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We Pay to Keep the Old Out of Poverty. Why Won’t We Do the Same for the Young? by Bryce Covert: “Sending parents more money during a devastating pandemic was a sound way to keep them from free-falling into destitution. But it’s just as sound a policy when there’s no other emergency than our continuing high child poverty rate.”

Dobbs, Accountability and the Shifting Ground Under Roe by Michael Wear: “A world in which pregnancy and family life is seen as a detriment to the workplace will always be a world which is anti-woman. And a world in which abortion is seen as the choice one makes if they really want to advance in their career–that is, the world we have now, and the world which is described and assumed by pro-choice arguments—will always exert coercive and discriminatory pressure on women and their lives.”

This Really Is a Different Pro-Life Movement by Daniel K. Williams: “Thus, as the anti-abortion movement’s political influence shifted away from Catholic states toward evangelical-Protestant regions, it abandoned its earlier calls for federal antipoverty programs, expanded maternal-health insurance, and federally funded day care, and instead focused exclusively on the narrower issue of overturning Roe v. Wade and making abortion illegal.”

We need to talk about pandemic drinking by Leana S. Wen: “A new study from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) finds that alcohol-related deaths in 2020 were so high that, for 16- to 64-year-olds, they exceeded the number of deaths from covid-19. Previously, the average annual increase was a little more than 2 percent; between 2019 and 2020, it skyrocketed to more than 25 percent. The largest rise in mortality occurred for people 35 to 44 years old, though rates of death associated with alcohol increased across all age groups.”

‘It’s Life or Death’: The Mental Health Crisis Among U.S. Teens by NY Times: “The decline in mental health among teenagers was intensified by the Covid pandemic but predated it, spanning racial and ethnic groups, urban and rural areas and the socioeconomic divide. In December, in a rare public advisory, the U.S. surgeon general warned of a “devastating” mental health crisis among adolescents. Numerous hospital and doctor groups have called it a national emergency, citing rising levels of mental illness, a severe shortage of therapists and treatment options, and insufficient research to explain the trend.”

The Holocaust Started With My Great-Uncle’s Murder by Mattie Kahn: “Arthur Kahn is believed to be the first Jewish person killed by the Nazis. I’ve known the story of his death as long as I can remember, but I wanted to learn the story of his life.”

Gun deaths surged during the pandemic’s first year, the C.D.C. reports. by NY Times: “Gun deaths reached the highest number ever recorded in the United States in 2020, the first year of the pandemic, as gun-related homicides surged by 35 percent, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on Tuesday.”

F.D.A. Moves to Ban Sales of Menthol Cigarettes by NY Times: “Public health experts say the proposal could save hundreds of thousands of lives, especially among Black smokers — 85 percent of whom use menthol products.”

This is no way to treat pregnant workers by Dina Bakst: “The United States has no federal law providing workers with an affirmative, clear and effective right to reasonable accommodations for pregnancy, childbirth and related medical needs. This woman’s experience, and those of thousands like her, illustrates the urgent need for such a law — especially when the pandemic has exacerbated the unjust, discriminatory treatment of pregnant workers.”

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Why American Teens Are So Sad by Derek Thompson: “The Internet exposes teenagers not only to supportive friendships but also to bullying, threats, despairing conversations about mental health, and a slurry of unsolvable global problems—a carnival of negativity. Social media places in every teen’s pocket a quantified battle royal for scarce popularity that can displace hours of sleep and makes many teens, especially girls, feel worse about their body and life. Amplify these existing trends with a global pandemic and an unprecedented period of social isolation, and suddenly, the remarkable rise of teenage sadness doesn’t feel all that mysterious, does it?”

Pope Francis says the synod must hear ‘excluded’ voices. These five dioceses are trying. by Brian Fraga: “Diocesan officials, chaplains, social workers, lay ministers, parish leaders and others are listening to people with intellectual and physical disabilities. They are reaching out to those in prisons, homeless shelters, soup kitchens and mobile home communities. Pastors have organized parish listening sessions for LGBTQ parishioners and seasonal farmworkers near the U.S. southern border.”

Amazon Workers on Staten Island Vote to Unionize in Landmark Win for Labor by NY Times: “Workers at the facility voted by a wide margin to form a union, according to results released on Friday, in one of the biggest victories for organized labor in a generation.”

At long last, the U.S. recognizes what the Rohingya already knew by Wai Wai Nu: “On Monday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken officially declared that the U.S. government defines the crimes perpetrated by the Myanmar military against the Rohingya people as a genocide.”

Parents Who Stay Home Should Get Public Child Care Support Too by Matt Bruenig: “As other states take up the child care question in the years ahead, they should opt for a more expansive policy that provides public support to all children, not just those enrolled in formal child care centers.”

The child tax credit was a lifeline. Now some families are falling back into poverty by Sarah McCammon, Lauren Hodges, Sarah Handel: “The payments from the child tax credit were closing the gaps on child hunger and poverty across America. And in the months since they ended, there’s evidence that the families who needed the money the most have already slipped back into financial trouble.”

How I’m Preparing for My Second Season of New Motherhood by Ellen Koneck: “I know now that that interiority and creativity returns. And in my experience, when it returns, it’s better and deeper and richer for having spent so much creative energy on creating and sustaining life rather than working in abstractions.”

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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.”

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Whoopi Goldberg’s American Idea of Race by Adam Serwer: “The Nazi Holocaust in Europe and slavery and Jim Crow in the United States are outgrowths of the same ideology—the belief that human beings can be delineated into categories that share immutable biological traits distinguishing them from one another and determining their potential and behavior. In Europe, with its history of anti-Jewish persecution and violent religious divisions, the conception of Jews as a biological “race” with particular characteristics was used by the Nazis to justify the Holocaust. In the United States, the invention of race was used to justify the institution of chattel slavery, on the basis that Black people were biologically suited to permanent servitude and unfit for the rights the nation’s Founders had proclaimed as universal. The American color line was therefore much more forgiving to European Jews than the divisions of the old country were. But they are branches of the same tree, the biological fiction of race.”

It’s Your Friends Who Break Your Heart by Jennifer Senior: “Yet it’s precisely because of the atomized, customized nature of our lives that we rely on our friends so very much. We are recruiting them into the roles of people who once simply coexisted with us—parents, aunts and uncles, cousins, fellow parishioners, fellow union members, fellow Rotarians. It’s not wholly natural, this business of making our own tribes. And it hardly seems conducive to human thriving.”

Annett’s ‘Cathonomics’ should be required reading in Catholic business schools by Michael Sean Winters: “Economist Anthony Annett has delivered a book that should be required reading not only for those of us who have long been interested in Catholic social doctrine, but for anyone who is serious about bringing their Catholic faith to bear on decisions relating to public life. Cathonomics: How Catholic Tradition Can Create a More Just Economy should especially find its way onto the required reading list at every Catholic business school.”

Deleted Tweets Reveal a Progressive Group’s Ukraine Meltdown by William Bredderman: “A self-styled “institution of progressive popular education” founded by a former U.S. senator and backed by top left-of-center intellectuals and leaders spent the days and weeks ahead of the bloody Russian assault on Ukraine pumping out misinformation, experts say. Now it is desperately attempting to backtrack, in part by deleting tweets.”

What Putin Fears Most by Robert Person and Michael McFaul: “Putin may dislike NATO expansion, but he is not genuinely frightened by it. Russia has the largest army in Europe, now much more capable after two decades of lavish spending. NATO is a defensive alliance. It has never attacked the Soviet Union or Russia, and it never will. Putin knows that. But Putin is threatened by a successful democracy in Ukraine. He cannot tolerate a successful, flourishing, and democratic Ukraine on his borders, especially if the Ukrainian people also begin to prosper economically. That undermines the Kremlin’s own regime stability and proposed rationale for autocratic state leadership. Just as Putin cannot allow the will of the Russian people to guide Russia’s future, he cannot allow the people of Ukraine, who have a shared culture and history, to choose the prosperous, independent, and free future that they have voted for and fought for.”

Patriarch Kirill and Vladimir Putin’s Two Wars by Sergei Chapnin: “Patriarch Kirill is not ready to defend his flock—neither the people of Ukraine nor the people of Russia—against Putin’s aggressive regime. Human suffering is not one of his priorities.”

Paul Farmer Invented a New Way of Caring for One Another by Ashish K. Jha: “Paul inspired generations of medical and public-health students and practitioners to reach beyond their self-imposed limitations and do more.”

4 lessons for a post-Roe world from Fannie Lou Hamer: a pro-life, civil rights icon by Chris Crawford: “Fannie Lou Hamer continued to fight so passionately for the right to vote because she understood that voting was fundamental to the protection of all of the other rights. All the issues for which we advocate, including the right to life, rely upon free and fair elections and a democracy that serves the will of the people. Pro-life leaders should strongly oppose voter suppression and efforts to subvert the results of free and fair elections. Even if we do not like the results of an election, the pro-life movement should not give cover to false claims of voter fraud or otherwise sow doubt about accurate results. The just ends of legal protection of unborn children should not be sought through means that would undermine our democratic republic.”

The Five-Day Workweek Is Dying by Derek Thompson: “Americans really, really don’t want to go back to the office, and we are just beginning to feel the repercussions.”

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The Systemic Realities Created by Legal Abortion by Tish Harrison Warren: “Instead of building the equality of women on our actual flourishing, we as a culture predicate gender equality on a technological intervention that denies what female bodies actually are and what they do.”

How pro-lifers should approach the economics of abortion by Patrick Brown: “As the pro-life movement contemplates the potential end of the Roe v. Wade regime, it runs the risk of being caught flat-footed. There is no point in waiting for the court’s decision this summer. The work of advancing public policy that seeks to make abortion not just illegal, but unthinkable, can — and must — begin today.”

Cash Aid to Poor Mothers Increases Brain Activity in Babies, Study Finds by Jason DeParle: “A study that provided poor mothers with cash stipends for the first year of their children’s lives appears to have changed the babies’ brain activity in ways associated with stronger cognitive development, a finding with potential implications for safety net policy.”

Survey of Americans Who Attempted Suicide Finds Many Aren’t Getting Care by Ellen Barry: “Suicide attempts in the United States showed a “substantial and alarming increase” over the last decade, but one number remained the same, a new study has found: Year in and year out, about 40 percent of people who had recently tried suicide said they were not receiving mental health services.”

How Do You Respond When an Anti-Vaxxer Dies of Covid? by James Martin: “Don’t find another person’s misery the subject of mirth, glee or satisfaction. Doing so is mean. It’s immoral. And one day you may be the unfortunate one.”

We should pray for peace in Ukraine — and avoid the moral danger of being a bystander by MSW: “Whatever policies President Biden and other Western leaders decide to pursue, I hope they will remain mindful of Snyder’s astute moral warning. I hope they will recognize the moral danger of being a bystander.”

California might expand abortion funding. What about help for mothers who carry to term? by Maria Valencia, Gina Vides, Maria Martinez-Mont: “The $61 million additional abortion funding in the governor’s budget solves none of the reproductive justice issues we see. It leaves a woman still housing insecure, or poor, or in an abusive relationship, or unsupported in some other fashion. These recommendations target poor Black and Brown women, many of whom don’t want an abortion. According to the most recent Gallup poll in May, the majority of low-income people identify as pro-life, and according to a new Knights of Columbus/Marist poll, 68 percent of Latinos and African Americans support restrictions on abortion.”

The Rising Human Cost of Sports Betting by Kurt Streeter: “The bitter truth of addiction is obscured by the smarmy ads and compromising relationships, and yet federal oversight is downright nonexistent.”

Catholics and the Fascist Temptation by Daniel Rober: “One of the key pillars of the post-1945 world order was the “never again” sensibility—that the fascist movements that brought about World War II and its horrors could not be allowed to return. The church’s embrace of religious freedom and opening to other religions (especially Judaism) at Vatican II was in part a response to that moment and the horrors that preceded it. We owe it to the architects of the Council, many of whom were involved in the resistance to fascism, to resist it again.”

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Your Bubble is Not the Culture by Yair Rosenberg: “Many cultural critics live in an unrepresentative internet bubble. Much of the current divergence between elite discourse and popular preference can be reduced to a simple heuristic: Most critics are on Twitter; most consumers are not. If you examine the coverage proclaiming the end of Harry Potter or Lin-Manuel Miranda, or castigating any other wildly successful cultural product or personality, you’ll quickly spot a pattern: The only evidence they tend to cite is an assortment of tweets.”

How to think about war in Ukraine by Timothy Snyder: “An invasion of Ukraine would be a horror for Ukrainians, who have done nothing to provoke it.  Ukraine has about fourteen thousand war dead and about two million internal refugees from the last Russian invasion, and the suffering this time would be much worse.  The forces that Russia has deployed are capable of a terrifying level of destruction.  But invading Ukraine would also be an incredibly stupid move by Russia, and more than a few Russians are aware of this.  It would probably feel a lot like the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979: seemingly successful at first, then system-destroying after a few years.”

How Men Burn Out by Jonathan Malesic: “If we want to end burnout, we have to address the problem for men as well as women. And to address men’s burnout in particular, we have to acknowledge that consciously or not, our society still largely equates masculinity with being a stoical wage earner. Not all men view themselves this way, and even men who don’t are still susceptible to burnout. But research shows that men and women tend to undergo burnout differently. The signature patterns in male burnout each reflect an enduring breadwinner ethos that does not serve men well.”

How the Pandemic Could Finally End the Mommy Wars by Stephanie Murray: “In the midst of this cultural awakening, it became increasingly clear that policies that support working mothers were long overdue. At the same time, the challenges of stay-at-home motherhood got more visibility. It became harder to deny that caring for children is work, even when it’s unpaid. That the very same conflict between domestic responsibilities and employment that makes life miserable for mothers in the labor force has been pushing others out of it for decades. And that belittling those domestic responsibilities only gives employers and public policymakers license to ignore rather than accommodate them.”

America’s Anti-Democratic Movement by David Leonhardt: “All of which has created a remarkable possibility: In the 2024 presidential election, Republican officials in at least one state may overturn a legitimate election result, citing fraud that does not exist, and award the state’s electoral votes to the Republican nominee. Trump tried to use this tactic in 2020, but local officials rebuffed him. Since then, his supporters have launched a campaign — with the Orwellian name “Stop the Steal” — to ensure success next time.”

Arrests, Beatings and Secret Prayers: Inside the Persecution of India’s Christians by Jeffrey Gettleman and Suhasini Raj: “In the past few years, Mr. Modi and his Hindu nationalist party have tugged India far to the right, away from what many Indians see as the multicultural foundation Nehru built. The rising attacks on Christians, who make up about 2 percent of the population, are part of a broader shift in India, in which minorities feel less safe.”

When They Warn of Rare Disorders, These Prenatal Tests Are Usually Wrong by Sarah Kliff and Aatish Bhatia: “The tests initially looked for Down syndrome and worked very well. But as manufacturers tried to outsell each other, they began offering additional screenings for increasingly rare conditions. The grave predictions made by those newer tests are usually wrong, an examination by The New York Times has found.”

My daughter was a gay Catholic who died by suicide. Here’s how the church must protect LGBTQ+ Catholics. by Joyce Calvo: “Nix told her not to tell anyone, especially her parents, who he believed would affirm her identity. Instead, he invited her to meet with him regularly. He gave her disturbing articles vilifying gay people and asked her to share intimate personal details about her sexual feelings. He insisted she could change her orientation. And that this would make her worthy to be a nun.”

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The Facebook Papers: ‘History Will Not Judge Us Kindly’ by Adrienne LaFrance: “Thousands of pages of internal documents offer the clearest picture yet of how Facebook endangers American democracy—and show that the company’s own employees know it.”

Going Gray by Susan Bigelow Reynolds: “Death was doing its thing on the world. The hair was my own memento mori, a cross of ashes threaded onto my body. Reminders of death’s nearness were everywhere, and they were almost uniformly terrifying. But these slivers of gray forecasted my someday-death in a different voice: they felt beautiful, familiar, like the whisper of a confidant.”

Where are Hawley’s real ideas for fixing American manhood? by Christine Emba: “A real man is a husband and father, Hawley says, and the United States needs men who will “raise up sons and daughters after them.” Okay. If you’re interested, senator, there’s a fight for paid parental leave — for mothers and fathers — going on in Congress right now. Paid leave seems like an obvious policy choice to help American men become more present to their families. Oddly, it seems to be garnering support only from the very liberals you inveigh against. If conservatives care about the family, maybe they should try supporting it.”

US bishops lost about how to engage a culture they don’t understand by Michael Sean Winters: “These most American of prelates want “success” but success is not a category we find in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In America, it is the shepherds who are the most lost of all.”

I Grew Up Poor. How Am I Supposed to Raise My Middle-Class Kids? by Esau McCaulley: “Still, I can teach my children the most important lesson my mother taught me: Our circumstances do not determine our worth. My kids are not in some ontologically different category than poor kids. If they are ever tempted to look down upon others, I remind them to see the face of their father on the visages of the poor.”

If This Country Won’t Listen to Moms, I’m Asking Men to Start Shouting by Jessica Grose: “Matthews believes we can increase the salience of paid leave for men and for more conservative voters by elevating new narratives. Many people tune out these new-mom stories (which is why I’m so full of rage right now), but if we want to be savvy about getting support for this issue, we should start telling stories like the ones Matthews heard from rural men when she was conducting focus groups.”

Five Ways to Exercise Your Thankfulness Muscles by Tish Harrison Warren: “This posture of receptiveness — living as the thankful beneficiary of gifts — is the path of joy because it reminds us that we do not have to be the makers and sustainers of our life. Gratitude is how we embrace beauty without clutching it so tightly that we strangle it.”

When I Stopped Drinking, I Started Running. God Found Me. by José Dueño Gorbea, SJ: “It had become more than a social pastime and was affecting my sleep, mood, work and relationships. It became clear to me in prayer that alcohol was hindering my life. Soon after I stopped drinking, I realized I needed a new activity to distract me, release some energy, and fill in the time that I would have spent otherwise. I decided to pick up running.”

Self-Sufficiency Is Overrated by Sarah Wildman: “Covid isolation — from which we are gingerly emerging but have not quite escaped — has shown us the limits of our cherished self-sufficiency. Alone, disconnected from one another, we are not actually fine.”