Yesterday, in discussing the Public Religion Research Institute's new American Values Survey, I noted that those who find religion uninteresting bore me - religion is many things, but never boring. I also noted that those who claim to be "spiritual but not religious" are prone to a certain solipsism. I had in mind, as I wrote those words, a commentary at "Interfaith Voices" with the Rev. Lillian Denn, senior minister at the First Congregational Church, UCC, in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. I wasn't able to locate the link to the audio yesterday but have now found it and highly commend listening.
Twice this year, I have had the pleasure of reading a book that is so compelling, so smart, and so important to the issues of the day, that I want to urge readers to rush out and buy it right this second. The first was Brad Gregory’s “The Unintended Reformation,” and now I add Lew Daly’s “God’s Economy: Faith-Based Initiatives & the Caring State.” This book was published in 2009 and, for some reason, was only brought to my attention this summer. I am embarrassed that I had not read it before.
Bishop Daniel Flores of Brownsville, Texas, delivered the Steele Lecture in Houston last week and he has now posted the text on his blog. (h/t to Rocco for the link.) Bishop Flores looks at both the HHS mandate and the attempts by several states to limit the Church's ability to serve immigrants, and notes the varied, partisan responses this has caused.
Looking at the list of new cardinals, there was one name that seemed especially conspicuous in its absence - the new head of the CDF, Archbishop Muller. Maybe Pope Benedict wanted the headline he is already getting - no Europeans - but this strikes me as very strange. Muller occupies an influential and important post, but in the world of curial politics, it matters whether you are wearing red or magenta.
Mitt Romney’s campaign sent the letter below to his Catholic supporters. Funny he did not mention that he COMPLETELY backed off his previous support for the Blunt Amendment during the second debate. I am sorry but I have come to the conclusion that even by the low bar standards for veracity that we expect from politicians, Mr. Romney is just a really brazen liar. And, as Bishops Morlino, and Paprocki have reminded us, we can’t vote for an intrinsic evil, and lying is an intrinsic evil.
Here is the text of the letter:
Archbishop John Onaiyekan of Abuja, Nigeria, was named a cardinal by the Holy Father this morning. Abp Onaiyekan was in Washington last month to participate in the symposium on International Religious Liberty sponsored by the Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies at CUA, the USCCB and CRS.
Monday, the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) released their annual American Values Survey and yesterday, with the Brookings Institution, they held a panel discussion about the findings. My colleague Tom Roberts has already written about some items that caught his eye.
Over at the really wonderful, still new, blog Millennial Journal, writes about the effort to confront the consumer culture and let young women know that they do not need make-up to be beautiful, they are beautiful already. Consumerism is highly coercive, especially for the young who are promised that beauty, or self-esteem, or something, is only a few dollars away. It is disgusting.
Recently, Catholic University's Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies partnered with the American Jewish Committee to sponsor a symposium on poverty. I linked previously to Melinda Henneberger's column in the Washington Post that discusses the event, and NCR's own Jerry Filteau will have a fuller report on the symposium in the near future. But, IPRCS, where I am a visiting fellow, has now posted some videos of the symposium.
A friend sent me this commentary from Rebecca Hamilton, a state representative in Oklahoma. Get this woman a platform, raise some money for her, and let's find a way to put her on the national stage! How refreshing to find a partisan - and a state representative is by definition a partisan - who is so willing to challenge her own party! Not that Hamilton is merely "all mavericky" a la Sarah Palin.