Thought-Provoking Reads, vol. 6

Bill McCormick, S.J., America, “Bannon and Feinstein remind us that anti-Catholic bigotry is a bipartisan problem”:

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Images: Catholic News Service, Flickr, iStock

You cannot make this stuff up. Completely unplanned, two figures as different as Steve Bannon and Dianne Feinstein—a Trump-supporting Breitbart writer and a progressive California hero—inadvertently teamed up to remind Catholics that anti-Catholic bigotry is alive and well in both political parties.

Catholics often argue about which party better represents the Gospel. Have that argument if you like, but do not forget the bigger picture: Neither party can be the home of the Catholic voter. You might vote with a party, you might support parts of its platform, you might donate money and time to it, but you are never really home there. It can never be where you belong, where you discover who you are, what you most deeply care about and what you should do with your gifts for the world.

Bishop Robert Barron, Word on Fire, “Charlottesville and America’s Original Sin”:

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For me, it was weirdly fitting that its most recent manifestation would be in Charlottesville, Virginia, where, twenty years ago, I had so vividly seen the moral contradiction at the heart of American history. Thomas Jefferson’s principle that “all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights” came face to face, on the streets of Charlottesville, with representatives of the most nefarious ideology of hatred and racial superiority.

Christina Dehan Jaloway, The Evangelista, “The Waiting Is the Cross”:

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During those years, basically from 21 to 31, I wasn’t actually waiting. I was grasping and clawing and trying desperately to make things happen for myself. I was trying to turn stones into bread. I was trying to be my own god.

My prayer for each of you here is that you will allow God to expand your heart as you wait–no matter what it is you’re waiting for. I pray that you can learn to really, truly trust that He wants to give you everything you need, and that He will. I pray that you can be consoled by the fact that ultimately, we are all waiting for heaven–and that our wait won’t be over until death. And I pray that we can all believe that while it is true that we are always living in a sort of existential Advent, the Lord is first of all waiting for us.

The Editorial Board, Wall Street Journal, “Democrats and ‘Dogma'”:

This questioning is part of a broader effort on the left to disqualify people with strong religious views from the public square. Ms. Feinstein’s smear about Ms. Barrett’s “dogma” dovetails with the left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center’s effort to label any outfit that doesn’t go along with its agenda a “hate group.”…

As for judges imposing dogma over the law, it’s worth noting that not all dogmas are religious. Democratic interest groups are explicit in demanding that Democratic judicial nominees be committed to overturning Citizens United‘s defense of free speech while brooking no modification in Roe v. Wade.

John Nolte, Daily Wire, “Speaking Of Nazis… Iceland Is ‘Disappearing’ Down Syndrome Children”:

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Thomas Cooper / Getty Images

The CBS News headline makes it sound as though a medical miracle has been found: Inside the Country Where Down Syndrome is Disappearing. Imagine that! Imagine science finding a way to “disappear” Down syndrome. This is fantastic news coming out of Iceland.

How was this accomplished, you ask? Was it through the wonders of DNA research, the miracle of genetic science?

Sorry, no.

Iceland is “disappearing” Down syndrome the old-fashioned way. Murder.

…Let’s be very clear about what this is — literal eugenics, not on paper, not in theory, but eugenics in practice. To “eradicate” the undesirable and inconvenient, Iceland is using science as a weapon of genocide against a specific group of human beings.

Simcha Fisher, “We’re on an LDS migration route, and it’s kind of awesome”:

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Image: Versageek via Flickr (Creative Commons)

It’s a complicated thing. Catholics have their own “family issues” to work out, as we struggle with ideas of papal infallibility, the authority of bishops, private revelation, and so on. We do need faith, and not just reason. We do need to put ourselves in the hands of people we trust. But you will never hear a good Catholic say, “Don’t ask that question about our Faith.” You will never hear a true Catholic say, “Don’t read that book about another faith.” You will never hear a Father of the Church say, “God isn’t interested in revealing the truth to someone like you.” And you will never hear God say, “You people stink. I’m leaving for several centuries, so good luck without me.”

Meg Hunter-Kilmer, Held By His Pierced Hands, “What the Saints Did in the Face of Racism”:

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We can talk some other time about the use of the word privilege, but right now I just need you to know that your privilege is a currency that you can spend on yourself or on others. If you have the ability to ignore this situation and you do, that is privilege spent on yourself. If you have the ability to ignore this situation and you choose instead to speak, to fight, to donate, to pray until your knees are bruised, that is privilege spent on the marginalized.

That’s what the Saints did.

Bishop Robert Barron, Word on Fire, “Pro-Life AND Social Justice”:

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There seems to be a divide in the Catholic Church between so-called “pro-life” Catholics and so-called “social justice” Catholics. Where did this come from? How do we heal this split? (The answer? Go to Mass!)

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, “USCCB President, Vice President And Committee Chairmen Denounce Administration’s Decision To End DACA And Strongly Urge Congress To Find Legislative Solution”:

The cancellation of the DACA program is reprehensible. It causes unnecessary fear for DACA youth and their families. These youth entered the U.S. as minors and often know America as their only home. The Catholic Church has long watched with pride and admiration as DACA youth live out their daily lives with hope and a determination to flourish and contribute to society: continuing to work and provide for their families, continuing to serve in the military, and continuing to receive an education. Now, after months of anxiety and fear about their futures, these brave young people face deportation. This decision is unacceptable and does not reflect who we are as Americans.

Clementine Ford, Sydney Morning Herald, “Why most grand romantic gestures are anything but romantic”:

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Back then, Chu wrote, “The overall problem is one of a culture where instead of seeing women as, you know, people, protagonists of their own stories just like we are of ours, men are taught that women are things to ‘earn’, to ‘win’. That if we try hard enough and persist long enough, we’ll get the girl in the end. Like life is a video game and women, like money and status, are just part of the reward we get for doing well.”

Kristen Howerton, Rage Against the Minivan, “The false equivalency between the alt-right and Black Lives Matter”:

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In a press conference that stunned the nation, two days ago our president made comparisons between self-described neo-nazis and those who protest against white supremacy, saying that there is fault on both sides and implying that there is an alt-left that is just as bad. Since then, his supporters (and Fox News) have worked hard to create a false equivalency between the white supremacist march and the protests and marches of Black Lives Matter. This is a horribly dangerous and irresponsible narrative.

Jenny Uebbing, Mama Needs Coffee, “Eradicating people, not disease”:

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This is a dangerous path we’re treading down. Dangerous for what it signifies in terms of worth, value, and human rights, and dangerous for what it says about a society willing to blithely accept the lie that only certain “kinds” of human persons are valuable, are acceptable, are worth having around….

Until we embrace the value of every human life: frail, fallible, weak, unwanted, unreliable and ultimately straight up mortal, same as the rest of us….we will continue to reap the whirlwind of violence and social unrest.

John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., Notre Dame News, “Statement by Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., president of the University of Notre Dame”:

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A decision to discontinue DACA would be foolish, cruel and un-American. Foolish because it drives away talented people the country needs; cruel because it abandons people who have done nothing wrong and have known life only in the United States; and un-American because we have always welcomed immigrants to our land of opportunity.


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