Why the gay marriage debate was over in 1950

There are any number of reasonable reactions to the Supreme Court’s decision on same-sex marriage. Try this one: It was inevitable, and no argument marshaled by the opposition would—or even could—prevent it. Hear me out. In his 2009 book The Permissive Society, historian Alan Petigny makes the case that the upheavals of the sixties were just manifestations of religious changes from the forties and fifties. It’s not like someone flipped a switch…

What the declining number of nuns in America says about our post-Christian Christianity

While the Vatican’s Synod on the Family has so far garnered most of the attention this week, two smaller stories caught my eye and might perhaps shed light on the larger cultural picture. The first concerns nuns in America. There are fewer of them—far fewer, in fact, if you’re comparing against the 1960s. In 1965 there were over 180,000. Today, according to a report from Georgetown University’s Center for Applied Research in…