Saturday, October 24, 2015

Items of Interest: Week of Dominica XXI Post Pentecosten

Doctor Zhivago and American Conservatism
by Benjamin Musachio (National Review). «Pasternak’s novel played a role in sorting out Birchers from mainstream conservatives.»

The Truth about Mass Incarceration
by Stephanos Bibas (National Review). «American criminal justice has drifted away from its moral roots. The Left has forgotten how to blame and punish, and too often the Right has forgotten how to forgive. Over-imprisonment is wrong, but not because wrongdoers are blameless victims of a white-supremacist conspiracy. It is wrong because state coercion excessively disrupts work, families, and communities, the building blocks of society, with too little benefit to show for it. Our strategies for deterring crime not only fail to work on short-sighted, impulsive criminals, but harden them into careerists. Criminals deserve punishment, but it is wise as well as humane to temper justice with mercy.»

Catholic Integralism and the Social Kingship of Christ
by Gabriel Sanchez (The Josias). «Contrary to popular belief, Catholic integralism—or what I shall refer to simply as “integralism” for the duration of this essay—is not first and foremost a political program. For the integral understanding of Christianity begins first with the supernatural society established by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, namely the Corpus Mysticum, the Holy Catholic Church, which transcends the temporal sphere and has for its end the salvation of souls. By carrying out its mission in the world, the Catholic Church possesses indirect power over the temporal sphere which is exercised for the good of souls. This indirect power in no way sullies the Church’s divine mission nor dilutes it by way of overextension since the civil authority retains at all times direct power over temporal matters.»

Christianity and the West
by Wolfhart Pannenberg (First Things). «Contrary to what some Protestants had thought, a Christian culture is not a plausible alternative to the ecclesial form of Christianity. If it ever was, it is no longer. There is no alternative to the Church. The further the secularist dominance of the general culture advances, the more clearly the Church, in clear distinction from that culture, emerges as the reference point of Christian existence. The Church takes the form of particular local congregations and of the universal communion of all Christians. These forms of ecclesial allegiance are not mutually exclusive. Indeed, only as they strengthen one another can the Christian community face with confidence the challenges that are ever more strongly posed by both the secular culture and the competing claims of other religions. Thus have we been brought by an ambiguous past to face with confidence an uncertain future.»

What’s the Real Problem with Payday Loans?
by Joe Carter (Acton Institute). «If you’re middle class and think of it in terms of interest rate, that repayment cost sounds appalling usurious. And it is. But as the poor will tell you, man does not live on APR alone. Having to pay an extra $120 was cheaper than having to find a new place to live. Yes, it was a bad deal. But it was better than all my other choices. I didn’t agree to the loan because I was bad at a math; I did it because I was desperate. And the payday lending company was more than willing to take advantage of my desperation.»

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