Yesterday’s dueling rulings from the D.C. and 4th Circuit courts, regarding the legality of health care subsidies in those states that opted not to erect a state-level health insurance exchange, are occasioning all manner of hand wringing. On the merits, the 4th Circuit got it right and the D.C. Circuit got it wrong.
While the USCCB seems more interested in the plight of Christians at Hobby Lobby than the plight of Christians in the Holy Land (with the exception of Bishop Pates), Yleem Poblete, writing at American Thinker, makes the case for Obama to appoint, at long last, a new ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom. Ms. Poblete is a new fellow at the Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies where I serve as a visiting fellow.
My review of George Marsden's wonderful book, The Twilight of the American Enlightenment: The 1950s and the Crisis of Liberal Belief, has been published at the Los Angeles Review of Books. You can find it here. You can also listen to a fine interview with Marsden conducted by Art Remillard of St. Francis University by clicking here. And, most importantly, I cannot strongly enough urge readers to get Marsden's book and read it.
Distinctly Catholic: I find it astonishing that a statement signed on behalf of bishops fails to mention God and is so utterly devoid of pastoral sensibility.
Mark Silk, at RNS, explains why every Catholic bishop in America should be worried about the allegations by Jennifer Haselberger in the St. Paul, Minnesota meltdown. Silk is spot-on. The money quote:
Several U.S. bishops have stepped up in recent days, not only to voice the Church's continued support for comprehensive immigration reform, but specifically to offer their assistance to the tens of thousands of unaccompanied children coming to the border from Central America.
There are few satisfactions in life greater than earning a rebuke from Bill Donohue of the Catholic League. He took issue with my column on Friday calling upon Archbishop Nienstedt to resign. The last thing I want to do is get into a shouting match with Bill Donohue: He has far more practice shouting than I do. But, I take the liberty of sharing with readers how being attacked by Donohue makes me feel.
President Obama is set to release a new rule that bars federal contractors from discriminating against gays and lesbians in their employment practices. The new rule lacks the kind of robust exemptions for religious organizations that many Church leaders, including prominent Obama supporters, sought. The President paired this new rule with a decision to retain a 2002 George W. Bush-era rule that allowed Church-affiliated organizations to discriminate in favor of their co-religionists in hiring.
Billy Kangas, who is in charge of Catholic relations at Bread for the World, is one of a number of young Catholic advocates and writers who are bringing a fresh, powerful voice to issue of moral urgency. His latest article at Millennial is reason to hope that the next generation if in good hands.
Archbishop Wilton Gregory recently gave the invocation at the UNITE Here convention. He chose the occasion to channel Pope Francis. No minimizing the message here. And, he did it with people with ears to hear, the workers who staff the nation's hospitality industry, workers who are too often denied the respect they deserve and whose pay is not commensurate with the work that they do. The alliance of Church and labor is as natural as whipped cream on a sundae and it is good to see an American archbishop cultivating that alliance. Kudos upon kudos to Archbishop Gregory.