"The USCCB ought to be embarrassed." These are the concluding words of a fine commentary by Mark Silk at RNS about Archbishop Lori's sad attempt to put an inter-denominational face on his one-man crusade against the HHS mandate. Sadly, too many at the USCCB have drunk the same Kool-Aid as +Lori and those bishops who harbor reservations about the course the conference is on are too few or too quiet. "We can't say anything that will harm the lawsuits," is the mantra.
The Founding Fathers had many ideological sources for their views. They were almost all familiar with the writings of John Locke, Cicero (or “Tully” as the founding generation often called him), and, most significantly, the fiercely anti-Catholic writings of Bishop Hoadley and Algernon Sidney. These last arch-Whigs have been much on my mind these past few days – although they are never far from it! – because one of the principal concerns of the Whigs was the danger posed by a standing army.
In case you missed them, I have two articles in the current print edition of NCR which are now, also, available on the homepage.
The first looks at the Catholic Campaign for Human Development.
The second looks at some important issues that face an uncertain future in the current Congress.
This morning's Washington Post has two great op-eds.
In the first, Kathleen Parker skewers the fawning coverage of Texas State Senator Wendy Davis and, along the way, points out the many and varied ways our culture mangles the important discussion of abortion.
My colleague Josh McElwee has the news story about yesterday's press conference at the National Press Club, featuring Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore, who serves as chair of the USCCB's ad hoc committee on religious liberty, Dr. Russell Moore of the Southern Baptist Convention, Professor Anne Henderschott of Franciscan University at Steubenville, and Dr. Yuri Mantilla of Liberty University Law School. The group released a statement opposing the HHS contraception mandate.
Yesterday, the Holy Father had an audience with Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy. I am betting Pope Francis has begun handing out pink slips.You heard it here first. And, I am betting, too, though with less certainty, that Piacenza's replacement will be an American.
Yesterday, I began a review of Mary Eberstadt’s “How the West Really Lost God.” If you did not read that, do so now by clicking here.
As I related yesterday, Eberstadt spends fully half the book examining alternate theories of secularization, critically but sympathetically for the most part, but her treatment of the subject is uneven. And, having set the table so unevenly, one is not surprised to find that the entrée is served before the soup, or that the pasta needs salt.
President George W. Bush joined President Barack Obama in Tanzania for a wreath-laying ceremony at a memorial to those killed in the al-Qaida attack on the U.S. embassy there in 1998. Please, oh please, let this example of politicians acting like statesmen spread a little back in D.C.
Mary Eberstadt has written an important book.
How the West Really Lost God is also a frustrating book.
While Eberstadt's central thesis is provocative and causes us to think about secularization in new and interesting ways, the book also evidences a disturbing trend in academia in which professors, like MSNBC or Fox News anchors, only speak with people who already agree with them. The result is a book that could have been better if Eberstadt had thought to allow herself to be challenged, rather than confirmed, in her biases.
One hundred and fifty years ago today, a division of troops under the command of Confederate General A. P. Hill was almost to the town of Gettysburg where they hoped to find a supply of shoes. What they found, instead, were two brigades of Union troops under the command of General John Buford. Thus began the three day Battle of Gettysburg.