National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

Distinctly Catholic

AIDS in America

 | 

The International AIDS Conference is going on in Washington this week. Two articles caught my attention, and kept it, regarding the struggle against this still deadly disease which continues to be an epidemic in certain cities, including the one in which I live, Washington, D.C.

This morning, Dan Zak has an article in the Washington Post about how the disease and, more importantly, socio-cultural reactions to the disease, have changed since D.C.’s first conference on AIDS on April 4, 1983. Then, scientists had not really discovered much about HIV/AIDS, still less devised the current regimen of medicines that can largely control its lethality. Zak tells the tale of John Willig who spoke at the 1983 conference about his disease, how he and his partner thought that surely they would overcome it, but that Willig actually died three years later. Then, AIDS was a death sentence.

Death in America

 | 

The murders in Aurora, Colorado are so sad and so senseless, they invite silence before the mystery that is human iniquity. But, alas, in our cable news-driven world, silence is the one thing that is not afforded such tragedies.

The families and friends who lost loved ones are, of course, permitted to grieve in any way they wish. Those whose loved ones are still in the hospital are permitted to nurse any emotions they want – anger, even malice towards the perpetrator, relief that their loved one did not die, etc. - and share those emotions with anyone they wish. The community has the moral license to grieve as it wishes, with makeshift memorials, community services, whatever helps them to cope with their grief.

And We Wonder Why CDF Gets Worried?

 | 

My colleague Tom Fox has posted excerpts from an essay by Regina Schulte. There is much in the essay I find objectionable or foolish or both, but these lines especially jumped out at me:

They [the hierarchy] fuss about obedience, dogma, retro-liturgical maneuvers, the charade about religious freedom, women’s reproductive behaviors, and who marries whom. American nuns find such issues to be counterproductive to the works of the Gospel, at worst; and mere distractions at best.

I am not sure what reading of the Church's history, or the Christian Scriptures, or the documents of Vatican II, would permit one to think that obedience is not worth fussing about. Maybe I just have more sins than Ms. Schulte - I do not doubt it. For me, the desire to be obedient to Christ is something I fuss about a lot.

Evangelicals Not All On Board Rel Liberty Fight

 | 

The Family Research Council, one of the nation's premiere conservative Christian organizations's, announced this week that it had hired retired Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin as its executive vice-president. This is very disturbing. Boykin has a long history of anti-Islamic fear-mongering and was, in fact, rebuked by President George W. Bush after Boykin said that the God of Islam was "an idol," a claim that fell beyond his competence as a general and, what is worse, endangered U.S. troops fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Romney's Taxes & \"All you people\"

 | 

When Mrs. Ann Romney told Robin Roberts on ABC’s “Good Morning America” that she and her husband, presidential candidate Mitt Romney, had “given all you people need to know and understand about our financial situation and how we live our life,” she betrayed a grave misunderstanding on modern democracy. Her comment lacked the cluelessness of Marie Antoinette’s famous, and likely apocryphal, “let them eat cake” line, but the two remarks share a common lack: accountability.

In a democracy, we the people get to decide what we think we need to know about those who aspire to public office. And the extent to which we are entitled to invade a person’s privacy is directly correlative to the amount of power we are being asked to entrust to the person seeking office. In the case of the modern presidency, Mr. Romney seeks a great deal of power and consequently we are entitled to know a great deal about his past.

Morna Murray on the ACA

 | 

Over the Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, Morna Murray, special counsel to Sen. Bob Casey, has a great essay explaining some of the parts of the Afforcable Care Act that have been forgotten, such as those provisions incorporated into the law from the Pregnant Women Support Act. Whatever issues those of us in the pro-life community have with the HHS mandate, it is important to remember that there are other parts of the law that are profoundly helpful to women facing crisis pregnancies. And, that's pro-life.

Pages

Subscribe to Distinctly Catholic

Friends of NCR 300x80 web ad.jpg

NCR Email Alerts

 

In This Issue

May 22-June 4, 2015

05-22-2015.jpg

Some articles are only available in the print newspaper and Kindle edition.