Centuries hence, cultural anthropologists will marvel that we early 21st century Americans gave a hoot what celebrities thought about important issues. Really, why would anyone care what Russell Brand has to say about anything? Does starring in "Arthur" provide policy expertise?
Welcome to Distinctly Catholic, a blog by Michael Sean Winters that examines politics, religion and the estuary where the two meet, all from a distinctively Catholic point of view. The blog is small "c" catholic as well as big "C" Catholic, examining a wide range of issues but always from the perspective of Catholic history and theology.
Regular readers will know I am not much of a fan of Congressman Paul Ryan's economic views. But, he gets high praise for not only defending the need for comprehensive immigration reform, but for going on to talk radio and debating the issue with Laura Ingraham! That takes courage.
Something called "Acton U" is going on this week, a series of seminars sponsored by the Acton Institute. Here is a listing of their scheduled offerings. I have one question and one observation. The question: Who is paying for all this? The observation: Can't attend any of it because I have to wash my hair.
In this morning's Salt Lake City Tribune, Bishop John Wester explains the moral reasons to oppose amendments to the immigration reform bill being proposed by his home state's Senator Orrin Hatch.
The foes of immigration reform have never had much of a moral case, at least not as we Catholics understand the moral calculi at issue: The right to be treated humanely crosses borders, and whether an immigrant has papers or does not have papers, their human rights, including he right to migrate, remains intact. Or, as Jehovah said more pithily to Moses, “You shall not wrong a stranger or oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” (Ex. 22:21)
At America magazine, John Carr looks at Pope Francis' first 100 days.
I encourage everyone who has not done so yet to read this homily the Holy Father delivered last Sunday on "Evangelium Vitae Sunday." The tone is quite different from what we often hear from the pro-life movement here in the U.S., no? The Pope is inviting all of us to think about the Gift of Life as something very profound, and the challenge of protecting that gift as something that requires a deep commitment to the Lord, not just a legal fix.
Here is a breathtakingly good essay that exposes Ayn Rand as the "Architect of the Culture of Death." Compare this fine, critical essay by Donald DeMarco with this less than critical article on Rand published last year by Father Robert Sirico of the Acton Institute.
UPDATED: The link is fixed.
Mark Silk, the Sage of Hartford, looks at the new Pew numbers that compare the perceptions of the LGBT community as to the hostility of various religious groups versus the attitudes towards the LGBT community held by the adherents of different religion. That largest gap between those two numbers? Catholics. Silk writes:
This report at Politico illustrates Speaker John Boehner's conundrum on immigration reform. Cong. Dana Rohrbacher says that if Boehner brings an immigration bill to the floor that does not have the support of a majority of House Republicans, he will lose his speakership. To be clear, there is no bill that could garner the support of a majority of Republicans in the House that would have any chance of passing the Senate.