There are many reasons to question the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ “Fortnight for Freedom,” not least its failure to capture the imagination of Catholics, which may have something to do with its unfortunate name. But, surely, the greatest problem is that it feeds a trend in Americans’ understanding of our nations’ founding, an effort to baptize the founding. In short, it dabbles in the tropes, and more than the tropes, of Americanism.
Over at the Online Library of Law and Liberty, Mark DiGirolami has a really smart analysis of the Hobby Lobby decision. (h/t to Rick Garnett for calling my attention to it.)
History is the interplay of large, tectonic forces – demographic, social, cultural, economic, political – with discrete human actors. As an academic discipline, history has come to better appreciate those tectonic forces, and how they shape events and the “great man” approach to history has faded from the landscape. This change is welcome to be sure not least because it is true.
John DiIulio, writing at the Brookings website, has a very measured and thoughtful look at what Hobby Lobby did, and did not, reckon with and why the next round of cases may be more problematic.
Joseph Stiglitz, writing in the New York Times, says that there is nothing inevitable about our current levels of income inequality. The whole piece is well worth the read. Here is the money graph:
The Hobby Lobby decision was greeted by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and others as a great victory for religious freedom, a defeat for the forces of secularism in the “war on religion.” Women’s groups filled email boxes across the land with fundraising appeals, adding the Hobby Lobby decision to their list of grievances in the purported “war on women.” But, the truth be told, the Supreme Court’s decision reflects the muddled quality of these supposed “wars,” does little to assuage them, and the reactions all-around indi
Over at the website of the diocese of Spokane, they have just posted the ordination homily preached by Bishop Blase Cupich over the weekend. All of it is splendid but he noticed something about Pope Francis' Evangelii Gaudium that had escaped my notice. +Cupich writes:
I am not an economist, and I would never be nominated for, and would refuse to accept, anything called the "Hayek" prize. But, this article from the WSJ sums up the acceptance speech given by Casey Mulligan who received this year's Hayek prize. If you still have even the slightest lingering doubt that these libertarian economists are pernicious, read on.
In his latest interview, Pope Francis said, "I can only say that the communists have stolen our flag. The flag of the poor is Christian. Poverty is at the center of the Gospel." Can't wait to see what Larry Kudlow et al., make of that!