The Church defines virtue as the “habitual and firm disposition to do good.”
But as our guest for this episode points out, virtue as a concept and as a practice is increasingly under attack these days.
In his recent book, War on Virtue: How the Ruling Class is Killing the American Dream, Bill Donohue argues that the widespread inculcation and exercise of virtues - especially the core virtues of self-discipline, personal responsibility and perseverance - are being subverted by political, corporate and cultural elites through actions aimed at promoting racial divisions, devaluing the family, giving up on the poor, sabotaging education and rewarding incivility.
What’s needed in response, according to the author, is a concentrated campaign to instill virtue in every person, young and old, so that society can be reformed and re-normed, and the aspirations for genuine human flourishing can be realized.
Since 1993, Bill Donohue has served as the President and CEO of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, the largest Catholic civil rights organization in the United States. He’s a prolific author and commentator on civil liberties and religion, as well as a former teacher whose career began at an inner city school in New York City.
Bill Donohue (biography)
Bill Donohue, War on Virtue: How the Ruling Class is Killing the American Dream (2023)
Please note that this podcast has been edited for length and clarity.