President Obama’s new budget proposal epitomizes the central conundrum in evaluating the man and his presidency: A man who is such a gifted politician at election time, who has said repeatedly that he believes “good policy is good politics” seems incapable of putting forth policies that are capable of galvanizing public support. A mish-mash of proposals, all with a huge price tag, and not a single compelling argument for the whole.
Pope Francis last week gave some hints about how he views environmental issues in an address to farmers. This surely does not sound like "radical environmentalist" talk to me, just good old Catholic Social Teaching.
Distinctly Catholic. In libertarianism’s binary vision of “the state” versus “individual freedom” there is very little room for civil society or the church.
This unmasterful essay by Austin Ruse at Crisis clings to all the agitprop of the Catholic right in a way that is almost a caricature. Can we all agree to retire the concept of "non-negotiable" items when discussing the political significance of our faith?
I am glad it is over. As football games go, the final minute and one-half of last night’s Super Bowl would be hard to beat. After being down by ten points at the start of the fourth quarter, the Patriots score a go-ahead touchdown, only to find the Seahawks on the one yard line after an improbable catch of a Hail Mary pass. The final interception, by a relatively unknown player, made for great drama. (Except for that nasty brawl: For the amount of money these guys are being paid, we can expect them to behave better than school children.) So, no complaints about the game.
From the category "Great Minds Think Alike," Jeffrey Sachs at the Guardian on Germany, Greece and debt crises. Truth be told, Sachs is a real intellectual and I just get to play one on the internet.
At RNS, Mark Silk on Duke's decision to allow the Muslim prayer call from its iconic chapel tower, and its reversal.
Yesterday, I linked to an article by Harold Meyerson about the current German government’s unwillingness to learn a critical lesson from its own history as it digs in on the issue of Greece’s obligations to repay its debt.
Papa Francesco gives another GREAT sermon this morning on the need to avoid privatizing faith. The pope's words put me in mind of John Cavadini's brilliant review of George Weigel's "Evangelical Catholicism."
The past three days, I have been taking whacks at prominent Catholic conservatives in the U.S. So, today, I thought it only fitting to offer a bit of praise for conservative ideas.
The Mormons strike precisely the right balance on LGBT rights: guarantee the rights of all, the rights of gay people to avoid discrimination and the rights of religious people to practice their own religion and live according to their own values. There will always be a grey area in which the rights collide and the courts will be called in to evaluate which burden is the heavier and more worthy of relief. But, at least the Mormons are trying to change the discussion down a less contentious and ugly path.