I agree, with qualifications

First, a pro-life strategy of compromise—rather than principle—has failed to convince the public or the courts. This offers the opportunity to refocus our efforts on the ultimate goal of the pro-life movement. Second, Republican judicial nominations have failed to overturn unconstitutional pro-abortion precedents and have even contributed to them. This offers the opportunity to eschew blind partisanship and to create constructive social tension that prompts political change. And third, our constitutional system has failed to constrain the judiciary. This offers the opportunity for lesser magistrates to resist unjust edicts.

(source: SCOTUS and Abortion: Three Failures and Opportunities)

Now, if you expect that I’m cheered to see that stated so clearly, you are quite right.  Obviously, I think this effort is all to the good (especially that last one, which needs a lot more clear and cogent expression, these days).

I want to add one qualification, though.  I think it is important that we not treat “didn’t work” as “couldn’t have worked” or “might not ever work.”  I mean simply that, while we must necessarily make judgments based on our best possible understanding of our situation, we should not discourage others or prevent ourselves from simultaneously attempting other things.

Honesty requires us to simply admit that we regard some principles–partisan consistency, usual procedure, typical courtesy, even legal niceties and fair play–as useful and generally good, but dispensable when matters of the first importance such as the slaughter of the unborn are clearly not being solved in those manners.  But honesty does not require us to say that such things are bad ideas.  They are “good if you can get it,” and not treating the slaughter of the innocent as a human right is “if you don’t have this, you can’t have anything else.”

It really is that simple.  We always plan the next battle, and we never agree that any of the transient alliances we may make along the way have any power to bind us where matters of true importance are at play.  We recognize that gamesmanship and euphemism have their place, but we also recognize that when the innocent are being killed for profit with the protection and approbation of what we euphemistically call “the law,” the appropriate rhetoric is not that of the cricket pitch but that of the battlefield.

It cannot be otherwise.

And while we plan and think that way, we also back whatever improves the situation–tentatively, and without ever offering the slightest pretense that we intend to stop there.  We insist that any honest person can “at least” support whatever is already in play, because that is reality.  Any honest person can, and should.  And we will insist that again, the next time, too.

So my qualification is only this:  let us no more make a false principle of adherence to the top-line principle “alone” than of adherence to the lesser and more transient principles, but let us use all and every means without dissimulation or hesitation.

Psalm of the Day

To you, Lord, I lift up my soul.
My God, I trust you, I shall not be ashamed.
Do not let my enemies triumph.
No-one who trusts you should lose by it.
Let the losers be the faithless traitors
who break their word pointlessly.

Lord, show me your ways
and teach me your paths.
Guide me in your truth and teach me,
since you are the God of my salvation
and I hope in you all the day long.

(source: Universalis: Sext)

Announcing The Clay Pot

My most recent poetry collection is now available, and I believe it is the best yet.

Poems, mostly sonnets, written since the completion of my last collection. In these works, concrete imagery and metaphysical reflection serve as lenses to survey a number of durable realities. The progression from “Thinging” to “Thinking,” as well as the philosophical nature of many of these poems, derives from the major intellectual adjustments that have resulted from my embrace of the Catholic faith and the metaphysical realism, best worked out by St. Thomas Aquinas, that follows naturally from that understanding. A brief annotated selection of 1995 poems provides some depth of field for the intellectual and poetic landscape here sketched.

(source: The Clay Pot by Peter G. Epps (Paperback) – Lulu)

If you know someone who would be willing to review it, I’d be happy to arrange to send a copy. And do please consider adding it to your collection!

I’d prefer you ordered from my printer directly (or help me get this shelf space in your local bookstore), but all my work is available through amazon.com/author/pgepps as well.

What a Party Is For – Or, Last Chance to Do the Right Thing


Amazing but true – delegates to the GOP convention are not bound by either law or tradition to cast their votes for any particular candidates, or at all, on any ballot. No nefarious back-room “changes to the rules” are needed; they are free, already, now, to vote their consciences. David French has chapter and verse.

The GOP has a last chance to do the right thing. I have seen many invocations of “party loyalty” in the last month, but there are no grounds for party loyalty if we believe that a party is literally nothing but whatever a plurality of the voters (many of them not party members) happen to demand it be at any given moment. What does “party loyalty” even mean if the “party” has no objective existence, and is no more than whatever you want it to be?

It’s bad enough that we allow now people who are very sick, unhappy and out of control to “identify” as something other than what they are. But at least they are willing to identify as something. How ridiculous would it be if Bruce Jenner simultaneously demanded that we acknowledge him to be a woman and call him Caitlyn, and that he continue to be allowed to compete in men’s swimming, out of some kind of groundless “athletic loyalty”?

You cannot have loyalty to an institution unless that institution exists for something. Does the GOP exist for anything? The outcome of the convention will give us our answer – either way.

Regrets, I’ve Had a Few


Hey, I just want to be helpful to America’s Mussolini!

Great. No sooner do I finish expressing my regret at having admired Rick “Trump is a Cancer and I Want to Be His Veep” Perry than this happens.

Rubio asserts his willingness not only to attend the GOP convention but speak in support of the man he once called a “con artist,” saying: “I want to be helpful.”

Approximately ten nanoseconds later (I refer not to chronos time but to chairos time, which is what counts in politics) Trump tweets: “Poll data shows that @marcorubio does by far the best in holding onto his Senate seat in Florida. Important to keep the MAJORITY. Run Marco!”

I wonder if Rubio smacked his forehead at the indecorous lack of delay between the delivery of quid and the delivery of quo.