Monday, May 4, 2015

As Pope Francis's Encyclical on Environment Nears, Attempts by Big Oil to Subvert It: Recent Commentary

As various news sources are reporting that Pope Francis's encyclical on the environment will be published next month, there's interesting reporting and commentary about the attempt of right-wing groups funded by big oil interests in the U.S. to subvert the encyclical — even before it has been published and before anyone really knows what it's going to say. Here's Garry Wills' take on this situation in New York Review of Books recently:

Quote for Day: Bill Quigley of Loyola Law School to Justices Scalia and Alito — "Have You No Sense of Decency, Sirs?"

From Bill Quigley of Loyola University (New Orleans) Law School, an appeal to the consciences of Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia and Samuel Alito: "Have you no decency, sirs?" Bill points out that the end of the odious Joseph McCarthy's era of red-baiting began when Joseph Welch stood up to McCarthy and asked him (video link), "Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?" As he notes, Scalia and Alito's shameless parrotting of crude right-wing talking points about same-sex marriage at last week's Supreme Court hearing deserves the same response.

A Reader Writes: Chris Morley on Forthcoming Marriage Referendum in Ireland and Response of Catholic Hierarchy

In a comment here this weekend, Chris Morley has kindly posted a report about the forthcoming referendum on marriage equality in Ireland. So that as many readers as possible may take advantage of Chris's report, I'm going to post it as a freestanding posting: Chris writes,

Friday, May 1, 2015

More Things I'm Reading at Week's End: Baltimore, Racism, White Privilege, Recognizing African-American Contributions to American Culture

More stuff I'm reading as this week ends — these resources are about what's happening right now in Baltimore, about the need of white Americans to understand and address racism, about the manifold (and often unacknowledged) contributions of African Americans (including LGBTQ ones) to every facet of American life, etc.

Things I'm Reading at Week's End: Marriage, Bible, Catholics, Women's Rights, Recovering from Religious Trauma, Pope Francis and Women

Things I'm reading as this week ends — these items all connected in that they talk about issues of religion in the public square:

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Peter Isely on the Resignation of Bishop Finn, Abuse Survivors, and Persephone's Pomegranate Seed

A valuable piece of commentary from Peter Isely of SNAP Wisconsin, in his Facebook feed recently, about the resignation of Bishop Robert Finn and the pomegranate seed: Peter notes that the leaders of the Catholic church are divided into two teams, team Benedict and team Francis, one the "traditionalist tough guy" team, the other the "moderate" team. And because teams vie to be winners, making other teams losers, and because winners and losers continuously shift, there's a whole lot of politicking and image-making and face-saving going on.

Why Antonin Scalia Found the Outburst of a Nutcase Shouting about Hell and Abomination at Yesterday's Supreme Court Hearing "Refreshing"

In his commentary in the New Yorker today on the arguments in yesterday's Obergefell v. Hodges Supreme Court hearing about same-sex marriage, Jeffrey Toobin zeroes in on a "shocking, ugly moment" that occurred when a spectator stood up and shouted,