Yesterday, the U.S. government granted official recognition to the Syrian opposition. Yesterday, the negotiations over the fiscal cliff continued. Yesterday, North Korea launched a missile into orbit. Yesterday, Michigan passed a "right-to-work" law. But, you wouldn't have known it if you were watching CNN last night. As soon as news broke about a shooting at a shopping mall in Portland, Oregon, CNN went into ambulance-chaser mode. The shootings in Portland were awful, to be sure. My heart goes out to the victims' and their families.
Michigan’s Republican-controlled legislature slammed through so-called, and misnamed, “right-to-work” laws yesterday and Republican Governor Rick Snyder signed them into law. Michigan, home of the United Auto Workers, scene of the Flint sit-down strike in the 1930’s, became the twenty-fourth state in the Union to adopt these flawed laws.
I have long since reached the conclusion that Eric Metaxas, best known for his biography of Bonhoeffer, is dangerous. Metaxas is very smart, very funny, very savvy. He has an essay posted at CNN's Belief Blog that displays all those traits and also indicates why he is dangerous. He writes:
Holly Taylor Coolman is one of my favorites among the rising generation of young theologians.
So, it appears that I am not the only one concerned about a certain sloppiness in appealing to the sensus fidelium. Pope Benedict XVI addressed the issue in his recent comments to the International Theological Commission. I think the Holy Father makes a key point: The sensus fidelium must cohere, in a sense, with what is known as the Vincentian canon, that is, what has been believed always, everywhere and by everyone.
Politico profiles five key Republicans in the upcoming debate about immigration reform. As the story indicates, a pathway to citizenship still looms as an obstacle, but those who oppose such a pathway must ask themselves if the idea of a two-tier system of citizenship is healthy for a democracy. They must also ask themselves why, in this case, the idea that Congress might change the penalties for a crime, in this case, entering the country without proper documentation, cannot be changed.
Values. I do not like it when our religion is reduced to ethics, as regular readers know. The important thing to know about the Catholic faith is not that it imparts good values to its communicants but that it imparts the Word of God which saves us from final damnation. We hold to what we believe because it is true, not because it is efficacious. And, because it is true, because God’s verdict on this person known as Jesus was different from the verdict rendered by Pilate, then the teachings of Jesus become normative.
The issue of same-sex marriage is headed to the Supremes, and it is far from clear whether the justices will sing "Stop! In the Name of Love" like the other Supremes. Linda Hirschman at the New Republic looks at the potential difficulties of the high court's decision to look at the constitutionality of both the Defense of Marriage Act and California's Proposition 8, analyzing the careful strategy that preceded Brown v. Board of Education and Roe v. Wade.
Father Ron Schmit, in an essay here at NCR, has raised questions about ecclesiological significance of the return of the Tridentine rite. I do not share his concerns.
Last week I flew to Chicago. Fifty years ago, the cost of air traffic control was somewhat less than what it is today. Additionally, since the attacks of September 11, 2001, we all have to go through those expensive screening machines, guided by people wearing blue gloves, all of which costs money. When I start compiling my tax information, of course I wish I could keep more of it. I need a car. I need to go to the dentist. I have not visited the Eternal City for far too long.