Former Justice Sandra Day O'Connor says she thinks "it's just fine" that Supreme Court justice nominee Elena Kagan has no experience as a judge. Justice Antonin Scalia even likes the idea that she isn't a judge.
The new Catholic power couple of New York -- State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, who is running for governor, and his newly-selected running mate for lieutenant governor, Rochester, NY Mayor Robert Duffy -- support abortion rights and gay marriage and oppose the death penalty.
If elected, there should be areas of collaboration with the church, both in New York City and in the rest of the state. However, there will be no doubt areas of intractable conflict. All of which means that Archbishop Dolan's life won't get easier.
“She is a kind, soft-spoken, humble, caring, spiritual woman whose spot in Heaven was reserved years ago,” a doctor at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Phoenix wrote. “The idea that she could be ex-communicated after decades of service to the Church and humanity literally makes me nauseated.”
“True Christians, like Sister Margaret, understand that real life is full of difficult moral decisions and pray that they make the right decision in the context of Christ’s teachings. Only a group of detached, pampered men in gilded robes on a balcony high above the rest of us could deny these dilemmas.”
These paragaphs come from a column in The New York Times written by Nicholas D. Kristof and hardens a perception of our church hierarchy today, adding another nail into its evangelical coffin.
Might I add, a perception sadly earned over a considerable period of time.
In an era when calling oneself a liberal or a conservative can suggest a desire for a position on the front lines of the culture wars, Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne manages to label himself 'liberal' while maintaining a rare civility. Which puts him in a great place to call out the contradictions in the posturing of both sides as bared by the oil spill in the gulf.
Are you a "big government" liberal who all of a sudden sees the benefit of blaming the private sector when things go wrong? Or are you a "small government conservative" like New Orleans Gov. Bobby Jindal now insisting that the government step in when private enterprise boots it?
Whose spill is it? Dionne asks, and his analysis of our conflicting and confused answers is spot on.
Vietnam: Day Four
Members of our interfaith delegation to Vietnam visited families in the urban area around DaNang yesterday, and the small group of which I was a part (Bob Edgar of Common Cause, Jim Winkler of the Methodist Board of Church and Society and myself) met Ly and her family at home. Ly is about eight years old, and her parents showed us proudly the certificate she had just received for excellent work in school.
Yet Ly – like her parents – is thin in the extreme; she could easily have been a “poster child” for poverty and malnourishment. Her mental ability is something of a miracle because she has an enlarged skull and large eyes that are very wide set. Her chest cavity is collapsed in ways that make it difficult for her to breathe. She is scheduled to go to the hospital in two days to get an assessment for possible surgery that would enlarge her chest cavity and improve her breathing. Her parents are clearly concerned.
This week, the city of Kingston, Jamaica was turned into a war zone. In an effort to apprehend a narco-trafficker, Christopher “Dudus” Coke, and extradite him to the United States, the Jamaican security forces have encountered those who have been bought off or scared off by this criminal and have taken up arms to defend him. More than thirty people have been killed in the fighting so far, which is ravaging neighborhoods, killing innocent bystanders as will as security forces and the drug kingpin’s bodyguards.
This weekend, in clubs along the East Coast, affluent, intelligent successful men and women will party with illegal drugs that come from Coke’s network. They are out to have a good time, but I hope they realize that whatever risks they wish to take with their own lives, they have no right to turn a neighboring country into a narco-state. Yet, the insatiable appetite of Americans for cocaine and marijuana is directly, indelibly responsible for the violence in Jamaica. The blood being spilt in the streets of Kingston is on the hands and on the consciences of the partyers in Midtown and Dupont Circle.
Politics Daily is reporting that Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., "will vote to repeal the ban on gays serving in the U.S. military, pending a study by the Pentagon on the matter, saying that the policy requires some American service members to lie about themselves in order to serve their country. ...
"With Nelson's vote in hand, one more yes vote is needed to approve the language in the committee. Sens. Robert Byrd (D-W.V.) and Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii) are the only remaining senators who have not announced how they'll vote."
The Pulitzer Prize-winning writer William Kennedy hails from Albany, N.Y., which is also the venue of many of his novels. Kennedy could not write a better script than an All-Catholic Italian-Irish team to run New York State.
New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo announced his candidacy for governor a few days ago. Today he chose a tough-talking Irish mayor from Rochester, N.Y., who is also a former cop, as his running mate.
Things in Albany and throughout New York state are going to get very interesting and possibly the stuff of great novels.
Grant Gallicho, over at the Commonweal Blog offers some thoughts on the approach of the president of the Catholic League.