Patrick O’Hannigan

Patrick O’Hannigan is a writer in North Carolina.

The Root of Poor Discourse Is Presumption

 

Two years ago, I wrote in this space that argument was dead. I offered examples to support that contention, but did not hazard guesses as to why those examples were so easy to find. Election-year foolishness had me veering from amusement to frustration without analyzing the root causes for the decline in the quality of […]

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Malice Has Its Day in the Sun

 

Ever hear of the “Anti-Trump Diet”? It’s a thing you might not know about unless you live in or near Raleigh, North Carolina, where it was a cover story in the September 19 issue of the local weekly. The diet was touted by a self-described “Vegan Feminist” who “wants to weaponize what you eat in […]

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Sunset

Even Sunset Is a Harbinger of Doom

 

Roy Scranton is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Notre Dame and a U.S. Army veteran of the Iraq War. On the evidence of a mid-July essay for the New York Times, Scranton is also a man in need of an intervention. The birth of his little girl allegedly inspired not the mix of joy […]

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Catholic Bishops Stumble on the Banana Peel of DACA Policy

 

The website for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) devotes an “Advocacy Center” page to political issues, and the cause du jour on that page is “support for our brothers and sisters who are migrants and refugees.” In bishop-speak, that’s a tip of the zucchetto to a campaign called “Share the Journey.” It’s […]

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Triggered by a Catholic Voter Guide

 

Mr. Thomas Farragher of the Boston Globe recently coughed up a hairball that explains why “ministers of hospitality” at my Catholic parish make sure the rest of us cannot find church bulletins before Mass on Sundays. Farragher admitted to his habit of picking up the weekly bulletin on the way into rather than out of […]

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Martyrdom Was Ours First

 

The New York Times waited two days. On the morning of July 26, 84-year-old Fr. Jacques Hamel was murdered while celebrating Mass when armed Islamists attacked his Catholic parish in Saint Etienne du Rouvray, France. Two days later, the New York Times published an essay by a journalist who hopes that Pope Francis can persuade […]

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Shut Up! What’s Happened To Argument?

 

If disagreement is no longer tolerated, making one’s case is the last thing required. Argument has fallen on hard times. That might seem an odd thing to say in an election year roiled by agitation over social questions and the continuing presence of candidates whom political strategists had thought would go away by now. Wouldn’t […]

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Mostly Dead All Day: What’s Happened to Argument?

 

Argument has fallen on hard times. That might seem an odd thing to say in an election year roiled by agitation over social questions and the continuing presence of candidates whom political strategists had thought would go away by now. Wouldn’t argument have to be in the air when musicians cancel North Carolina shows in […]

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The End of Christian America?

 

Duke Divinity School professor Norman Wirzba wrote recently about why he thinks we ought to declare the end of “Christian America.” A link to that essay was emailed to me by a friend who thought it was an excellent read, but I was underwhelmed by the work. Wirzba opened with a basic grammatical error, and […]

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Three Cheers for the Surveyor

 

Very few books can be summarized as “social science by a prayerful engineer wearing a hauberk,” but John Gravino’s The Immoral Landscape (of the New Atheism) stands tall as a paperback fitting that description. Gravino used the CreateSpace platform to publish a defense of “biblical moral psychology” aimed at professional atheists and the far larger […]

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