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With Good Reason
November 03, 2009
The Faith that Makes Us Human
By Father Thomas Berg

This is part seven of my reflections on Pope Benedict XVI, Joseph Ratzinger's book, Christianity and the Crisis of Cultures. If you missed the earlier columns, here are the links: part one; part two; part three; part four; part five; part six.


In Part III of Christianity and the Crisis of Cultures, Pope Benedict turns to the question of Christian faith: "the fundamental act of Christian existence."

Why, we might ask, does he choose to draw his reflections to a close by turning to the...


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October 27, 2009
The Stakes in Afghanistan
By Father Thomas Berg

The war in Afghanistan and our continued commitment to that battle raises any number of moral issues. These were recently addressed by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in a letter sent to the United States government's National Security Advisor General James L. Jones USMC (Ret.).  Of course, America's military engagement of the Taliban has roots in the 9/11 attacks.  Most observers find the U.S. at a critical juncture, and are anxiously waiting for President Obama to make a decision...

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October 20, 2009
An Abortion Mandate in the Making
By Father Thomas Berg

Last week saw significant progress toward a final version of a healthcare reform bill which could be voted on by Congress as early as the end of October.  The path toward that final bill is so tortuous, however, that even experts disagree on just how it will be accomplished.  As explained to me by my colleague  Dorinda Bordlee, Executive Director and Senior Counsel for Bioethics Defense Fund, and editorialized in the San Francisco Examiner, the bill was taken behind closed doors in the...

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October 13, 2009
Some thoughts about public discourse
By Father Thomas Berg

Readers will forgive me for waxing philosophical for just one column. But let's take a step back from healthcare reform, unemployment, the economy, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, al Qaeda, Gitmo, water-boarding, gay marriage and stem cell research to think for a minute about just how the exchange of ideas is faring in the public square these days.

It is Christopher Tollefson, professor of philosophy at the University of South Carolina, who has me thinking about this. His recently published and ...

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October 06, 2009
The 'Common Ground' Non-Argument
By Father Thomas Berg

Many within and without the Catholic Church have suggested of late that a "common ground" approach is the way to resolve our sharp cultural divide on the issue of  federal funding for abortions.  Within current debates over healthcare reform, "common ground" has taken on a more specific meaning, namely, to maintain the status quo on federal funding.  Supposedly this would be a reasonable way ahead, especially to open a path for healthcare reform we could all live with.  

Among advocates of...

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September 29, 2009
Some Objectivity on Abortion and Healthcare Reform
By Father Thomas Berg

Since I last wrote in August about the healthcare reform bills currently before Congress, there remains much public consternation and confusion as to whether these bills will or will not provide government funded abortion coverage. This concern is not surprising when public opposition to such coverage is mounting as demonstrated by recent polls. Last Tuesday, a new survey commissioned by the USCCB revealed that fully 60% of those who support health care reform oppose government funding for...

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September 22, 2009
What is Marriage? -Part II
By Father Thomas Berg

?xml:namespace prefix = v ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:vml" /?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /?xml:namespace prefix = w ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:word" /Last Tuesday, 90 members of the U.S. House of Representatives introduced a bill (H.R. 3567) that would repeal the one federal law that currently protects the traditional definition of marriage, the Defense of Marriage Act. This is the latest in nation-wide attempts to redefine the...

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September 15, 2009
What is Marriage? -Part I
By Father Thomas Berg

With New York Governor David Paterson determined to legalize same-sex "marriage" in New York, it's a good moment to revisit this controversial issue from a Catholic and natural law approach. 

The legal recognition of gay "marriage" is currently required by court order in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Iowa, and by legislation in Vermont, Maine and New Hampshire.  Active efforts to repeal gay "marriage" are taking place in New Hampshire and Iowa, and a referendum to that effect will be on...

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August 25, 2009
Stem Cell Research and Cloning
By Father Thomas Berg

Special note: Fr. Thomas will be away for two weeks. "With Good Reason" will resume on September 15.

Now let's continue with the Q & A style update on current happenings in stem cell research we began last week.

What drives the continued interest in cloning human embryos?

The technical name for cloning is somatic cell nuclear transfer.  In this process, a cell, such as a skin cell, is taken from a donor; the nucleus of that cell (which contains the donor's DNA) is inserted into an...







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August 18, 2009
The Latest in Stem Cell Research and Cloning
By Father Thomas Berg

Buried under all the uproar over proposed healthcare reform legislation, there has been some significant news this summer regarding stem cell research. To begin, let's recall some of the basics of this issue.        
 
What are stem cells?
 
Maureen Condic, Senior Fellow with the Westchester Institute, concisely responds to that question in a recent article in Ethics and Medics
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A stem cell is any cell that exists in...






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