Around the Web

Check out these recent articles from around the web:

Truth and Truthiness by Patrick Manning: “If we want our students to seek Christ with their whole selves, we must engage them in the fullness of their being—heart, mind and will. St. Augustine long ago offered a formula for doing just this: delight the heart, instruct the mind, persuade the will. Stephen Colbert has demonstrated that this formula is still effective in our own time.”

The Art of Presence by David Brooks: “We have a tendency, especially in an achievement-oriented culture, to want to solve problems and repair brokenness — to propose, plan, fix, interpret, explain and solve. But what seems to be needed here is the art of presence — to perform tasks without trying to control or alter the elemental situation.”

I Have Seen the Future of the Republican Party, and It Is George W. Bush by Jonathan Chait: “A Republican Party that reprises the Bush era was a grim and unfathomable prospect in 2008, and is not exactly palatable now. But in the wake of the party’s thrall to Ayn Rand and Rand Paul and Paul Ryan, a return to Bushism sounds almost comforting.”

Number of Darfur’s Displaced Surged in 2013 by NY Times: “An estimated 400,000 people fled violence afflicting the Darfur region of Sudan last year, more than the number of those displaced in the previous two years combined, the top United Nations peacekeeping official said Thursday in an appraisal that suggested the decade-old conflict there had taken a turn for the worse.”

The Populist Imperative by Paul Krugman: “A new Pew poll finds an overwhelming majority of Americans — and 45 percent of Republicans! — supporting government action to reduce inequality, with a smaller but still substantial majority favoring taxing the rich to aid the poor. And this is true even though most Americans don’t realize just how unequally wealth really is distributed.”

Silence, Outsider: The Catholic Internet, Donatism, and the Medicine of the Eucharistic Life by Timothy O’Malley: “The Catholic conversation presently operating on the internet tends toward its own self-confident (even prideful) Donatism.   There are communities of Catholics online who stand above the Church and articulate criteria that they believe essential to being Catholic.   They then apply these criteria (apart from the actual, existing Church of bishops and councils and the sensus fidelium) to universities, to parishes, to priests or bishops or popes whom they find do not conform to such criteria.”

Supporting the Euromaidan Movement in Ukraine by Cardinal Timothy Dolan: “We Catholics in the United States cannot let these brave Ukrainians, whose allegiance to their religious convictions has survived ‘dungeon, fire, and sword,’ languish.  They deserve our voices and our prayers.”

What presidents really believe about God by Michael Beschloss: “Lady Bird Johnson told me decades later that her husband had found such comfort in the Catholic Church and ‘Luci’s little monks’ that she had once thought it only a matter of time before LBJ became a converted Catholic himself.”

‘Cold call’ pope strikes again by John Allen: “One more was added to the record Friday, as the Italian paper Corriere della Sera reported that Francis called an Italian woman named Filomena Claps on Monday evening, reaching her at her husband’s bedside in a hospital in the city of Potenza.”

More Imperfect Unions by Ross Douthat: “So one hypothetical middle ground on marriage promotion might involve wage subsidies and modest limits on unilateral divorce, or a jobs program and a second-trimester abortion ban.”

It’s cardinal v. cardinal on divorced and remarried Catholics by John Allen: “A rift has seemingly opened between two cardinals with significant Vatican influence, as the head of the pope’s Council of Cardinals has suggested that the Vatican’s doctrinal czar needs to be more ‘flexible’ in his views on divorced and remarried Catholics.”

Greed Is Not Good: The Social Usefulness of Progressive Public Policy by Charles Reid Jr.: “Progressives must never abandon appeals to fairness and concern for the vulnerable when advocating on behalf of sound public policies. But we must also bear in mind that many in our audience have been conditioned, through years of exposure to appeals that pander to the selfish side of human nature, to ask what a particular policy can do for them.”

A New Gilded Age Threatens The State Of Our Union by Howard Fineman: “Study after study shows that we are in the midst of a new Gilded Age, in which a yawning, gold-plated gap between the richest and the rest of us risks collapsing the American ideal of fair play and democracy itself.”


Around the Web: A Week of Violence and Brutality Around the World

The week was full of articles detailing horrible acts of violence, brutality, and terrorism around the world.

Suicide Attack at Church in Pakistan Kills Dozens by NY Times: “A suicide attack on a historic Christian church in northwestern Pakistan killed at least 78 people on Sunday in one of the deadliest attacks on the Christian minority in Pakistan in years.”

Terrifying Images From A Terrorist Attack At A Mall In Kenya by Rachel Zarrell, Buzzfeed: “Warning: Very graphic images. According to the Red Cross, 68 people have been killed and more than 175 injured in a terrorist attack on an upscale Nairobi mall by al-Shabab, a Somalian militant group.”

Nigerian Islamists kill at least 159 in two attacks by Reuters: “Islamist Boko Haram militants killed 159 people in two roadside attacks in northeast Nigeria this week, officials said, far more than was originally reported and a sign that a four-month-old army offensive has yet to stabilize the region.”

Attacks Kill Scores in Iraq as Violence Surges by AP: “A suicide bomber detonated his explosives-laden car near a funeral tent packed with mourners and another bomber on foot blew himself up nearby in a Shiite part of Baghdad on Saturday, killing at least 72 people and wounding more than 120, officials said.”

The heroes inside Syria by Samer Attar: “The situation in Syria is not just about chemical weapons. It is about the systematic killing of innocents by a tyrannical regime violently lashing out to stay in power.”

The Forgotten Crisis in the Central African Republic by Lewis Mudge: “Little known outside France, its former coloniser, CAR has been bedeviled by the twin curses of poverty and misrule. Its former strongman president, François Bozizé, who took power in a coup in 2003, was overthrown by the Seleka in March this year. Emerging from the remote and impoverished northeast, the Seleka, or “alliance” in the national language, has engaged in widespread abuses.”

On Invoking the Deaths of Children: Where Does the Real “Moral Obscenity” Lie?  by Eric Reeves: “Antonov attacks take place on a virtually daily basis according to multiple Darfuri reports from the ground in Darfur; similar reports come from the Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile. Destruction of wells and villages, the loss of livestock and an unrelenting death and despair — these are the “bombs” the Antonovs drop. And sometimes the children, invisible to us because we choose not to look, or even compel UN observation, are terribly wounded by these bombs. To suggest that their terrors, their pain and agony, their deaths are any less “morally obscene” than gas attacks on children in Syria is a painfully invidious comparison — the more so since in the end, it is politically expedient.”

U.N. Investigator: North Korean Prisons Like Nothing Seen Since Nazi Atrocities by Hayes Brown: “North Koreans forced into prison camps live out an existence unlike any seen since the killing fields of Cambodia or the horrors of World War II, according to the head of a U.N. panel assigned to investigate Pyongyang’s human rights violations.”

D.C. Navy Yard gun attack kills 12, injures 8 by Washington Post: “A gunman killed a dozen people as the workday began at theWashington Navy Yard on Monday, creating an improbable moment of horror at a military facility with armed guards at every gate and leaving investigators seeking clues about what spurred the attack.”


Around the Web

Check out these recent articles from around the web:

A Policy of Rape Continues by Nicholas Kristof: “We’re at the 10-year-anniversary of the beginning of the genocide in Darfur, yet, instead of subsiding, it has been amplified this year. Just in the first five months of 2013, according to the United Nations, another 300,000 people in Darfur have been driven from their homes — and untold numbers killed or raped.”

Pro-Baby, but Stingy With Money to Support Them by Eduardo Porter: “But though American families may have adapted better than others to women’s march into the labor force, the United States lags far behind in providing the government support that makes it easier for many couples to start a family.”

Pope decries ‘dealers of death,’ opposes drug legalization by John Allen: “In his most pointed bit of political commentary since arriving in Brazil two days ago, Pope Francis this afternoon blasted narco-traffickers as ‘dealers of death’ and came out against trends in Latin America towards the legalization of drugs.”

Vatican Radio: Homily at Marian Shrine at Aparecida: “It is true that nowadays, to some extent, everyone, including our young people, feels attracted by the many idols which take the place of God and appear to offer hope: money, success, power, pleasure. Often a growing sense of loneliness and emptiness in the hearts of many people leads them to seek satisfaction in these ephemeral idols.”

What Will Happen to the Other 367,000 Babies Born Monday?  by Amanda Marcotte: “Of the nonroyal 367,000 babies born Monday, UNICEF estimates that 24,000 will probably not live to see their fifth birthday. Most of the 24,000 children under  5 we lose a day around the world die from preventable causes: diarrhea, malaria, neonatal infection, pneumonia, preterm delivery, or lack of oxygen at birth.”

Pope Francis & Springtime by Michael Sean Winters: “It is this quality of Pope Francis, his simplicity, his ability to sense what ordinary people are thinking and feeling and to speak to them in ways that they understand, this is what has created the sense that it is springtime for the Church again. It is his awareness that if you are going to speak about poverty, it is best not to be spotted in a Mercedes, sit on a golden throne, and dress up in Baroque, jewel-laden attire.”

Reweaving the circle of protection by Kathy Saile and Galen Carey: “It’s been more than 140 days since sequestration went into effect, cutting $84 billion across the board from government programs this year. It may be difficult to comprehend the effects of that number. However, it is not difficult to comprehend that a child who is undernourished this year could have learning difficulties for the rest of her life—which will hurt her ability to earn enough money to provide for herself and her future children. It is not difficult to comprehend that a father in South Sudan who needlessly dies from AIDS this year because of reduced access to treatments will leave his family in dire straits. It is not difficult to comprehend that an elderly person on a fixed income in the Midwest will sit hungry and cold in a dingy apartment next winter because of cuts to essential assistance.”

Pope Francis: Arrival Speech in Rio, Vatican Radio: “Our generation will show that it can realize the promise found in each young person when we know how to give them space; how to create the material and spiritual conditions for their full development; how to give them a solid basis on which to build their lives; how to guarantee their safety and their education to be everything they can be; how to pass on to them lasting values that make life worth living; how to give them a transcendent horizon for their thirst for authentic happiness and their creativity for the good; how to give them the legacy of a world worthy of human life; and how to awaken in them their greatest potential as builders of their own destiny, sharing responsibility for the future of everyone.”

Pope Francis to Brazilian Bishops: Are we still a Church capable of warming hearts?: “A relentless process of globalization, an often uncontrolled process of urbanization, have promised great things. Many people have been captivated by the potential of globalization, which of course does contain positive elements. But many also completely overlook its darker side: the loss of a sense of life’s meaning, personal dissolution, a loss of the experience of belonging to any “nest” whatsoever, subtle but relentless violence, the inner fragmentation and breakup of families, loneliness and abandonment, divisions, and the inability to love, to forgive, to understand, the inner poison which makes life a hell, the need for affection because of feelings of inadequacy and unhappiness, the failed attempt to find an answer in drugs, alcohol, and sex, which only become further prisons.”

State Department seeks to broaden religious reach by Elizabeth Tenety, Washington Post: “The State Department announced this week the creation of its first office dedicated to outreach to the global faith community and religious leaders. The project, born in part of recommendations by its working group on religion and foreign policy, will be headed by Shaun Casey, a United Methodist member and professor at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington.”

Why millennials are leaving the church by Rachel Held Evans, CNN Belief Blog: “Having been advertised to our whole lives, we millennials have highly sensitive BS meters, and we’re not easily impressed with consumerism or performances. In fact, I would argue that church-as-performance is just one more thing driving us away from the church…”

Pope Francis: “Go, do not be afraid, and serve”: “Today, in the light of the word of God that we have heard, what is the Lord saying to us? Three simple ideas: Go, do not be afraid, and serve.”


Around the Web

Check out these recent articles from around the web:

McDonalds’ suggested budget for employees shows just how impossible it is to get by on minimum wage by Robyn Pennacchia: “I don’t want to live in any kind of dog-eat-dog Ayn Rand erotic fantasy. Human beings are worth more than that. Anyone who works 40 hours a week (nevermind 74 hours) ought be able to take care of all the basic necessities in life. Corporations shouldn’t be able to pay their workers nothing, keep all of the profits to themselves, and expect taxpayers to make up the difference with social programs. It’s not fair to the workers, and it’s not fair to any of us.”

The Number One Thing we Need to Stop Doing in the Gay Debate by Sacred Tension: “Until we stop invalidating each other’s integrity, we will never have a productive, life-affirming, and Christ centered dialogue about homosexuality. As long as we create a moral caste system and put our supposed opponents one step below us, the gay debate will never be anything more than a war that destroys the church.”

Teens chase kidnapping suspect on bikes, save 5-year-old girl  by CNN: “Two teenage boys are being hailed as heroes after they chased a car carrying a kidnapped girl — on their bicycles.”

Hazel Hammersley, 2-Year-Old Cancer Patient, Gets The Sweetest Pizza Party Of All Time by Huffington Post: “More Reddit users sent pizzas — over 20 pies arrived! Lauren rushed back to the hospital, and the family invited Hazel’s friends to join the SWEETEST PIZZA PARTY EVER.”

America’s One-Child Policy by Brandy Zadrozny, The Daily Beast: “Right here in the U.S., many working-class women are being forced to give up their larger domestic ambitions due to the crippling costs associated with raising a family with more than one child.”

Tobacco Free College Campuses by Dr. Howard K. Koh: “The Tobacco-Free College Campus Initiative, a collaboration between the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the University of Michigan and the American College Health Association, encourages the voluntary adoption of tobacco-free policies at institutions of higher learning across the nation. These policies not only support the many people on college campuses who are trying to quit but also dissuade young adults from starting.”

Dear Jezebel: Real friends don’t count chromosomes by Secular Pro-life: “The solution to people being mistreated is to fight against the mistreatment, not to kill off the people being mistreated.”

Samantha Power, at confirmation hearing, faults U.N. for ‘disgrace’ in Syria by Washington Post: “Samantha Power, the Obama administration’s nominee for U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, told a Senate panel Wednesday that the U.N.’s failure to halt mass killing in Syria is a ‘disgrace that history will judge harshly.’”

When profiling is “reasonable,” injustice becomes excusable by Fr. Bryan Massingale, US Catholic: “You don’t have to wear a hoodie or sagging pants to be perceived as a threat. The very presence of a black man in any space that violates the expectations of those in authority can constitute sufficient probable cause for suspicion and danger.  This is why the verdict of ‘not guilty’ has touched a deep well of resentment, sadness, and horror in many African American men (and in those who love us). For I not only know that if I had a son he could look like Trayvon; I know that I could be Trayvon.”

Interesting Conversation with an Atheist about the Moral Law and You Know Who  by Mark Shea, National Catholic Register: “I and others have been attempting to point out that insofar as her moral commitments have any hope of being universal and transcendent moral imperatives binding all human consciences, and not mere expressions of her subjective preference for cheddar over swiss, she will have to abandon her atheism as wholly incapable of accounting for such transcendent moral imperatives.”

Darfur in 2013 Sounds Awfully Familiar by Nicholas Kristof: “The resumption of mass atrocities in Darfur, after a bit of a lull, has led villagers to flee to this refugee camp, Abgadam, in southeast Chad. It is full of Darfuris who have arrived in recent months after Sudanese government-sponsored militias began a new spasm of murder, rape and pillage against two minority ethnic groups.”