Catholic Husband

Love, Lead, Serve

© 2019 ChetComm, LLC
Political Life

Spiritual Bankruptcy

I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on the mass shootings gripping our society. Young men, disaffected and isolated, suffering from mental illness, take up arms and attack unsuspecting victims in acts of extreme violence. These events are things that we’re used to seeing in Europe, Asia, or the Middle East. We’re not accustomed to hearing about them happening in our schools, offices, and shopping centers.

A deeper look at the profile of these killers provides a stunning indictment against the culture that we’ve built. We live in this golden era of consumerism, where few of us want for our basic necessities. We have a bustling economy at full employment and our lives are inundated with abundance. Yet, in this era that previous generations could have never imagined, a group of young men find themselves hopeless. In their hopelessness, they’re radicalized, and then they act out.

We’ve learned that they’re not only loners, but some had a history of violence. They’re young and many of them didn’t have their father in their lives. They have weak ties to the community, and don’t participate in society. Many of them spent inordinate amounts of time in the darkest places of the Internet.

We’ve had acts of domestic terrorism before, but never at this scale. We watched ISIS target Europe, but with a certain aloofness. We’ve pontificated and conjectured about why those young Arab men were radicalized. We’ve opined about how their communities could better interdict them and de-radicalize them. All of this time, while we’ve been academic about the problem, the very same evil has taken root here at home.

This violence must stop. There are many policy ideas being proposed. Red-flag laws that allow courts to remove guns from the people deemed to be a risk are starting to be enacted. Other policymakers suggest a different mix of gun regulation or perhaps more funding for mental health services.

This is a complex problem with no simple solution. We need to be doing all of these things, and more. If we throw some money at mental health treatment, pass a few token laws, and call it a day, we’ll have missed a huge opportunity. We must address the root cause that’s driving these men to their breaking point.

These are young people without hope.

In our rush to self-actualize, we’ve made God irrelevant. We’ve collectively dismissed the importance of our spirituality. We’ve demeaned people of faith as radical or stupid. We’ve insisted that we are enough unto ourselves, with no need for any religion. We’re smarter than all of that fantastical theology.

The data speaks for itself. In the midst of abundance, we’re a nation that’s spiritually bankrupt. Suicide rates are accelerating, families are in tatters, drug abuse and overdose rates are a public health crisis, and domestic terrorism is taking hold. We’ve found a problem that cannot be solved by ourselves.

But what is hope?

Hope is the theological virtue by which we desire the kingdom of heaven and eternal life as our happiness, placing our trust in Christ's promises and relying not on our own strength, but on the help of the grace of the Holy Spirit. -Catechism of the Catholic Church 1817

Hope is the understanding that we have a real and active connection to our Creator. Hope is the acknowledgment that our spirit is an integral part of our humanity. Neglecting our spiritual wellness has the same negative effects as neglecting our physical or emotional health. Hope is the virtue that tells us that what God has promised, He will deliver.

Faith, hope, and charity are the virtues through which we should interact the world. We’re here to know God and Truth. God has revealed to us the reality of Heaven, and that He desires us to live there with Him forever. And while we’re here on Earth, we need to serve and love one another.

This is the cure to the despair that underpins our spiritual bankruptcy. A reminder of our true reality and our true purpose for being. Nothing soothes the soul more than service. Perhaps that’s where we should start.

Returning to Divine Freedom

The faith of the martyrs has always been an inspiration to me. Throughout history, men and women of all ages and states in life have laid down their lives in defense of the Church and Truth. Their executions have seldom been merciful. Rather, their deaths were calculated to inflict the greatest pain, humiliation, and terror. Miraculously, the opposite has happened. These gruesome executions occur even to this day around the World.Read Article

Mending Post-Election Fences

We live in an ailing culture. How far we have fallen from the America that De Tocqueville documented in his journeys. In many ways, I believe that the way that we live our daily lives has contributed to the toxic nature of our society. This article is about more than just an election or any one candidate. This article is about who we have become, and the dire implications that it entails.Read Article

Pro-Life with Credibility

The modern pro-life movement has focused on the issue of abortion. It would seem that is an appropriate focus given the scope of abortion and the opportunity for change. There have been 59M abortion deaths in the United States since 1973. Even so, to be pro-life requires that we be more than just anti-abortion.Read Article

The Duplicity of Moral Superiority

There's a tendency in human thought to desire superiority over others. We must show those we resent that we’ve made something of our lives and that it's more than they've done. Thus, we are better than they are. This tendency is destructive and it diverts precious resources away from bettering ourselves.Read Article

The Fatal Flaw of Feminism

Americans have a great tradition of rugged individualism. We have a heritage of self-reliance typified by the settlers on the Oregon Trail, or the grit of the Greatest Generation. Self-reliance and self-motivation are two great qualities to have, but it seems that we’re becoming more and more insular. Instead of relying on a strong community, we count only on ourselves. This move has lead to peculiar movements and ideologies, especially modern feminism. The thing about authentic femininity is that it requires no words. They don’t need to tear anything down in order to validate themselves. They’re powerful and sublime in and of themselves.Read Article

Keeping Things Civil

Every four years, we have a tremendous, Constitutionally guaranteed, opportunity to remind ourselves just how much we hate our neighbor. Twelve to sixteen months of personal attacks and a relentless avalanche of political marketing that has become our presidential election cycle. Instead of being a moment for us to collectively pause, evaluate our progress, and choose a vision for our future, it’s a free-for-all.Read Article

Vote Your Conscience

When Virginia held its primary election on Super Tuesday this year, I found myself in a position that I had never been in before as a voter. Having missed only one voting day since I assumed my civic duty, I am typically well-read on the candidates and am prepared weeks in advance to cast my ballot. This year though, things were different. I didn’t make up my mind until 10am on election day.Read Article

Divorcing Faith & Work

Over the past several decades, the pressure to divorce one’s faith from one’s work has become increasingly strong. We’ve done it for a very long time in our political life, even as far back as the candidacy of John F. Kennedy who gave a landmark speech in which he aimed to assuage the American voter that as president, he wouldn’t be beholden to the papacy. This pseudo-logic, when taken at face value, presents itself as common sense; if my faith interferes with your life, then as a holder of public office, I shouldn’t use my faith so as to allow you to have absolute freedom. The problem with this line of thinking is that by leaving behind the tenants of one’s faith in the workplace, we all lose out on the very tangible goods that accompany faith.Read Article

Antonin Scalia: America's Thomas More

“In every interaction you have with people, you can either give them life or take some away.” -Toby Mac

The passing of Justice Antonin Scalia is a great tragedy. Although all things are done in God’s time, I, along with many others, selfishly wish that he could have been permitted to remain with us longer. His death raises many interesting lessons that we can apply to our lives. Truly this was a man who lived the haunting words of Christ, “Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you (falsely) because of me.”Read Article

Broken Promises

I've been struggling lately to defend my beliefs amid our culture shifts. It's not that I think that I'm wrong, but it’s that I'm made to feel like I'm wrong. It's the bitter poison that Modernism tries to feed us. Modernism is a supremacist ideology that seeks to suppress and supplant all other thought systems. When you get down to the meat of Modernism's arguments, it's mostly semantics. New is not always better than old. New is not always destructive. Old is not always wrong. What isn't semantics, however, is logic. The fatal flaw of Modernism is that it cannot withstand even the first buffets of logic.Read Article

Every Election is Important

We're getting deep into the 2016 election, even though it's more than a year away. The fields for both political parties are getting plenty of attention for the wild card candidates that have thrown their hats into the ring. There's a level of excitement about the race, but really for all of the wrong reasons.Read Article

The Art of Compromise

We live in a large society, and so the idea that we can have things exactly the way we want them is unrealistic. Even in our own marriages and families, when there are two decision makers, neither spouse can have complete control over how the household is run. We need to become experts in compromise, an all but lost art in a society that loves drama and rewards polarization. We achieve more by working together than by remaining intransigent.Read Article

The Politics of Abortion

Public opinion polls should not inform morality. Yet, as we enter into another long and grueling national election cycle, we're already starting to experience just that. Politicians are taking stands on issues that aren't aligned with their true beliefs, but rather they’re taking stands that the polls tell them are palatable to the electorate. Perhaps no issue speaks more clearly to this reality than abortion.Read Article

A Culture that Respects Life

We find ourselves, yet again, as Americans doing some serious soul-searching after last week's incident of gun violence. Two young journalists gunned down on live TV in a chilling video clip that's been seen by millions the world over. The assailant, hours later, taking his own life.Read Article

Book Review: Marriage

Last December, during one of our regular visits to my parent's house, my dad handed me a book of his to read. This happens from time to time; a book that he got a great deal out of will end up in my temporary library to enjoy. Since I've committed to a habit of regular reading this year, my book queue is able to take on these random offerings.Read Article

Our Political Role

Today we observe President's Day and I think it's an excellent time for us to consider our political role.Read Article

Why We March

Today marks both a sobering anniversary and a special anniversary. Today is the anniversary of the landmark Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that ushered in a new era of misnomers in healthcare and encouraged a culture that viewed children as the ultimate burden, as opposed to the ultimate blessing.Read Article