F&P Episode 103: Catholics and “Pride Month”

Michael Pauley and Chris Motz tackle the political and cultural phenomenon known as “Pride Month.” Governmental bodies and America’s largest corporations loudly celebrate this event every June, but what exactly is the message that’s being promoted? Michael and Chris explore the sexual ideology that underlies Pride Month, and contrast it with the Catholic Church’s teaching on human sexuality and how this dimension of our personhood can be lived in a way that contributes to human flourishing. They also discuss resources that are available to help Christians better understand issues related to same-sex attraction and transgender ideology.

F&P Episode: Supreme Court Decision on Dobbs Case

On this episode Michael Pauley, Executive Director of the South Dakota Catholic Conference, and Chris Motz, Chief of Staff for the Diocese of Sioux Falls, provide an initial overview of the momentous decision released June 24, 2022 by the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. They discuss the court’s decision to overturn its previous cases, Roe v. Wade (1973) and Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992), that asserted the existence of a federal constitutional right to abortion, and unpack what this means for the state of South Dakota.

F&P Episode: 102 – Introducing the new SDCC Executive Director

The bishops of SD are pleased to announce the appointment of Michael Pauley as the executive director of the South Dakota Catholic Conference. Mr. Pauley previously worked as a consultant specializing in government affairs and public communication. His clients have included several non-profit organizations that advocate for public policies to defend vulnerable human life, safeguard religious liberty, and protect marriage and family life. Mr. Pauley has served as a policy aide for government officials at both the federal and state level. He is a graduate of Georgetown University, where he received a bachelor’s degree in foreign service. On this episode of Faith & Politics, Chris passes the baton by introducing Michael and asking Michael about his background.

F&P Episode: 101 – Labor and Leisure in a Fragmented World

On this episode, Chris hosts Dr. Michael Naughton professor of Catholic Studies at the University of St. Thomas and author of Getting Work Right: Labor and Leisure in a Fragmented World. They discuss ‘leisure’….and no, they’re not talking about polyester wide-lapeled suits from the 70’s. Drawing from the definition articulated by the 20th century German Thomist Josef Pieper, leisure is “an attitude of the mind and a condition of the soul that fosters a capacity to perceive the reality of the world” as it truly is. Mischaracterized as “wasting time,” it is fundamentally about being, not doing, in a way that our hearts and minds become more open to the good. At the core of leisure is Sunday, the Lord’s Day. In order to get Monday right, Dr. Naughton argues, we must first get Sunday right. The conversation draws on Pieper’s famous 1947 book, Leisure, the Basis of Culture.

F&P Episode: 100 – SCOTUS Dobbs Leak

Chris welcomes back Katie Glenn, Government Affairs Counsel and Americans United for Life, to discuss the recent unprecedented leak of a draft opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health. First reported by news outlet Politico, lead author Justice Samuel Alito and four of his colleagues appear poised to completely and unequivocally overturn Roe v. Wade, which would return abortion to the states as a political issue. Katie and Chris unpack what was in the draft opinion, what it means for the pro-life movement, the sheer significance of leak from the Supreme Court, and the path ahead for pro-life citizens.

F&P Episode: 99 – Virtue, Law, and Community

Chris welcomes back Dr. Chris Burgwald. First, they discuss Pope Francis’s recent invitation to the bishops of the world to join him in consecrating Ukraine and Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. They then discuss a book they’re reading together, After Virtue, by philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre. They specifically dive into the themes of Chapter 12, titled “Aritsotle’s Account of the Virtues,” using a reading guide authored by Christopher Lutz. They discuss the connections between virtue, law, and community; the virtue of prudence; and Aristotle’s view of “friendship” as a foundational virtue for a polis or civil community, prior even to the virtue of justice!

F&P Episode: 98 – Hey, What’s the Problem?!

The Problem of Evil. Chris is joined again by Dr. John Schaff, Professor of Government and Director of the Center for Public History and Civic Engagement at Northern State University. They discuss the problem of evil, what evil “is” (or rather, “is not”), historical errors in understanding it, natural evil and moral evil, and why God might permit it.

Show notes: As mentioned by Dr. Schaff, here’s Peter Kreeft’s Critique of the Philosophy Behind Star Wars

F&P Episode: 97 – Evangelicals & Catholics Together

On this episode, Chris welcomes back Norman Woods, executive director of the Family Heritage Alliance. Chris announces his departure from the helm of the Catholic Conference and gives Norman a book as a parting gift, Evangelicals & Catholics Together: Toward a Common Mission, a 1995 book co-edited by Evangelical leader Chuck Colson and Catholic priest Fr. Richard John Neuhaus. Norman shares a quick take on “Catholics” and Chris does the same on “Protestants,” then they turn to their “top 3” bills to review for the session. They discuss mobile sports betting, surrogacy, parents rights, marijuana, education choice, and bathroom privacy.

Senate Bill 3

The SD Catholic Conference opposes Senate Bill 3. We do not agree that recreational marijuana use is safe and harmless, as has been assured during movements to legalize the drug in various jurisdictions. We do not see how this bill advances the cause of human flourishing and the common good. Read more…

F&P Episode: 96 – Catholic Microschools

On this episode, Chris is joined by Dr. Kevin Baxter, former superintendent of Catholic schools for the largest U.S. archdiocese, Chief Innovation Officer for the National Catholic Education Association, and current director of the Mary Ann Remick Leadership Program at the Alliance for Catholic Education at the University of Notre Dame. They discuss Dr. Baxter’s recent book, Greatness in Smallness: A Vision for Catholic Microschools, published by the NCEA. As Dr. Baxter describes it, a “microschool” isn’t defined so much by total enrollment, but is rather an attitudinal posture that isn’t afraid to depart from historical paradigms. For example, he describes how multi-age instruction (multiple ages of kids in one classroom) couldn’t be further from a “desperate” measure, but rather is a model with many, many benefits for children, and which is being used in some premier, high-tuition schools. Looking to the future, he sees leadership and innovation as the two pillars on which Catholic schools can newly thrive (again, not defined in enrollment data) in the years ahead.

House Bill 1246

The SD Catholic Conference supports HB 1246, a bill that establishes in statute the fundamental rights of parents to nurture, educate, and care for their children. The bill would firmly solidify in statute a rule that currently exists in judicial case law. As a practical matter, it would not eliminate Read more…

F&P Episode: 95 – Chris & Chris talk politics

Airing for this week’s installment of F&P is a segment from Catholic Views, the weekly broadcast of the diocese of Sioux Falls. Guest host Dr. Chris Burgwald interviews SD Catholic Conference director Chris Motz on bills that he’s tracking in the state capitol. Chris (Motz) rounds out the half-hour with late-breaking updates on several bills. Find all Catholic Conference legislative positions at https://sdcatholicconference.org/category/2022-session/ or follow updates on Twitter @SDCatholicCon.

House Bill 1311

The South Dakota Catholic Conference supports the passage of House Bill 1311, which would require that courts use state adoption laws in all instances of voluntary termination of parent-child relationships. It would thus eliminate the use of commercial contracts currently being used to end these most important relationships. While the Read more…

F&P Episode: 94 – Marijuana Policy

Chris is joined by Luke Niforatos, Executive Vice President at Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM). Luke shares SAM’s position on marijuana policy, unpacks who is driving the push to legalize marijuana across the nation and in South Dakota, and describes what science has told us about legalization efforts. He also reveals some of the failed promises of legalization advocates, namely that blackmarkets would disappear (they’ve expanded) and that it would be a boon to state revenues (far from it). Lastly, reflects on how Christians might approach the topic of marijuana policy.

Senate Joint Resolution 502

The SD Catholic Conference opposes SJR 502, which seeks to amend the state constitution to permit mobile sports betting throughout the state. The Catholic Church does not understand games of chance to be inherently wrong in every instance. However, very serious concerns arise in the context of modern sports betting, Read more…

F&P Episode: 93 – God, Country, and Grace

Chris gives a legislative update to open this episode, and then welcomes Fr. Joe Forcelle, a priest of the diocese of Sioux Falls. Fr. Forcelle recently directed a one-day retreat titled, “God and Country: Prayer in the Midst of Conflict and Grace,” which they discuss. He offers reflections on love of country through the lens of the 19th century short story, A Man Without a Country, by Edward Hale. Awareness and right-ordering of one’s passions, prayer, and the virtue of patriotism (pious love of one’s country and countrymen) are all important to holiness for those navigating turmoil in the civic sphere.