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Contra Nicholas Hahn on Immigration

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Nicholas Hahn, editor at RealClearReligion, took to the pages of RealUnclearReligion, I mean, the American Spectator, to launch an attack on the U.S. bishops because of their activism on behalf of comprehensive immigration reform. Like many of Mr. Hahn’s forays into public debate, his latest column demonstrates, in equal parts, the willingness to misunderstand the way bishops interact with the public sphere, and, when that does not suffice, to ignore the facts entirely.

36,110 vs. 11 million

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36,110 Republican Party primary voters in a single congressional district in Virginia have, apparently, ended the prospect of enacting comprehensive immigration reform this year, denying 11 million undocumented immigrants the opportunity to come out of the shadows. At least, that is the immediate takeaway from most political commentators on both the left and the right in the wake of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s stunning primary loss to upstart political neophyte David Brat.

Can Conservatives Flourish in Academic Theology?

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Over at Commonweal, Michael Peppard has written a truly important commentary on the issue of whether or not conservatives are disadvantaged in the contemporary academic world and, specifically, when it comes to academic theology. He raises many important issues and I would also like to call attention to one particular concern that transcends ideological considerations.

Getting History Wrong

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Last week’s commemoration of D-Day intermixed memory and history. The two are distinct. Memory is personal, and so it often places significance upon one aspect of an event even if the facts subsequently demonstrate that the event was not so significant. Memory can be fuzzy, but memory can also be deep and it carries emotions about which the historian must remain aloof. History cleans up memory, the way bleach cleans the stainless steel in the kitchen, wiping away what has been added by memory, laying bare the facts.

Confronting Inequality: Not Just for Pope Francis Anymore

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Over at Politico, Chrystia Freeland writes about many plutocrats and power brokers who have joined Pope Francis in publicly worrying about wealth disparities and inequality. Freeland rightly calls attention to a speech last week by Christine Lagarde, managing director of the IMF, as well as other evidences that the laissez-faire worldview is not even popular among those who have benefited the most from it and who are charged with overseeing the world economy.

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August 15-28, 2014

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