Column: This year, more than most, the issues that seemed to be shaping the debate have come and gone like the wind.
The absence of a more frank discussion about America's poverty problem remains a mystery in our national political discourse. Who are "the poor"? Who represents them?
The decision by a Jesuit university in Nebraska to provide benefits to spouses of gay employees has prompted a strong protest from the local archbishop, the latest skirmish in a battle that seems likely to widen as gay marriage becomes more common.
Jesuit Fr. Timothy Lannon, president of Creighton University in Omaha, Neb., said the Catholic school would recognize the spouses of gay employees married in states where same-sex marriage is legal. Those spouses would be eligible to join the university's health plan.
The death penalty "offends my faith," one pastor said. "It doesn't deter crime, and it puts vengeance ahead of justice. It is an international embarrassment.
A federal judge in Florida has granted Ave Maria University's motion for a preliminary injunction to keep the Catholic university from being forced to follow the latest procedures that nonexempt religious employers must use to opt out of the contraceptive mandate.
The ruling Tuesday from Judge James S. Moody of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida came as Ave Maria was days away from having to pay fines to the government for noncompliance.
Right-wing Christians and the politicians who pander to them like to say that the United States was, is and always should be a "Christian nation."
Why, then, are they so obsessed about money and political power and so determined to make people afraid?
After all, Jesus spent an estimated two-thirds of his teaching time on wealth and power. His message was clear, if radical: Give wealth away rather than build bigger barns. Submit to others rather than seek power. Love your enemies rather than smite them.
Religious groups are battling the state of California over whether employee health insurance plans require them to pay for abortions and some forms of contraception that some find immoral.
So is the state forcing churches to pay for abortions? It depends on who you ask.
We say: Church personnel policies must allow gay employees to enter into civil marriages without fear of losing their jobs.
Catholic speakers and scholars at a Colorado university discussed whether historical promises made by the U.S. to other nations have been held and if America is looking carefully at each criteria of the just war theory in determining actions in the Middle East rather than taking an all-in stance.
Craig White, a former U.S. diplomat to the Middle East, and Christian Brugger, a moral theology professor at St. John Vianney Seminary in Denver, discussed just war Oct. 14 at Colorado State University.
A U.S. District Court judge's ruling that Arizona's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional "overturns the will of Arizona voters and reflects a misunderstanding of the institution of marriage," the state's Catholic bishops said Friday.
"For centuries, marriage has been recognized as the lifelong union of a man and a woman that benefits the common good by respecting the unique and complementary gifts of both a mother and a father in the lives of children," they said.