No one should be surprised that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered Russian troops to occupy key strategic assets within the Crimea. The darling of Sochi, who basked in all the attention and respectability that comes with hosting an Olympics, remained at heart a thug. That, we could live with. But this thug has a vision, a vision of a restored Russian Empire. It is a vision that has already caused the deaths of countless thousands in Georgia and South Ossetia. That vision is currently provoking chaos in Ukraine and threatening something worse then chaos.
A short documentary about the spiritual significance of dogs. Keep the Kleenex close.
In this morning's Washington Post, Michael Gerson makes the case that the GOP is getting over its Tea Party hangover. I hope he is right. But, there is this one troubling sentence in his article that gives one pause. He writes: "A plurality of Republicans in primaries still identify with the tea party movement." Speaker Boehner may be able to take on the tea party caucus in the House.
From Politico, Cong. Steve King wishes the GOP had been "better obstructionists," in recent years, especially regarding the Affordable Care Act. Oh, so that is the problem? Who cares about millions of people uninsured.
Mark Silk, as we have come to expect, puts his finger right on the central fact of the recent conflict in Arizona between proponents of more expansive religious liberty rights and proponents of non-discrimination. He writes of Governor Brewer's statement announcing her veto of SB 1062:
Some things are best left in the past. C.J. Reid at HuffPost on a proposed nullification bill in Missouri.
For those of us named, Michael, a beautiful hymn. The music starts at 2:25. Text - extraordinary text! - beneath the screen.
Below is the text of a letter sent to President Obama, signed by a host of religious leaders, praising him for “lifting up” the issue of international religious liberty during his remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast. As you will see, the letter also invites President Obama to reflect upon the issue of domestic religious liberty, not in a hostile way, but in an encouraging way. This non-culture warrior approach is, I believe, more likely to yield the results we want on the issue of religious liberty than some of the over-the-top claims one finds put forward at, for example, EWTN.
Fr. James Schall, S.J. has a post up at Crisis magazine in which he repeats the right-wing canard that President Obama is intent on reducing the freedom of religion to a freedom to worship. He writes:
Formerly, I hated celebrating my birthday. It is the narcissism of youth I suppose that we think getting older is a bad thing and, in our American culture, the celebration of youth was and is ubiquitous. It was a bishop friend who, on learning of my distaste for marking my birthday, challenged me: “That’s not very pro-life!” And, indeed it is not. So, today, I give thanks for the fact of being born.