Distinctly Catholic

Obama's Problem


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.

Camosy on Singer


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.

Romney's Problem


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.

G'town's Farr: Half-Right, Half-Wrong


Over the at Weekly Standard, Georgetown University's Tom Farr has an essay on the dangers to religious liberty around the globe. I share his concerns, both about how the issue plays out in countries like Iraq, where most Christians have fled, and Egypt, where many Christians fear they may yet have to flee. And, I worry about the cavalier way some liberal democracies are shunting religious opinions aside. Farr writes:

In short, religion in much of the West is no longer seen as intrinsic to human dignity and social flourishing. It is generally understood as merely an opinion and, as a species, a dangerous opinion at that. While it is fine to practice your religion in churches, synagogues, mosques, and temples, democracy requires that you leave it there. To bring it into politics endangers democracy.

This malevolent idea, which was famously championed by the American political philosopher John Rawls, is gaining considerable purchase in our own country.

From Enemy to Brother: Part II


On Friday, I began a review of “From Enemy to Brother: The Revolution in Catholic Teaching on the Jews, 1933-1965,” by John Connelly. There, we looked at the problem: Centuries of anti-Semitism and anti-Judaism that had left the Catholic Church incapable of finding ways to even talk with or about Jews that did not feed into the kind of attitudes that had perpetrated centuries of persecution. Several factors came together to affect a change in Catholic doctrine towards the Jews, and Connelly’s book tells that tale.

+Broglio Finally Nixes Chicken Little Routine


After fretting about the effects ending "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" would have on the U.S. military and the chaplaincies over which he has authority, Archbishop Timothy Broglio of the Archdiocese of the Military finally fessed up and said the change in policy was not having much of an effect. "There have been no overt difficulties," he told a newspaper reporter. "It's more a question of what might occur in the future." Hmmm. What might occur in the future? The Mayans could be proven right and the world could end. Obama could lose and Romney could revisit the issue and re-implement Don't Ask, Don't Tell, although I doubt he would and I doubt the leadership of the military would want him to do so. Who knows about the future, but one thing is clear about the past: Dire, chicken-little like warnings about the dire consequences of treating gay men and women like other people almost never look smart or realistic in the rear view mirror. (h/t Rocco.)

The Anemic Jobs Report


Another month, another anemic jobs report with only 80,000 jobs added last month and the unemployment rate staying at 8.2 percent.

Of course, the Democrats are blaming the Republicans and the Republicans are blaming the Democrats. The policies of neither party are doing much, or will do much, to spur job growth. The 2008 recession was not like other recessions, it did not merely represent a slow or even contracting economy, it was perilously close to a free-fall, and it scared the living bejeezus out of most investors and entrepreneurs. They will hire when the must, and not a moment sooner. And, with government jobs contracting due to budget cuts, this anemia is not going away anytime soon.


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In This Issue

March 24-April 6, 2017