Mark Silk perceives the danger for Rick Perry that I do: By hosting, not merely attending, a prayer meeting that was not, in the American civic tradition, inclusive of many faiths, he has set himself up as "pastor-in-chief" a position that contrasts neatly with that pushed by Mitt Romney. That is a debate I want to watch.
Here is another word in the new translation of the Roman Missal that has been causing some degree of consternation: "consubstantial." We received in our Sunday bulletin last week some information on why this word is replacing "one in being with the Father" in the Creed we recite at Mass on Sundays. The information is fine, even useful, pointing out that "consubstantial" is more precise than the phrase it replaces.
But, I would go further. It is true that many, perhaps most, of the people in the pews do not know the word "consubstantial" but I am also guessing that most people in the pews do not know exactly what is meant by "one in being with the Father." Unless you took a college course in Greek philosophy, such concepts may be opaque.
If you grew up playing the trombone, as I did, one of your favorite college "fight songs" to play was "On Wisconsin." The lively song is also the state song of Wisconsin.
Today, there are special recall elections in the Badger State for six state senators. The recall efforts were mounted after the showdown in the state legislature over Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's union busting efforts last winter.
Midterm elections are always difficult to predict, especially when they occur in the middle of August. What is likely to be tested today is not the sentiment of the majority, but the organizing capacity of the opposing sides and, to a degree, the relative degrees of outrage among the respective bases of the two parties. If you are reading this, and you are a registered voter in Wisconsin, be sure to make your voice heard. And if you are Catholic and in Wisconsin, be sure to stand with the Church in its long history of support for the right to organize and its support for organized labor. In other words, maybe we should "plunge left through that line!"
There is nothing an opposition researcher likes better than a video clip that shows an opponent speaking on a topic in a deeply personal manner, and evidencing how profoundly committed he is to a given position, but which, in the event, the candidate has now flipped on.
Salon has just such a video clip from a 1994 debate in which Mitt Romney spoke about how traumatized he was in the 1960s when a close relative died after procuring an illegal abortion.
President Obama’s midday speech did not have its desired, immediate effect of calming the markets. They tanked anyway. Words will no longer suffice to end the skittishness of the markets. But, the president did say something that was consequential yesterday. He announced that in the next few weeks, he would present a proposal to address the next round of budget negotiations, mandated by last week’s agreement to raise the debt ceiling.
E. J. Dionne is almost always spot-on. And, in this morning's column, E. J. looks at the debt ceiling, credit downgrade mess with his usual incisiveness. But, I especially liked the quotes at the end of the piece from a member of the UK's Conservative Party:
The "cut government at all costs" mantra that brought the government to a standstill, risked the natioln's first ever default and achieved the nation's first-ever credit downgrade is not confined to the banks of the Potomac. Tom Allio, longtime social action director for the Diocese of Cleveland, has this post up about how, whether it is in DC or Ohio, the mantra conflicts with traditional Catholic teaching.
Governor Rick Perry has had his prayer rally at a Reliant Stadium in downtown Houston. I will leave it to the reader to decide whether it is an auspicious sign or not that a typical football game at that same stadium attracts more than 50,000 more people than came to the governor’s prayerfest. Even in Texas, size is not the most important criterion of judgment in religious matters.
Many people were disturbed by the ministers Gov. Perry tasked with organizing the event. To be clear, the charge is not one of guilt by association. That McCarthyite tactic entails turning a casual association into a significant one. In this instance, Gov. Perry could have called the American Family Association and the Rev. John Hagee and others to put the event together. Hagee, you will recall, said such nasty things about Catholicism and about God’s involvement in the Holocaust, that Sen. John McCain declined the reverend’s endorsement in 2008.
The Christian Science Monitor has an article about why the Bible should be taught as literature in our public schools to enable students to "win" the future, whatever that means.
Hey, I am all for cultural literacy, but this argument strikes me as akin to those Supreme Court rulings which say it is okay to have a cross on public land because the cross has become a generic or meaningless symbol, which is to say, no symbol at all.
I would much prefer that the Bible NOT be taught as literature in public schools. It was, after all, not written as literature. It was written, and made part of a canon, because it was inspired. Kierkegaard warned about such efforts to take the heart out of religion and compared it to praising St. Paul for his skill as a maker of tents.
Last time I checked, David Frum was not a Democrat, not a leftie, not a friend of the administration. So his calling out conservative Republicans for their attacks on Obama's economic policies is especially significant. He writes:
Funny, I have not heard the president called "the biggest tax cutter in history" on Fox News.