36,110 Republican Party primary voters in a single congressional district in Virginia have, apparently, ended the prospect of enacting comprehensive immigration reform this year, denying 11 million undocumented immigrants the opportunity to come out of the shadows. At least, that is the immediate takeaway from most political commentators on both the left and the right in the wake of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s stunning primary loss to upstart political neophyte David Brat.
Over at Commonweal, Michael Peppard has written a truly important commentary on the issue of whether or not conservatives are disadvantaged in the contemporary academic world and, specifically, when it comes to academic theology. He raises many important issues and I would also like to call attention to one particular concern that transcends ideological considerations.
Ross Douthat at the NYTimes is half-right - the Democratic Party's coalition is not a stable, long-term governing coalition, there are ideological and demographic fractures that Obama was able to unite, and Hillary Clinton should be able to unite as well, but which a less gifted candidate will have trouble bridging.
Last week’s commemoration of D-Day intermixed memory and history. The two are distinct. Memory is personal, and so it often places significance upon one aspect of an event even if the facts subsequently demonstrate that the event was not so significant. Memory can be fuzzy, but memory can also be deep and it carries emotions about which the historian must remain aloof. History cleans up memory, the way bleach cleans the stainless steel in the kitchen, wiping away what has been added by memory, laying bare the facts.
Over at Politico, Chrystia Freeland writes about many plutocrats and power brokers who have joined Pope Francis in publicly worrying about wealth disparities and inequality. Freeland rightly calls attention to a speech last week by Christine Lagarde, managing director of the IMF, as well as other evidences that the laissez-faire worldview is not even popular among those who have benefited the most from it and who are charged with overseeing the world economy.
Archbishop Alexander Sample is to be commended for the tone, and the substance, of his response to Oregon's joining the ranks of states where same-sex marriage is now legal. There is no gay-bashing, no dark threats about a non-existent "gay agenda," no warnings about a civilizational threat. +Sample states the Church's teaching about the nature of marriage, but he first states the Church's teachings about the dignity of the human person, qua human person.
Today, I conclude my comment upon the conference, “Erroneous Autonomy: The Catholic Case Against Libertarianism,” held last week and sponsored by Catholic University’s Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies, where I am a visiting fellow. Friday, I looked at some of the main themes of the conference. Today, I would like to respond to the criticism that we did not invite any Catholic libertarians to speak at the conference and float some ideas about what can and should come next.
NCR has posted some critiques of Cardinal Timothy Dolan's op-ed in the Wall Street Journal. I should like to call attention to what I consider the finest retort so far, at Commonweal, from Professor David Clouthier.
The other day, a friend reminded me of the puff piece David Kirkpatrick wrote in the New York Times back in 2009 about Professor Robert George. If you think that things never change in the Church, just consider this lede that ran in the Times:
This past Tuesday, the Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies, where I am a visiting fellow, hosted a conference entitled, “Erroneous Autonomy: The Catholic Case Against Libertarianism.” My colleague Josh McElwee has already penned a report on the conference here at