Class is everywhere these days. Not “class” as in “class act” but “class” as in “class struggle.” Yet, Americans remain reluctant to even employ the language that best fits the growing economic and cultural divides within this country. It is part of our national myth that our society is not and never has been hidebound by class distinctions the way, say, the Brits are. Our Constitution forbids titles of nobility. There are only two ways to gain membership in the House of Windsor, you must be born into it or you must marry into it. In America, we believe, anyone can make it to the top.
Robert P. Jones, in an article at HuffPost, shows how attitudes towards health care reform breakdown along racial and religious divides. One thing is clear from his findings: white evangelicals are getting bad information about the ACA. He reports only 1-in-5 white evangelicals think the law will lead to increased access. You may agree or disagree with the methods the ACA adopts to achieve increased access. There is not doubt it will increase access.
I did not attend the closing Mass at the Fortnight for Freedom, held at Washington's National Shrine. I did watch the video of Archbishop Chaput's homily and, as I wrote last week, his sermon was quite good. But, I missed something that happened at the end of the Mass. Archbishop William Lori asked the congregation to take out their I-phones or similar hand-held devices and to text the word "freedom" or "libertad" to the number he provided. You can see the video here.
The decision by the diocese of Arlington to require “fidelity oaths” from Sunday school teachers is deeply troubling. This morning’s Washington Post has the story. But, let me point out at the outset that the issue is troubling for both those who support the idea and those who oppose it.
To observe that Father John Zuhlsdorf is a crank is like observing that the sun rises in the East. You don't get points for stating the obvious.
But, at the end of this post, in which he rightly faults President Obama for his response to a question about the HHS mandate, Zuhlsdorf includes a fake poster showing, in a row, Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin, Mao-Zedong, and Obama. This crosses the line, even for someone as off-kilter as Zuhlsdorf. Marx, of course, was a writer and thinker, not a politician, so he fits rather oddly with the quartet: In Moscow, after the collapse of communism, the statues of Lenin were hurled from their pedastals, but not the statue of Marx not far from Red Square. There, the inscribed motto was altered, and not by much, to read: "Workers of the World, I'm Sorry." But, Lenin was bloodthirsty. Mao was one of the great mass murders of the 20th century. To put Obama with them is so wrong, I don't know where to begin.
While most of us at NCR were breathing a sigh of relief over the Supreme Court's decision on the Affordable Care Act, the Court's ruling regarding the expansion of Medicaid is troubling. Sort of. On legal grounds, I suspect the Court got it right - the idea that the federal government could withdraw already pledged funds to the states to entice those same states to sign on for the expansion of Medicaid runs counter to the ideas of federalism at the heart of the Constitution.
Those who are prone to conspiratorial explanations of phenomenon tend to be, well, a little bit crazy. And, their craziness is not only intellectual, it is moral.
Yesterday, I looked at Romney’s problem, the need to continually conciliate a rabid base while not alienating moderate, swing voters, a task made more difficult because Romney simply does not talk or walk like either a wild-eyed libertarian or an evangelical zealot.
For President Obama, the problem is difficult but it also has to do with the fact that he has proven himself incapable of talking and walking like his party’s base. He, like Romney, is stuck with a personality that is strangely out-of-touch with the job he holds.
Fordham's Charles Camosy has a new book out - "Peter Singer and Christian Ethics: Beyond Polarization" - and, over at America, Camosy has a podcast up discussing his work. I have started Camosy's book, but had to set it aside to do some reading on assignment, but I hope to have a review of it posted next week. In the meantime, get Camosy in his own words on the podcast.
There was distressing news for Mitt Romney in the most recent Washington Post/ABC News poll. Yes, the poll showed that he was dead even with President Obama nationally, both men garnering the support of 47% of the electorate. But, while 75% of Obama supporters said that their choice was based on their support for the president and 23% said they were supporting Obama primarily because they were against his opponent, only 37% of those who said they would vote for Romney said their choice was based on support for him, while a stunning 59% said they were primarily opposed to giving Obama a second term.