President Obama said he hoped the controversy surrounding the arrest of Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. would become a “teaching moment.” Unfortunately, by saying he thought the police had acted “stupidly” he guaranteed that the moment would have little to do with teaching anything and much to do with reinvigorating racial stereotypes.
While Louisiana public schools are in line for $370 million this year in federal stimulus aid, the story for private and parochial schools is much different.
Special federal aid totaling about $70,000 is being split up among 16 Catholic schools in East Baton Rouge Parish, or about $4,400 each.
The Princeton Review annually ranks colleges according to 62 different criteria, but none is more popular than its list of Top 20 Party Schools. Penn State took top honors in this year's list, followed by University of Florida, University of Mississippi, University of Georgia and Ohio University.
There was nary a Catholic school on the list.
I don't know if Catholics should be proud--or angry. Hey, we're fun. We party. We even have a reputation for excessive drinking. C'mon--not even one Catholic school was considered Top 20 material by the 122,000 students who voted this year?
Teenagers, those perennial fonts of wisdom, often express themselves in timely, insightful clichés. One of my favorites is the exhortation, “Get a life!” It’s good advice. Since lifestyles are an outward expression of inner values (or lack thereof), in order to live simply and generously we must pay close attention to our inner spiritual reality. How do we find the way to the divine mystery and then how do we connect with it? Just living a life, with all its challenges, rewards, and ups and downs, is an engaging and productive spiritual path.
I recently finished reading Archbishop Rembert Weakland’s A Pilgrim in a Pilgrim Church: Memoirs of a Catholic Archbishop, and found it most intriguing for the eyewitness account he can provide of how deep the opposition to Vatican II was in the curia from the very start. He also provides the kind of look behind the curtain at the U.S. bishops and their meetings that only an insider can provide.
Chris Hedges, the Pulitzer Prize winning author, got an early start in journalism with NCR and has contributed to the paper over the years. His books offer a strong moral critique of modern culture. In his latest book, Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle, he takes on the porn industry.
An interesting opinion piece by Mary Raftery appeared in the July 27 issue of The Irish Times regarding publication of Dublin Report, the result of a government inquiry into clergy sex abuse in the Archdiocese.
Catholics United today strongly condemned a new television attack ad campaign by the Family Research Council's FRC Action lobbying operation that misinforms the U.S. public about health care reform. The Family Research Council's efforts are part of a broader “Stop the Abortion Mandate” campaign that is using abortion scare tactics to turn pro-life voters against health reform.
I can’t improve on my colleague Thomas C. Fox’s takedown below of Glen Beck’s outrageous comments calling the President a racist. But, the controversy caused me to watch Beck’s show last night. It is truly shocking that someone is allowed a prime time television slot who brings precisely no analytical capabilities to the task of reporting the news, who rants instead of argues, and who distorts history and the news in equal measure in fits of tortured logic that are pitiful even by the low standards at Fox News. I wondered to myself, “Why would anyone consent to be on such a show?”