The Sage of Hartford, Mark Silk, looks at Gallup's latest survey on Americans' perceptions of the influence of religion. As ever, he brings a scholar's cautions to the data and enlightens the findings for the rest of us. Silk is an example of contemporary scholarship at its best, using the resources of the academy to comment on events, and in a manner, accessible to the rest of us. Good stuff.
The USCCB has posted a press release and the text of a letter signed by Cardinal Timothy Dolan and the presidents of the episcopal conferences of other G-8 nations, sent to the heads of government in advance of the G-8 annual summit. The letter is quite forceful in calling for a more just and equitable distribution of the earth's resources. I think it is fair to say that the text of the letter was not drafted by our friends at either the Acton Institute or the INstitute for Religion & Democracy.
Over at Whispers, Rocco has an account of yesterday's audience with Pope Francis and a group of pilgrims from Bergamo, hometown of Pope John XXIII on the 50th anniversary of his death.
The Institute on Religion & Democracy has a new rising star, Ms. Marjorie Jeffrey, who has decided to tackle my friend John Carr in this commentary at their website. Her charge: Carr has abandoned, or at least slighted, the cardinal virtue of prudence in an article in which he called out cafeteria Catholics on the right who invoke prudential judgment as a kind of get-out-jail-free card, as Meghan Clark memorably termed it.
At Politico, Katie Glueck on a new report about how the GOP alienated young voters. Fascinating stuff but also disheartening because it shows just how much politics has been reduced to marketing, and not just among Republicans.
EWTN will be launching a nightly news broadcast at the end of July. What to say? I will be watching.
Vatican Insider asks "Is God a Goner" in the U.S.? The question is prompted by a new survey by Gallup that shows declining numbers of observant religious people in the U.S. The poll also indicated that many people do not like the fact that religion exercises a decreasing influence on society, even while they admit they are less influenced by it.
Two articles on the front page of this morning’s Washington Post show what is wrong with American politics today. The first details the fights in several states where Republican legislatures are voting not to expand Medicaid as permitted, and encouraged, under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
In this morning's Washington Post, the foreign minister of the Marshall Islands explains that climate change is already causing havoc on his island nation. A modest proposal, from me, not the foreign minister: Close Guantanamo, but send all public officials who deny climate change to the Marshall Islands. Beachfront property.
If you want to see precisely what is wrong with the Tea Party, read this article in this morning's Washington Post about Tea Party opposition to the "Common Core" initiative to improve our nation's schools. I especially call readers' attention to the comments of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush who is a champion of the effort. He lays out arguments. The Tea Party responds with a conspiracy theory.