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News > Politics

Gloomy Conservatives:The right wing is properly blaming itself for the fix it’s in

“Why, I heard people ask again and again, had the [Christian] leaders not led? Why, if they had as much influence as everyone supposed they did, had they brought us still one more time to the point where everyone had to rehash the rights and the wrongs of voting for ‘the lesser of two evils’? …I have no doubt the leaders of the religious right will be unified in their opposition to this fall's Democratic candidate. I have grave doubts whether those same leaders will any time soon be able to offer credible credentials for positive endorsements of almost any kind.” READ MORE >


News > World

The Mideast’s epitaphs of death and the duty to remember

"I think it is our duty as Christians, whether lay people or clergymen, to have the courage to remember history under any latitude in order to promote reconciliation and build it on more solid foundations... I wish to remember what happened in the streets of Beirut in 1982 when Italy's Bersaglieri force arrived following the massacres in the Palestinian refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila. Colonel Franco Angioni, who was in command of our soldiers at the time, asked Shia Muslim and Phalangist Christian leaders to order their men not to go around armed in the area under Italian control. The leaders of the various factions refused. A few days later Angioni had a group of Phalangist militiamen arrested and disarmed. News about what happened spread immediately, especially in Shia and Sunni areas. 'Italian soldiers have arrested Phalangists, Christians,' Muslims said. 'They did it even though they too are Christian; these soldiers tell the truth; they don't want to disarm us to favour our adversaries.' After this episode, filled with tension and disbelief, Shia militiamen and Phalangists stopped showing their weapons in those parts of Beirut under Italian control. That early action kept the peace for some time..." READ MORE >


News > Issues

Catholic College Leaders Expect Pope to Deliver Stern Message

"School presidents insist that truth-seeking is part of their institutional purpose. 'Every university is committed to the pursuit of truth,' said Georgetown President John J. DeGioia, 'and we want to ensure that there is the opportunity for both academic freedom and for the free exchange of ideas and opinions across all issues.' But David Gibson, the author of a Benedict biography, said the pope will ask, 'If you're not going to be an authentically Catholic, orthodox institution, why should you exist?'" READ MORE >

(1) COMMENT  |  TOPICS:    education | orthodoxy

News > Faith

An interview with Chris Hedges: “I don’t believe in atheists”

"…Not believing in sin is very dangerous. I think both the Christian right and the New Atheists in essence don't believe in their own sin, because they externalize evil. Evil is always something out there that can be eradicated. For the New Atheists, it's the irrational religious hordes. I mean, Sam Harris, at the end of his first book, asks us to consider a nuclear first strike on the Arab world. Both Hitchens and Harris defend the use of torture. Of course, they're great supporters of preemptive war, and I don't think this is accidental…" READ MORE >


News > Issues

The Wire’s War on the Drug War

"Jury nullification is American dissent, as old and as heralded as the 1735 trial of John Peter Zenger, who was acquitted of seditious libel against the royal governor of New York, and absent a government capable of repairing injustices, it is legitimate protest. If some few episodes of a television entertainment have caused others to reflect on the war zones we have created in our cities and the human beings stranded there, we ask that those people might also consider their conscience. And when the lawyers or the judge or your fellow jurors seek explanation, think for a moment on Bubbles or Bodie or Wallace. And remember that the lives being held in the balance aren't fictional." READ MORE >

(0) COMMENTS  |  TOPICS:    courts | drugs | poverty | thewire

News > Life

Recovering a Sense of Women’s Dignity

"During the late 20th century feminists had a golden opportunity -- not easily recreated -- to address women's needs in the world. As the decades passed, it became clear these women were too easily derailed by the "dream of power," too disdainful of God to reach ordinary folk, too fearful of acknowledging common sense, and too willing even to harm the vulnerable, notably through abortion. As a result, their organized influence waned tremendously. The longing for women's equality and dignity lives on, but more in the hearts of individual women than in a larger group likely more capable of demanding some of the structural changes women need." READ MORE >

(0) COMMENTS  |  TOPICS:    dignity | feminism | john paul ii | women

News > Issues

Is abortion for sex selection on its way out?

"Two and a half billion people live in China or India. That's eight times the population of the United States and more than one-third of the world's total. But it's less than it would have been by hundreds of millions of people, thanks in part to two brutal practices: a Chinese limit of one child per family and widespread abortions of unborn Indian girls. Those practices may be on the way out..." READ MORE >

(0) COMMENTS  |  TOPICS:    abortion | china | india | sex selection

News > World

Admiral William Fox: The Man Between War and Peace

"...while Admiral Fallon's boss, President George W. Bush, regularly trash-talks his way to World War III and his administration casually casts Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as this century's Hitler (a crown it has awarded once before, to deadly effect), it's left to Fallon--and apparently Fallon alone--to argue that, as he told Al Jazeera last fall: 'This constant drumbeat of conflict . . . is not helpful and not useful. I expect that there will be no war, and that is what we ought to be working for. We ought to try to do our utmost to create different conditions.' What America needs, Fallon says, is a 'combination of strength and willingness to engage.'" READ MORE >

(0) COMMENTS  |  TOPICS:    iran | middle east | war | william fallon

News > World

Rum & Coke: One-woman show explodes the myth of Castro’s Cuba

“The play was Carmen Peláez’ retort to the fascination with Che T-shirts, solidarity tours to Cuba and the endless praise of the revolution’s twin pillars of health and education… ‘The image is one of the defender of the oppressed and defender of just causes… People who understand the Cuban reality know it is not like that. It is not something they would want for themselves or their own country. Or, they are opportunists who use Cuba as a symbol knowing full well what is happening.’” READ MORE >

(0) COMMENTS  |  TOPICS:    castro | communism | cuba

News > Science/Tech

Is John McCain reconsidering his Stem Cell position?

The moral issues at stake are far from simple, to be sure, but Senator McCain’s rationalization of embryo-destructive research is nonetheless simply wrong... In November 2007, two teams of researchers ... successfully transformed normal human skin cells into what appears to be the functional equivalent of embryonic stem cells, without the need for embryos... Asked by a voter in late January if the new advances might cause him to reconsider his stand on President Bush’s stem cell funding policy, Senator McCain replied, 'I have not changed my position yet.' It is time he did." READ MORE >


Reviews > Movies

Board Game:  Gus Van Sant’s latest experiment works

Board Game:  Gus Van Sant’s latest experiment works “The book is linear and psychological and even invokes Dostoyevsky—Notes From the Underground… and, by implication, Crime and Punishment. Van Sant dumps Dostoyevsky and ruptures the story line; his narrator, Alex, apologizes for screwing up the order of events… Alienation, guilt—it’s all free-floating, as if Camus had reworked Poe’s ‘The Tell-Tale Heart.”’ READ MORE >

(0) COMMENTS  |  TOPICS:    gus van sant | teens

News > Faith

Trials of the Saints

“Catholics should welcome the Vatican’s insistence on increased rigor in its saint-making guidelines. The redoubled commitment to an impartial judging of a saint’s life demonstrates that the church does not 'create' saints as much as it simply recognizes them. Likewise, its renewed reminders that, for the church, miracles are serious scientific business, may make it more difficult for agnostics and atheists to disbelieve. And easier for believers to believe. “ READ MORE >


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