Around the Web

Check out these recent articles from around the web:

Merciful God, Merciful Church, An Interview with Cardinal Walter Kasper by Commonweal: “I do not deny that the bond of marriage remains. But the fathers of the church had a wonderful image: If there is a shipwreck, you don’t get a new ship to save you, but you get a plank so that you can survive. That’s the mercy of God—to give us a plank so we can survive. That’s my approach to the problem.”

Advice to graduates by Thomas Reese: “Pope Francis wants both charity and justice and sees no conflict between them. We are called to both serve and defend the poor. But charity and justice are not enough for Pope Francis. We cannot be satisfied with writing a check or writing a letter to Congress. Pope Francis also calls us to accompany the poor. That means not treating them as mere problems or statistics but as human beings.”

Mark of Belonging: Why Circumcision Is No Crime by William Galston: “If excising a male infant’s foreskin were the moral equivalent of amputating his hand, the state would have no choice but to intervene. Only the commitment to an abstract and dubious right of physical integrity could blind observers to the obvious distinction between these two things. There is no reason for the law of the state to follow suit.”

What’s So Scary About Smart Girls? by Nicholas Kristof: “Why are fanatics so terrified of girls’ education? Because there’s no force more powerful to transform a society.”

Sean Hannity’s culture of death by Elizabeth Stoker: “It may be the case that providing property owners certain proportional latitude in defending their possessions is an unhappy legal necessity. It is also the case that elevating property owners who do take advantage of those legal provisions to the status of folk hero and celebrity is a direct and dangerous promotion of a culture of death…”

The Streamlined Life by David Brooks: “The surveys still reveal generations driven by curiosity, a desire to have a good family, a good community and good values. But people clearly feel besieged. There is the perception that life is harder. Certainly their parents think it is harder. The result is that you get a group hardened for battle, more focused on the hard utilitarian things and less focused on spiritual or philosophic things; feeling emotionally vulnerable, but also filled with résumé assertiveness. The inner world wanes; professional intensity waxes.”

College, the Great Unequalizer by Ross Douthat: “‘Paying for the Party’ is also a story about the socioeconomic consequences of cultural permissiveness — about what happens, who wins and who loses, when a youth culture in which the only (official) moral rule is consent meets a corporate-academic university establishment that has deliberately retreated from any moralistic, disciplinary role.”

The global youth boom needs nurturing by Michael Gerson: “Children in the barrios near Santo Domingo face specific challenges of early marriage and childbirth, sex trafficking and the lure of narco gangs. But children everywhere need safe living conditions. They need effective health and education services — provided by someone, anyone, in the public or private sectors. They also need responsible adults in their lives who are absolutely wild about them. And the greatest of these is love.”

Witnessing atrocity, and still having faith, Washington Post interview with John Prendergast: “One person, working in a community and a movement, can actually make a difference in the world, can actually make the world a better place.”

The prison door keeps revolving by Jeff Jacoby: “Prison reform and rehabilitation programs have been earnestly advanced for decades, but that holy grail remains elusive — and recidivism remains sky-high.”

Paul Ryan Can Fight for His Budget or Fight Poverty—but Not Both by Norm Ornstein: “Even if the Republican is sincere in his outreach to the poor, his spending plan would hurt the neediest Americans by cutting the programs on which they rely.”

Motivating Kids Without Carrots and Sticks by Justin Coulson: “The more we can foster our children’s autonomy and internal motivation, and the less we rely on our own power (via carrots and sticks) to make them do what we want, the better the long-term outcomes will be.”