Over at Millennial, Robert Christian looks at the brouhaha unleashed by Pope Francis' tweet earlier this week: "Inequality is the root of social evil." Christian does a good job dissecting the difference between inequality generally and inequality in the specifically economic sphere. But, he really hits the nail on the head when he writes, "It’s a mistake to focus on the semantics rather than the core message....Is economic inequality the root of social evil?
It is difficult to imagine how American politics could become any more coarse. Yet, the evidence seems overwhelming: Just as sportsmen and women must always strive to jump higher or run faster, the tendency in our politics to push the envelope, no matter how regressive the contents of the envelope, seems inexorable.
Not sure how I missed the publication of this article by Michelle Cottle on Pope Francis and the political effect he is having in the US, especially because she quotes me several times. Better late than never. Here is the link.
My criticisms of libertarianism are more foundational and full-throttled. But, Peter Berkowitz's criticisms at RealClearPolitics, coming from a serious and thoughtful conservative, are worthy of note precisely because they come from someone who is less allergic to libertarian sensibilities than I am.
Just how twisted are some gun rights advocates? Check out this blog criticizing Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Atlanta, who quite rightly decreed that guns will not be permitted in Catholic sanctuaries, Georgia's new "guns everywhere" law notwithstanding. The author of this blog unwittingly provides the precise reason +Gregory's decision was the right one: Do you really want someone capable of such a tortured exegesis coming into your church with a gun?
Over at RNS, Mark Silk draws a comparison between the resistance to Pope Francis today and the stance of Jansenists in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries against the Jesuits of their day. Make sure you read it to the end - the last graph is devastatingly accurate.
Today is the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker. It is a time to reflect on the long, profound relationship between Catholicism and workers and specifically organized labor. That relationship remains robust, but not central, to the self-identity of Catholicism in America today. It is time to make that relationship central again.
On a 6-2 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld an Environmental Protection Agency rule that seeks to punish those polluters whose emissions cross state lines. It is nice to see a victory for the environment, not for big corporations, from the Roberts' Court. But, the best part about the decision?
Over at Commonweal, Grant Gallicho does a masterful examination of conservative angst about Pope Francis. Let's hope Pope Francis is aware of this kind of opposition. It is not limited to a few cultural commentators at conservative websites.
Yesterday, I applauded Bishop Robert McElroy's remarks at John Carr's event on the moral implications of partisanship Monday night. Here is the text of the bishops's talk:
PARTISANSHIP, INTEGRITY, AND THE COMMON GOOD
REMARKS BY BISHOP ROBERT MCELROY AT GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY
APRIL 28, 2014