Stories I’ve Found, 2/7/2014


Interesting Stories I’ve Found:

Jeffrey Weiss offers is a simple instruction: do NOT compare anything to the Holocaust.  His logic speaks for itself and is impeccable.  Reductio ad Hitlerum, “playing the Nazi card,” is an informal fallacy that refutes someone by comparing them to Hitler or the Nazis. It’s a kind of ad hominem attack, a guilt by association, and its main purpose is to derail an argument and discredit someone. We can always do better in making a point or refuting logic than comparing someone to a Nazi.

A remarkable new Pro-Life message by Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston at the Vigil for Life last month in Washington.  Robert Christian lists his Top 10 Quotes from this homily.  Anusia Dickow offers her take on this challenging sermon, which is a new direction in Pro-Life apologetics.

A deep piece that continues a thread from Pope Francis’ Evangelii Gaudium: Inequality and the Economy of Exclusion.  This piece probes the relationship between economic hardship and violence internationally, and “. . .make the economic case for Pope Francis’ claim that inequality lies at the root of exclusion.”

What happens when one of your family members becomes one of the poor? A Millennial Journal writer shares about how their mother went on food stamps, much to their chagrin, and the tale of how she got there. Embedded in the story are online tools for figuring the value of caretakers, those who stay home to care for children and sick relatives.

Blogger Micah J. Murray talks about What the Christian Right Gets Wrong About Sin.  He makes some valid observations, and his comments about Hobby Lobby’s policy on contraception being inconsistent is something I’ve never seen mentioned: Hobby Lobby is fighting the mandate in this country, but says nothing about China’s mandatory birth control, and China is one of their main suppliers for their products. I would say if you take a stand on something, you should be consistent, even if it can hurt you.

Thomas Merton’s birthday was late last week: here’s a collection of quotes and a video clip of him.

Bill Tammeus gives us a thoughtful review of Hans Küng’s latest book, Can We Save the Catholic Church?  Bill quite rightly observes a church that isn’t about Jesus, isn’t about anything, however he does take Küng to task for some frustrated jabs that are out of line.

The Jesuit Post picks up on The (Rolling) Stone That the Builders Rejected, filling us in on many things the Rolling Stone story missed.

David Gibson covers a case on the fringes of Catholic news: a single Montana Catholic schoolteacher fired because she’s pregnant.  Without knowing all the details, I’d agree that firing this teacher for violating her morals clause wasn’t imperative and arbitrarily firing a single pregnant mother isn’t really pro-life, but is an expression of a Puritanical, Scarlet Letter, mentality (which isn’t Catholic). Meghan Clark of Millennial Journal provides some additional reflection worth reading.  What’s really strange here is if she had secretly committed a mortal sin (getting an abortion), she’d have kept her job.

Given the intolerance some regimes have shown in the name of Islam, Qasim Rashid teaches the authentic Muslim doctrines on freedom of religious belief.

A book for my must read list: ‘Salaam, Love’ , which is about the inner romantic lives of Muslim men.  Muslim men aren’t the only ones that suffering from stereotyping, and accounts like this help us understand how limited stereotypes are. Men with ugly attitudes toward women who feel enabled by their religion are in every culture, every religion, however there are good men who respect and cherish women everywhere as well.

Taking the temperature of American sexual ethics: more Americas are more accepting of homosexuality, but less of extramarital relationships.

A post reflecting on a newly released U2 song “There Is No Them, Only Us” talks about the effects of poverty and Pope Francis’ call to make the poor the center of the Church.

Sr. Barbara Finch of Pennsylvania gets fired for complaining about bad working conditions in the Allegheny Jail.  She’s a registered nurse working at the Jail for a contractor, accused of union organizing for her criticisms and activities.

Jonathan Merritt has an important message for us: Coal keeps the lights on. His article describes how mining coal via today’s techniques is harmful to the environment and how running up power bills is a means of loving your neighbor.

Here’s a technique I wished I thought of: if newlywed couples watched and discussed 5 relationship movies a month together, their divorce rate was halved.  This looks like a promising study, especially how the discussion questions were set up, and there’s a lot about the logic of this that makes sense. A link will take you to the movies on their list and the questions they asked (which seemed pretty basic.)

Patton Dodd reflects on the morality of being a fan in A Father’s Dilemma: Is Watching Football Immoral? His journey is similar to one I made about a year and half ago, and why I no longer follow the game closely.

Rape Culture and the Super Bowl probes the lyrics of Bruno Mars and questions the standards of sexual behavior they represent.  I’d like to call this particularly to the attention of my friends on campus: the lyrics quoted here are very disturbing.

Michael Sean Winters goes after Samuel Gregg again.  Given what Mr. Gregg is saying and how he is saying it, his reasoning should be questioned. I think the biggest myths about free markets is that they are scrupulously fair to all and reward only incentive and hard work (provided truly free markets are humanly possible).

Did Pope Francis Really Say That? This helpful guide tells us how to evaluate stories and gives us the basic places to double check any questionable papal quote we may encounter.

I didn’t tune into the Ken Ham/Bill Nye debate because I thought it was an overblown waste of time and they are both wrong. Elizabeth Dias gives a humorous play-by-play that tells us what happened to satisfy morbid curiosity.  The Daily Beast gives us analysis of the mismatch.  I suspect Ken Ham is the Bobby Riggs of creationism (apologies to those who have to Google the reference.)


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