Around the Web

Check out these recent articles from around the web:

The West’s moral calculi become more fraught as genocide looms and oil prices rise by Michael Sean Winters: “We are facing evil, and we need to resist it. But if that resistance is not marked by moral seriousness, that resistance could perpetuate the violence instead of alleviating it. The brave Ukrainian people will fight on no matter what we in the West do, but we should push ourselves to make sure our solidarity with them is real not just rhetorical.”

Global Public Religions in an Age of Crisis by Patrick Gilger: “On a macro-scale, then, this type of global public religion serves a bridging function, linking together diverse institutional actors into new networks that span civil society, the market, and the state and which have the capacity to imagine and to realize innovative responses to our global crises. And this means that, contrary to the long-held Enlightenment expectation that religion needs to be cordoned off in order to preserve the stability of the secular public, a form of de-privatized religion is already serving as the mortar capable of bonding – without de-differentiating – the divided spheres of our modern world order.”

We’re All Sinners, and Accepting That Is Actually a Good Thing by Tish Harrison Warren: “We aren’t just sinners; we are sinners who can ask for mercy and believe that we can receive it. Living in this posture is what makes forgiveness possible, which is the only thing that makes lasting peace possible. Without a clear sense of right and wrong, we will end up endorsing injustice, cruelty and evil. But without an equally profound vision of grace, we will end up only with condemnation and an endless self-righteous war of “us versus them.””

What conservatives asking for Ketanji Brown Jackson’s test scores are really doing Image without a caption by Christine Emba: “The insistence that there is one specific, quantifiable measure of deservedness for a role like that of a Supreme Court justice foregrounds something that matters not at all — in Carlson’s estimation, Jackson’s long-out-of-date score on a multiple-choice exam — while backgrounding the less quantifiable things that actually do matter, whether specific expertise or the quality of one’s work….It also ignores that grand success such as Jackson’s is a mixture of many components — hard work and talent, yes, but also luck, privilege, support from others.”

It’s ‘Alarming’: Children Are Severely Behind in Reading by Dana Goldstein: “As the pandemic enters its third year, a cluster of new studies now show that about a third of children in the youngest grades are missing reading benchmarks, up significantly from before the pandemic.”

With no political home, ‘seamless garment Catholics’ still hold ‘paramount importance’ by Colleen Sharkey: “The authors contend that SGCs are politically “cross-pressured” because each party represents only part of the Church’s policy positions. And unlike other religious voters, who may be pulled in one direction by their faith and in another direction by their other social ties, the researchers argue that “the cross-pressures that Catholic voters are subjected to are unique because the Catholic Church itself espouses policies that fall on both sides of the political spectrum.””

The Intellectual Catastrophe of Vladimir Putin by Paul Berman: “He concluded that Maidan’s revolution was destined to spread to Moscow and St. Petersburg, if not this year, then next year. So he consulted with the ghosts of Brezhnev, Khrushchev, and Stalin, who referred him to the master thinker, who is Nicholas I. And Nicholas I told Putin that if he failed to invade Ukraine, the Russian state would collapse. It was life or death. Putin might have responded to this advice by coming up with a project to move Russia in a democratic direction and preserve the stability of Russia at the same time. He might have chosen to see in Ukraine the proof that Russian people are, in fact, capable of creating a liberal republic—given that he believes Ukrainians are a subset of the Russian people. He might have taken Ukraine as a model, instead of an enemy—a model for how to construct the resilient state that Russia has always needed. But he lacks the categories of analysis that might allow him to think along those lines. His nationalist doctrine does not look into the future, except to see disasters looming.”

Bannon, Milo, and Other Right-Wing Activists Are Hellbent on Transforming the Catholic Church by Kathryn Joyce: “That relentlessly critical portrayal of the pope doesn’t represent the majority of US Catholics, 82 percent of whom, according to a Pew Research poll, have favorable impressions of Francis. But the negative reporting takes its toll, says Mike Lewis, founder of the moderate Catholic website Where Peter Is, which tracks and rebuts the Catholic right…”

Redlining means 45 million Americans are breathing dirtier air, 50 years after it ended by Darryl Fears: “Decades of federal housing discrimination did not only depress home values, lower job opportunities and spur poverty in communities deemed undesirable because of race. It’s why 45 million Americans are breathing dirtier air today, according to a landmark study released Wednesday.”

Millions of Leftists Are Reposting Kremlin Misinformation by Mistake by David Gilbert: “A Kremlin-backed media outlet masquerading as a left-wing news source has spent the last week racking up likes and shares on its viral content designed to undermine U.S. support for Ukraine.”

Does My Son Know You? by Jonathan Tjarks: “Human beings aren’t supposed to go through life as faces in a crowd. It’s like the song from Cheers. Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name.”

Some conservative Catholics’ apologies for Putin reveal fascist sympathies by Michael Sean Winters: “First Things’ columnist Sohrab Ahmari did not embarrass himself on television, but on Twitter. He was quick to repeat Putin’s talking points as the invasion unfolded. “No more NATO expansion. Period,” he tweeted. “Stop this foolish liberal-hegemonic dream that puts ordinary people in harm’s way.” Of course, the Ukrainians had not been put in harm’s way by NATO, but by Putin.”