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.
While there are some American evangelical fingerprints over anti-gay measures being contemplated in Uganda, other US religious leaders are urging the Ugandan parliament not to enact these barbaric, bigoted measures. One of those leaders, former US ambassador to the Holy See Thomas Melady, who also served extensively in Africa during his storied career, is especially noteworthy as a signatory. You can read their statement here.
Mark Silk at RNS has a great, and funny, blog up about Senator Marco Rubio's, ehem, evolving views on when the earth was created, and which church he considers home.
A new blog has been launched - "Lawfare" - that examines the difficult legal choices facing the country in a time when warfare has been changed by the advent of non-state terrorists, new technologies, and a renewed interest stateside in the text of the Constitution. I confess my interest in the subject is largely the result of the fact that one of the founders of the new blog, Benjamin Wittes of the Brookings Institution, is an old and dear friend.
The District Court for the Eastern District of New York issued a ruling Wednesday that essentially allows the lawsuits brought by several New York Catholic organizations, including the Archdiocese of New York and the Diocese of Rockville Center, against the HHS contraception mandate to proceed. The decision was a bit complicated, and you can read the legal analysis of Marc DeGirolami at "Mirror of Justice" by clicking here.
After the election of 2008, Senate Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said that his number one objective was to make President Obama a one-term occupant of the Oval Office. It was a stunning claim given all the challenges the nation faced.
Truth claims. That is what this week’s series “To Hell With It” is about. Against the Catholic neo-cons, I resist their attempts at an apologia for our faith by drowning it in a utilitarian Americanism, quoting George Washington about the need for a morally serious citizenry as if Jesus Christ had died to make America great.
NCR's own Melissa Musick Nussbaum published an article about Human Sexuality, the Church and Culture in the current Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good Forum. It is arguably providential that Nussbaum's article came out the same day as Notre Dame announced its new LGBTQ student group. There is much in Nussbaum's essay that is splendid, but what strikes me as its most distinguishing characteristic is her willingness to admit ambivalence.
The University of Notre Dame announced the results of its services and support for students who are "LGBTQ" (I confess, I had to check to see what the 'Q' stood for - 'questioning') on campus. Among other things, the university will permit a student group for LGBTQ students, and appoint a full-time staffer to oversee the implementation of the policies recommended by the review. You can read Father Jenkins' announcement, with links to the various statements, here.
“If it’s just a symbol, then to hell with it.” Thus, Flannery O’Connor when it was suggested that the Eucharist was merely a symbolic presence of the Lord Jesus. Of course, we Catholics are not allergic to the importance of symbols. People will negotiate a policy but will die for a symbol, and not just Catholics.