From this morning's Playbook:
Last night, my friend Chris Matthews had me on his show “Hardball” to talk about the issues facing the Church at this moment of transition. The other guest was a woman named Mary Johnson, a former nun who has a new book chronicling her decision to leave her order, and – I have not read it but Chris told me about this – her sexual affairs first with a woman, then with a man.
Regular readers will know that Michael Gerson is one of my favorite voices on the right, not least because of his principled stance against libertarianism. But, I also admire Gerson because of his ability to deliver a hard blow of reason in the face of over-heated rhetoric. In his essay this morning about Senator Rand Paul's filibuster about the Obama administration's drone policy, Gerson notes that Sen.
The group Accuracy in Media has come out with another bizarre article that casts Boston's Cardinal Sean O'Malley as embracing the "Far Left." I find it especially curious that an organization called "Accuracy in Media" cites a website run by people who decline to use their names!
Yesterday, NCR reported on a talk given by Archbishop John Quinn, the Archbishop Emeritus of San Francisco, at Stanford University in which he called for two significant reforms in the Church, the adoption of patriarchal forms of local governance and making the Synod of Bishops a deliberative and responsible governing actor in the Church, not merely a consultative body.
Over at LawFare, Benjamin Wittes explains why Senator Rand Paul's filibuster on the issue of drone strikes was nothing more than a publicity stunt. I agree with Wittes. What is more, I expect this kind of paranoid foolishness from the likes of Sen. Paul. But I was appalled by, and call down shame upon, those lefty commentators that applauded his antics. Really people? One does not advance a serious issue by discussing it in unserious ways.
The Wall Street Journal asked a group of Catholics to answer the question: "The next pope should be....?" I was happy to be included in the group and answered that the new pope should be among the poor. I was frankly shocked at the coarseness of George Weigel's reply that the new pope should be a culture warrior, specifically one devoted to shoring up modern democracy. Huh? The papacy is, last time I checked, not a constitutional office.
Laetare. The word even sounds like what it signifies. In the midst of Lent with all its somberness, its awareness of the power of sin, its call to conversion which is never an easy call, we hear this word and it awakens in us the sense that the darkness will pass. Laetare Sunday is like the light a half hour before sunrise, starting to push back the darkness, but not yet.
No one has done a better job exposing the hubris of scientism, as opposed to science, than Leon Wieseltier. So, it is unsurprising that he has decided to take on the "Darwinist mob" that has attacked a new book by Thomas Nagle. I do not share Wieseltier's sentiments about heresy, but his phrase "the soulfulness of reason" is more than compensation.
You can find his essay here.
We have not seen the words " great" and "jobs' report" in the same sentence for about five or six years. But, the Department of Labor today released its monthly jobs' report, indicating that the economy added 236,000 jobs in February and that the unemployment rate ticked down from 7.9% to 7.7%. Those numbers are great indeed. The caveat?