Sometimes one is tempted to say a plague on both your houses. We're not even close to the 2012 election season and already there are overheated claims that the Obama administration is at war with Catholics.
It is not.
One of the most attractive aspects of President Barack Obama is the significance of faith in his life. Raised outside a formal church of any kind, Obama early on discovered his own life's meaning in giving of himself to others. He also discovered that even the magnanimity of community service could often be misunderstood outside a context of shared belief.
Yet with tea parties and occupiers and dissenters of every variety active in the land, shared belief is increasingly hard for political figures to manifest on a national or even state or regional level. It is easier, but still not without challenge, for churchmen to articulate first principles held in common -- like, for example, that life is a gift; it is sacred; and it is not within our power to forfeit our own life or take that of another.