The United States Supreme Court's decision to strike down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 reversed the posture the court took just the day before in its ruling on the Affirmative Action case involving admissions to the University of Texas. Yesterday, I quoted Eugene Robinson, who observed regarding the Affirmative Action decision that "the [justices] chose reality over ideology." Yesterday, in ruling on the Voting Rights Act, the justices chose ideology over reality.
If some bishops are nervous about how to react to the decision by the Boy Scouts of America to admit gay Scouts, they need only go to the website of the archdiocese of Seattle, where they will find this fine statement on the issue. It strikes just the right note and reaches the only sane conclusion. Bravo to the Washington bishops.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has issued a new statement, voicing its reservations about the Corker-Hoeven amendment and its "enforcement only" approach to border security and reserving the right to oppose a final bill if a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants is made "inaccessible or elminated."
Nonetheless, the USCCB continues to support moving forward with the legislation. Bottom line: No deal-breakers yet.
Yesterday at RealClearReligion, Nicholas Hahn put up a snarky slideshow of what he considers the ugliest churches in the world. I agree that many of the churches he included are indeed ugly and believe, firmly, that beauty is an essential characteristic of Being for the Christian, so the beauty of our churches is a matter of real concern.
Last week, there was good news in the fight against abortion. The State Senate in New York voted down an attempt to expand the right to late term abortion. Unfortunately, Gov. Cuomo is now refusing to endorse the rest of the bill, which is focused on women's health, unless the abortion expansion language is added back in. Shame on him. But, kudos to Democratic State Senator Ruben Diaz, Sr. who has long supported the right-to-life. Here is the powerful speech he delivered to his colleagues (h/t to Democrats for Life of America for the link!):
Of all the many issues our nation faces, affirmative action remains one of the trickiest, especially when it comes to student admissions policies at universities. For better or worse -- and the "worse" side of the ledger has gotten longer as the modern university has become increasingly unmoored from its historic roots in liberal education -- a college degree is a ticket to a better life in America, an America that for centuries did not much care about improving the lot of racial minorities.
By their fruits....I hope everyone who has had kind thoughts about Edward Snowden, the young man who stole property that was not his and leaked it to the press, will think twice about this man's actions. His decision to go on a tour of repressive regimes seeking refuge tells us all we need to know. A true martyr accepts the consequences of his actions. This Snowden fellow has decided to make nice with some of the world's most repressive opponents of free speech.
A Happy Feast to all my Boricua friends, both those on the island and in the diaspora on this, their patronal feast, The Solemnity of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist. Wish I was in San Juan for the Mass!
I was trying to figure out the politics of the Farm Bill's defeat and what it says about the state of politics in D.C. today. But E.J. Dionne, in this morning's Washington Post, said everything that needs to be said.
The Fortnight for Freedom kicked off Friday night with a Mass at the Basilica of the Assumption in Baltimore. As I wrote last week, I do not like it when Masses are turned into political rallies, although I must confess that this year, the rhetoric was less heated than last, less of a focus on the culture wars and more of a focus on the good the Church does in society. This is a welcome change in tone.