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Fair vs Equal: Punishing and Protecting in a Values-Consistent Manner

Earlier this month the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, called upon all states to “take concrete steps towards abolishing or no longer practicing this form of punishment.” By "this form of punishment," Ban Ki-moon was referring to the death penalty. He went on to call the practice “cruel and inhumane” and I could not help but nod my head in agreement. I have asked myself many times: should laws be based in equality or fairness? After all, equality and fairness are considerably different. Equality is making everyone use the stairs. Equality is giving … [Read More...]

After Hobby Lobby: Takeaways and Implications

On Monday, June 30, the Supreme Court ruled on the Hobby Lobby case. In a 5-4 decision, the Court held that “closely held” (e.g., the majority of outstanding stock of a company is owned by five or fewer people) for-profit companies do not need to follow federal law requiring that insurance plans include contraception for female employees. The ruling was based on the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act, passed to protect an individual’s free exercise of religion, and marks the first time in our nation’s history that for-profit entities have been said to be able to have religious … [Read More...]

What Can We Learn from the Pending Hobby Lobby Case?

Just a little while ago, I read a blog post by Dr. Jackie Roese regarding the upcoming Supreme Court decision about the Hobby Lobby case. She makes the argument that we, especially women, are “eating cheeseburgers” when it comes to the issue of contraception for women – that it seems so straightforward and obvious that women should have easy access to contraceptives, we just go about our regular lives, munching on our cheeseburgers and not worrying about this case or its implications. But … [Read More...]

Catholics Continue to Divest From Fossil Fuels

Catholics care about creation. The command to be actively involved in and concerned for our environment has a divine origination. To care for creation is to care for the God we can encounter through nature. With these statements in mind, I feel the need to draw attention to the inspiring and encouraging behaviors some Catholics have engaged in to take action upon these fundamental Catholic beliefs. This week the University of Dayton, “a leading Catholic University and the largest private … [Read More...]

Make Abortions an Anomaly: Support Contraception Coverage

Let’s get one thing clear: no one dreams of having an abortion. Here, America stands united. We all want to lower the U.S. abortion rate. We all want fewer unplanned pregnancies. We all want “life.” We all want to see an America filled with happy, healthy families and babies. But, as a recent article by Julia K. Stronks and Jeffrey F. Peipert, “an evangelical Christian, political science professor and a Jewish, family-planning physician,” states clearly, if the upcoming Hobby Lobby … [Read More...]

Can the Little Children Come Unto Us? A Commentary on Gun Violence in United States Schools

In the wake of increased gun violence in our country that is disproportionately affecting our children and youth, we as citizens of this nation and as people of faith have a responsibility to respond by demanding legislation that better regulates guns and other weapons. We have to create the safest possible situation for our children. This is a call not only for those of us who are biological or adoptive mothers and fathers. This is a call to every person who is seeking to be a good citizen and … [Read More...]

Why Catholic Teaching Unquestionably Necessitates the Use of Renewable Energy

A Good World, a Life of Rights, and the Freedom to Choose   Catholic teaching unquestionably necessitates the use of renewable energy. Notice, I did not limit Catholic teaching to “Catholic Social Teaching,” or “Catholic Morality Teaching.” Catholic teaching as a whole is complex and many-sided; rarely, if ever, is there a single inflexible Message with a capital “M” that can capture the diversity within this rich tradition. However, several messages are crystal clear: the … [Read More...]

Can Progressive Christians Ever Support War?

With Memorial Day upon us, we Americans are about to enter the three day ritual of remembering those who have served and do serve in the armed forces, and especially those who have given their lives on behalf of our liberty and security.  As a progressive Christian, I will speak for myself to the question raised by the title; the answer is yes.  Just as any sensible person would understand the need for communities to hire police officers and give them authority to use force to maintain public … [Read More...]

The Truth About Income Inequality

Most Americans are working much harder for much less, and that is why we have the largest income inequality since the Great Depression. In America, we strive to move forwards, not backwards. But making the rich richer by making the poor poorer is stagnating our economy and crushing the dreams of hardworking Americans. It's time to do something about income inequality. Attack: There’s nothing wrong with hardworking Americans making a good living Response: You're right! We agree with you. … [Read More...]


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