Abu Daoud Writes the Pope

And let's hope His Holiness gets around to reading it: The first reform I suggest is regarding Holy Scripture. One of the most recurrent themes in conversion narratives of Muslims is the reading of the Bible. Yet how many hundreds of thousands of emigrants live throughout the West without access to the bible in their …

We Are Our Own Worst Enemy

From this fascinating analysis by Walter Russell Mead on China and the U.S.: Over the long term, what American policy makers need to remember (and what I fear too many have forgotten in both parties over the last couple of decades) is that America’s international standing and security ultimately depend on health of our domestic …

The Prosperity of the 1990's May Well Have Been Borrowed

Let's start with this statement about the "lost decade" of the 2000's: From 2000 through 2009, the Census Bureau found, the median income (measured in inflation-adjusted dollars) declined by 5 percent for white families, 8 percent for Hispanic families, and more than 11 percent for African-American families. That's almost unimaginable over an entire decade. From …

Blessing the Animals, and Must the Rector Search Committee Have Its Own Chaplain?

I still don't get this: Two congregations will celebrate the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi with a blessing of the animals. The Episcopal Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea invites pets and their owners to the celebration Oct. 3. The procession into the church will begin at 8:45 a.m., with the service starting at 9 a.m. Coffee …

Charity vs. Justice Work: The Difference Is Important

The Lead, quoting William Sloane Coffin, puts the question clearly: Had I but one wish for the churches of America I think it would be that they come to see the difference between charity and justice. Charity is a matter of personal attributes; justice, a matter of public policy. Charity seeks to eliminate the effects …

Bill Ayers is Denied Emeritus Status: There Are a Few Who Do Remember

This is amazing, in many ways: In a very unusual move, University of Illinois trustees Thursday denied giving emeritus status to controversial retired professor William Ayers. The vote, at a U. of I. board meeting in Urbana, was unanimous and came after a passionate speech by board chair Christopher Kennedy, who invoked the 1968 assassination …

Killing the American Dream was the Whole Point

Velma Hart and others needn't have asked: "Quite frankly, I'm exhausted," Velma Hart said, looking the leader of the free world in the eye. "I'm exhausted of defending you, defending your administration, defending the mantle of change that I voted for, and deeply disappointed with where we are right now." There was more. "I have …

Every King is Proclaimed by Soldiers

This is the seventh in a sporadic series on the Catechetical Lectures of St. Cyril of Jerusalem.  The previous post was The Difference Between Image and Likeness in Genesis. In the midst of his exposition on the passion, crucifixion and burial of Jesus Christ, Cyril makes the following statement: But the soldiers who crowd around …

The Relationship Between Public Works and the Birthrate

In the middle of his lengthy article about America's "One-Child Policy," Jonathan Last makes an interesting observation: Finally, we could address the dirt gap—the underlying cost of land, which drives the cost of living and gives rise to the dramatic differences in fertility we see across the country. People often make decisions on where to …

The Saudis Have Many Things to Discuss With Our Intelligence Chiefs

There's no reason to be shocked by this: Saudi King Abdullah and security czar Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz have held talks with top intelligence and counter-terror officials from the United States and Canada, the SPA news agency reported. John Brennan, assistant to US President Barack Obama for homeland security and counter-terrorism, discussed in Jeddah …

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