In an article in the Salt Lake Tribune, Salt Lake City Bishop John Wester calls out the New York Times' Maureen Dowd. Regular readers will not be surprised to find that I think Wester gets the better of the argument, if it is appropriate to call Dowd's musings an argument.
Peter Gordon has an important review of a new book by John Connelly on how a group of converts to Catholicism, including former Jews, were instrumental in facilitating the change in Catholic teachings regarding the Jews that came to expression at the Second Vatican Council. Connelly's book is on my dining room table waiting to be read, so I shall have my own review in a few weeks time.
Peter Brown, writing at the Catholic Thing, has an interesting article on subsidiarity and the health care debate. Brown's essay is especially good in that it points out the way the Church's teachings are rooted in the Church's anthropology, a point that often gets lost by those who are looking to wedge a principle like subsidiarity into a political platform arrived at by other means.
I am not a lawyer, still less a legal scholar, and my friend Rick Garnett is both. Therefore, I do not disagree with him lightly. But his defense of Justice Scalia’s decision in Employment Division v. Smith nonetheless strikes me as misplaced.
Thomas Berg is one of the most balanced writers on legal issues, and his reply to an editorial regarding a North Dakota religious freedom statute is well worth reading. He debunks authoritatively the idea that religious liberty an issue only conservatives should care about. Alas, it is a sad day for liberalism when liberalism think defending the First Amendment is beneath them.
The good people at Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good asked me to write about the debate regarding Bain capital and the shape of American capitalism. The essay can be found here.
You read that headline correctly. I will have more to say on this issue in a subsequent post. This article by Ambassador Thomas Melady and Richard Cizik is very important. Here is the link.
I mentioned yesterday the very disturbing fact that the Catholic Governor of Kansas, Sam Brownback, signed an “anti-sharia” bill into law last week. I can scarcely make the case too strongly: The credibility of the USCCB on the issue of religious liberty is contingent on many things, but none more important than their willingness to loudly and repeatedly speak up on behalf of the religious liberty of our Muslim fellow citizens.
Sadly, the Kansas Catholic Conference has been AWOL, at least publicly, in the effort to beat back these outrageous laws. If you go to their website, there are lots of items pertaining to the HHS mandate. There is a rally planned at the state capitol. There is praise for religious liberty and conscience protection laws the state legislature passed which, strangely, only look at the issue through the lens of the HHS mandates which seems to put the lens behind the camera rather than the other way round. The USCCB has also neglected to mention the anti-sharia laws in its otherwise ample comments, suggestions and prayers for the Fortnight for Freedom.
Every time I go to the New York Times editorial page, I feel like Charlie Brown running towards the football, held by Lucy, hoping for a connection. And, like Mr. Brown, every time, I come away feeling pained by the effort.
Yesterday's Times' editorial regarding the lawsuits filed last week by a host of Catholic institutions against the HHS mandate was a new low even by the Times' low standards. It was not just wrong, it was dumb.
For example, they write: "But the First Amendment is not a license for religious entities to impose their dogma on society through the law." Huh? Which side in this fight is defending a "mandate" and in "impos[ing] their dogma on society through the law"? It is the government, not the Church, that has imposed the mandate here. The Church is looking for an exemption. Even the obvious meanings of the words should have tipped off the Times' editors.