Thursday, May 26, 2005

Short Takes

Today, I have a bunch of short takes on a variety of subjects rather than a long essay. The only thing that links them is that they all caught my eye as I was surfing the net. And I care deeply about all these topics. I hope you will too.

And Moderates Call This a Victory?

Here’s a link to an AFL-CIO website explaining just what’s so bad about Janice Rogers Brown, one of the Bush judicial nominees who will get an up or down vote under the recent Senate compromise on the filibuster.

Not only has she called Social Security the cannibalization of the young by the old seeking free stuff from the government, but she also feels that racial harassment in the work place is a protected activity under the First Amendment. It’s interesting that bigots have rights but victims don’t in Brown’s world. There’s much more, including a useful action that you can take, at this site.

Strange Bedfellows Indeed

And here’s an interesting link to David Brooks’ latest column in the New York Times, in which he suggests an alliance between liberals and Evangelical conservatives. He argues that they are the only two groups that actually care about truly helping the poor and protecting the environment.

I can think of several holes in his argument. Firstly, Republicans, in general, and Evangelicals, specifically, frequently distrust the government to run anti-poverty programs. The Republican and Evangelical answer to the problem of aiding the poor is to have more faith-based private programs. Liberals would prefer secular public programs run by faith-neutral government agencies.

Another question I have is would the Christian Right really be willing to put aside their differences to work with those with whom they have such a strong divergence of opinion on social issues ranging from abortion to stem cell research to birth control? I see a real chasm that both sides would have to work hard to overcome in order to form an alliance. Still, politics has made for some strange bedfellows before.

I remain skeptical, but I’m willing to listen.

In the Catholic Church: Liberals 0, Molesters 1+

And Andrew Sullivan has a piece on Fr. Marciel Macial, the founder of a rightwing Catholic group that originated in Mexico City, called the Legionaries of Christ. Fr. Macial has been accused of molesting young men and the case was before the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, formerly headed by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict the XVI.

The Legionaries of Christ issued a statement that somebody from the Vatican has cleared Fr. Macial of all charges. There is now some confusion over which agency in the vast Vatican bureaucracy issued the letter that seemed to vindicate Fr. Macial. However, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith denies that it was them. But they also stated that at this time they have no plans to bring any action against the aging Mexican founder of the Legionaries.

Here's another link, provided by Andrew Sullivan at his Daily Dish blog, that explains this case more fully.

Let’s see, Fr. Thomas Reese, the editor of the liberal Jesuit publication America, was forced to step down from that magazine and was, in effect, silenced but a possible child molester who spouts the right party line may no longer be subject to investigation? Strange priorities these people have.

And That's All Folks!
I will be a way this weekend. Have a lovely Memorial Day Weekend. May you all have peace and relaxation. Despite the always dire world situation, we all sometimes just need a break to have fun.


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