Few writers are as gifted as the New Yorker's Rick Hertzberg. Here is one of his finest essays, dealing with the politics of gun control in the wake of the Newtown murders.
The Holy Father's World Day of Peace Message is stunning in many ways, but this is the paragraph that jumped out at me:
In 1932, after his election to the presidency, Franklin Delano Roosevelt asked Frances Perkins to come to Washington and join his Cabinet as Secretary of Labor. The two knew each other well, having worked together in Albany during Roosevelt’s tenure as Governor of New York, which was then the largest state in the country. Perkins said that she would only take the post if the President would commit to a range of issues, such as Social Security.
This year, the annual March for Life will be held on January 25, not the 22nd, so as not to conflict with the inauguration of President Obama on the 21st. As always, Democrats for Life will be hosting an informal breakfast before the March, and then head down to the national mall together. This year, the group will be meeting at Catholic University's Pryzbyla Center for breakfast at 9:30. Then, they will grab the metro down to the March.
One of the best new blogs to emerge this year was Millennial, sponsored by Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, but written by younger, millennial Catholics. Sarah Christian has a post up with links to some of their most important articles in their four months of existence. They are covering a lot of turf over there, and doing so with a fresh voice the Church, and the nation, desperately need.
Over at CatholicMoralTheology.com, Julie Rubio writes about how teaching theology to undergraduates has changed in recent years as the ranks of her students fill with "nones" - those who when asked their religious affiliation self-report that they have "none." It is depressing reading, but she points us, with some help from Paul Elie, towards a part of the solution, namely, we need great artists who will allow their faith to help generate culture.
In this morning's Washington Post, Harold Meyerson reports on the recently concluded labor negotiations regarding the longshoremen and why their still strong union has been able to help the workers benefit from increased productivity within the industry, rather than becoming collateral damage in the process. There is a lesson here for the entire economy.
Distinctly Catholic: What can the church do to set the tone for the new year? Here are several suggestions.
Peggy Fletcher Stack at the Salt Lake Tribune on four seminarians who went on to become bishops. Very interesting article.
Brian Walsh of the Ethics & Public Policy Center's Religious Freedom project has an essay on Thomas Jefferson's commitment to the rights of conscience that perfectly demonstrates the limits of the neo-conservative worldview. Here is the key graph: