I have an apology to make. In last night's debate, we were discussing secularization in the West. I was making the obvious point that such a complex phenomenon as secularization could not be attributed in any facile way to the growth of the modern welfare state. After all, in 1789, there was no Medicare. And, in 1929, Walter Lippmann published "A Preface to Morals," in which he wrote of the "acids" of modernity which not only attacked particular beliefs, but the disposition to believe itself, four years before the New Deal.
Regular readers will know of the profound admiration I have for Leon Wieseltier and for his writings. His article at The New Republic this morning challenges some of President Obama's foreign policy inclinations as well as those of Secretary-designate Chuck Hagel. The key sentences: "The merit of a view owes nothing to the biography of the individual who holds it, even if it confers a certain pathos. A chest full of medals hardly denotes a brain full of truths."
Last night, I debated Father Robert Sirico of the Acton Institute. The event was sponsored by the St. Thomas Aquinas Center at the University of Colorado at Boulder, a lovely college town set into edge of the Rocky Mountains and I extend my thanks to our hosts for a lovely event and to Father Sirico for being such an engaging debate partner.
"Morning Briefing" linked to the AP story about a bipartisan group of senators coming forward with the outlines of a proposal for comprehensive immigration reform. I read the Washington Post's account on the flight here to Colorado. This is very good news for several reasons.
Over at RNS, Mark Silk takes issue with my point about not rushing to shout "hypocrite" in the Colorado hospital case in which lawyers for a Catholic Hospital argued that a wrongful death suit on behalf of two unborn children was not recognizable at bar because Colorado law does not recognize unborn children as persons.
This weekend brought two very different op-eds, one in the New York Times and the other in the Washington Post, both of which dealt with the Catholic Church. Mr.
At first blush, this story about a Colorado Hospital arguing that a fetus is not a person, in a court suit for wrongful death in the case of two unborn children who died with their mother, seems like the rankest of hypocrisies, or, to put a kinder face on it, another instance of Church leaders granting too much authority to their lawyers. And, the bishops of Colorado are looking into the matter.
Ann Rodgers, one of the best reporters on the religion beat, profiles Nicholas Cafardi, one of the people being mentioned as a potential next ambassador to the Holy See.
I noted at the beginning of the year that one of the principal difficulties President Barack Obama and the Democrats will face in the coming years is a difficulty of their own making. The inability of Democrats to prepare for, use their get-out-the-vote machine, and defend the policies they had enacted in advance of the 2010 midterm elections not only cost them control of the House of Representatives, but more importantly, ceded control of state legislatures and governorships in several key states, including Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
Today is the Feast of St. Francis de Sales, the patron saint of journalists and writers. Here is the Catholic Encyclopedia entry. St. Francis de Sales, Pray for us!