Bacevich's Under God editorial which noted that the Supreme Court decision on homosexual marriage will have a significant effect on our stance in foreign policy with nations who think doing God's will is part of a nation's spiritual calling. Almost every responder vehemently disagreed and a fraction wondered why he was published.
WHO LOVES THEIR NATION
An evenhanded appraisal by committed Euros of how Russia and assorted nationalisms are shattering the European myth. The authors are evenhanded, as well as soulless, in their description of their project in disarray.
TURKEY BOMBS THE KURDS, SAUDIS BOMB THE HOUTHIS, BUT NEITHER FIGHTS ISIS
Two Sunni nations are more militarily engaged in the last few months than they have been for several years. But while Turkey is fighting the Kurds in Syria, the Saudis fight the Shiite Houthis in Yemen. The salafist Sunnis of ISIS in Syria and Iraq and AQAP of Yemen are left untouched. A recent satirical article explains the situation in terms of a bizarre board-game in which the regional powers (Israel included) believe the best way to fight ISIS is to fight their religious, ethnic, or local enemies.
CHRISTIANS AND MUSLIMS IN NIGERIA
Phillip Jenkins reviews a book on BOKO HARAM.
INDIA: KILLING BY CASTE AND CREED
John Allen reports on Indian martyrs with no one to pay their way to canonization.
ISRAEL, TEL AVIV, AND JERUSALEM
The strange world of the Israeli homosexual movement -- nuances in Gaydom.
UNDERSTANDING POPE FRANCIS
To understand the Pope, understand the place of Peron in Argentine history.