Rex Murphy nails it on Donald Trump:
My own view on Trump is fairly plain — he is a boor and a hyper-egotist, a shallow and avaricious blowhard, whose candidacy can almost stand as a rebuke to the idea of a democracy. But it is not Trump who should bear the responsibility for his success. It is the practice of politics itself and the political class (which includes, more and more, the news media) that has for so long abandoned honest representation of ideas, facing difficult issues with real language, which has so professionalized campaigns and elections that the sound of a human voice saying something it actually means is so rare.
It is the toxic atmosphere of political correctness that suffocates so many voices that enables a Trump, when he rants with full stream-of-consciousness abandon, to be seen as a plain speaker, authentic and different.
I like the fact that Donald Trump says things that nobody has the guts to say and won't apologize for it. I don't necessarily want him to be president. I just wish someone with a bit more gravitas had his bravado.
Slightly related: Donald Trump says wants to defund Planned Parenthood.
(Planned Parenthood issue starts around 2:49)
Jonathon Van Maren explains Why the Right is anti-intellectual:
But I make those points in order to make this one: Conservatives, especially social conservatives, have very good reason to be suspicious of academics. Being healthily suspicious of many intellectuals has unfortunately evolved in many ways into suspicion of intellecutalism in general is because for years, many universities and other intellectual establishments have been busily attempting to destroy the influence of Christianity, discredit the traditions that have served Western civilization for centuries, mock those who insist on “clinging to their guns and religion,” and serve as institutions that function as places for secular humanists to cultivate their own ideology rather than institutions of higher learning.
The secular Left is going to scorn social conservatives, and they are going to demonize us—but we don’t have to provide them the ammunition to do so.
I see Christians and pro-lifers time and time falter and retreat in the face of the ridicule of the secular Left, and many people swayed by feeble arguments painted over with a patchy veneer of tolerance and intellectual respectability. We need to study, to read, to educate ourselves, and be prepared to defend the truth—because we’re going to have to do so in order to prevent more people from buckling under the pressure of the relentless mockery and condescension coming from those who believe our views are not only false, but repulsive and stupid. Our children, especially, will need this education in order to grow up in a culture hostile to Christianity. Those who still understand the most basic truths about human dignity, human life, and human well-being must be prepared to defend those beliefs.
I would like to add that one of the reasons why abortion is institutionally accepted in our country, and fetal rights are not, is that our fields of knowledge are imbued with abortion propaganda, but we don't inject our point of view. Where is the pro-life history of the unborn child? Where is the pro-life legal scholarship? Where is pro-life anthropologist explaining the nature of humanity or the pro-life sociologist explaining the nature of crisis pregnancy? If we want to convert everyday people, we need to prepare that terrain for the harvest, and we do that by discussing by researching and writing from our point of view.
Austin Ruse talks about the Escriva option as an alternative to the Benedict Option.
I agree with Austin Ruse that lay people can seek perfection, but I have a quibble about the underlying idea that the religious life and the lay vocation are equivalent. They are both valid, but the religious life is better suited for the quest for perfection. God calls people to various vocations according to his plan, but there's nothing wrong with wondering if a pious young man is destined for the priesthood. We want the most religious to be our clerical leaders.
That being said, I think, like him, that withdrawing from the world would be a huge mistake. We don't need fewer Christians in the public sphere, we need MORE of us. That doesn't mean we shouldn't think about creating a stronger Catholic/Christian community. Our isolation is one of our big weaknesses.
Court: Family-run pharmacy must carry Plan B despite religious objections. It's constitutional because the law doesn't actually target any religion. *eyeroll*.
14-Year-Old Indian Girl Allegedly Raped by Doctor Denied Abortion... because the baby is at 24 weeks gestation, and India's abortion law prohibits abortions after 20 weeks. The victim's father is said to be too poor to raise the baby. Here's an idea: instead of spending all this money to kill him, why don't they give it to the father to help him raise the child?
Portugal passes a restrictive abortion law that would require women to get counseling and pay up to $55 per abortion. I'm very curious to see whether it will have any effect on abortion rates.