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The Best Time of Year

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I love turkey and stuffing and sweet potatoes and cranberry relish and pumpkin pie. I love making and sending Christmas cards. I love putting on Handel's Messiah and playing Christmas carols on the piano. I love going into the forest to find the perfect Christmas tree and decorating it. But, the real reason this is the best time of the year is different from these reasons. The real reason is that at the moment we can watch BOTH college football and college basketball.

More Good Stuff from +Dolan

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Cardinal Timothy Dolan has an op-ed up at the New York Post about the way commercialism is infecting our celebration of Thanksgiving and robbing it of its humanness. (Or, as Brad Gregory would have it, the way the goods life is obstructing to good life.) I wish to make two points. First, I emailed my colleague Heidi Schlumpf, who wrote about this horrible Black Friday sales-a-thon mentality, and asked if she had begun ghostwriting for Cardinal Dolan!

A Win In the Courts

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Last Friday, a federal judge ordered a temporary injunction against the HHS contraception mandate for a private, but distinctly religious, employer, Tyndale House Publishing. There is an important distinction to be made here. I have long argued that the most important aspect of the entire controversy is to enlarge the exemption from the mandate for religious institutions such as Catholic schools and hospitals and charities. But, I also believe that private firms, not officially affiliated with any particular church, but engaged in pervasively religious work, should also be exempt.

Cardinal Newman Society Swings & Misses (Again!)

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I do not know many people who worry as much as I do about Catholic identity. A priest friend routinely introduces me as a "Catholic fanatic." My three jobs - NCR, CUA and the Tablet - are all involved with the Church. And, in my writing, I am as often damned as praised for a certain stiff-neckedness about my Catholicism, a charge I accept and in which I relish.

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