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.
This article at Crisis magazine by Anthony Esolen is stunning in every regard, except insight.
I suppose hoping that the New York Times is capable of seeing anything except in terms of the standard, and now boring, left v. right divide, is hoping for too much. So, it was fun to read this article in the Times about Cardinal Dolan's fervent support for the canonization of Day. But, no one except the Times has an excuse for trying to enlist Day as their champion in any intra-ecclesial wars.
Earlier this year, I was frustrated that some commentators were taking swipes at the Obama administration because, at times, its representatives spoke of freedom of worship instead of freedom of religion. Of course, Franklin Roosevelt and others had used the two terms interchangeably.
Mark Silk looks at the post-election breakdown of demographic voting behavior, and it turns out it is even worse for the GOP, and for their fellow travelers among certain conservative Catholics: Young Hispanic Catholics, the future of the Church in the U.S., are decisively more Democratic in their partisan affiliation than are young white Catholics. Do the math.
Sen. John McCain yesterday made clear what he thought the priorities of the GOP should be:
"As far as young women are concerned, absolutely, I don't think anybody like me — I can state my position on abortion, but, other than that, leave the issue alone, when we are in the kind of economic situation and, frankly, national security situation we're in," McCain told "Fox News Sunday.
"Leave the issue alone"?????
The New Republic looks at the role of Jorge Ramos, one of the news co-anchors at Univision. The article notes that Ramos is both a newscaster and a champion of immigrant rights, and it worries, not too much, about whether Ramos has crossed the line from journalist to advocate. The line for journalists is not always clear-cut, as you can see from this paragraph in the TNR story:
The so-called “fiscal cliff” looms before the nation’s legislators and newly re-elected President. I am not so sure it is a cliff to begin with, but the economy is not just about data, it is about psychology, and if the Congress and the White House cannot come to terms, the uncertainty of the past few years will be perpetuated into the new year, with potentially devastating consequences for economic growth.
Four years ago, Barack Obama gave us Jan Brewer. Of course, what he did was choose then-Governor of Arizona Janet Napolitano to be Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, which left the governorship of that state to Brewer. Now, four years on, we are told that Sen Harry Reid is objecting to a plan to name Sen. John Kerry as Secretary of State or Defense, because Reid worries Sen. Scott Brown, who just lost, would make a formidable candidate to take Kerry's seat. The other leading candidate for the post, U.N.
I am guessing that most of you are still recovering from all those carbs! Or, you are busy spending time with family and friends. Hopefully, you have minded the concerns raised in these pages about participating in that orgy of consumerism known as “Black Friday” and did not camp out at the mall overnight to be the first in line to purchase some new gizmo.