Around the Web

Check out these recent articles from around the web:

‘Kandhamal’ tells the whole story of anti-Christian persecution by John Allen: “Kandhamal is a district of the eastern Indian state of Odisha, formerly known as Orissa, where an orgy of violence descended upon the impoverished Christian minority in August, 2008. A series of riots led by radical Hindus left roughly 100 people dead, thousands injured, 300 churches and 6,000 homes destroyed, and 50,000 people displaced, many forced to hide in nearby forests where more died of hunger and snakebites.”

Happy Birthday Medicare & Medicaid! by Michael Sean Winters: “Today, ideologues of libertarianism continue to see every exercise of social solidarity as one more step down the road to serfdom. This, too, is nonsense. In real life, Medicare and Medicaid liberated millions of Americans from crushing poverty or from cruel choices: Do I pay the rent or do I get to the doctor? Do I pay for my kids’ food or for their physical? In a country as rich as ours, in a world as rich as ours, no human person should have to make such a cruel choice.”

The self-government revolution that’s happening under the radar in Syria by Frederic Hof: “The alternative to Assad is arising from Syria’s grass roots. That alternative needs to be nurtured and protected by the United States and its partners. And it needs to be connected to external structures recognized by the West as legitimate. Failure to do so to date accounts in part for bizarre concerns vocalized by Obama administration officials that Assad — the mass murderer — may fall too quickly. He cannot fall quickly enough. Yet those in governments who agonize about the seeming absence of alternatives have done far too little to nurture one. They have failed to connect the dots between would-be leaders in exile and those inside Syria who are leading a self-government revolution.”

For Craig Biggio, MLB Hall of Fame induction was heavenly by Michael O’Loughlin: “It’s difficult to imagine anything more heavenly for a professional baseball player than being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. But on Sunday, one inductee remembered something a bit more spiritual, some might say: his conversion to the Catholic faith at the hands of his college baseball chaplain.”

Planned Parenthood and the Disease of Decadence by Jessica Keating: “The logic of Planned Parenthood would have us to wonder at the scientific advances that may be made with the unborn fetus’s organs, while believing that the unborn fetus is utterly un-wonderful. It would have us deny his humanity, but procure his human organs. It would have us look away and refuse to perceive that the one on whom we gaze is a human person. And insofar as we do avert our gaze, we participate in the banal business of destroying human beings.”

Grieving Cecil…and South Sudan by Fr. James Martin: “I wonder if we feel the same revulsion over deaths that do not receive as much coverage. We need not look too far from Cecil, for example, just a few countries north, in South Sudan. Over the past four years, since it declared its independence from Sudan, the country has descended into violence, leaving millions of people dead and, according to some estimates, half the population in danger of starving. And, as several commentators have pointed out, South Sudan is, in a sense, our ‘foster child,’ with Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama playing key roles in encouraging its independence.”

The Gift of Millennials: Some Addenda by Timothy O’Malley: “Millennials thus are not simply responsible for transforming the Church. Rather, they require their own evangelization. Millennials need to perceive again the value of a sacramental and institutional religious faith, grounded in the incarnation. They need to see alternative forms of human flourishing, which are not linked to market economies. They need to encounter an understanding of marriage in which commitment is perceived as gift rather than something to be run away from. Parishes are presently set up not so much as missions to those on the margins but as locations where it is expected that you come to the parish if you’re interested. Parishes need to experiment with ways of inviting millennials into parish life not through the structures of parish life alone but through person-to-person evangelization in the context of work and social life alike.  If parishes continue to wait around for millennials to show up, it is likely that millennials will become (at least among church-goers) the lost generation.”

The case for raising the alcohol tax, in one paragraph by German Lopez: “America has an alcohol problem — and some public health experts say the country is very much in need of an intervention. In the US, alcohol abuse causes 88,000 deaths each year, is linked to 40 percent of violent crimes, and led to more than 4.6 million emergency room visits in 2010. But what should that intervention look like? A new review of the research from David Roodman, senior adviser for the Open Philanthropy Project, makes a case for a higher alcohol tax.”

How the Planned Parenthood videos set off a renewed wave of activism on abortion by Sarah Pulliam Bailey: “The last time the issue fueled antiabortion activists to a similar degree was probably in 2011, when Kermit Gosnell, a Pennsylvania doctor who performed abortions, was charged with eight counts of murder. At the time, the issue sparked a renewed debate over abortion, but many argued that Gosnell’s was an unusual case. This time around, the antiabortion movement, which is mostly made up of policy groups, activists, pregnancy centers and religious groups, are all focusing their efforts on defunding Planned Parenthood.”

The Francis Factor: How Will The Pope Influence The 2016 Election? by John Gehring: “Pope Francis is making new again what is ancient wisdom about the common good at a time when our politics and culture are often defined by a libertarianism on both the right and left. The pope taps into a deeper hunger for community and solidarity that goes beyond self-interest. This has implications for core values that must frame our political and policy debates. Voters and candidates can’t ignore the pope’s insistence that addressing climate change, honoring the dignity of work, protecting the sanctity of life and building an economy of inclusion are all moral obligations.”

The real Matt Foley remembers his friend Chris Farley by Melissa Silverberg: “Matt Foley the motivational speaker lived in a van down by the river. The real Matt Foley — the one Chris Farley named his iconic “”Saturday Night Live”” character after — is head pastor at St. James Catholic Church in Arlington Heights and still misses his good friend, Chris.”