NYTimes Bestsellers and 3 Pinpricks of Fascism

Madame Defarge is collecting her knitting. Image Public Domain

Okay, I'm not a Ted Cruz fan, (I'm not an anyone fan, at the moment), but that doesn't mean I am not curious as to the NY Times so-called "standards", here: The New York Times informed HarperCollins this week that it will not include Ted Cruz's new biography on its forthcoming bestsellers list, despite the fact that the book has sold more copies in its first week than all but two of the Times' bestselling titles, the On Media blog has learned.Cruz's A Time for Truth, published on June 30, … [Read more...]

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Of Otherness, Gay Marriage, Rights and Offices

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com

The headlines of the past two weeks have given me a lot to process, and this weekend is a good time to think on things. Since the Obergefell decision, there are fights breaking out all over the internet, between Gays and Straights and Christians and Other Christians, and even between Catholics and Other Catholics.The idea of the "Other" got me thinking about a piece I'd written a while back at First Things, one that -- to my surprise (but then I never know how groups of people are going to … [Read more...]

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8 Things Catholics can “Do” to “Fix” Things

Image/Public Domain

I really appreciated this piece by Father Robert Barron, which looks at past challenges of the church, in light of the Obergefell decision legalizing gay marriage.His piece, along with many other headlines and blogposts I'll link to below, got me thinking, and -- as Father Barron would say -- "here's the thing...":My email is full of people wringing their hands and fretting -- really fretting -- "how do we fix this? What to do, what to do, what to do?"What do people mean, when they … [Read more...]

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Hebdo-Gellergate: Can we Square a Free Speech Circle?

CRM / Shutterstock.com

Sticking a toe into the Charlie Hebdo/Pamela Geller question has not interested me. Watching a debate about what constitutes "authentic" freedom of speech that is meant to provoke, vs "inauthentic, hateful" freedom of speech that is also meant to provoke -- often with the very same voices taking both sides -- has left me thinking more about how too many people in America believe, along with the president, that no crisis ought to be wasted; everything is fodder for ideological exploitation and … [Read more...]

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So, Hillary votes “no” on Faith in Public Square, then?

Image Public Domain via Voice of America and Wikimedia Commons

So, it wasn't long ago -- April 13, actually -- that I watched the usual "Hillary is very religious" narrative begin again and asked whether that meant the churches had an ally in Hillary, against those voices who demand that faith be relegated to pews and homes, and put out of the public square:Since Mrs. Clinton is now “officially running” for president, and the press is making a quick note of how important both her faith and its applications for social justice are to her, I expect to hea … [Read more...]

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Will Bible-Carrying Hillary Address Churches & Public Square?

Image Public Domain via Voice of America and Wikimedia Commons

As soon as Hillary Clinton enters into a serious campaign mode -- and this has been true for her husband's campaigns as well as her own -- the citizenry becomes informed that Mrs. Clinton is a "staunch Methodist" and bible-believing Christian. It is always one of the very first cards she plays in her attempts to "connect" with the rubes and yahoos yearning masses whose causes she wants to champion, and whose votes usually factor in religion. I recall reading, during Bill Clinton's campaigns, … [Read more...]

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RFRA Tempts Kristallnacht but Sane Voices Arising?

The day after Kristallnacht, Public Domain, WIkimedia Commons

Well, America -- pitching between lunacy and sorrow -- seems to be reaching a tipping point.The Indiana RFRA story has inspired hypocritical businessmen to declare they won't sell their wares to the Midwestern rubes who won't settle down and think right.It has lured dependable establishment shills into bravely expressing the exact moral outrage guaranteed to get a cheer from the audience.It has assured some in the press that cutting off the microphone of a guest who will not buckle … [Read more...]

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Blurred Lines: Religious Freedom and Indiana SB101

Image public domain via Wikimedia Commons, blurred.

Melinda Selmys believes some lobbyists behind Indiana's SB 101 intend to blur important lines of distinction between authentic religious freedom and “Christian freedom.”[While I am still on book-writing break, Melinda Selmys guest-posts about important distinctions that are becoming blurred in our national discourse on religious freedom and the inviolability of an individual's religious conscience. Melinda is a convert to Catholicism, a contributor at Spiritual Friendship, and the author of 4 … [Read more...]

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Fearful Christians at Duke Will Make Secularists’ Job Easier

Duke Chapel Courtesy of WikiMediaCommons

"Tolerance" as a concept has been so thoroughly bastardized by agendists using the word as a silencing cudgel, that I think many have forgotten what it is actually about: "putting up with" each other, in peace.Tolerance requires not that we "celebrate and support" each other, but merely that we make some room to let the gal or guy next to us -- regardless of what they believe -- live out their lives. Misuse of the word has sullied it and created such a disconnect between action and meaning … [Read more...]

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You Want Dignity? You Should Have It. So Should Everyone.

Image Gustavo Frazao courtesy of Shutterstock.com

All day I had hoped to find time to respond to this piece by Frank Bruni in the New York Times wherein he argues that religious liberty must be regulated and sidelined, for the sake of human dignity, particularly his:Christian fundamentalists in this country are practiced at claiming marginalization and oppression. “They’re always saying they’re kept out of the public square, and that’s baloney,” said Marci Hamilton, a constitutional law expert and the author of “God vs. the Gavel.” “They’re … [Read more...]

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