Commonweal

An independent journal of opinion that is edited and managed by lay Catholics. Addresses a broad range of subjects, including national and international politics; social and ethical issues such as abortion, the death penalty, euthanasia; and science and r

Articles from Vol. 132, No. 1, January 14

Among Friends: My Life as a Jew & a Quaker
Praised be the Lord our God, Ruler of the Universe who ... gives light to the earth and all who dwell there. --Gates of Prayer: The New Union Prayerbook The principle of the Inward Light ... illumines for us every corner of religion, philosophy, ethics,...
Law Schools & the Military: Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Don't Recruit
The First Amendment's protection of "freedom of speech" is about more than just speech. Courts and commentators agree, for example, that the freedom to speak includes a freedom not to speak, and that just as the government may not punish us for professing...
Promises, Promises: Is Embryonic Stem-Cell Research Sound Public Policy?
The American love of science goes back to the very beginning of the nation, and so does the hyperbole. The day will come, Benjamin Franklin wrote, when "all diseases may be prevented or cured, not excepting even that of old age, and our lives lengthened...
Remember the Mormons: Thinking about the Nature of Marriage
Few activists on either side of the gay-marriage debate have paid much attention to the nineteenth-century campaign to suppress Mormon polygamy. Why? In my view, that campaign--our first great battle over the nature of marriage--is full of uncomfortable...
Respecting Our Ancestors: Christianity & the Confucian Tradition
In the spring of 2002, I attended my first Passover Seder, sponsored by Emory University's Hillel Foundation. As a Christian, I learned much about the roots of the Last Supper. As a Chinese woman, I was particularly impressed by the arrangement of...
Sex, Drugs & R & B: 'Ray' & 'Kinsey'
Call an entertainer's work "conventional" nowadays and you might receive a gob of spit in your eye. Yet here comes Ray, a biopic about the great soul singer, Ray Charles, and it is as respectful of the conventions of the show-biz screen biography as...
She's a Natural
The pilot announced our descent into Minneapolis and added that the current temperature was five below. Most passengers on our flight from the balmy Pacific Northwest gasped. Not I. I had finished my doctorate in the Twin Cities a few months earlier...
The Bumpy Path to Rome: Scenes from the Life of a Struggling Convert
What does it mean to "turn Catholic," as they say here in my tiny Midwest parish? What happens when someone in her late forties tries to "be Catholic," having been reared a Unitarian and spent most of her adulthood as an Episcopalian? These are questions...
Unnatural Disasters
Much of the world's attention has rightly been focused on the catastrophic loss of life caused by the tsunami that swept across the Indian Ocean last month, reminding us in the most horrific way that nature's capriciousness can be as deadly as man's...