Peace & Justice
When I heard about the law proposed in Arizona that would have used “religious freedom” as an excuse to legalize discrimination against LGBT (and potentially others), I was stunned. I applaud Gov. Jan Brewer of Arizona for vetoing the bill.
What appalled me most, however, was the fact that the Arizona Catholic Conference supported the bill! In fact, their website is crowded with legislative updates on the work they did to pass the legislation, and their lament that it was vetoed.
On Interfaith Voices this week, with the struggle to raise the minimum wage back in the news, we reviewed the history of that labor struggle -- a history in which American Catholics played a pivotal role.
For me, the show was a bit like a walk down memory lane.
Leaders of Christian Churches Together in the U.S.A., of which the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is a member, issued a pledge to engage the public on the issue of mass incarceration.
In a joint letter to members of Congress, Catholic bishops and evangelical leaders pleaded for "common sense fixes to our immigration policies" by passing legislation this year.
Uganda's Catholic bishops reaffirmed their opposition to homosexuality, but reserved judgment on a recently ratified bill imposing harsh punishment for homosexual acts in the East African nation.
"Our reaction from the church is very clear, we don't support homosexuality," Msgr. John Baptist Kauta, secretary-general of the Uganda Episcopal Conference, told Catholic News Service by phone Feb. 26.
He said that when the anti-gay bill was first discussed, the country's bishops had been against the harsh penalties it involved for homosexual acts, including the death penalty.
In the early morning hours of Wednesday, Feb. 26, the state of Missouri executed Michael A. Taylor via lethal injection. Taylor was previously convicted of the abduction, rape and killing of Ann Harrison, 15, in 1989. He pled guilty and was sentenced to death.
The Supreme Court has declared that life sentences for perpetrators under the age of 18 are unconstitutional. So states have been developing new sentencing laws. The Missouri legislature has a bill in the Senate, SB 790, that proposes minimum 50-year sentences for 16 and 17-year-olds who are convicted of crimes such as first-degree murder and minimum 25-year sentences for defendants under the age of 16.
Pope Francis on Tuesday lashed out at public indifference to the many wars raging around the globe, with especially harsh words for arms makers who he said profit from the violence and suffering.
"Think of the starving children in the refugee camps. Just think of them: this is fruit of war!" Francis said at the daily Mass he celebrates in the chapel of the Vatican guesthouse where he lives.
At the Intersection: People of all races have to mobilize, agitate and diligently seek to repeal the laws that have ended far more lives than the few publicized.