John Garvey, the president of Catholic University, has written an op-ed piece in which he explains why his institution is joining scores of other Catholic groups in filing a lawsuit against the contraceptive & abortifacient mandate in Obamacare.  In the course of his essay (in which he mentions also the Hossana-Tabor case involving the LCMS school), Garvey discusses the “wall of separation of church and state,” finding the metaphor’s origins not in Thomas Jefferson (who wanted to protect the state… Read more

The Washington Post has an ongoing feature about “myths.”  Last Sunday the topic was Five myths about marriage.  As usual, the piece combined the interesting with the dubious.   What stood out for me the most was this factoid:  Two-thirds of divorces are initiated by women. We also know that women are hurt by divorce, taking a big economic hit and often thrown into the pressures of single motherhood.  Still, lots of women consider it to be worth it.   Recognizing… Read more

In raising the question why both campaigns are ignoring Romney’s record as governor of Massachusetts, Ezra Klein (a liberal) goes on to show how that record might not matter too much.  In doing so, he gives a succinct account of what both Romney and Congressional Republicans are planning to do should the election go their way: In Massachusetts, Romney governed a blue electorate, and negotiated with a Democratic legislature. If he wins the presidency this fall, he will almost certainly… Read more

Two big holidays this weekend, one in the church year and the other national.  I hope you had a meaningful Pentecost on Sunday and that you will have a meaningful and enjoyable Memorial Day today. So let’s play a holiday game.  Connect the dots.  What connections can you make between what we celebrate on Pentecost (the gift of the Holy Spirit, the birthday of the Church) and what we celebrate on Memorial Day (the sacrifice of our troops, in some… Read more

A Gallup poll surveyed what Americans find morally acceptable and unacceptable.  From The Atlantic: What do we learn from this? I’ll start:  Pornography comes out as worse than abortion, sex outside of marriage, and the death penalty.  Nearly two out of three Americans consider pornography to be immoral?  So how come that’s such a profitable industry?   Contrary to Plato, to know the good is not the same as to do the good.  That is, immorality is not due to ignorance… Read more

As the Mitt Romney campaign hails his business experience and as the Obama campaign demonizes it neither side wants to talk about what is surely Romney’s most pertinent qualification for the presidency; namely, being governor of Massachusetts.  Ezra Klein explains why both parties are avoiding that topic: Why have we spent approximately no time talking about Romney’s governorship? The answer, again, is that neither campaign really wants to. The Romney campaign wants to avoid it because Romney governed from the… Read more

The Norwegian parliament has voted to do away with the state church.  The measure, which was passed unanimously and which also seems to have the approval of church officials, will still provide some church funding, though extending that to other groups, including “humanists.”  Though all Norwegians have been enrolled in the church upon their baptism, only 2% of the population attend regularly and 72% do not believe in a personal God.  Religion remains important, according to polls, for 20% of… Read more

So another Safe Scruffy White Guy with Guitar (SSWGWG) won American Idol yet again, beating out far better singers because so many pre-adolescent girls with cell-phones thought he was cute.  That’s what critics are saying.  I acknowledge the underlying problem, but I would argue that this year’s winner, Phillip Phillips, is different from all of the other SSWGWGs and that he is a worthy winner. The format of singing contests favors the “big voice,” the kind with loud, swelling tones,… Read more

Muslims are hailing the discovery of a version of the apocryphal Gospel of Barnabus that has Jesus allegedly predicting the coming of Mohammed.  This will cause, so they say, the collapse of Christianity. Iran’s Basij Press is claiming that a version of the Gospel of Barnabas, found in 2000, will prove that Islam is the final and righteous religion and the revelation will cause the collapse worldwide of Christianity. Turkey confiscated a leather-bound text, written on animal hide, in an… Read more

George Will sums up how Elizabeth Warren and her Ivy League universities played the diversity game: Blond, blue-eyed Elizabeth Warren, the Senate candidate in Massachusetts and Harvard professor who cites “family lore” that she is 1/32nd Cherokee, was inducted into Oklahoma’s Hall of Fame last year. Her biography on says that she “can track both sides of her family in Oklahoma long before statehood” (1907) and “she proudly tells everyone she encounters that she is ‘an Okie to my… Read more

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