John Cassidy: “It’s Official: Austerity Economics Doesn’t Work”
Any decent economics textbook will tell you that, other things being equal, cutting government spending causes the economy’s overall output to fall, tax revenues to decrease, and spending on benefits to increase. Almost invariably, the end result is slower growth (or a recession) and high budget deficits. [UK Chancellor of the Exchequer George] Osborne, relying on arguments about restoring the confidence of investors and businessmen that his forebears at the U.K. Treasury used during the early nineteen-thirties against Keynes, insisted (and continues to insist) otherwise, but he has been proven wrong.
Lia Scholl: “It’s Not About Trafficking”
What’s the difference? Sex work is work not slavery. Sex work doesn’t have as many sexy people (okay, really, I don’t think Ashton Kucher is sexy, but you know!) advocating for the individuals involved. Also, sex workers may not be helped (and may, in fact, be harmed) by anti-trafficking legislation that’s so popular right now.
Jason Kuznicki: “No Irish Setters Need Apply”
It’s either the case that the faithful are motivated by a bias toward their own communities (and thus to themselves) — or it’s the case that the faithful have all independently concluded that they personally attend the most sinful and/or financially needy congregations in the world. The former may be startling, but the latter is preposterous. The money ought to follow the need. Overwhelmingly, it stays at home.
Amanda MacInnis: “Women and Vocation Panel Discussion”
I think one of the most dangerous messages in the church today is that a Christian woman’s highest calling is to be a wife and mother. This is at the least bad theology, and at the worst heresy. A Christian woman’s highest calling is to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. Anything else is nothing more than an adjective. And so, that means that if my husband becomes more important in my life than my relationship with Christ then I have, in a way, committed idolatry. The same goes for my kids. If they become my all-consuming, then there is something wrong there. Now this isn’t to say I don’t love my kids and I don’t give them my full attention, but they are not, and will not be, the sum of my existence.
The Biblical literalists of Protestant fundamentalism often make fun of Catholics for thinking that sacramental practices are “magical.” That’s because they don’t read John 3:5 or 6:53 literally. Their Biblical literalism, insofar as it’s a practice and not just a slogan, is mostly applied to the book of Romans. Augustine’s message for us is that unless you’re a selective Biblical literalist, you’d better baptize your babies as soon as they pop out because without that water, they’re going to hell.