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Religion & the Founding: Curran's "Papist Devils''

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As we have seen in the past three days, religion, and specifically anti-Catholicism, were in the air the colonial Americans breathed and played a significant role in shaping the ideology that led to the American Revolution. Ours was a Revolution driven by ideas. But, those ideas maintained their currency largely because events conspired to keep the fires of anti-Catholic bigotry hot. Today, I will look at an important new book by Robert Emmett Curran, Papist Devils, Catholic in British America, 1574-1783.

A Rising Magenta Millennial

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Elizabeth Stoker Bruenig is quickly making a name for herself. This young woman has recently published two articles that show her to be precisely the kind of Catholic thinker the Church -- and the country -- so desperately needs, someone who takes religious orthodoxy more seriously than political orthodoxy. Here is a recent article she wrote about fighting abortion by fighting poverty for The American Conservative, whose readership needs to hear this argument.

Religion & the Founding: Bonomi's "Under the Cope of Heaven"

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You might say that Patricia Bonomi, in her book Under the Cope of Heaven: Religion, Society, and Politics in Colonial America, picks up where Bailyn left off. He surveyed the literature of colonial America with an emphasis on its political argumentation, considering the significance of the dissenting religious tradition to that political debate, but primarily focusing elsewhere. Bonomi looks specifically at not only the religious argumentation, but the series of religious events that helped stoke the flames of revolution in late colonial America.

Our Feckless President

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Over the weekend, the Washington Post had this story about President Obama's decision to stop talking about income inequality and, instead, focus on "opportunity," a gauzy phrase if ever there was one. You would think the president would have realized by now that the only real political tool he has is the bully pulpit and now, apparently, he is unwilling to use that pulpit to focus on poverty. 

Religion & the Founding: Bailyn's "Ideological Origins of the American Revolution"

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In the 1960s, Bernard Bailyn was invited to edit some late colonial pamphlets for publication. Pamphlets were common in those days, the mid-eighteenth century equivalent of a blog: affordable, accessible and, most of all, explanatory. They permitted their authors to explain not only what they supported as the crisis with Great Britain unfolded, but why they supported it. And, in going over the pamphlets, Bailyn became fascinated by the sources of the arguments the Americans employed and cited.

+Flores & the Consistent Ethic of Life

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Bishop Daniel Flores of Brownsville, Texas will need a proverbial umbrella, because I am sure certain conservatives are about to rain down abuse on his head. In a posting at his blog, +Flores notes the frustration many Catholics feel when they enter the political realm because one party is steadfastly indifferent to the rights of the unborn and the other is steadfastly indifferent to the rights of immigrants. +Flores writes:

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August 15-28, 2014

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