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A Life Worth Living
August 04, 2011
Life, liberty, and free contraceptives?
By Andrew Haines

Beginning next year, American women will have access to publicly-funded contraceptives under the Obama healthcare plan — and all without copays.

Following last month’s recommendation by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) that contraceptives and sterilization procedures be classed as “preventive services,” the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) — headed up by Kathleen Sebelius — concluded that “Not [covering contraceptives] would be like not covering flu shots.” In...

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A few weeks back, I wrote a post describing how “marriage equality” isn’t really about ensuring “equal rights.”

Now, a recent piece at CFMPL’s Ethika Politika blog highlights the ambiguous language that surrounds matters of “civil liberties.” And this particularly as it relates to gender-specific dorm situations on college campuses.

In his guest post, Chris Wolfe — a Ph.D student in politics at Claremont Graduate University — points out a number of flaws with the position...

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July 21, 2011
What the Church ‘really’ says
By Andrew Haines

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say something that might not win me many friends: “What the Church says” about many things isn’t clear. That’s right, the Church’s teaching on many topics is unclear.

I should immediately follow this up with the statement, though, that whether or not something is good or bad, right or wrong, does not always depend on the Church’s teaching about it. Indeed, to trade on then-Cardinal Ratzinger’s famous line that “Truth is not determined...

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July 14, 2011
Snowflake babies: A Catholic response
By Andrew Haines

A phenomenon of recent advances in medical science has been the advent of “snowflake babies” — human embryos, created via IVF, and frozen prior to uterine implantation. As the result of a completed, biological act of fertilization, snowflake babies are indeed human beings. And as such, they’re full human persons.

Not surprisingly, a moral dilemma has arisen as to how we, as Catholics, ought to approach the problem of snowflake babies. It’s pretty clear that the means of their...

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July 07, 2011
Proud to be an Ohioan
By Andrew Haines

Not often does Ohio top the charts when it comes to something to be proud of. I would know. I’m from Ohio. We’ve got the Rust Belt, the Cleveland Browns, and the infamously incendiary Cuyahoga River.

But as of last Tuesday, Ohio also has a House-approved bill that would ban abortion after detection of a fetal heartbeat. And that’s nothing to scoff at.

While the bill — which is yet to be approved by the Republican-controlled Ohio Senate — is certain to face massive backlash in the...

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June 30, 2011
‘Marriage' equality: Not about equal rights
By Andrew Haines

Contrary to popular belief, the debate over “marriage equality” — i.e., admitting that same-sex unions can be tantamount to marital unions — is not about securing equal rights for all. This language, after all, is so often thrown around, in houses of legislature as well as in our own living rooms. But it’s a misnomer; and it’s caused no small amount of confusion.

That people have a “right” to marry is, at bottom, a fuzzy notion. It’s fuzzy precisely because the term...

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June 23, 2011
Scandal: The forgotten sin
By Andrew Haines

Recent events having transpired—e.g., Fr. John Corapi’s “bombshell” plan to leave the priesthood, Rep. Anthony Weiner’s Twitter dalliances, etc.—force a discussion of that forgotten sin that seems to lurk forever in the background of our popular culture: scandal.

To most of us, scandal ranks somewhere far down the totem pole from murder and fornication, even below cheating, although perhaps a little above scrupulosity. In short, it’s mostly viewed as playing second fiddle to...

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June 09, 2011
The Economics of Family Planning
By Andrew Haines

I just read a really interesting book: Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids: Why Being a Great Parent is Less Work and More Fun Than You Think. In it, economist Bryan Caplan argues that tacking an extra kid onto your current family size is almost always a good thing—and he does it all with numbers.

If you’ll indulge me to present a bit of Caplan’s argument: the main thrust is that parents actually have very little long-term effect on their children’s habits, character, and...

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I spend too much time on Facebook. I’m working to fix that. Recently, I’ve gotten a little help from an unexpected place.

About 90% of my Catholic “friends” on Facebook drive me up a wall. Up. A. Wall. The newsfeed wall of my Facebook account, to be more specific.

I’ve got 700-and-some connections on the site — a pretty conservative number, all things considered. But lately I’ve found that I can’t log onto Facebook without being bombarded by pious images of (pastel colored)...

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May 26, 2011
What’s in a gender?
By Andrew Haines

I’m frankly surprised this has garnered so much attention. But it has, and it probably should.

Very recently, a Toronto, Ontario couple—Kathy Witterick and David Stocker—made local news by refusing to disclose publicly the gender of their 4-month-old child, Storm. What’s the reason for the cover-up? “We've decided not to share Storm’s sex for now,” said the parents, “a tribute to freedom and choice in place of limitation, a stand up to what the world could become in Storm's...

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