At ReligiousLeftLaw.com, C.J. Reid gives his take on Archbishop Chaput's interview with John Allen. His likening of Chaput's comments to the older brother of the Prodigal seems especially spot-on. I wish I had thought of it!
Over at Public Discourse, Robbie George has a fine essay on the rights of conscience, and the meaning of conscience. I am not shy about criticizing Professor George when I think he gets it wrong, so it is especially incumbent upon me to praise him when I think he gets it correct, and this essay is very correct.
At First Things, William Donio, Jr. tries to twist Pope Francis into the kind of Catholic neo-con who, well, the kind who reads First Things and likes it. He is not very successful, especially in the way he dismisses social justice as a proper concern for the Church, and obfuscates the actual way in which Pope Francis speaks about the issue, e.g., it is about structures as well as attitudes! It is funny to watch Catholic conservatives try and twist Francis into their own image. Funny, but also sad.
My colleague John Allen's interview with Archbishop Charles Chaput is fascinating in several regards. As Allen notes, God bless Chaput for giving voice to what others are thinking but reluctant to say.
The most important thing Chaput said about Pope Francis was this:
This baby watch business is insane. Never thought I would say this but I was grateful to Rev. Al Sharpton last night - at least he led with Trayvon Martin. That said, I hope they name the kid James, the name of the last legitimate heir to the throne.
Over at The New Republic, Jonathan Cohn, who is frankly the nation's smartest journalist when it comes to reporting on health care, looks at how conservatives are grappling with the possibility that Obamacare just might work.
Yesterday at The Hill, Kathy Saile of the USCCB and Galen Carey of the National Association of Evangelicals published an op-ed calling for a renewed "Circle of Protection" around anti-poverty programs as Congress considers a host of budget issues.
Rutgers Law Professor Perry Dane was kind enough to send along this article he just published on the religious liberty issues involved in the HHS mandate. I think he makes a very important point: Both sides are treating a retail issue like a wholesale issue, and that only invites the kind of dismissive rhetoric that is profoundly unhelpful.
When veteran political analyst Charlie Cook speaks, people listen. This article at National Journal looks at recent polling data for older voters who tend to represent a disproportionate share of a midterm electorate. Cook says it is too soon to tell why older voters may be less enthusiastic about the GOP. I have a theory: In 2010, the Republicans scared the living bejeezus out of older voters over Obamacare.
What is it about this pope?