Liberals need to leave Ken Mehlman alone. The former head of the Republican National Committee came out of the closet publicly the other day and liberals are howling that his oversight of the 2004 Bush re-election campaign was therefore hypocritical seeing as that campaign played the anti gay marriage card pretty heavily.
Michelle Boorstein, in this morning’s Washington Post, has an important article about the way some activists and politicians have turned “sharia” into a slur. Earlier, I noted that Newt Gingrich had given a speech at the American Enterprise Institute in which he warned about “the problem of creeping sharia.”
More from my RCIA history notes:
The Catholic Reformation finally manifested itself, in part from the new movements such as the Jesuits and the Capuchins and the Barnabites and the Ursulines, and in part from the hierarchy which finally convoked the Council of Trent by Pope Paul III, elected in 1534 and one of the outstanding popes of all time. He gathered to himself all the different reforming elements from the Humanist Contarini to the conservative Carafa. The Council opened in 1545 and sat for two years. Pope Paul IV, the conservative Carafa, shut it down and went on a witch hunt. It was re-convoked in 1551-52 and the final session was 1562-1563. It changed virtually everything about the Church. It instituted seminaries for the training of clergy. It required that bishops live in their dioceses and conduct visitations. It defended the Church’s theology of the sacraments. It challenged Luther on his chosen ground, teaching about justification by faith. It reformed the curia. It called for a catechism which was the basis of the Baltimore Cathechism that we would be using if we were instructing you in the faith seventy years ago.
Of course, we all join in prayers for the repose of the soul of Sr. Mary Campbell who was killed in car crsh in Los Angeles that also resulted in serious injuries to Doug Kmiec, U.S. Ambassador to Malta and longtime Catholic scholar, and Msgr. John Sheridan, former pastor at Our Lady of Malibu where Sr. Campbell worked and Kmiec worshipped.
But, please keep Doug's family in your prayers too. Almost four years to the day, my parents were in a terrible car accident which almost killed them both that day and from which my mother never recovered. It is an intensely painful experience, waiting outside the operating room, then the ICU, not knowing whether you dare run home to shower and change lest your loved ones take a turn for the worse, looking at your loved ones and friends who have come to comfort you but not knowing what to say, listening to doctors explain complicated procedures that sound dreadful, praying. There are medications to alleviate the pain of those in the accident, but none for their loved ones who stand vigil. So, say a prayer for Doug's beloved wife Carolyn and his beautiful children.
A group of Christian leaders, including Orange, California’s Bishop Tod Brown, have issued a public letter decrying the efforts to misrepresent the President’s faith. Actually, they go further, noting, correctly that “the personal faith of our leaders should not be up for debate.”
The full text of the letter reads as follows:
As Christian leaders— whose primary responsibility is sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with our congregations, our communities, and our world— we are deeply troubled by the recent questioning of President Obama’s faith. We understand that these are contentious times, but the personal faith of our leaders should not be up for public debate.
President Obama has been unwavering in confessing Christ as Lord and has spoken often about the importance of his Christian faith. Many of the signees on this letter have prayed and worshipped with this President. We believe that questioning, and especially misrepresenting, the faith of a confessing believer goes too far.
This week at Q & A, we are hearing from young theologians who particpated in the Fordham Conversation Project. Today's interviewee is Professor Dana Dillon, Assistant Professor of Theology at Providence College.
The question: From your perspective as a young theologian teaching in a Catholic university, how do you view the divisions in the American Catholic Church? Do you see things differently than the previous generation? Are there any signs of hope for healing our divisions?
Professor Dillon: I have to begin with a brief disclaimer about how difficult it is to speak well about such complex questions in such a short piece. Any attempt to do so will necessarily paint with too broad a brush, but I think that it is important to attempt this conversation anyway. Although there are other ways to cast the divisions within the Catholic Church in America, I want to offer two basic ways to see it.
Father Richard McBrien’s comments on Pope Paul VI refresh the familiar view that Paul was a Hamlet-like figure, torn by the winds of change and reaction, too conciliatory towards the “defeated” minority views of the conservatives at Vatican II, a champion of justice and peace but also of traditional views on human sexuality.
Joe Miller is the presumptive Republican nominee for U.S. Senate in Alaska. The Palin-backed, Tea Party favorite holds a slim lead of 2,000 votes over incumbent GOP Senator Lisa Murkowski. The result shows that all politics is local. It also shows that the GOP may have a big problem on their hands.
The meta-narrative this year has been that incumbents are in trouble. Of course, the vast majority of incumbents, and their cousins – the “establishment candidates” – have won their races. Sen. John McCain did not lose Tuesday. Sen. Michael Bennet held on in Colorado a fortnight ago. Many senators and congressmen and women did not face opposition. It is true that some prominent incumbents have lost. Sen. Bennett of Utah did lose his party’s nomination. The “establishment candidate” in the Florida governor’s race lost to a self-funded newcomer. Congresswoman Carolyn Kilpatrick lost her bid for another term, but it was her son’s prison term that seems to have done her in, not an anti-incumbent tsunami. So, while it is true that incumbents like Murkowski might have sailed to re-election in a normal year and are now making retirement plans, many incumbents will survive in November.
Again, notes from my talk to the RCIA on the history of the Church:
Over at InsideCatholic, Deal Hudson asks “Why is the Archdiocese of Chicago Funding Protests Against the Arizona Diamondbacks?” But, he doesn’t answer the question, choosing instead to continue his campaign against the Catholic Campaign for Human Development. He does quote another blogger to the effect that life issues are social justice issues, which is a point always worth making, although many people do not see it that way, which is a burden for both sides of the Catholic political debates.
But, here is an answer to the question: Because protesting against the racist anti-immigrant law in Arizona is the right thing to do.