Thursday, July 22, 2010

No time to blog

So here is a roundup of what I've been reading lately:

Here is an article about what the Church owes to converts.

An excellent article on why it is simply slander to call the Tea Party movement racist.

Another on why using the news to legislate is a bad idea.

What I found interesting was how American culture hinders our intelligence gathering.

If history were more like sitcoms, it'd be more believeable. H/T Jimmy Akin

A lengthy essay on our ruling class. (H/T Mark Shea)

A more or less even take on the Shiley Sherod affair. My only addendum is that Fox News reported the story after she was sacked.

And for anyone paying attention this wasn't news, but Palin was the target of a coordinated attack by leading journalists. More fallout from the JournoList fisasco.

Friday, July 16, 2010

On Subsidiarity and Solidarity

I remember sitting in a lovely little church at Port Aransas. My wife and I were enjoying a quick getaway for our anniversary and were attending Saturday Mass. We had not been to reconciliation in a while, so we decided to stop for the sacrament and decided to stay for Mass.

In any event, Mass was about to end and the announcements for the week were given. An elderly gentleman came up to talk about the local food pantry that the local Christian churches were collaborating on. He asked for the customary donations, on the basis that the community needed to help the poor.

Before he ended his talk though, he paused and stopped for a moment. Addressing the vacationers there he said (I paraphrase from memory) that the work of the pantry was the responsibility of the local community. We were free to donate but were not to feel any obligation to do so.

I nearly fell out of the pew. Here at last was to me the perfect synthesis of solidarity - this problem is our community's problem - and subsidiarity - this problem is our community's problem.

Wonder of wonders, the two principles of Catholic Social Justice teaching can work in harmony.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Abortion in PA?

The Catholic blogsphere lit up over the announcement by the NRLC that the HHS has approved a plan that uses the new healthcare bill to fund abortions in a state plan in PA. Jill Stanek has more details as to why this is a concern.

Catholics of a more liberal persuasion accuse NRLC of dishonesty, citing an HHS statement issued about 12 hours after the story broke.

Given that the HHS, according to the PA Insurance Commissioner, approved the plan it would seem one of three things has occurred here:

a. HHS had no idea that this plan had abortion funding as broadly as specified in the PA plan. They issued a clarification that regardless of what the plan says aboriton won't be covered except for the provisions listed (rape, incest).

2. HHS tried to get the plan through and got caught. Now they are retracting.

d. The plan never had provisions for funding in the first place.

I find a. and 2. more likely (a being the front runner). It will be interesting to see if PA revises it's plan after this dustup.

Quality control

Am I the only one who thinks there needs to be more information in posts? Regardless if it is a magazine article or blog post, I find myself increasingly impatient with the lack of detail and charity when engaging with one's opponents.

Take for example Bishop Mccelroy's article regarding Iraq. In particular,

"It may seem strange that anyone would question whether the Catholic tradition
on war and peace proceeds from a moral presumption against war. But that is
precisely the case that articulate and theologically informed Catholic advocates
for the war in Iraq, most ably represented by George Weigel and Michael Novak
have been making during the past four years. They point out that the just-war
tradition was founded as a counterpoint to Christian pacifism and was designed
explicitly to show that war was at times the moral duty of the Christian

I'm famillar enough with Weigel's work to know more about this argument, that it emminates from the idea the the Early Christians saw war as an extension of legitimate force to restore order. In any event I find it difficult because I find this to be an incomplete formulation of Weigel's opinion.

Regardless of what one thinks of Weigel's opinion, I believe that the good bishop should either state the complete opinion of Weigel and/or cite his work before taking on the argument. Otherwise one risks the accusation of setting up a strawman.

Lest anyone think that I am picking on the Bishop, I find this deficiency all the out on the web. I was recently banned from one author's blog for pointing out that his accusation had no supporting evidence.

What do you think? I think it is high time that we demand proof in some posts. Especially if it involves an accusation of ideological opponents. Thoughts?