Distinctly Catholic

The UN Vote on Palestine


The United Nations yesterday voted, by a lopsided margin, to grant the Palestinian Authority the status of Non-Member Observer State. The United States was joined by only eight other nations in opposing the measure. 138 nations voted for it. The Holy See, which now shares the same status as the Palestinian Authority, said that it welcomed the change. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas clapped in the audience when the vote was announced.

More Nastiness on the Right


I hate to admit it, but I LOVE reading article by George Neumayr like this one at RealClearReligion about how Obama "bamboozled" Catholic voters. In one piece he manages to question the integrity of John Carr, the sagacity of Bishop Stephen Blaire, borrow a metaphor that has its origins in Fascist Spanish military strategy, suggest many, un-named bishops were 'useful idiots" to Obama, and characterize Sisters Carol Keehan and Simone Campbell as propagandists.

Amy Sullivan on Abortion Rate Drop & Pro-Life Activists' Tepid Response


Amy Sullivan at The New Republic discusses the very good news about the drop in the abortion rate and also calls out pro-life activists who seem uninterested in this news. One has the feeling that these groups - National Right-to-Life, American Life League, LifeSiteNews - are more interested in their institutional preservation (and GOP affiliation) than they are in accomplishing anything substantive like, I don't know, lowering the abortion rate.

Wal-Mart's Evil


I am proud to say I have never purchased a single item at a Wal-Mart. Sadly, I have been utterly unsuccessful in my efforts to convince my dad to abstain from that corporation. But, in this morning's Post, Harold Meyerson details the link between the latest outrage, the death of dozens of workers at a plant in Bangladesh, and the on-going scandal of Wal-Mart's employee policies. This company is evil.

The Hubris of Sen. McConnell


In this morning's paper I read that Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Senate Minority Leader, took issue with President Obama's effort to enlist the support of the American people in his effort to reach a deal on the fiscal cliff. McConnell said, "the time for campaigning is over." Well, his words would seem less offensive if he and his Republican congressional friends were willing to recognize the results of the most recently concluded campaign.

Lustre of Our Country - Continuing the Review of Noonan's Classic


Yesterday, I began a discussion of John Noonan’s “The Lustre of Our Country: The American Experience of Religious Freedom.” And, I finished on what I think is a key issue, namely, the extent to which the reduction of religion to ethics in the public square actually represents a triumph for secularism, a kind of utilitarianism which, over time, leaves even the ethical teachings themselves vulnerable because they are so publicly divorced from the truth claims from which they originally flowed.


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In This Issue

April 21-May 4, 2017