Around the Web (Part 1)

Check out these recent articles from around the web:

Pope Francis’ Popularity, or Lack Thereof by Kerry Weber: “True dialogue requires humility. If we want to respond to the Gospel call to mercy, we have to be willing to acknowledge that this call might summon us to unexpected places, and might come from someone very different from ourselves. It might jar us, challenge us, surprise us. And we might not like it.”

The Flag of the Demos: Catholic Social Teaching as the Antidote to Neoliberalism by Michael Stafford: “Neoliberalism has ushered in an era of unprecedented inequality, entrenched poverty, crony capitalism, political and economic monopolies, and various forms of destructive rent-seeking behaviour by the elite. It has led to the concentration of enormous wealth in a very small number of hands. Obviously, concentrated wealth equals concentrated power, and that power has been consistently deployed on behalf of the interests of the rich and the large corporations and banks they control. Under the dominion of the rich, our government has devolved into a mechanism for privatizing gains, socializing risks and losses and extracting new rents and tolls from the demos.”

Planned Parenthood’s video: Can we ever get beyond the banality of abortion politics? by Stephen Schneck: “By connecting the Fetal Pain Bill with perinatal help for crisis pregnancies, with support for women otherwise unable to afford their pregnancy, or with a nationwide policy for paid maternity leave, Day  and Camosy’s proposal weaves together the strands of what the church calls “the consistent ethic of life” in ways that make it easier for America to choose life.”

Crush Planned Parenthood by Kirsten Powers: “The problem here is not one of tone. It’s the crushing. It’s the organ harvesting of  fetuses that abortion-rights activists want us to believe have no more moral value than a fingernail. It’s the lie that these are not human beings worthy of protection.”

Pope Francis Is Making Christianity Radical Again by John Gehring: “If you have a problem with what Pope Francis is saying, your real problem is with the Hebrew prophets, Jesus of Nazareth, and a century of Catholic social teaching about the common good.”

America’s best program for the poor may be even better than we thought by Dylan Matthews: “The Earned Income Tax Credit isn’t super well-known, but it’s one of the best tools the federal government has for fighting poverty. It functions as a wage subsidy for the working poor, providing an average of $2,982 a year to families with children come tax season. The results are impressive. According to the Census Bureau, refundable tax credits like the EITC and the similarly structured Child Tax Credit cut the poverty rate (correctly measured) by 3 percentage points in 2013 — that’s 9.4 million people kept out of poverty.  But a new study suggests that even that is an underestimate.”

Integral Ecology and Respect for Human Life by Aaron Matthew Weldon: “When we can behold created things in their own particular glory, we move closer to an integral ecology.  In the throwaway culture, land is only good as an energy resource. In a culture of life, it is seen as an integral ecosystem, pointing to a loving God who delights in making a world filled with diverse creatures and landscapes.”

New Undercover Planned Parenthood Video Released by Sam Sawyer, S.J.: “Watching these videos is gut-wrenching, particularly for someone who recognizes that the unborn child is a human being with inviolable dignity, deserving of our love, concern and protection. I hope that it is gut-wrenching even for those who defend abortion to hear how casually the dismemberment of unborn bodies is discussed, with no acknowledgement that their common humanity—the very thing that makes their tissues valuable—demands our compassion.”

The paradox of a pro-life church without paid parental leave by Jennifer Mertens: “U.S. church employees considering parenthood, choose your diocesan employer carefully. While some dioceses have paid maternity and paternity leave policies, a startling number lack any such guarantees.”