I mentioned this yesterday, but the lie was repeated last night on EWTN's "The World Over." Kyle Duncan of the Becket Fund argued that if the Little Sisters of the Poor self-certify that they object to covering contraception, that self-certification is a "permission slip" for the insurer or third party administrator to provide the objectionable coverage. This is a lie.
In this morning's Washington Post, Michael Gerson rescues the Founding Fathers and their handiwork from the Tea Party. Just splendid.
In my post yesterday about the divisions between red and blue states, I neglected to mention, and link, to this article the other day in the Washington Post about how some blue states are enacting more expansive family leave policies. It gets to the heart of the matter.
In recent days, we have looked at the year just past, and the year just beginning, in the life of the Church and in the world of politics. Today, to close out the series, let’s look at the estuary where politics and religion come together.
With a flurry of court rulings, including a preliminary injunction from Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the HHS contraception mandate is all in the news again. If you want a good primer on the issues involved, here is the Congressional Research Service's report on the issue. It explains how the law works, how the fines apply, etc.
"Insufferable," is Ruth Marcus's verdict on Edward Snowden. Indeed. And a few other nasty adjectives. One of the worst memes of the year was that this man was some kind of hero. He was not. If he was so concerned about the Constitution, he would not be releasing classified information about activities that are perfectly constitutional, such as spying on foreigners. Snowden wants attention, not constitutional clarification.
Thanks to Robert Christian at Millennial for calling our attention to comments by Ken Langone in which the Home Dept founder challenges Pope Francis for his comments about capitalism and wondering how the Church in New York City will ever get the money to refurbish St. Patrick's Cathedral if the rich fat cats the pope challenges do not fork over their charitable donations.
I was very struck by this essay at HuffPost by Rabbi Eric Yoffie about Pope Francis. Rabbi Yoffie correctly points out that part of the Pope Francis effect has to do with the man, but a big part of it has to do with us, with the yearnings of our hearts.
Predictions in politics are risky things. Who would have predicted one year ago that Obama would have had such a bad year? Or that Sen. Ted Cruz would displace Sen. Marco Rubio as the Tea Party darling? Or that Bill de Blasio would be elected mayor of New York? Two predictions, however, seem unavoidable because they represent deep currents in our political and cultural life. In 2014, politics will continue to be highly personalized and the nation’s political divides will become even wider.
If 2013 is any gauge, 2014 will be a year of surprises in the life of the Church as well. One surprise from last year is unlikely to be repeated: Pope Francis is not going to resign.