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.
According to this morning's Washington Post, several gay rights groups are withdrawing their support for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act in light of the Supreme Court's ruling in the Hobby Lobby case.
A couple in Tennessee has had to separate in order to keep their health insurance. Why? Because Tennessee is one of those states that did not expand Medicaid. It is time for the USCCB to go to the mat on this issue, not just state-by-state.
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.
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.
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.
This article at the Tablet (not that Tablet) explains why Gustav Niebuhr was deeply upset by the Presbyteraian Church's decision to divest from Israel and the manner in which they treated the otherwise illustrious memory of his uncle Reinhold.
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.
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:
Another excellent commentary by Mark Silk at RNS, this time on the use and misuse of the phrase "moral equivalence" and how it does or does not apply to the situation in the Mideast.