The opening statements at last night’s Democratic presidential debate featured both candidates playing to type: Sen. Bernie Sanders delivered a jeremiad against the influence of money in politics and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton offered a more visionary, upbeat pitch, firmly focused on the future. These are both tropes that go back to the first decades of English settlement in the Western Hemisphere, with Sanders in the role of Cotton Mather and Clinton in the role of John Winthrop.
More from the anti-Pope Francis brigade: Fr. Zuhlsdorf has found a nickname for Amoris Laetitia: He suggests Familiaris divortio. This is so disrespectful. Again, I pose the question: Can you imagine this kind of disrespect being leveled at Pope John Paul II? I took a class with the conservatives' theological demon, Fr.
Yesterday was Puerto Rico Day at the U.S. Congress. The 65th Infantry Regiment, known as the “Borinqueneers,” received the Congressional Gold Medal for their long service to the armed forces of the United States. And, in a different part of the Capitol building, negotiations began in earnest over legislation designed to help the island climb out of its fiscal and humanitarian crisis.
At Politico, Kate Andersen Brower on the roles First Ladies played in their husbands' campaigns in previous years. Very interesting to see that this year's crop of spouses are relatively quiet compared to their predecessors.
The last two nights, PBS aired a four-hour documentary on the life of Jackie Robinson. Produced by Ken Burns the documentary was splendidly well done, allowing the complexities in Robinson’s life to emerge, complexities that were muted in the movie “42” which came out a few years back. What was fascinating, and very sad, was the realization that race continues to haunt American political and cultural life.
At RNS, Mark Silk wonders if the religious organizations challenging the HHS contraception mandate will reach a compromise or not. He thinks not. I think they will.
Last night, I caught the end of this racist rant by Bill O'Reilly. It was appalling. Politico has the story.
Most of the reactions to Amoris Laetitia, the apostolic exhortation delivered by Pope Francis last Friday, have been welcoming, which seems fitting seeing as the Holy Father calls on the Church to be more welcoming in the text. Even those bishops whom we suspect were in the minority at the synod have issued positive statements. That said, some of the responses have been remarkably negative.
At Religion & Politics, Leigh Eric Schmidt looks back at Time magazine's "Is God Dead?" cover story. This is a fine essay, and reminds us that one of the arguments at the time was that the pews may have been filled, but a lot of the congregants were "practical atheists" whose faith had little or no impact on the their lives apart from Sunday morning.
Sen. Bernie Sanders will head from the debate stage Thursday night to the airport, whence he will fly to Rome to participate in a conference marking the 25th anniversary of Centesimus Annus at the Vatican. His appearance at a Vatican-sponsored event raises some interesting questions for both the senator and those Vatican officials who thought this was a good idea.
At RealClearPolitics, Peter Berkowitz ponders how the GOP could win over moderates in key swing districts, but he needs to take off the rose colored glasses. As it currently stands, the scenario he sketches is impossible to bring to fruition with the current crop of candidates.