Yesterday we looked at the miserly way the old encyclopedias dealt with Islam. The same cannot be said for their treatment of Judaism.
This week at Q & A, we are focusing on the contributions made to America, and to the Catholic Church in the United States, by those whose parents were immigrants and who might, therefore, lose their citizenship if this ridiculous tinkering with the 14th Amendment were actually to be enacted. Yesterday, we looked at Cardinal James Gibbons. Today, Catholic University Professor Timothy Meagher, a fellow at CUA's Institute for Policy Research and Catholic Studies, examines the case of Senator Mike Mansfield:
Mike Mansfield was born in 1903 in Greenwich Village to Irish immigrant parents. His father, Patrick, came to America from Ireland in 1897. It's not clear when his mother, Josephine, left Ireland.
The relic of the True Cross that was stolen from the Blessed Sacrament Chapel at Boston’s Cathedral of the Holy Cross has been recovered. This is great news.
Ever since the time of the Reformation, many non-Catholics have scoffed at our Catholic devotion to relics. They doubt the authenticity of the claims made about the relics. But, they misunderstand the nature of religious authenticity. That relic has been venerated by Christians for centuries. I have no reason to doubt that it is indeed a part of the piece of wood on which hung the Savior of the World, recovered by Saint Helena in 313 A.D. We have every reason to assume that the early Christians, for whom the death and resurrection of the Lord, was a contemporary event, would have tried to preserve this artifact of the central event in their lives and, indeed, in the life of the world.
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has announced his intention to step down next year. I hope he can be persuaded to stay, but if he goes through with his plan, I hope the White House will seek out a prominent, capable Republican to fill the post.
Democratic Sen. Harry Reid has come out against the mosque at Ground Zero, noting the “right” to build a mosque there, but arguing that it is not prudent.
Professor Rick Garnett, who teaches law at the University of Notre Dame and runs the blog Mirror of Justice, has taken issue with my article yesterday about the Ground Zero mosque, specifically where I called out Professor Robert George for failing to defend, not the Muslims who wish to build the mosque, but the principle of religious freedom at stake. He objects specifically to my calling Professor George and Mr. Charles Colson frauds and says that the charge is “unworthy” of me.
Last week, I was back home in Connecticut and, as mentioned, enjoyed curling up with my old 1970 Compton’s Encyclopedias. As a child I used to fall asleep reading them, and I reverted to this practice again. It seems to ensure a sound sleep. Among the entries that caught my attention was five paragraph entry for “Islam,” an amount of consideration that now seems woefully inadequate. (Curiously, John Calvin also merits a mere five paragraphs.) The entry for Islam begins thus:
This week at Q & A, we are focusing on the contributions made to America, and to the Catholic Church in the United States, by those whose parents were immigrants and who might, therefore, lose their citizenship if this ridiculous tinkering with the 14th Amendment were actually to be enacted. Our first example is James Cardinal Gibbons, Archbishop of Baltimore from 1877 until his death in 1921. Gibbons was one of the “anchor babies” the right wing is yapping about. He was born in Baltimore in 1834 but his family moved back to Ireland in 1839, only returning to the United States in 1853. Commenting on Gibbons and his extraordinary contributions to America and the American Church is Sean Caine, communications director for the Archdiocese of Baltimore:
In a time when Catholic leaders wince at the thought of being photographed with a politician for fear of being branded “pro this” or “anti that” it is nearly impossible to imagine a Prince of the Church among the most trusted advisors to several U.S. presidents. In doing so, Cardinal James Gibbons not only showed—but personified—how Roman Catholicism was a natural part of American life.
When the NAACP asked the leaders and members of the Tea Party to call out racist expressions in their midst, there were hoots and howls – and deceitful splicing of video – to show that there are no racists in the Tea Party, that raising concern about racism is a smear tactic, etc.
I missed, until last night, a post at the New York Times’s “Opinionator” by Linda Greenhouse in which she notes the way cultural and social changes that are “in plain sight” are often missed until a judge is forced to confront them in deciding a case.