Expelled Iraqi Christians, Give Witness to ISIS Fascism – UPDATE! KURDS!

The choice is leave or take a bullet to the head; you have ten hours to get out or die; take nothing but the clothes on your back; oh, you need that glucose meter? Your blood pressure meds? That's too bad.The Christians interviewed here make me feel very proud, and very humbled. They are obviously hurting, obviously shocked and displaced, yet full of spirit. And who wouldn't be a bit angry and undone in such a case? As the lady says, "what have the Christians done to you?"And yet, when … [Read more...]

James Martin SJ: Gravity in Face of MSNBC Condescension – UPDATED

Jesus, A Pilgrimage, Excellent New Book!

Having read and followed the work Father James Martin, S.J. for a decade or more, I would be hard-pressed to identify a time when he was less than smiling and serene in his discussions on matters of faith, prayer, church-life and more.So, it was striking, and meaningful, to see this most temperate of priests bring a respectful-but-grave presence to an MSNBC discussion that, it seems to me, was handled poorly. The participants, save the Jesuit, seemed unserious and … [Read more...]

Constitutional Crisis: Freedom of Religion is Fundamental

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Over at Patheos' "Public Square" page, they're asking whether religious freedom is under threat in America.Not as many takers on the offer to opine on this topic as I had supposed, but some of the essays may (or may not) surprise you.Indianapolis' Bishop Christopher Coyne is a participant and he points out that "Freedom of Worship" is not "Freedom of Religion":[Catholic Bishop Shlemon Warduni of Iraq] issued a very clear warning to the gathered American bishops on what he saw … [Read more...]

Go and Learn What this Means: “Cognitive Dissonance”

So, you know all this brouhaha, all these hysterics about how bakers, and photographers, and other service-providers who routinely work for gay clientele (but draw a line at serving gay weddings because they feel it imperils their souls) are horrible people?And you know the whole "if you think that way, then you're a bigot," thing, because governments and pundits have taken it into their heads that it is their job to define "sin" to another person?And you know that whole, "refusing to … [Read more...]

Little Sisters, HHS Mandate, Al Gore and Incurious Press – UPDATED

I've mentioned before that both President Obama and his press secretary, Jay Carney are wearing identical facial expressions; they both look like men who wish it would all go away.And "make it go away" was the first thing that came into my head when I saw this headline over at Deacon Greg's: "WH Says Birth Control Mandate Doesn't Apply To Little Sisters of the Poor".Let's skip over the fact that this isn't exactly a "birth control" mandate. It's also a free-sterilization and … [Read more...]

NY Judge Rules against Government on HHS Mandate – UPDATE

::::UPDATE:::: Go immediately and read Gabriel Malor's excellent read-and-analysis on Judge Cogan's decision. It's terrific!Rather surprised at the lack of coverage on this one, but then again, this ruling is merely one battle in the course of an ongoing conflict. Nothing will be fully and finally settled on this issue until the Supremes address it, and there is still time for the make-up of that court to change and better-reflect the thinking of the current … [Read more...]

Bad Optics: Obama and HHS vs Little Sisters of the Poor

The Little Sisters of the Poor are heroic social servants: they serve the indigent poor and go begging on their behalf. They are tremendous women offering companionship, love and hospitality to people who often have no one else in their lives willing to see and affirm their dignity and worth, and they don't ask "are you a Catholic" before they make that offer: it is for all.Likewise, in their many facilities across the nation, the Little Sisters employ nurses, and aides and helpers, and … [Read more...]

Transparency: Can you see the illusion, now?

As the great Edward G. Robinson might say, "How do ya like yer transparency now? Ya! Ya!"Obama's "transparency" was always a damned illusion, of course. People bought it b/c they wanted to. In truth, I can't think of a less transparent administration than this one, which keeps using that word as though it means something else.So, here's the latest:The Sunlight Foundation notes that Change.gov, the website created by the Obama transition team in 2008, ceased to exist after June 8, … [Read more...]

Can Pro-and-Anti Gay Marriage People Co-exist?

shutterstock_102538235 (1)_gay marriage flowers

Still stuck in my writer's block, the only way I could write a column this week for First Things was to format it as a playlet -- a little one-act thing called "Suitable Recommendations" -- wherein I try (and I have no idea whether I succeed) to showcase a story we're increasingly seeing being played out as gay marriage becomes more common: the business owner whose conscience can't let him or her provide services to a same-sex couple planning a wedding.Gentleman: That’s some religion you’ve … [Read more...]

Girls and Guillotines: Glorifying God

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If you're not subscribing to The Catholic Answer Magazine (which you should because it's a little six-times-a-year gem of Catholic information on scripture, doctrine and tradition, but I won't scold!) I hope you're at least liking the OSV Twitter account so you can click on to some of its goodness!The July/August edition is particularly rich, as it examines Eucharistic Adoration, Concupiscence, the Eastern Churches and the Carmelite Martyrs of Compiègne. Much of that is behind the paywall -- … [Read more...]


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