Daily Links: Pressing Questions Edition

Where is Jesus’ foreskin?  Listen to David Farley discuss An Irreverent Curiosity: In Search of the Church’s Strangest Relic in Italy’s Oddest Town on NPR’s Rick Steve Show.

Does Daddy Know Best?  Ann Pellegrini on the nature of recent attempts to further limit women’s privacy and reproductive choice.

Are imagination and science really at war? An excerpt from Lawrence Lipking’s “Facts and Dreams” at The New Republic:

To some extent the so-called conflict seems bogus. A benevolent reading of Blake’s proverb [What is now proved was once, only imagined” from The Marriage of Heaven and Hell] might reduce it to common sense, or to a maxim that any scientist might follow in applying for a grant to test an idea. No idea, no funding; no imagined Higgs boson, no CERN. In this respect the hypothetical construct that drives attempts to prove or disprove it is not the opposite of science but its prime mover. Imagination and proof couple together as tightly as mind and body, or as Blake’s visions and the books that he makes with his hands. Great scientists are visionaries, too.

Can Romney break the Hoover Curse?

Is Obama the Devil?  Ok, ok.  Is he anti-religion?  Social conservative Steve Chapman writes at Reason, that Obama hasn’t been all that bad for faith-based organizations, critiques that he’s anti-religious freedom be damned.

Can a woman be feminist and pro-life?

How much money does the state of Indiana give to “family values” organization Indiana Family Institute each year?  Andy Kopsa does the accounting at Nuvo.

What’s so funny about the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia’s recent Fatwa?  Paul Mutter tracks journalist Hamza Kashgari’s extradition for tweeting about Muhammad.

What happens when a Catholic hospital merges with a non-denominational one?

What is informed consent?  Governor Bob McDonnell, who opposes Virginia’s mandate that all women seeking an abortion be given a sonogram (often requiring an invasive procedure), still loses points for allowing that such information is “informed consent.”  McDonnell said, “Mandating an invasive procedure in order to give informed consent is not a proper role for the state.”  Sure enough.  But don’t we think pregnant women know they’re pregnant?  How much information must patients be given?  How can the state determine when a patient really understands the procedure they face?  How can a doctor?  These questions are asked and answered all the time.  Check out Thaddeus Pope’s recent notes on a “futile care” case in Canada. Continue Reading →

Conscience With a Mission

In the wake of the November excommunication and demotion of Arizona hospital administrator Sister Margaret McBride, for approving an emergency termination of a pregnancy to save a woman’s life, the ACLU has sent a letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), a division of Kathleen Sebelius’ Department of Health and Human Services.  The letter requests that two laws, not subject to provider refusal clauses — so-called “conscience clauses” — be enforced at denominational health facilities or that non-compliant facilities should lose their Medicare and Medicaid funding. Continue Reading →