There are few things better than driving through the New England countryside in the summertime with the windows open, the fresh air coming through the trees, the smells of the forests inland and the sea along the shore. But, this summer, round a bend in the road near my home, just before the state forest, a skunk had been killed and the windows had to go up as the putrid aromas filled the car.
A diverse groups of theologians and academics have penned a statement in advance of tomorrow night’s vice presidential debate that squarely, coherently, and, I think, decisively makes the case that Congressman Paul Ryan’s Ayn Rand, libertarian sensibilities, and the policies that flow from them, are incompatible with Catholic social teaching. You can find the full statement “On All of Our Shoulders” by clicking here.
I was thrilled to be able to speak to a group of interested Catholics here at the University of Colorado at Boulder. My hosts, the Thomas Aquinas Institute, could not have been more gracious. And, as you drive toward this city, at one point, you cross a hill and see the town with the Rockies looming behind and you wonder why anyone would live anywhere else. Then you start to notice that virtually every car has a bike rack, and all the pedestrians seem unnaturally healthy and fit. In any event, here is the text of the talk I gave.
Tonight, at the St. Thomas Aquinas Institute affiliated with campus ministry at the University of Colorado in Boulder, I will be giving a talk on the Catholic Church and the 2012 election. For more info, click here. This means no more posts this morning and I am not sure about tomorrow morning because I need to get back to the airport out there and, given the time difference, I am not sure how that will work. But, if you are in the Boulder area, please come and say hello tonight.
Over at The New Republic, Nate Cohn looks at the fascinating ways the different campaigns are spending on ads, and how certain aspects of the two campaigns' strategies, and the nature of campaign finance laws, continue to help the Obama campaign despite the huge influx of cash to GOP-leaning SuperPACs.
Here is a truth that neither candidate will cop to: There are many factors that will affect the rate of growth of the economy over the next four years – and ten years – and the name of the person sitting in the Oval Office is not the principal factor, maybe not even one of the top three factors.
Over at Religion & Politics, Marie Griffith thinks there is something unseemly about the annual Red Mass. She worries that the justices of the Supreme Court are "expected" to attend a religious service, although she also notes that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg does not attend and has given her reasons for not attending. Griffith also mistakenly states that this year's Mass was the first at which Justice Elena Kagan was present - Ms. Kagan was there last year too.
Over at Vox Nova, Morning's Minion offers three fallacies about Catholic Social Teaching. Here is further rebuttal to the moral relativism being offered by some of the Catholic apologists for Paul Ryan's economic proposals, which treat prudential judgment as a "get out of jail free" card.
The Labor Department reported that the economy created 114,000 new jobs last month, tipping the unemployment rate below 8 percent for the first time in a long time. But, the really interesting news was in the revisions to previous numbers. Last month, you may recall, the Labor Dept. said that the economy in August added only 96,000 new jobs, prompting shrieks from Mr. Romney and his party. The revised number is 142,000.
The chairmen of Evangelicals & Catholics Together (ECT), Timothy George and Thomas Guarino, have an article up at First Things about the on-going project that was initiated by Fr. Richard John Neuhaus and Chick Colson. I quibble a bit with their historical rendering: ECT did not simply start as an effort to adjudicate relations between the churches in their respective missionary efforts in Latin America.