Some things are best left in the past. C.J. Reid at HuffPost on a proposed nullification bill in Missouri.
For those of us named, Michael, a beautiful hymn. The music starts at 2:25. Text - extraordinary text! - beneath the screen.
Below is the text of a letter sent to President Obama, signed by a host of religious leaders, praising him for “lifting up” the issue of international religious liberty during his remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast. As you will see, the letter also invites President Obama to reflect upon the issue of domestic religious liberty, not in a hostile way, but in an encouraging way. This non-culture warrior approach is, I believe, more likely to yield the results we want on the issue of religious liberty than some of the over-the-top claims one finds put forward at, for example, EWTN.
Fr. James Schall, S.J. has a post up at Crisis magazine in which he repeats the right-wing canard that President Obama is intent on reducing the freedom of religion to a freedom to worship. He writes:
Formerly, I hated celebrating my birthday. It is the narcissism of youth I suppose that we think getting older is a bad thing and, in our American culture, the celebration of youth was and is ubiquitous. It was a bishop friend who, on learning of my distaste for marking my birthday, challenged me: “That’s not very pro-life!” And, indeed it is not. So, today, I give thanks for the fact of being born.
It is not very often I find myself nodding in agreement with an article published by Crisis magazine, but this article by William Newton on the HHS mandate makes some of the points I have been making regarding the HHS mandate, especially the fact that compliance with the mandate could not constitute illicit material cooperation with evil and the dangers of the argument that our opposition to the mandate should be rooted in a conscience exemption. Kudos to Crisis for publishing this fine piece.
Bishop Robert Morlino of Madison, Wisconsin, was interviewed last week on Raymond Arroyo's "The World Over" in EWTN. Everything +Morlino says about Pope Francis seems grudging, but I am especially worried that +Morlino may be articulating a meme we will see again in the future - the idea that Pope Francis is, almost uniquely, a creature of his background in Argentina and, just so, crippled in his worldview, certainly sufficiently crippled that what he says can be ignored by us in the U.S. This is not exactly IOPFKWIK - If Only Pope Francis Knew What I Know - Syndrome, but it is close.
My friend and colleague at the Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies, Robert Christian, has a very provocative essay up at Ethika Politika in which he challenges the anti-military intervention stance of some consistent ethic of life advocates. Provocative and very smart, Christian's essay raises tough questions of a kind young people have such a knack for posing, upsetting us older folks in our settled judgments. Bravo.
Politico is reporting that the proposal set to be released today by Republican Congressman Dave Camp, Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, will include some items designed to attract Democratic support for the bill. Camp is expected to announce a surcharge on the very wealthy and a tax on banks, all of which are sweet music to liberal ears.
Over at Religion & Politics, Jason Bruner looks at the backstory on Church involvement in the fight over anti-gay proposals in Uganda. The story is not only about different cultural perspectives. It is very much about the inadequate ecclesiology of the Anglican Communion. Catholics who think that more democracy and lay involvement will be some kind of panacea are obliged to read this cautionary tale.