The Catholic Liberal Case for Sanctioning Pro-choice Politicians

Monday, February 9, 2009 \AM\.\Mon\.

I was talking with a good friend who is both a faithful Catholic and a principled progressive the other day, and she said something which (sometimes feeling mildly guilty about how politically convenient calls to sanction pro-choice Catholic politicians are for me) I had not thought of before.

“I think the bishops are partly to blame,” she said, in regards to the difficulties pro-life Democrats have in getting elected. “There are so many fears of seeming like shills for the Republicans that pro-life and pro-choice Catholic Democrats get treated much the same.”

I’d never thought of this, but really: what a slap in the face. If you’ve taken the politically difficult stand of being a pro-life Catholic Democrat in the historically Catholic-heavy regions like New England or the upper mid-west, and the Church leadership treats your candidacy exactly the same as the pro-choice Catholic incumbant you’re running against, how much incentive is there to take the courageous stand?

And so we end up with this kind of situation.


Blogging in the Grudge-o-sphere

Monday, February 9, 2009 \AM\.\Mon\.

In the last four years I’ve learned a great deal about a host of topics, including my Catholic Faith, while blogging, reading other people’s blogs, and participating in comment box discussions. And yet there are some notable dangers that come with blogging as well.

A few months ago, I did myself no great credit in a combox discussion on a friend’s post. Someone against whom I carried paper left a comment I disagreed with, and rather than sticking with a basic refutation I went all out: questioned motives, brought up old arguments, put words in his mouth, the works. An hour or two later I got an email from my friend. “Wow. Next time tell us what you really think…”

But I knew I was right. I hit reply and was pouring out the reason I’d been 100% justified in behaving that way at 70wpm. A year and a half ago, this other blogger and said such-and-such. And when I’d pointed out his obvious errors, he’d said that. And then there was that other time. And remember when over on that other guy’s blog he’s said this in the comments? And…

I took a moment to stare at the paragraphs I’d written and realized this would sound a lot more appropriate coming out of my six-year-old as an explanation for why she’d hit another kid than coming out of a thirty-year-old man who fancies himself intellectual.

As bloggers we sometimes live by the word in rather the same way that a duelist lived by the sword. And slights which, when explained to anyone else, would immediately sound small and petty, fester and become long term rivalries.

Given the source of my recent embarrassment, I’ve tried to make it a rule to think how I would feel writing an explanation of my behavior in any given conversation to a disinterested party. Given my pride, this is a strong incentive to charity, or at least calmness. Naytheless, the temptation remains. I suspect that it is a built in feature (or bug) in an avocation such as blogging.

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[Source]


Lincoln, the Constitution and Catholics

Monday, February 9, 2009 \AM\.\Mon\.

bishop-francis-patricks-response-to-the-may-riot-in-1844-in-philadelphia

In the 1840s America was beset by a wave of anti-Catholic riots.  An especially violent one occurred in Philadelphia on May 6-8.  These riots laid the seeds for a powerful anti-Catholic movement which became embodied in the years to come in the aptly named Know-Nothing movement.  To many American politicians Catholic-bashing seemed the path to electoral success.

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Iudicium for 2-9-2009 AD

Monday, February 9, 2009 \AM\.\Mon\.

Salvete AC readers!…

…when my Internet Explorer 8.0 browser is downloading one of my favorite websites, InsideCatholic.com, I notice it takes twice as long as most other websites to download.  Is it because there is a lot code that is being downloaded?  Does anyone else experience this same situation?…

…speaking of browsers, The American Catholic looks pretty neat on the Apple Safari 3.2 browser…

…came across a great tool to search for Catholic bookstores across the U.S.  It’s called Catholic Store Finder

…has anyone noticed that the homepage for New Advent has changed formats yet again?  It looks simple, spiffy, and sharp.  I like the layout and how the news is displayed.  Kevin Knight has done a pretty good job of transforming what seemed to be a passing hobby into a great Catholic news portal to complement PewSitter.com

…I enjoy watching the sci-fi series firefly and I have discovered that Firefox 3.0 is twice as fast, if not faster, at downloading streaming video than Internet Explorer 8.0 when viewing the series on Hulu

…if you still haven’t gotten your fix on Catholic news click here