Over at The New Republic, Noam Scheiber takes the long view of some of the key issues in the fiscal cliff negotiations and explains why time and the temperament of the electorate are on the side of the Dems.
Yesterday, I posted the first half of my review of Maura Jane Farrelly’s “Papist Patriots: The Making of an American Catholic Identity.” Today, we conclude the review.
In this morning's Washington Post E.J. Dionne on how the GOP is now fighting things they once proposed, with the unintended effect of giving progressives more than they thought they had in the implementation of the ACA.
This article in the Christian Science Monitor is fascinating to me. New England is becoming again a hotbed of religious experimentation and entrepreneurship. I do not pretend to understand it: Why anyone would stop going to a Catholic Mass and, subsequently, start attending Seventh Day Adventist services, escapes me.
The historiography of the American founding is an ever-changing landscape, as historians look at evidence that was previously ignored or minimized, and, just as importantly, as a new generation of historians brings the questions of their own times to the data of previous times. Few periods are as studied as that of the revolutionary and founding generations, yet historians continue to see things that were opaque before, filling out our understanding of our shared past. It is important work not only for historians but for all of us.
It has been commented upon by several people that, this year, the death of the Holy Innocents came before Christmas and that for many, the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut made it difficult for people to feel the usual joy we associate with this season. Here is the text of a sermon delivered this past Sunday, at the National Shrine here in Washington, by Archbishop J. Augustine DiNoia, O.P., that powerfully connects the tragedy and the holiday:
I mentioned that this was a bizarre Christmas for me. At one point, I toyed with the idea of having what my Jewish friends call "Jewish Christmas - Chinese food and a movie." I actually liked the idea of the Chinese food, but there was one tradition I could not bring myself to overcome, the tradition of not engaging in commerce on Christmas Day. Actually, it is better to say, engaging only in the commerce that matters, the commerce between Heaven and Earth. That is commerce enough for the day and, in the end, the only commerce that ultimately matters on any day.
In case you missed it on the homepage, NCR has announced its Person of the Year: John Roberts, the Chief Justice of the United States.
I had anticipated a typical Christmas this year. Make my Christmas cards and get them sent. Drive to Connecticut with my niece, a friend, and the three dogs. Get the tree and decorate it on Christmas Eve. Midnight Mass. Dinner with friends and family. Restful (apart from the drive), focused on the liturgy not the gift giving, days filled with traditions, and the mental associations they recall.