There is just something about English organs that makes me happy and I have never been able to identify it. The North German and Dutch organs are rightly renowned for the bright voicing of their diapason chorus and their earthy reeds. The great French Romantic organs are known for the warmth of their tone, especially the soft string stops in the swell. Late nineteenth century U.S. organs often have a diapason chorus that is as rich as chocolate cake.
I have been more concerned with the moral and human justifications for raising the minimum wage. But, in yesterday's Washington Post, Harold Meyerson pointed out two new studies that demonstrate the economic benefits of raising the minimum wage.
Yesterday, I turned on the television at lunch and watched The Reid Report. Host Joy Reid was downright truculent when interviewing Congresswoman Linda Sanchez over the decision of House Dems to agree to appoint people to the special committee investigating what happened in Benghazi when four Americans were killed in a terrorist attack. Evdiently, Reid and others on the left think the Dems should have boycotted the panel. This is crazy.
My colleague Stephanie Yeagle reports on the self-excommunication of Martha and Gert Heizer, leaders of the movement "We are Church" because they repeatedly and publicly held so-called eucharistic celebrations without a priest. Two things jumped out at me from the report.
The Holy Father arrives in the Holy Land today. It is difficult to imagine an apostolic trip that will be more loaded with symbolism, as we witnessed in the visits of Francis’ predecessors to Jerusalem and its environs. Who can forget the image of Pope Paul VI walking through the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem or standing by the windswept shore of the Sea of Galilee? Or of St. Pope John Paul II praying at the Western Wall? Or of Pope Emeritus Benedict at Yad Vashem? Pope Francis will add to that litany of memorable moments and memories in a land already filled with both.
Over at Millennial, Dan DiLeo writes about recent scientific reports on climate change and the Hole See's Conference on sustainability. A lot of smart people are writing smart essays on this topic, and DiLeo is one of the best.
This morning, I discussed the ways the Tea Party has pulled the entire GOP to the right. But, over at Millennial, Anna Sutherland shows herself to be a voice of conscience and compassion among her fellow conservatives. And, she not only appeals to our hearts, she makes sense. Let's hope she will write early and often.
Over at Commonweal, Michael Peppard looks at the ways Israelis are preparing for the visit of Pope Francis. In the long, sad and often hateful history of Christian treatment of the Jews, the cultivation of more humane relations since the Second Vatican Council remains one of the council's - and subsequent pontificates' - principal accomplishments.