The Very Thing That Made It Catholic

From Occupy Catholic, a new “testimony” by Steve Saporito:

I have been separated from the church for a long time, and the fulcrum of that split has always been my understanding of the sermon on the mount as the nexus of Catholic theology.  I saw, from the vantage point of growing up in the church, a terrible paradox;  on the one hand I learned a wonderful liturgy of social justice based on moral strength rooted in the lessons in the Beatitudes.  It was my understanding that by putting those concerns at the core of our lives we will shine a light, as Catholics, for the rest of the world to see, and in the process make the world a better place, as we, individually embrace the very essence of God.  But time and time again the church failed to overtly embrace the very thing that made it Catholic.

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Boehner's Progressive Catholic Problem

E.J. Dionne, Jr. on the non-scandal that was John Boehner’s address to Catholic University:

And the story broke from the stereotypical narrative the media like to impose on Christians in general, and Catholics in particular. If the headline is “Conservative Catholics Denounce Liberal Politician on Abortion,” all the boilerplate is at the ready. But when the headline is “Catholic Progressives Challenge Conservative Politician on Social Justice,” this is something new and complicated. It’s far easier to write the 10th story of the week about Newt Gingrich.

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Boehner’s Progressive Catholic Problem

E.J. Dionne, Jr. on the non-scandal that was John Boehner’s address to Catholic University:

And the story broke from the stereotypical narrative the media like to impose on Christians in general, and Catholics in particular. If the headline is “Conservative Catholics Denounce Liberal Politician on Abortion,” all the boilerplate is at the ready. But when the headline is “Catholic Progressives Challenge Conservative Politician on Social Justice,” this is something new and complicated. It’s far easier to write the 10th story of the week about Newt Gingrich.

Continue Reading →

Boehner’s Progressive Catholic Problem

E.J. Dionne, Jr. on the non-scandal that was John Boehner’s address to Catholic University:

And the story broke from the stereotypical narrative the media like to impose on Christians in general, and Catholics in particular. If the headline is “Conservative Catholics Denounce Liberal Politician on Abortion,” all the boilerplate is at the ready. But when the headline is “Catholic Progressives Challenge Conservative Politician on Social Justice,” this is something new and complicated. It’s far easier to write the 10th story of the week about Newt Gingrich.

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Tough on Terrorism

Howard Fineman gets off on the new military brute, brain and brawn of Democrats:

“By calmly and meticulously overseeing the successful targeting of Osama bin Laden, President Barack Obama just proved himself — vividly, in almost Biblical terms — to be an effective commander-in-chief of the armed forces of the United States.” Continue Reading →

Small-r Rebellion

Gary Younge, a feature writer for the Guardian, has written that the Tea Party is “not a new phenomenon. It’s simply a new name for an old phenomenon – the American hard right.”  A disparate, loose group of previously unnamed ideas and motivations, with a boat load of money and its own TV channel.

The relationship between these organisations [The Tea Party Express, FreedomWorks, Americans for Prosperity, Tea Party Patriots] and the base of people who call themselves Tea Party supporters is episodic and erratic. They show up in different places where they sense an opportunity for a breakthrough, throw money at it, attract media attention for it, and then see what sticks.

Which is the point that Terry Mattingly (aka tmatt or editor) at Get Religion is hinting at in his recent post on a story at WaPo about Rick Santorum’s presidential bid water-testing. Continue Reading →

The Roots of Racism

Rachel Sladja at Talking Points Memo has a good piece up about the roots of all the recent Shar’iah-is-coming-for-your-freedom hysteria.  It’s worth a read for the research TPM did to trace the anti-Muslim commentary in the media over the past decade.  But I can’t help but wonder if Islam (and Shari’ah) doesn’t just conveniently fit into the bogeyman placeholder that’s been consistently used by conservatives to manipulate foreign policy. Continue Reading →

What Beck's Marching For: Making Social Justice Unjust

by Becky Garrison

Look for the words social justice or economic justice on your church website. If you find it, run as fast as you can. –Glenn Beck, March 2, 2010

Since Beck uttered this and related comments on his radio show, much ink has been spilled decrying his analysis of one of the basic tenets of Christian teaching. While The Catholic League came to Beck’s defense, “progressives” like Sojourners founder Jim Wallis suggested that viewers and advertisers instead leave Beck, though they later gave Beck some PR attention by placing him on the cover of Sojourners (September 2010.) Other progressive groups like Faithful America continue to mount campaigns against Beck’s rantings in the hopes such advocacy efforts will result in strategically placed media and will increase both the nonprofit’s political profile and donor base.

But the battle to defame “social justice” is as old as the New Testament itself, a point made by Fr. James Martin, author of The Jesuit’s Guide to Almost Everythingon the Colbert Report last March. Martin describes how throughout the gospels, ”Jesus choose to be poor not only to show us what it means to live simply but also to show God’s love for the poor.” Continue Reading →