Civil Liberties and the Obama Indifference

Found myself in an awkward spot today, needing to be in the state capital at about the same time as President Obama.  He's out speaking at a historically-Black college and church about the civil rights movement.  I've just got ordinary places to be.  The difficulty is the traffic.  Small city, not a lot of roads to choose from, and he gets priority.  The rest of us get to be late.I care tremendously about the civil rights movement.  I don't care a bit about our president (beyond a generic con … [Read more...]

When the Romans Call You to Task, It’s Time for Sackcloth and Ashes

Reminder that today is a day of prayer and penance.  Why, you ask?  Because any society that makes Rome seem like the good guys is doing it wrong.Artwork: by Pietro Perugino,  Marcus Porcius Cato [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons … [Read more...]

Satan Ups His Game: Supreme Court Declines to Protect Secrecy of Sacramental Confessions

Bad news for human souls: The US Supreme Court has declined to hear the appeal of the case in which the Louisiana Supreme Court called for a priest to break the seal of the confessional.UPDATE: Simcha Fisher explains why there are other, better ways to protect victims of abuse.To bring you up to speed on the implications, here is why this is such a travesty, and what we can expect as a result of this ruling.If you prefer your theology brought to you by Alfred Hitchcock, here's my … [Read more...]

Racism in the American South Today

In 1988 I moved to a small town in South Carolina, not far from where my paternal grandfather had grown up. In enrolling me at the local high school, among other paperwork my parents had to indicate whether they did or did not permit the principal to administer corporal punishment. Also, in those days they kept records of the racial balance in every classroom.On the day of the census in 1990, my homeroom teacher faced an awkward situation: The form called for a tally of the number of white … [Read more...]

The 2nd Commandment is Like It: The US Bishops Face Their Boko Haram

In thinking about the massacres in Nigeria, my train of thought ran like this:How can anyone bear to be associated with this?  I was thinking about the whole Muslim world.  You want to be part of this? No. Of course not.One of the rare pleasures of being me is that thus far every faithful Muslim I've gotten to know has been a gentle, God-loving person.  The kind of person who would have nothing to do, ever, with the atrocities of their coreligionists.We on the outside of the Mu … [Read more...]

Gay Marriage & Employment in the Archdiocese of Miami

Kathy Schiffer reports that the Archbishop of Miami has laid out his response to the recent legalization of gay marriage in Florida:Archbishop Thomas Wenski, archbishop of Miami, has warned archdiocesan employees that any action in support of Florida’s now-legal same-sex marriage could cost them their jobs. “Because of the Church’s particular function in society,” the archbishop wrote, “certain conduct, inconsistent with the teachings of the Catholic Church, could lead to disciplinary action … [Read more...]

Diocese Pays for IVF, Does $2 Million Penance

In my comments yesterday, I neglected to fully rake the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend over the coals.  Let's look at one more detail, as reported in The National Catholic Register: According to court documents, Herx informed the school’s principal, Sandra Guffey, in March 2010 during the first round of treatment — part of which was paid for by the diocese’s health plan — and her contract was renewed. Yes.  A Catholic diocese's health insurance plan covered IVF, a procedure that is immoral un … [Read more...]