November 25, 2023

Yeah, actually I’m not sure of the best way to label this as I try to identify something that’s disturbing me. It has been disturbing me, ever since Hamas’s attack on Israel on October 7 and the subsequent Israeli military action in Gaza, that so many Hamas/Palestinian defenders have been calling the air strikes “genocide.”  It is preposterous and should be written off in the same way as one writes off the claims by those defenders that the hostages, the... Read more

October 30, 2023

The background:  Chicago and New York are both dealing with migrant crises. (Yes, this part of the blog post is from memory; I’m not going to dig out the sources now.) In New York, the city has adopted a “right to shelter” ordinance that obliges the city to spend however much money it takes in order to provide shelter to anyone who seeks it.  This may have been intended for a small(er) number of homeless people, with the intention that... Read more

October 21, 2023

It’s a quiet Saturday afternoon and I had sat down at the computer to put together some thoughts on the recent killing of Wadea Al-Fayoume, a 6 year old boy of Palestinian ethnicity in the Chicago exurbs, when I came across a new report in my twitter feed, a second stabbing death.  More on this later, but first things first. A week ago, as reported by the Chicago Sun Times on October 16, As the war between Hamas and Israel... Read more

September 23, 2023

A follow-up from my prior post, again referencing James Martin’s article: Now, I cannot speak for my fellow synod members, but I doubt that any members wish to change the essentials of the faith. (I don’t.) But anyone who knows any church history also knows that church teaching has developed dramatically on a variety of topics, including slavery, women’s roles, ecumenical relations, the liturgy, limbo, capital punishment and so on. As Pope Francis said in a conversation with Portuguese Jesuits during World... Read more

September 9, 2023

Yes, I spend too much time on twitter.  Among other things, this means that each morning I see Cardinal Cupich’s pro-synod tweets, mostly incomprehensible, to be sure, and seemingly directed at a wholly different audience than his actual twitter followers.  (Unlike everything else that he tweets, he/his social media manager does not tweet a Spanish translation of these tweets.)  It feels like he is engaged in a propaganda effort to get his “flock” to accept whatever happens at the synod,... Read more

August 26, 2023

In Illinois, and Chicago in particular, along with various other declared “sanctuary states,” there have a multitude of news reports about migrants crowding into shelters, migrant children overwhelming schools, and so on (though, of course, one presumes that in Texas the situation is far more chaotic as they have had to bear the brunt of the large growth in new arrivals).  And in that context came a report at WBEZ, the public radio station in Chicago, “Illinois immigrants need more... Read more

August 26, 2023

Here’s a collection of recent reports on students and young adults in schools and the workforce: “‘How Do I Do That?’ The New Hires of 2023 Are Unprepared for Work,” August 2, in the Wall Street Journal.  This is paywalled, though I read it through my local library’s website and you can probably do the same, though you can read also excerpts at The Federalist.  It’s a litany of complaints of ways things are going wrong not just in schools... Read more

July 17, 2023

The Illinois Republican Party is struggling — maybe not in the same way as in Arizona or Michigan, but in 2022, due to gerrymandering and due to the consequences of a far-right candidate for governor, the Democrats widened their supermajority control of the state legislature even further.  Now there are various groups — grass roots groups, statewide party groups, and local township Republican party groups, trying to regroup, to re-brand, and somehow get the pro- and anti-Trump factions to work... Read more

July 8, 2023

Yes, I’m going there:  it’s time to address the “transkid” issue — hopefully with an angle that will provide a different perspective on a debate where, at least here in Illinois, so-called “gender affirming care” is now the law of the land, justified by the refrain that it is “lifesaving” — because, after all, “Would you rather have a dead daughter or a living son?” is the question that’s been posed to parents of girls who begin identifying as transgender,... Read more

December 27, 2022

Who recalls the metaphor of the violinist on life support? This metaphor was created by Judith Thompson in 1971 to explain why abortion is wholly acceptable even if the unborn child is every bit as human and has the same moral status as a born person.  It is an argument of bodily integrity, and it goes like this: “You wake up in the morning and find yourself back to back in bed with an unconscious violinist. A famous unconscious violinist.... Read more

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