Everyone knows that conscience works in two different modes: cautionary and accusatory.
These other Furies are the greater sisters of remorse. They are inflexible, inexorable, and relentless, demanding satisfaction even when mere feelings are suppressed, fade away, or never come. And so it is that conscience operates not only in the first two modes but also in a harrowing third: the avenger, which punishes the soul who does wrong but refuses to read the indictment.
Conscience is therefore teacher, judge, or executioner, depending on the mode in which it is working: cautionary, accusatory, or avenging.
How the avenging mode works is not difficult to grasp. The normal outlet of remorse is to flee from wrong; of the need for confession, to admit what one has done; of atonement, to pay the debt; of reconciliation, to restore the bonds one has broken; and of justification, to get back in the right. But if the Furies are denied their payment in wonted coin, they exact it in whatever coin comes nearest, driving the wrongdoer's life yet further out of kilter.
Instead of feeling remorse and fleeing wrong, we flee from thinking about it. Instead of confessing our guilt, we compulsively confess every detail of our story, except the moral. Instead of paying our debt, we punish ourselves again and again, offering every sacrifice except the one demanded. Instead of reconciling ourselves with those we have harmed, we simulate the restoration of broken intimacy by seeking companions as guilty as ourselves. And instead of seeking to become just, we try to justify ourselves.
All of the Furies collude. Each reinforces the others, not only in the individual but in the social group. Perhaps you and I connive in displaced reconciliation by becoming comrades in guilty deeds. Or perhaps my compulsion to confess feeds your compulsion to justify yourself. In such ways entire groups, entire societies may drive themselves downhill, as the revenge of conscience grows more and more terrible.
My examples focus on abortion, which is both the chief means by which our own
society is losing moral sanity and the greatest symptom of its loss. The discussion
has been seasoned with other illustrations just to show how broadly the Furies
do their work.
Remorse, the first Fury, may fade, but it may also grow. In some people it increases gradually, with age and maturity; something that did not bother me much in thoughtless youth may bother me a great deal when I have had more experience of life. In some, remorse lies fallow for a while, then suddenly appears. I thought I had left it behind, but I had not; it enters my mind all at once, massive, raw, unbidden, demanding service. The reappearance may be periodic — say on the anniversary of the deed. Or it may be occasional, when I come across things that remind me of it. A birth announcement. A letter from my parents. A scent of perfume, or of antiseptic.
But the most dreadful way remorse grows is by repetition of the deed, and the bitter fact is that although our efforts to dull the ache by not thinking about it may work after their fashion, they also make repetition more likely. The simplest example comes from a recovering alcoholic who said to me that he knew exactly what I meant: "A drunk is ashamed of being a drunk — so he gets drunk."
Needless to say, there are many other ways to keep from thinking about our guilt, some of them stone-cold sober.
One way is to set up a diversion. Because I refuse to give up my real transgressions, I invest other things with inflated significance and give up those things instead. Perhaps I have pressured three girlfriends into abortion, but I oppose war and capital punishment, I don't wear fur, and I beat my chest with shame whenever I slip and eat red meat. Easier to face invented guilt than the thing itself.
I might also be able to keep from thinking about my deeds by averting my eyes from their consequences — for example by making someone else deal with them. In an article on why abortionists quit, journalist Mary Meehan explained that the earliest suction abortions produce "pureed remains," but later abortions leave "identifiable body parts that must be reassembled to ensure that nothing was left behind." An abortionist who used to do such reassembly said:
Another common way not to face what I am doing is to pretend that I am doing something else. A study of the US clinical trials of the "abortion pill" RU-486, or mifepristone, found that some women preferred it over surgical abortion just because it lent itself to such denial.
As the authors of the study remark, "Considering the abortion to be just like bad menstrual cramps may be a way of conceptualizing the process as not-really-abortion, but rather, as the late period that finally comes."  Staff who administered the drug for the trials thought so too. A nurse midwife-nurse practitioner said: "I think for some women, there was a connection between more natural, more like a miscarriage. A miscarriage is okay, an abortion is not okay. So if I'm having a miscarriage I can tell everybody I had a miscarriage. I didn't pay for someone to put an instrument in my uterus and remove my pregnancy." Plainly this staffer was in denial herself; she called abortion "removing a pregnancy" though she knew quite well what it removes.
Some staff thought the self-deception good. Remarked one physician, "I think there are people who want to be in denial about whether it's really an abortion or not. I think that's fine. . . . For some people that's a very useful denial and more power to them if they have to use that not to have an unwanted child." The authors, who are strongly pro-abortion, seem to agree: "Indeed, denial may be considered a form of agency, in that it enables women who are troubled about abortion to get through the experience more easily." 
These authors assume that remorse over abortion is merely a symptom of disordered
thinking. They intone that the stricken women "appeared to have been influenced
by anti-abortion rhetoric" or "may also have been influenced by
Euphemistic descriptions of guilty acts are another way of playing tag with remorse. The authors of the study on RU-486 lament that the "miscarriage" euphemism cannot be used for conventional abortion, which their clients inconveniently call "ripping the baby apart." As they remark, "There is no available pro-choice language for talking about the nitty-gritty of abortion itself." 
Not that its advocates have not tried to find one. The famous Colorado abortionist Warren M. Hern, author of a textbook on abortion practice, declares in an article that human pregnancy "may be defined as an illness" that "may be treated by evacuation of the uterine contents" and that "has an excellent prognosis for complete, spontaneous recovery if managed under careful medical supervision." 
Drug and alcohol abuse are also common ways of deflecting remorse, and not just among alcoholics. Their proportions among abortion staff are legendary. Nita Whitten, a former abortion secretary to an abortion facility in Texas, explains: "I took drugs to wake up in the morning. I took speed while I was at work. And I smoked marijuana, drank lots of alcohol. . . . [T]his is the way that I coped with what I did. It was horrible to work there, and there was no good in it." Unfortunately, refusing to think about the horror of abortion did not serve her well; later she had an abortion herself, fell into depression, and at one point became suicidal. Abhorrence of what one is doing sinks in even if it does not register consciously. 
The usefulness of alcohol as an instrument of the avenging Fury remorse also
helps explain a variety of other social phenomena, for example, the popularity
of so-called singles bars as places for the sexes to meet. One would hardly
expect it, because "hooking up" — a sexual encounter with no
expectation of further involvement — is emotionally difficult for young
women: What they want is a bond of commitment.  Many young women drink
before meeting new men just so that if sexual intercourse follows, they will
be able to go through with it. Unfortunately, drinking also makes intercourse
more likely to follow, so they feel emptier still, and the next time the need
for alcohol is even greater.
Deflected from repentance, the confessional need seeks satisfaction in various oblique ways. Freud made one way famous: the so-called "slip," in which we betray ourselves by consciously unintended word or speech. But displaced confession can take other forms too. For instance, we "blurt": So driven are we by the urge to get things off our chests that we share guilty details of our lives with anyone who will listen. In its diarist mode, this kind of confession is associated with writers like Anaοs Nin. In its broadcast mode, it is the staple of talk shows like Jerry Springer, which has featured guests with such edifying disclosures as "I Married a Horse."
But the tell-all never tells all; such confessions are always more or less dishonest. We may admit every detail of what we have done, except that it was wrong. Or we may make certain moral concessions, but only to divert attention from "the weightier points of the law." We may tell even our cruelest or most wanton deeds, but treat something else about them as more important — perhaps their beauty, or perhaps how unhappy we were.
Blurting is often misunderstood as shamelessness. It would better be considered evidence of shame. People unburdened by bad conscience do not tell all; normal human beings are more modest about their personal affairs, especially before strangers. But the crucial point about confession is that when it is not offered in the service of repentance, it remains in the service of sin, and to see this more clearly we must consider another kind of displaced confession: Confession as advocacy.
There is nothing surprising about the fact that personal testimony can be an engaging way to advance a moral cause. Everyone likes to hear a story, and a well-told tale has the further advantage that it makes dry and difficult ideas come alive. "I know so-and-so is wrong, because I did it. This is what happened to me. Don't follow the example of my fall; follow the example of my recovery." The astonishing thing is that confession can be used to advance an immoral cause. "I know they say so-and-so is wrong, but it must be right, because I suffered so much from not doing it."
Confessions can be even more persuasive in bad causes than in good ones, for two reasons. In the first place, being fallen creatures ourselves, we sympathize with sin more easily than with goodness. In the second place, distorted confessions may be told with greater zeal than honest ones. A person who has already repented and thrown himself on the mercy of God may no longer need to confess; the need to tell the story has been satisfied already. If he does tell the story, he now tells it less for himself than for others. But for the unrepentant man, the opposite is true. His heart is still hot, and the need to confess is still fiery. He tells his story to appease his conscience; because he is unrepentant, he tells it crookedly; because conscience is not in fact appeased, he must tell it again and again.
Such stories may be given either of two different endings: the happy ending, "Now I follow my heart, and the sun has come up again," or the pathetic ending, "I followed my heart, but they were cruel to me; lend me yours." Both endings exploit our pity, but in different ways. The former exploits our pity for the sad former state of the confessing party, because we do not want to make him sad again. The latter exploits our pity for his sad present state, because we wish that his sorrows might be soothed.
A good example of the happy sort of confession is the homosexual "coming out" story, which has become something of a cultural fixture. The pathetic sort of confession is illustrated by But What If She Wants to Die? by George E. Delury. Delury's wife suffered from multiple sclerosis but had some years yet to live. After giving her a lethal dose of pills and suffocating her with a plastic bag, he served time in prison and is now an advocate of assisted suicide and euthanasia.
No one should underestimate the gravitational attraction of confessional advocacy of evil. The tale of the Delury murder is a case in point. He admits, denies, and dismisses his remorse, all at once. Immediately after describing the killing, he wrote of "a primitive, irrational guilt that haunted me for months." He did not suffer because he had done anything wrong, he claimed, but something "more immediate than that, almost physical. . . . I have come to believe we humans, like other primates, have an instinctual block against killing our own kind, a prohibition that, if violated, sets up strong undercurrents of dissonance. . . ." An animal that survived might exhibit
Notice the pattern of the argument. The remorse was not too weak to signify, but too strong: too immediate, too primordial, almost physical. But conscience is a mere product of my opinions, so nothing so powerful could be conscience!
In similar fashion, Delury both reports and denies his spiteful resentment toward his wife. At one point she suggests that they write a book together. His response is to write her a poison-pen letter:
Here is how he explains to his readers the venomous epistle:
It is difficult not to feel soiled after reading such sordid prose. Yet the
allure of false confession is so strong that a reviewer for the New York Times
was inspired to write: "This is a memoir that professes to be about death
but is actually about love. . . . [Delury's] portrait of a marriage is
close to inspirational. . . . [S]omehow the villains seem small next to this
man's unquestioning love for his wife. . . . It is this book's love
story, the story of two people who had something truly rare, that makes it interesting." 
The Third Fury draws its power from the knowledge of a debt that must somehow be paid. If we deny the debt, the knowledge works in us anyway, and we pay pain after pain, price after price, in a cycle that has no end because we refuse to pay the one price demanded. It is something like trying to fend off a loan shark. We pay the interest forever because we cannot pay off the principal, and the interest never stops mounting.
In biblical reflection, the theme of false atonement is very old. The Psalmist implores the Author of his conscience, "Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing aloud of thy deliverance. . . . For thou hast no delight in sacrifice; were I to give a burnt offering, thou wouldst not be pleased. The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise" (Psalm 51:14,1617).
A broken and contrite heart — and then holiness. These things would pay the price, if I could give them. But what if I cannot? Christianity regards this as literally true, so that penitents must rely not on the rags of their own righteousness but on the perfect righteousness of Christ. Or what if I refuse? Then I am back to the treadmill — the futility of the calves, the rams, and the rivers of oil, of the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul.
With the rise of philanthropy, the rams, the calves, and the oil are no longer offered in the same way. The fruit of our bodies still is. In one of my books I told the story of a woman who aborted her first child to punish her unfaithful husband. Later she aborted her second one to punish herself. The one thing that could make her self-loathing greater yet was to increase her guilt; the one thing that could increase her guilt was to repeat the sin. As she explained to her counselor, "I wanted to be able to hate myself more for what I did to the first baby."
One suspects that such sacrifices are quite common. The goddess religions
feminists savor even ritualize them. Liturgies have been written for the sacrifice
of children. In a book called The Sacrament of Abortion, Ginette Paris
wrote, "Our culture needs new rituals as well as laws to restore abortion
to its sacred dimension, which is both terrible and necessary." She considers
abortion "a sacrifice to Artemis," "a sacrament for the gift
of life to remain pure."  Of course these are not presented
as liturgies of false atonement, but no doubt they are.
Efforts to atone without repentance take other forms too. As the study mentioned previously explains, RU-486 can cause severe bleeding, cramping, and nausea, the expulsion of the embryo may take several days, and the woman may be able to recognize the remains of her child in the toilet or collection bucket. The dread of it all is that for some women these burdens are just what makes RU-486 attractive. They welcome the suffering; they regard it as a price they ought to pay.
The researchers describe one such case as follows:
An LPN said that
"And some it helped" — is that true? False atonement may indeed "help" with the feelings of remorse; the problem is that it cannot actually atone, and so the need to atone comes screaming back — with the remorse or without it. One cannot repent of something in the very act of doing it; suffering is not a fee that makes the deed all right. How many of these women then go on to find further punishments for themselves? To what further deeds are they driven? What are the consequences for their marriages, their families, their surviving children?
Joan Appleton, a former NOW activist and head nurse at a Virginia abortion facility, reports that she used to ask herself why abortion "was such a psychological trauma for a woman, and such a difficult decision for a woman to make, if it was a natural thing to do. If it was so right, why was it so difficult?" She thought, "I counseled these women so well; they were so sure of their decision. Why are they coming back after me now — months and years later — psychological wrecks?" 
Needless to say, the phenomenon of false atonement is not restricted to abortion. Some instances are obvious, some not so obvious. One place to look is criminality. Dostoyevsky wrote that "legal punishment inflicted for a crime intimidates a criminal infinitely less than the lawmakers think, partly because he himself morally demands it."14] A part of him wants to escape the penalty, but another part wants to be caught; he may commit his crimes carelessly just so he will be caught, or commit new ones because he has not yet been punished for the old.
Another place to look is the secretive self-mutilation clinicians call "delicate
self-cutting," which is increasingly common — like binging and purging — among
adolescent girls. The usual sorts of theories are circulated. Maybe there is
something wrong with their brain chemistry so that their frustration turns inward
rather than out; maybe the pain relieves stress by causing their bodies to release
endorphins; maybe the cutting increases their sense of control because they
do it to themselves; and so on. Perhaps each theory is partly true. Certainly
each is partly false. For why should self-cutting be on the rise? And why should
it be especially common among girls who are sexually active? The one kind of
guess that clinicians do not venture is the moral kind. There is no reason to
think adolescent brain chemistry more disordered today than it ever was; but
there is plenty more reason for adolescents today to feel ashamed.
Human beings are not like the fabled Cyclopes, who lived to themselves. We are designed for a partnership in good life with our kind. Because transgression casts us out of the partnership, one of the first effects of guilty knowledge is loneliness and a need to reconcile. If we refuse to restore the bonds we have broken, then we must find substitutes. Thieves seek thieves for company; drunks seek drunks; molesters seek molesters. Just because these bonds are counterfeit, they cannot satisfy the need for reconciliation, so it presses us harder still. And so the fourth Fury, reconciliation, takes its vengeance.
The graver the transgression, the wider the gulf between the transgressor and humane society — and the deeper the sense of significance with which the substitute bonds must be imbued. People who have participated in euthanasia or assisted suicide often say that they have never before been so close to another human being; the severing of bonds gives them a stronger sense of intimacy than the forming of them. "This is the true union," the burdened mind insists; "this is not death, but true life." It might seem impossible that a counterfeit intimacy based on shared guilt could be more attractive than the real thing, but some people find it so.
In his study of Dutch euthanasia, psychologist Herbert Hendin found that doctors and nurses are drawn into the movement just to achieve it. [15 ]The same allure, the same false intimacy, draws people into gangs and death squads. The groups themselves understand quite well that their unity is grounded on shared guilt; making sure that it is shared is the bedrock of their policy. Robert J. Lifton reports that among the Nazi death camp doctors, the bond with the group was sealed with "blood cement" (Blutkitt), meaning "direct participation in the group's practice of killing" — a policy, he observes, that criminal groups have long followed throughout the world. Nothing bonds the group like mortal sin. Or so it seems.
The need for reconciliation also explains why the movements for disordered sexuality — homosexual, pederastic, sadomasochistic — cannot be satisfied with toleration, but must propagandize, recruit, and convert. They do not suffer from sexual deprivation, for partners are easy enough to find. They suffer from social deprivation, because they are cut off from the everyday bonds of life. They want to belong; they want to belong as they are; there can be only one solution. Society must reconcile with them. The shape of human life must be transformed. All of the assumptions of normal sexuality must be dissolved: Marriage, family, innocence, purity, childhood — all must be called into question, even if it means pulling down the world around their ears.
The same thing happened in another great controversy a century and a half ago. "Why did the slaveholders act as if driven by the Furies to their own destruction?" asked John Thomas Noonan:
But guilty solidarity has a quiet and domestic side too. "How could Mary get mixed up with a man like that?" One answer is that his being "like that" may have been the pivot of his attraction. The issue here is not the allure of the forbidden as such, but the charm of the prospect of sharing it. Let us suppose that John has a disreputable secret. He unburdens himself to Mary — "I could never tell this to anyone but you" — and asks for her complicity and understanding. Or he makes an indecent proposal to her; the effect may be very much the same.
Naturally, she is repelled. On the other hand, sharing the secret may give her
a sense of intimacy, and the fact that it is a guilty one makes it only more
intimate still. She has been invited to enter a chamber — nay, she is there — where
the rest of the world, she thinks, can never come. Curiously, then, the guiltiness
of what John has to say is precisely what he employs to attract her. Guilt is
his "line." It may not succeed with most women, but it succeeds
often enough to keep him trying.
In English, "to justify" can mean to make something just, to show that it is just, to maintain that it is just, or to feign that it is just. The striking thing is that the first and fourth meanings are exactly opposed. According to the first, I am justified when I am finally brought in line with justice. According to the fourth, I am justified when "justice" is finally brought in line with me. Guilty knowledge demands the former; we attempt to appease it, however, by means of the latter. We rationalize. We make excuses. We preserve the form of the law without its substance.
Of all the games we play with the Five Furies, our game with the fifth is perhaps the most dangerous. No one has ever discovered a way to merely set aside the moral law; what the rationalizer must do is make it appear that he is right. Rationalizations, then, are powered by the same moral law that they twist. With such mighty motors, defenses of evil pull away from us; we are compelled to defend not only the original guilty deed, but also others that it was no part of our intention to excuse.
At one point in the Congressional debate over partial-birth abortion, Senator Barbara Boxer of California, who opposed banning the procedure, was asked at what point in the birth process a baby acquires the right not to be killed. Her answer: "when you bring your baby home." It was only one of several inconsistent positions that she took during questioning, but no matter; it shows how the justifications that we employ for our deeds take on a life of their own. Others have been more consistent. Quiet medical infanticide has already begun. Who buys the premises must pay the conclusions. 
Consider the way the sexual revolution metastasized. It all began when we decided to dispense with chastity. Now that was not easy to do; there had always been unchaste behavior, recognized as wrong, but this was different. Sex had hitherto been a culturally recognized privilege of marriage for the protection of the procreative partnership. Dispensing with chastity required destroying this privilege. But one thing leads to another; to destroy the marital privilege requires denying what sex is for. It has to be separated first from procreation, and second from the particular erotic intimacy that arises from the procreative partnership and is inseparable from it.
Now no one can really be oblivious to the deep claims of these goods. To set them aside, powerful magic is necessary. One must invoke another strong good against them; the moral structure must be distorted so that it can be set against itself. And so the genie of happiness was summoned. But this was not easy to do either; as Samuel Johnson said, "Almost all the miseries of life, almost all the wickedness that infects society, and almost all the distresses that afflict mankind, are the consequences of some defect in private duties. Likewise, all the joys of this world may be attributable to the happiness of hearth and home." 
It could not be that happiness which was invoked, or the goods of marriage would not be defeated. Comprehensive happiness had to be confused with sexual pleasure. Sexual pleasure, moreover, had to be asserted not just as a good but as a right, so that all the moral force of justice could be conjured on its behalf. My right implies your duty.
By itself, a right to sex might mean only a right to perform the act — with a responsibility to bear the consequences. A right to sexual pleasure, on the other hand, is a much grander thing, because it confers exemption from certain consequences: from the ones that do not give us pleasure. I therefore have a right to contraception, because a baby might be a burden. Should contraception fail, I have a right to an abortion. Should my girlfriend not want to abort, well, that's her lookout. She has a right not to get one, but I have a right not to hear the word "Daddy."
Amazingly, women accepted this line. Or maybe not so amazingly, for like the
men, they had accepted the right to sexual pleasure that led up to it; to reject
it would be to admit that they had been wrong. Even so, the "fun"
stage of the sexual revolution was now over. Men and women came to seem less
like the old jam and bread than like predator and prey, and the old mockery
"All's fair in love and war" became redundant; love became
a great deal like war. And if men had become enemies, then women had
to get abortions — didn't they?
Another problem was that with procreation out and abortion in, the meaning of sexuality had flipped over from giving life to taking it. It is much harder to justify killing than sleeping around. We can't not know that it is wrong to deliberately take innocent human life; parsing the rule, we find only six possibilities of rationalization. All of them have been tried, but what do they do to us? Where will they take us next? How does this Fury avenge our unrepented guilt when we try to pretend we are not guilty?
No wonder that in the present stage of the sexual revolution that began with
sex we go on past abortion and explore other kinds of killing, like infanticide
and the slaying of the weak, the old, and the sick. You cannot justify one evil
yet expect the others to keep their place. The cloth of the moral law is too
tightly sewn for that; it is made of a single strand. Pluck loose one stitch,
and the rest unravels too. "We're not hurting anyone," we
used to say; but then we hurt. Short of penitence, we can never stop. Driven
to justify one sin, we are driven to justify the next. If we have already reached
killing, what comes next?
Avenging conscience explains the remark of G. K. Chesterton's Father Brown in "The Flying Stars": "Men may keep a sort of level of good, but no man has ever been able to keep on one level of evil. That road goes down and down." Pursued by the Five Furies, the man becomes both more wicked and more stupid: more wicked because his behavior is worse, more stupid because he tells himself more lies.
This downward spiral may seem to reveal a flaw in the design of conscience. Shouldn't it drive us up, not down? Not necessarily. As Dante found, for some of us the road up goes down for a long time first. The system of conscience has not broken; it has merely merged into the system of natural consequences. This is fully compatible with its mission. After all, the greater purpose of conscience is not to inform us of moral truth, but to motivate us to live by it. For most of us at some times, for some of us at most times, guilty knowledge is not exhortation enough. Drastic measures become necessary.
Driving life out of kilter is, so to speak, the exhortation of last resort. The offender becomes stupider and wickeder — but then he had intended to become stupider and wickeder; that is what obstinacy and denial are all about. His only hope is to become even stupider and wickeder than he had planned. If all goes well, he may finally be so wretched that he comes "to himself" — or to God. Apparently, for the chance to soften a heart, the Designer is even willing that it become more rocklike still. In this life, what has been called "the left hand of God" may be, in reality, the left hand of his mercy.
This is a staggering reflection for those who think of God as a tooth fairy. Less drastic means of turning a soul around can certainly be imagined. Probably, though, no less drastic means of turning a soul around are compatible with free will, which seems to be one of his design criteria. We may find the price too high, because in order to escape the Furies, a man may inflict terrible damage on other people.
What this suggests is that the Designer thinks scarcely any price too high to
save a soul. Even souls may be risked to save a soul. Yet other souls may be
risked to save those. It might even be supposed that such a God would die for
them. The claim of the Christian faith is that he already has.
Reprinted with permission of the author, J. Budziszewski and Touchstone Magazine.
Touchstone is a Christian journal, conservative in doctrine and eclectic in content, with editors and readers from each of the three great divisions of Christendom — Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox. The mission of the journal and its publisher, the Fellowship of St. James, is to provide a place where Christians of various backgrounds can speak with one another on the basis of shared belief and the fundamental doctrines of the faith as revealed in Holy Scripture and summarized in the ancient creeds of the Church. To subscribe to the print or digital Touchstone go here.
J. Budziszewski (Boojee-shefski) earned his doctorate from Yale University in 1981. He teaches at the University of Texas in Austin, in the Departments of Government and Philosophy where he specializes in the relations among ethical theory, political theory, and Christian theology. The focus of his current research is natural law and moral self deception. J. Budziszewski is a former atheist, former political radical, former shipyard welder, and former lots of other things, including former young and former thin. He's been married for more than thirty years to his high school sweetheart, Sandra, and has two daughters. He loves teaching. He says he also loves contemporary music, but it turns out that he means "the contemporaries of Johann Sebastian Bach." He deserted his faith during college but returned to Christ a dozen years later and entered the Catholic Church at Easter 2004. Among a number of other books, he is the author of On the Meaning of Sex, The Line Through the Heart: Natural Law as Fact, Theory, and Sign of Contradiction, Ask Me Anything: Provocative Answers for College Students, Ask Me Anything 2: More Provocative Answers for College Students, How to Stay Christian in College, What We Can't Not Know: A Guide, The Revenge of Conscience: Politics and the Fall of Man, and Written on the Heart: The Case for Natural Law. J. Budziszewski is on the advisory board of the Catholic Education Resource Center.
Copyright © 2003 Touchstone
Not all articles published on CERC are the objects of official Church teaching, but these are supplied to provide supplementary information.