“Voting Matters.” A Catholic Reflection on the 2018 Elections (@Catholic Vote)

Voting matters. In a free society, it’s a duty—not only to vote, but to be worthy of voting, by educating yourself.

Paragraph 2240 of the Catholic Catechism states, “Submission to authority and co-responsibility for the common good make it morally obligatory to pay taxes, to exercise the right to vote, and to defend one’s country…”

We now have the most pro-life Senate in history, with the possibility of two more Supreme Court vacancies coming up, and no longer held hostage to the Murkowskis and Collinses of the Senate.

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Joshua Charles
Justice for the Justice: or, Law vs. Mobs

On Monday, October 8, 2018, Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh was formally sworn in as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.  The event marked the official “end” of a rancorous three months that was undoubtedly the most contentious judicial nomination process in American history.

But another victory, more sweeping and fundamental in its consequences, was also achieved: the sacred presumption of innocence was defended against an ideological lynch mob who sought to destroy it.

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Thanksgiving, and the Religious Awakening of Abraham Lincoln

Thanksgiving is one of the “high holidays” of America’s civic life.  While proclamations of national days of thanksgiving went back to George Washington, the holiday didn’t become an official feature of the American calendar until, in 1863, President Abraham Lincoln declared the holiday would fall on “the last Thursday of November.”

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Joshua Charles
Knowledge is Power: The Forgotten Perils of the Intellect

I’ve been reviewing some of the stories and lessons in McGuffey’s Readers, which were by far the bestselling textbooks in 19th century America (the only book that outsold them was the Bible).  They were originally authored by William Holmes McGuffey in 1836.  McGuffey, who was a deeply religious man, believed that education was both intellectual and moral—that to empower someone with knowledge without forming their character would be to only make them a “more clever devil.”  

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Joshua Charles
Abraham Lincoln’s Advice to Lawyers

Abraham Lincoln, who famously served as America’s sixteenth President during the Civil War, was for most of his life prior to the presidency a lawyer.  He was moderately successful, but certainly would not have been one of the “celebrity” lawyers of today.  His average fee was between $5 and $20.  The highest fee he ever charged was $5,000, which, though substantial for the time, was not common for him.

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Joshua Charles
The Bible and the Founders, Part 3—Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation

Thanksgiving is among the most American of American holidays.  While it was not celebrated as an annual national holiday until 1863, the origins of the holiday are found in a proclamation by George Washington in the first year of his presidency.  The proclamation is full of biblical language and religious overtones, imploring the new nation to offer thanks to God for His providential guidance of their affairs, as well as for His mercy for their sins.

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Joshua Charles
The Bible and the Founders, Part 1—George Washington and John Adams

The role of the Bible in the American founding remains a highly debated topic.  Unfortunately, many who comment on this issue do so without having plumbed the depths of the Founders’ writings themselves.  What they would find is that the Bible exerted a profound and ubiquitous influence on the founding generation, even on those who were not particularly religious.

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Joshua Charles