Links for 8/25/20

by Michael Sean Winters

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The word "abortion" may not have been spoken at last week's Democratic National Convention, but Jesuit Fr. James Martin did mention the unborn in his prayer at the close of the final night. Here is a link to the text of his prayer and that of Social Service Sr. Simone Campbell, who opened the proceedings on the final night. Here is an essay by Martin from last year in which he explains why he is pro-life.

The pandemic may have a mind of its own, but our response as a nation is entirely within our reach. The Washington Post reports millions of families are falling back into crisis now that several forms of government relief have ended — from the stipend for unemployment recipients to the end of moratoria on evictions. There is plenty of money to address these problems, if Congress had the will to tax corporations the way the rest of us are taxed. That, alas, is a bridge too far for the Republicans.

At Politico, Alex Mutnick argues that the party of Lincoln has become the party of Donald Trump, noting the number of older, more traditional conservative members of Congress who are retiring and being replaced by Trump acolytes. He is on to something, to be sure, but politics is known to have several whiplashes in a row. In 1974, Democrats swamped the GOP in the first Watergate-focused election, but two years later, Jimmy Carter narrowly captured the presidency, and four years later, Reagan crushed Carter and the GOP took the Senate.

At The Washington Post, a state-of-the-race report from Luzerne County, one of the pivot counties that voted for Obama twice and then delivered Trump a 19-point win. Turns out that Joe Biden is holding his own in this county, which is next door to the county where he was born. The president was in the area last Thursday hosting a rally. Election night, this will be one of the first bell weather counties to watch.

From Catholic Extension, a parish in California comes to the aid of the Dominican Sisters of Our Lady of the Rosary of Fatima, whose convent was destroyed in an earthquake in Puerto Rico. Catholic Extension has been doing Herculean work on the island helping the Catholic Church recover from the hurricanes as well as the on-going earthquakes. The natural disasters came on the heels of an economic recession that has lasted for more than 10 years.

From the Catholic Labor Network, a postal carrier discusses the entirely man-made crisis at the U.S. Postal Service and the efforts of unions that represent postal workers to fight political efforts to disrupt postal service in advance of this year's election.

There was a petition started by the badly named organization "Faithful America" that aimed to influence New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan's prayer at the Republican National Convention.* They did not have such petitions when Social Service Sr. Simone Campbell or Jesuit Fr. Jim Martin said prayers at the Democratic National Convention. So, it is safe to conclude that the organization's faith is in their politics, which is not really faith at all. Faith transcends politics.

At CNN a look at how different jurisdictions dealt with the issue of opening schools during the 1918 pandemic. Chicago, New Haven and New York kept their schools open, and the infection rates were worse than in cities that closed their schools.

[Michael Sean Winters covers the nexus of religion and politics for NCR.]

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*Correction: The original version of this article incorrectly claimed that the petition from "Faithful America" aimed to stop New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan from praying at the Republican National Convention. Their petition called on Dolan "to pray that the president turns away from hatred and ego."

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