It was a good night for the two men currently in second place in their respective nominating contests, but it was not good enough for either. Sen. Ted Cruz and Sen. Bernie Sanders both won Wisconsin, and chipped into the delegate leads amassed by Donald Trump and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. But, is it enough?
In this morning's Washington Post, Michael Gerson on the importance of manners. The entire article makes an important point but I would especially call attention to his noting that morals and manners are very different, and that the latter is profoundly conditioned by culture. Then he writes: "But being relative does not make them trivial." The word "relativism" has been thrown around too lightly in RC circles.
Last week, I wrote about the need for the pro-life movement to be very smart. An example of the movement being both more smart and less so manifested itself in Indiana which passed a law banning abortions undertaken on account of fetal abnormality.
At the new, Knights of Columbus funded Crux, John Allen writes that the forthcoming apostolic exhortation may prove to be no big deal. I could not disagree more and will set forth my reasons in the next day or two.
Tonight will be see the conclusion of March Madness in the men’s collegiate basketball tournament. I do not normally write about sports but you must have a strange heart indeed to gain no enjoyment from what is the best competitive playoff on the planet.
This has been a crazy week, so I am late in linking to this beautiful reflection at the Catholic Thing on the silence of Holy Saturday by Fr. Robert Imbelli.
Donald Trump stumbled badly in his interview with Chris Matthews this week, suggesting that women who procure abortions should be punished for doing so. Trump met his match in Matthews, the one interviewer who is sufficiently willing to interrupt his interviewee when he smells blood, refusing to let them off the hook, forcing them to answer the question. This worked especially well with Trump who seems to think there is shame in saying “I am not sure” or “I need to think about that some more.”
Both political parties tend to distort the truth in order to serve their ideological ends. To cite only one example, find me the Democrat who is willing to address the awkward fact that Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, was an avowed racist who thought birth control was necessary to control the population growth of the “inferior races.” There are photos of her speaking at a Klan rally.
At Politico, David Bernstein has a really smart piece comparing Ross Perot in 1992 and Trump today, and how the Clinton Team is well advised not to underestimate the appeal of a non-politician, the fact that voters don't care about details, and the significance of race as a motivating factor in voting. If, as appears likely, November will be a Trump vs. Clinton showdown, she will have to win it.
The U.S. Supreme Court and the Republican Governor of Georgia both threw curve balls this week in the struggle over religious liberty. Both events invite the U.S. Catholic bishops to take a step back and reconsider their approach to this important issue. It is far from clear the bishops will seize the opportunity.