On Behalf of Thinking

by Crina Gschwandtner

Do we still think in our culture today? We are increasingly living in a world where reflection is reduced to superficial slogans and short soundbites, where communication is conducted in a homogeneous echo chamber of my own opinions rather than genuine discourse, where meaning has become the unthinking repetition of platitudes rather than deep engagement with the issues at stake.

This is true both outside the church and, regrettably, within it. Yet, in the current climate we cannot afford simply to parrot spiritual platitudes, to feed our children facile and simplistic versions of the faith, to remain theologically at the level of kindergarten conversation. If Orthodoxy is to be a vibrant tradition today, if its faith is to make sense to and in a postmodern culture, it has to grapple with the contemporary reality in all its complexity. Continue Reading…

The European Union, Russia, Religion, and Fear

by Kristina Stoeckl

On 23 November 2016, the European Union Parliament passed a resolution entitled EU strategic communication to counteract anti-EU propaganda by third parties. In one part of this resolution, the signatories deplore that

the Russian Government is employing a wide range of tools and instruments, such as think tanks and special foundations (e.g. Russkiy Mir), special authorities (Rossotrudnichestvo), multilingual TV stations (e.g. RT), pseudo news agencies and multimedia services (e.g. Sputnik), cross-border social and religious groups, as the regime wants to present itself as the only defender of traditional Christian values, social media and internet trolls to challenge democratic values, divide Europe, gather domestic support and create the perception of failed states in the EU’s eastern neighbourhood.

The resolution was approved by 304 votes to 179, with 208 abstentions.

Religion comes up in two places in this resolution. Continue Reading…

The Disarray and Hope of Our Post-Election Abortion Politics

by Charles C. Camosy

Pro-lifers, despite being in the clear majority of the country, are now politically homeless. 73% of Americans want abortion to be broadly illegal after week twelve of gestation, but for the US Congress, a 20-week limit—a modest threshold that makes European restrictions look pro-life—seems impossible to achieve.

Senate Democrats still have the capacity to filibuster such common-sense restrictions, and given their recent commitments to wild abortion extremism, they almost certainly will. In a July opinion piece with the Los Angeles Times, I joined Kristen Day (executive director of Democrats for Life) in calling out the extremism of the Democratic platform supported by Hillary Clinton. In addition to supporting the coercion of pro-lifers to pay for the killing of the most vulnerable with their own tax dollars, the platform did the following: Continue Reading…