Distinctly Catholic: I would like to begin a retrospective of the year that is fast coming to an end. First, let’s look back at the year in politics.
In yesterday's Washington Post, a story about interregilious tensions in a hospital in the Central African Republic, and how Pope Francis' visit to that war-torn country changed people's calculus about what to expect from one another.
Watching the Democratic presidential debate on Saturday night, it was hard not to be flipping channels to check the scores. Halfway through, I was checking to see if there was a “Law & Order” rerun. Unlike the Republican debates, from which a team of horses could not drag me, the Democratic debates this year are sleepy affairs. In a GOP debate, you are sitting at the edge of your seat to hear the next outrageous thing that will be said: Kill the families of terrorists? Sure. Ban all Muslims from entering the US? Sure. A third war in the Mideast in as many decades? Sure.
At Scotus blog, Rick Garnett renders his always thoughtful interpretation of the issues at stake in Zubik v. Burwell, the Supreme Court case on the HHS contraception mandate. But, of course, I always get a chuckle when Catholic scholars link religious and civil liberties without noting that, as a matter of history, the purpose of that linkage was to defeat "popery."
I received more than a few thoughtful emails, and some nasty attacks, for my post Tuesday about unions and Catholic universities. Some of those emails came from pastors who reported hearing questions about unions from people they consider good Catholics. I would like to address those concerns this morning.
At America magazine, Tony Annett on the Paris climate talks. Note the question mark, that is, pledges need to be realized, the good start must lead to a good finish, etc.
Distinctly Catholic: Today, Pope Francis turns 79 years old. Happy birthday Papa Francesco!
Over at Mirror of Justice, Michael Moreland looks at the legal issues involved in National Labor Relations Board cases regarding religious institutions, about which I wrote yesterday. I defer to Moreland's statement of the legal facts, but point out that I was not addressing those facts, but instead, asking whether the argument made sense. Lots of things are legal that don't make sense.
Distinctly Catholic: Last night’s Fearfest in Las Vegas was the most interesting and, in its way, substantive Republican debate so far.
In the Miami Herald, Archbishop Thomas Wenski pens an oped linking the Christmas story with the plight of refugees today. He cuts through the the false security arguments and calls the Ameircan people to their better angels. Very well done.
HuffPost reports on the GOP in the House repealing the Estate Tax because the super, super rich need a tax break right?