Daily Links: What Social Contract? Edition

Jim Davis on the death of a predatory priest. Amy Levin on liberalism and feminism. The Immanent Frame’s fantastic “Politics of Religious Freedom” series. Catholics roll up their sleeves over a Wendell Berry lecture. Hasidic Jews trying to stay out of court. Rowan Williams on the blood market. Continue Reading →

Enter the Dragon: How Al Gore, the U.N., Earth First!, and an Episcopalian Bishop are All in Cahoots… with Satan

by Jack Downey

In 1964, Richard Hofstadter published a rather enduring essay in Harper’s Magazine that succeeded, if nothing else, in accomplishing what most (egomaniacal) writers only fantasize about: he coined a new phrase that had legs, and has proved a valuable addition to our intellectual lexicon.1 “The Paranoid Style in American Politics” investigated the social psychology behind the contemporary rise of the anti-intellectual “Radical Right,” and witnessed profound similarities between his allegedly secular subjects – although the distinction is not as clean as he seems to hope (especially in his treatment of anti-Catholicism) – and Christian millenarianism:

I call it the paranoid style simply because no other word adequately evokes the sense of heated exaggeration, suspiciousness, and conspiratorial fantasy that I have in mind…2 The distinguishing thing about the paranoid style is not that its exponents see conspiracies or plots here and there in history, but that they regards a “vast” or “gigantic” conspiracy as the motive force in historical events.

Continue Reading →

The Dream of Full Unity: The Catholic Church Invites Anglicans to Come On Over

by Elissa Lerner

After so much fanfare surrounding the surprise election of Archbishop Timothy Dolan to the presidency of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) this past fall, or even the Pope’s recent blessing of Facebook, perhaps the greatest shock in the Catholic world is the near silence regarding the three bishops, seven priests, and three hundred members of six congregations that have become ordained and opted into new Ordinariates – subsections of the Catholic Church for disaffected Anglicans. These conversions, all occurring in England in the past few weeks, are directly in response to the Anglican Church’s move to ordain women priests.

Sound familiar?

That’s because a little more than a year ago, the Catholic Church specifically invited disaffected Anglicans to move, causing shockwaves at least through the Internet, if not the world. At the time, few could decipher what the invitation entailed. The October 20, 2009 move was generally thought to address the concerns of conservative Anglicans who oppose the increasing acceptance of the ordination of women and open homosexuals to the priesthood and episcopate. Both issues have caused splintering within the Anglican Communion and debates within the Catholic Church. Continue Reading →

Happy Birthday, KJV!

Elissa Lerner: The King James Bible is celebrating its 400th birthday this year, and judging from the British press, it looks like the festivities will be around all year, although mostly in England. For all you King James enthusiasts out there (and really, who’s into the ASV these days anyway?) here are some choice insights and exhibits about the impact of this tome on our society. Continue Reading →

Anglicans Jumping Ship

Chris Armstrong writes at his blog, Grateful to the Dead:

Any headline involving the words “Oxford professor” (turns out it’s a church history professor, too!) and “hissy fit” has me intrigued, to say the least. Add the fact that I had no idea what an “Ordinariate” is, and I jumped right on this article from the London Telegraph’s blogsite. But first, to understand that oddball (to me) term, I had to read another article, about Church of England bishops jumping ship to become Roman Catholic: Continue Reading →