Badges of Shame, and of Honor

Decades ago, a six-year sojourn in Canada acquainted me with the awe in which the denizens of that snowy realm hold the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Many a northern lad could dream no grander dream than growing up to join the ranks of these bravest of all servants of Queen and Country. In one fatefulContinue reading “Badges of Shame, and of Honor”

A Benign Bloodthirst

Clarence Thomas is to my mind (the one you keep hearing about here) the most impressive of our Supreme Court Justices. That late intrepid defender of the “original meaning” of our Constitution, Antonin Scalia, referred to him admiringly as a “bloodthirsty originalist.” Pace the purveyors of social injustice, this does not imply that he isContinue reading “A Benign Bloodthirst”

Breaking the Social Contract

“Social contract theory” is the (false) notion that society is essentially constituted by an agreement among radically autonomous individuals. Though the theory stands in contradiction to our political nature, it does not follow that the concept of a social contract is erroneous or irrelevant to an understanding of human affairs. Just as human beings areContinue reading “Breaking the Social Contract”

His Soul is His Own

Every subject’s duty is the king’s; but every subject’s soul is his own. Henry V, Act 4, Scene 1 According to St. Thomas Aquinas, the purpose of authority is to help each and every member of a community achieve happiness. For human beings, happiness consists in a life tending toward the perfection of a natureContinue reading “His Soul is His Own”

Praiseworthy by Nature

If sanctity consists in doing our duty and leaving the rest to God, how are we to know our duty? Though divine law instructs us in this matter, its counsels and injunctions are addressed to men already blessed with the light of reason. At their best, St. Paul tells us, “The Gentiles, who have notContinue reading “Praiseworthy by Nature”