Around the Web

Check out these recent articles from around the web:

Face the Bitter Truth by George Packer: “Tens of millions of Americans love MAGA more than they love democracy. After four years of lawbreaking and norm-busting, there can be no illusions about President Donald Trump. His first term culminated in an open effort to sabotage the legitimacy of the election and prevent Americans from voting. His rallies in the final week of the campaign were red-drenched festivals of mass hate, autocratic self-absorption, and boredom, without a glimmer of a better future on offer—and they might have put Trump over the top in Florida and elsewhere. Even as “freedom-loving people” came out in unprecedented millions to vote, their readiness to throw away their republican institutions along with their dignity and grasp of facts suggests that many Americans have lost the basic qualities that the Founders believed essential to self-government. There is no obvious way to reverse this decline, which shows signs of infecting elements of the other side as well.”

The wrong people are in charge of protecting our children from sexual abuse by J.D. Long-García: “With the publishing of the McCarrick report, we undoubtedly learned that the church still has a lot of work to do regarding sexual abuse. These lessons are long overdue. Yes, we do need lay supervisory boards. And yes, we need transparency. And yes, we need accountability and recompense. But as a layperson, and as a father, I cannot continue to make myself dependent on ordained men. Not for this.”

The boy who assaulted me watched porn since he was 7. Can the Eucharist help us fight this evil? by Ashleen Menchaca-Bagnulo: “We have to realize that we cannot consume images without them changing our appetites and prospects for a good life, individually and collectively—whether we are the consumers or the consumed. And once a culture’s desires are shaped into darker forms, it is very difficult to return from that, to relearn what we should long for and to restructure our relationships, norms and expectations accordingly.”

What Did the Democrats Win? Michael Tomasky : “The election demonstrated, more intensely than any other before, that Americans inhabit two different moral universes. In our personal lives, we may share broadly similar ideas about what constitutes right and wrong: how to raise children, how to be responsible friends and family members. But on political matters, we see two opposite realities.”

A Dangerous Bishop by Mike Lewis: “In many cases, Pope Francis’s decision to remain silent over an outspoken critic or rogue bishop has been justified. In the case of Bishop Strickland, however, decisive action is, arguably, long overdue. First of all, as a diocesan bishop, he has the authority to impose obligations on the faithful. Unlike retired or sidelined dissenting bishops like Cardinal Raymond Burke, there are everyday Catholics under his authority. There is a real danger that he may put their physical and spiritual health at risk. Secondly, his influence is growing. Ignoring him appears to only have emboldened him. Popular Catholic apostolates like Catholic Answers and associations have given him global platforms. His invitation to address the Napa Conference suggests that he has backers among wealthy and influential Catholics.”

Working It Out by Katie Daniels: “Millennials joined the workforce during the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression; we’re deeply in debt (an estimated $37,000 per debtor); and we live with a sense that to get into college, find “good” jobs, and maintain our value in society, we need to be, as Jia Tolentino puts it, “always optimizing.” Little wonder we’re so tired.”

No one talks about how difficult breastfeeding is. That’s hurting all moms. by Stephanie Murray: “Kristin Tully, a breastfeeding and infant-sleep expert at the Center for Maternal and Infant Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, says a better understanding of the varying challenges nursing mothers face could help foster more empathetic and supportive environments.”

Europe’s Highest Court Gives Its Approval to Attempts to Outlaw Jewish and Muslim Life by Yair Rosenberg: “This is how anti-Semitism, among other bigotries, has often operated: as cost-free virtue signaling that enables the majority to claim that it cares about a moral problem, while scapegoating minorities for it and never sacrificing anything themselves.”

The Bronx vs. Manhattan by David Leonhardt: “For Democrats to do better with the working class, they probably need to moderate their liberal image on social issues — and double down on economic populism.”

I’m a Catholic who’s struggled with eating disorders. You aren’t alone if you do, too. by Vanesa Zuleta Goldberg: “I had hoped to find solace in my faith as a teenager, but I quickly learned that even faithful Catholics believed the concept “your body is a temple” meant “your body is a temple if you are a size 4, have thin arms, and thighs that don’t touch.” As I grew older, this same message was tangled up in the women’s talks I heard at conferences and retreats, in the speakers who were chosen to speak at those events and in the narrow way Catholic women around me talked about “body positivity.””


Around the Web

Check out these recent articles from around the web:

The New Integralists by Timothy Troutner: “The book should alert a complacent Catholic theological establishment that ideas once thought dead and buried are resurgent. Integralism clearly breaks with Vatican II’s teaching on religious liberty and expresses a commitment to the political disenfranchisement (or worse) of women, sexual minorities, and non-Catholics. That might tempt some to dismiss the book as hopelessly “illiberal” or “outdated,” confident that others will react with the same justified horror—a response that Bouyer anticipated. “Such a reaction is no threat to us,” he imagined these skeptics saying about integralism. “It has become impossible.” But he insisted that this attitude only plays into the hands of reactionaries. It leaves their claims to represent Catholic tradition unchallenged, and it ignores the appeal integralism has to younger Catholics searching for meaning amid the shallowness of modern life. Instead, integralism can only be defeated on theological grounds—by offering a deeper, more expansive narrative of Catholic political thought to counter integralism’s bold but unjustified claims to authenticity.”

Deep State, Deep Church: How QAnon and Trumpism Have Infected the Catholic Church: “Donald Trump has pinned his 2020 hopes, in part, on dissident Catholics who view the church as compromised, the pope as an unorthodox interloper, and their theology as not just compatible with, but spiritual backbone for conspiracy theories like QAnon. What happens after Tuesday, in the Church and in this country, in some ways will mirror this battle.”

Even If Trump Loses, Republicans’ Authoritarian Ambitions Will Live On by Jonathan Chait: “The 2020 election is the first presidential contest since perhaps 1864 in which the principal question is democracy itself. The reelection of Donald Trump, unlikely but terrifyingly possible, would hasten America’s evolution into an oligarchy along the lines of Hungary, Turkey, and Russia, whose illiberal leaders Trump admires and who are, in some cases, working to help him secure a second term….In its original form, the GOP was a radical anti-slavery party, but it abandoned its progressive impulses and has evolved into a wildly reactionary and increasingly authoritarian formation.”

What the election is telling us about the church in this country by Michael Sean Winters: “This election is teaching us all a great deal about our neighbors and their political preferences, about the fragility of our democracy when faced with foreign threats and domestic demagoguery, and about where our democracy is downright sick; for example: the Electoral College. The election is also teaching us all a great deal about our church and how corrupted our own theology of political life has become.”

Catholic encounters with Muslims frame ‘Fratelli tutti’ by Jordan Denari Duffner: “Just days into his papacy, Pope Francis announced that dialogue with Muslims would be one of the priorities of his pontificate. Since then, he has visited numerous majority-Muslim countries, met with Muslim families and leaders, spoken prophetically of the need for Catholics to treat Muslims — particularly those who are migrants — with respect, and performed meaningful gestures that speak to the church’s esteem for Muslims declared at the Second Vatican Council. Though his newest encyclical, Fratelli Tutti, never once mentions the words “Islam” or “Muslims,” it is part of the broader legacy that Francis will leave the church on Catholic-Muslim relations, as well as interreligious relations more broadly.”

I testified against Colorado’s extreme abortion law. We deserve better. by Anna Keating: “I didn’t want to explain to them that in Colorado, babies of the same gestational age, who in one part of the hospital would be receiving round-the-clock care from a team of highly trained professionals, could in another part of the hospital be killed without pain medication, simply because they are unwanted or have a disability or because their life, like any of our lives, might be shorter than others.”

What the Church Owes Families by Annie Selak: “The joy of the family cannot be the joy of the Church if employees of Catholic organizations are unsupported in family life. Catholic schools, parishes, nonprofits, and even the Church hierarchy have the potential to model what truly pro-family paid leave might look like—one that goes beyond complying with our current inadequate national policy.”

How my obsession with being different prevented me from being myself by Stephanie Murray: “There is, of course, a real danger in the pressure to conform, and it is good that we encourage children to resist it for the sake of self-acceptance. But if Merton is correct, focusing too much energy on proving to the world that they are different from everyone else can distract them from that very goal.”

The American ‘way of life’ is unsustainable for so many. Is it time to build radical forms of community? by Emma Green: “But the pandemic has also revealed the extent to which a good life felt elusive for countless Americans far before any of us had heard of Covid-19. This is not just a matter of money or resources. In my reporting, I constantly find evidence that Americans feel isolated and unmoored from their communities, unsure of their place in the world.”

Teens Did Surprisingly Well in Quarantine by Jean Twenge: “Surprisingly, teens’ mental health did not collectively suffer during the pandemic when the two surveys are compared. The percentage of teens who were depressed or lonely was actually lower in 2020 than in 2018, and the percentage who were unhappy or dissatisfied with life was only slightly higher.”

Seeing beyond Roe by Julia Hejduk: “For all the money, time, and energy expended on limiting abortion access, the reality is that women have the ability to procure chemical abortions whether or not they are legal, and that ability will only increase as time goes on. This means we need to be far more intentional about reducing the demand for abortion, even as we continue to work to restrict the supply.”


Around the Web

Check out these recent articles from around the web:

Disdain for the Less Educated Is the Last Acceptable Prejudice by Michael Sandel: “Building a politics around the idea that a college degree is a precondition for dignified work and social esteem has a corrosive effect on democratic life. It devalues the contributions of those without a diploma, fuels prejudice against less-educated members of society, effectively excludes most working people from elective government and provokes political backlash.”

How Climate Migration Will Reshape America by Abrahm Lustgarten: “Might Americans finally be waking up to how climate is about to transform their lives? And if so — if a great domestic relocation might be in the offing — was it possible to project where we might go? To answer these questions, I interviewed more than four dozen experts: economists and demographers, climate scientists and insurance executives, architects and urban planners, and I mapped out the danger zones that will close in on Americans over the next 30 years.”

Why Does California Have So Many Wildfires? by Kendra Pierre-Louis and John Schwartz: “But while California’s climate has always been fire prone, the link between climate change and bigger fires is inextricable. “This climate-change connection is straightforward: warmer temperatures dry out fuels. In areas with abundant and very dry fuels, all you need is a spark,” he said.”

Abortion isn’t the only issue on the presidential ballot by Michael Gerson: “For some, treating the 2020 election as a referendum on abortion is a way to live with Trump’s moral ugliness. If there is only one issue on the ballot, then only one policy position counts, not Trump’s character as a man and a leader. This has the virtue of simplicity and the drawback of complicity in grave wrongs.”

As repression mounts, China under Xi Jinping feels increasingly like North Korea by Anna Fifield: “Over the past four years, the Chinese government has detained more than 1 million Uighurs in reeducation camps designed to strip them of their culture, language and religion. They’ve had to shave their beards and uncover their hair. They’ve been made to pledge allegiance to the Chinese Communist Party. Children have been taken from their parents and put into orphanages.”

Biden must fix Obama’s biggest foreign policy failure by Josh Rogin: “There are no easy answers in Syria, but letting Assad off the hook will not bring peace or keep us safe. Biden’s promise to use U.S. leadership and leverage to force better outcomes there is the correct one to make — and the Syrian people’s only hope.”

Colleges Are Fueling the Pandemic in a Classic Market Failure by  Sarah Cohodes and Susan Dynarski: “Competitive, free markets work when individuals and institutions pursuing their own interests converge, making everyone best off. In the case of colleges reopening, self-interested action has instead led to a predictable market failure: fueling viral spread.”

The Integralism of Adrian Vermeule by Jason Blakely: “Vermeule’s plan for regime change at home, however, is not just practically dubious, a recipe for destructive ideological crusading. It relies on premises that often clash with the Church’s basic theological and philosophical precepts.”

What Trump’s Environmental Rollbacks Mean for Global Warming by Nadja Popovich and Brad Plumer: “President Trump has made dismantling federal climate policies a centerpiece of his administration. A new analysis from the Rhodium Group finds those rollbacks add up to a lot more planet-warming emissions.”

Trump, Orbán, and Putin Are Forming an Authoritarian Alliance by Jonathan Chait: “What draws these leaders and their regimes to Trump is a shared contempt for liberal democracy. Putin, Orbán, Duda, and Trump all rose to power in democratic systems and have turned them toward authoritarianism. They are joined in a common project to discredit liberal democracy.”


Around the Web

Check out these recent articles from around the web:

Air pollution is much worse than we thought by David Roberts: “The evidence is now clear enough that it can be stated unequivocally: It would be worth freeing ourselves from fossil fuels even if global warming didn’t exist. Especially now that clean energy has gotten so cheap, the air quality benefits alone are enough to pay for the energy transition.”

This Is Inequity at the Boiling Point by Somini Sengupta: “Extreme heat is not a future risk. It’s now. It endangers human health, food production and the fate of entire economies. And it’s worst for those at the bottom of the economic ladder in their societies.”

It’s not just about abortion: What ‘pro-life’ means for Catholics in the 2020 election by John Gehring: “Trump’s Catholic allies working to reduce Catholic identity to a single issue are out of step with the church’s long-standing approach to politics and the common good. Though claiming to defend the faith — and even questioning Biden’s — they have traded centuries of church wisdom that challenges both parties’ ideological preferences for raw election-cycle tactics.”

Real Life Horror Stories From the World of Pandemic Motherhood by Joan Williams: “This crisis should help us finally recognize that mothers are raising the next generation of citizens; motherhood is not a private frolic like hang gliding. In June, Senator Cory Booker introduced legislation that would, in a simple and straightforward way, protect all mothers — and fathers, and other family caregivers — from employment discrimination. That’s long overdue but we need much more.”

A suburban Catholic school teacher was fired after refusing to return to class due to COVID-19. Others teachers are demanding Catholic schools go remote. by Javonte Anderson and Sophie Sherry: “Standing outside of the archdiocese office, a new group calling itself Arch Teachers for a Safe Return decried the school system’s decision to proceed with in-person learning despite growing COVID-19 cases. “We believe that the archdiocese is putting people in danger,” said the Rev. C.J. Hawking, of Arise Chicago, an interfaith workers rights group.”

5 Ways You Can Participate in Social Change by Eric Clayton: “A simple truth guides the way people of faith approach injustice: We are called to protect — and prioritize — the most vulnerable. Why? Because, as God’s children, we know that we all belong to one another. That’s why we can boldly proclaim that Black lives matter — Black folks are most vulnerable to police brutality and systemic racism. That’s why we refuse to discard the elderly in a false choice between reopening the economy and protecting our grandparents.”

Pandemic creates lifesaving ripple effects amid devastating loss by Carmen Paun: “It’s hard to find a silver lining amid a coronavirus pandemic that has brought unprecedented death and economic devastation across the globe. But some researchers say they are seeing one positive development come out of the health crisis, thanks to policy experiments that would have been impossible in normal times. New policies aimed at combating health threats ranging from excessive alcohol consumption to urban air pollution have potentially long-term implications, researchers say, long after the world has gotten the pandemic under control.”

Fascism is back. Blame the Internet. by Timothy Snyder: “Despite all the happy talk about connecting people, the Internet has not spread liberty around the world. On the contrary, the world is less free, in part because of the Web.”

Heat, Smoke and Covid Are Battering the Workers Who Feed America by Somini Sengupta: “Summer days are hotter than they were a century ago in the already scorching San Joaquin Valley; the nights, when the body would normally cool down, are warming faster. Heat waves are more frequent. And across the state, fires have burned over a million acres in less than two weeks. One recent scientific paper concluded that climate change had doubled the frequency of extreme fire weather days since the 1980s.”


Around the Web

Check out these recent articles from around the web:

The Dictator Who Waged War on Darfur Is Gone, but the Killing Goes On by Declan Walsh: “But while the revolution brought some change to Sudan’s cities, that is not the case in Darfur, where the notorious janjaweed — nomadic Arab militias — still ride free. Heavily armed gangs continue to massacre, plunder and rape in scorched-earth tactics that recall the worst days of Mr. al-Bashir’s rule.”

The Great Climate Migration by Abrahm Lustgarten: “According to a pathbreaking recent study in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the planet could see a greater temperature increase in the next 50 years than it did in the last 6,000 years combined. By 2070, the kind of extremely hot zones, like in the Sahara, that now cover less than 1 percent of the earth’s land surface could cover nearly a fifth of the land, potentially placing one of every three people alive outside the climate niche where humans have thrived for thousands of years. Many will dig in, suffering through heat, hunger and political chaos, but others will be forced to move on.”

Immigrants and the American Dream by Chris Arnade: “They still put their personal desires second to longer term social connections, including family, faith, and local community. The result is they maintain strong communities centered around the church social, the backyard bbq, the sports league, and other things not connected to career building.”

William Barr, nation’s top lawyer, is a culture warrior Catholic by John Gehring: “Douglas Laycock, a prominent scholar of religious liberty law at the University of Virginia who has argued for both same-sex marriage and the rights of religious objectors before the U.S. Supreme Court, questions Barr’s commitment to religious liberty at all. “He clearly cares about conservative Christians and protecting their liberty. He is at best less concerned with the religious liberty of everybody else,” Laycock said, noting that such an attitude is not rare in the United States today.”

How Trump and Biden are courting Catholic voters by Michael O’Loughlin: “Some Democrats are urging their party to soften its stance on abortion to send a signal to pro-life voters that they are an important constituency. The Democrats for Life of America sent a letter to Democratic Party officials on July 24, asking them to “embrace policies that protect both women and children” as they draft their platform, in the hopes that some pro-life voters who are unsettled by Mr. Trump might be more comfortable voting for Mr. Biden.”

Held back by Dana Stevens: “After putting our lives on hold for what, by the time school starts, will be nearly half a year, parents and teachers are now in the position of fighting tooth and nail for an outcome we never wanted. Most of us are resigned to go back to the hell of online learning, because the only alternative our leaders have left us with is even worse.”

The Trump Administration Is Reversing 100 Environmental Rules. Here’s the Full List. by NY Times: “After three years in office, the Trump administration has dismantled most of the major climate and environmental policies the president promised to undo.”

A Quarter of Bangladesh Is Flooded. Millions Have Lost Everything. by  Somini Sengupta and Julfikar Ali Manik: “Torrential rains have submerged at least a quarter of Bangladesh, washing away the few things that count as assets for some of the world’s poorest people — their goats and chickens, houses of mud and tin, sacks of rice stored for the lean season.”

Contemplating creation through the lens of a wildlife camera by Nick Ripatrazone: “The photos and short videos offer moments of shared contemplation and awe in response to God’s creations—a daily reminder that the world is more than humans alone and that we can appreciate wildlife without harming or bothering them. It’s a daily devotional that we hope will cultivate a sense of wonder in our daughters.”

Raising the Coronavirus Generation by Sandi Villarreal: “Schools, neighborhood associations, churches—these could be the places where we gather to mourn what we lost, but also to reimagine what comes next.”


Around the Web: Articles on Racial Justice and Reform

Check out these recent articles from around the web on racism, racial justice, and reform:

The Fullest Look Yet at the Racial Inequity of Coronavirus by NY Times: “Latino and African-American residents of the United States have been three times as likely to become infected as their white neighbors, according to the new data, which provides detailed characteristics of 640,000 infections detected in nearly 1,000 U.S. counties. And Black and Latino people have been nearly twice as likely to die from the virus as white people, the data shows.”

Toward a Catholic Understanding of the Phrase “Black Lives Matter by Fr. Matthew Hawkins: “If a person understands the history and circumstances that have given rise to this cry, then they will not misinterpret it, they will not feel threatened by it, and they will not feel excluded from it. Properly understood, “Black Lives Matter” is an expression of fundamental Catholic values of family, community, universality, life, and faith.”

Racist Litter by Randall Kennedy: “Acting strictly along party lines in states it controls, the Republican Party – which has increasingly become the white man’s party – enacts legislation that makes it more difficult for certain sectors of the population to register to vote. Asserting that such laws are required to stem fraud (a claim that has been repeatedly discredited), the Republicans impose new requirements that invariably and invidiously disqualify racial minorities in disproportionate numbers.”

Racism and resilience: An overview of Catholic African American history by Katie Scott: “Such painful experiences are echoed by generations of Black Catholics in Oregon and across the country. Some individuals have a handful of stories, others an extensive list. Each story is part of a long history of racism in the wider culture and the church.”

The real stakes in the David Shor saga by Matthew Yglesias: “People with unsound views are able to get operatives fired and render them unhirable. They’re able to shut down discussions on listservs meant for tactical discussions. And most of all, they create an environment where lots of people feel they need to watch their words very carefully. There is a genuine ongoing dialogue about whether claims made on behalf of racial justice should be subject to critical scrutiny.”

How partisanship is ‘weakening the Gospel witness’ in America by Sister Theresa Aletheia Noble: “Sadly, I can honestly say that I learned more about racism in my time as a punk rock atheist than I ever did as a Catholic. And while my personal story is unique to me, unfortunately, my experience’s broad brush strokes are far from rare among Christians in this country. In many congregations, parishes and homes around the United States, a partisan presentation of the faith is ever-present.”

Bryan Stevenson on how America can heal: “In the 250 years of enslavement in which Black people endured being kidnapped, put in chains, brutalized, mistreated, abused, raped — there was daily humiliation and degradation, the violence of slavery. That kind of abuse and mistreatment finally ends in 1865 after the Civil War, after the ratification of the 13th Amendment. And instead of seeking revenge or retribution or violence against those who had enslaved them, emancipated Black people said, We’re going to make peace here. We’re going to make community here. We’re going to commit to education. We’re going to commit to voting. We’re going to become ideal American citizens.When you think about all of the brutality and violence and abuse that Black people suffered and they still were willing to live in harmony with those who had abused them, it says something remarkable about the power of “we.” They believed in an America and they got no credit for that.”

The Dehumanizing Condescension of White Fragility by John McWhorter: “Despite the sincere intentions of its author, the book diminishes Black people in the name of dignifying us. This is unintentional, of course, like the racism DiAngelo sees in all whites. Still, the book is pernicious because of the authority that its author has been granted over the way innocent readers think.”

John Lewis’s Last Journey by Randall Kennedy: “Third, Lewis displayed a wonderful, empathetic, plainspoken cosmopolitanism. Attuned to the aspirations of African Americans, Lewis was also sensitive to the yearnings of others. A lifelong apostle of Rev. King, Lewis faithfully followed the teaching of his hero in embracing universal brotherhood and sisterhood. He eschewed tribal narcissism and embraced coalition politics. He was the most praiseworthy American activist-politician of his generation, a veritable fountain of instruction and inspiration.”

Black lives matter in the worshipping church by Kim Harris: “Black Catholic women know the view of the world from under and on the cross. It is in response to these experiences that our African traditions, our African American practices, our deep relationship with Jesus, our Black ways of being and doing manifest in cries, hums, moans, rocking, patting our feet and lifting our hands. We bring our wholly functioning, fully active and participating selves to the church as example and as gift.”

America’s Enduring Caste System by Isabel Wilkerson: “Caste is rigid and deep; race is fluid and superficial, subject to periodic redefinition to meet the needs of the dominant caste in what is now the United States. While the requirements to qualify as white have changed over the centuries, the fact of a dominant caste has remained constant from its inception — whoever fit the definition of white, at whatever point in history, was granted the legal rights and privileges of the dominant caste. Perhaps more critical and tragic, at the other end of the ladder, the subordinated caste, too, has been fixed from the beginning as the psychological floor beneath which all other castes cannot fall.”


Around the Web

Check out these recent articles from around the web:

‘Cries for help’: Drug overdoses are soaring during the coronavirus pandemic by William Wan and Heather Long: “Suspected overdoses nationally — not all of them fatal — jumped 18 percent in March compared with last year, 29 percent in April and 42 percent in May, according to the Overdose Detection Mapping Application Program, a federal initiative that collects data from ambulance teams, hospitals and police. In some jurisdictions, such as Milwaukee County, dispatch calls for overdoses have increased more than 50 percent.”

Should We Be Drinking Less? by Anahad O’Connor: “If accepted, the new recommendation would make the United States the latest country to issue stricter guidelines on alcohol consumption. In recent years, Britain, Australia, France and other countries have issued new guidelines lowering their recommended limits on daily and weekly alcohol intake. Health authorities in those countries have said that recent evidence suggests consuming less alcohol is safer and that even one drink a day increases cancer risk.”

America’s child care problem is an economic problem by Anna North: “Experts have been warning for months that this pandemic would cause an unprecedented child care crisis in the United States, a country whose system for caring for children was already severely lacking before the public health emergency began. But policymakers devoted little attention to the problem, and for months this spring, parents were left to figure out, largely on their own, how to do their jobs with schools and day cares closed.”

How the American Worker Got Fleeced by Josh Eidelson and Christopher Cannon: “Long before the pandemic, U.S. workers’ productivity and their median pay, which once rose in tandem, went through an acrimonious divorce. Compensation, especially in some of the country’s fastest-growing industries, has stagnated, while the costs of housing, health care, and education decidedly have not.”

In the Covid-19 Economy, You Can Have a Kid or a Job. You Can’t Have Both. by Deb Perelman: “Let me say the quiet part loud: In the Covid-19 economy, you’re allowed only a kid or a job. Why isn’t anyone talking about this? Why are we not hearing a primal scream so deafening that no plodding policy can be implemented without addressing the people buried by it?”

Is Hamilton a “Bootstraps” Story? by Amber Lapp: “Hard work that is not undergirded by a strong public system will reap fewer rewards than effort unaided. A truly just American system will not expect that individuals rise up by sheer dint of thrift and effort alone, but acknowledge that personal responsibility must be matched by public responsibility.”

As the U.S. Exports Coronavirus, Trump Is Blaming Mexicans by Antonio De Loera-Brust: “Since the beginning of his administration’s abysmal response to COVID-19, U.S. President Donald Trump has cast about for someone else to blame for the devastation the pandemic has wrought. It was only a matter of time before he returned to his favorite scapegoat: Mexicans.”

Not everything happens for a reason, says Kate Bowler by US Catholic: “At age 35, Bowler, now an associate professor at Duke Divinity School, had landed a tenure-track teaching position, married, and given birth to a son. By any prosperity preacher’s standards, she was blessed. Then she was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. While never considering herself a believer in the prosperity gospel, this experience made her realize how deeply engrained the idea of a divine reward system is in American mentalities. Bowler chronicles her experience of navigating intense suffering and the people who try to explain it in her New York Times bestselling memoir, Everything Happens for a Reason: And Other Lies I’ve Loved (Random House). She also hosts a podcast, Everything Happens, where she explores how to speak about suffering.”

Bishop McElroy’s hopeful vision for a church transformed by MSW: “This short homily puts the lie to the idea that the church in this country is on its last legs, prostrate under the weight of its own self-inflicted wounds or threatened by a hostile secularism. The text breathes a confidence in the Lord that is quite distinct from the programmatic, managerial or neo-evangelical and individualistic approaches some U.S. Catholics advocate.”