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Religion & Public Life With Mark Silk

Religion & Public Life With Mark Silk

March 2011 Archives

Fischer v. the right to build mosques

posted by Mark Silk

Relying on Associate (not Chief) Justice Joseph Story‘s recasting of the First Amendment’s approach to religious establishment and free exercise, the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer is continuing to press his case that the Framers merely intended the clauses to […]

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Newt’s religion

posted by Mark Silk

Amy Sullivan, may her blog posts increase, has a fine one up on Swampland explaining why the Gingrichian outreach to evangelicals is likely to go nowhere. Among other things, the guy seems incapable of showing remorse (read: repentance) for his […]

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Newt misspeaks

posted by Mark Silk

In his 12th-century chronicle, The Two Cities, Bishop Otto of Freising retells the story of Bishop Tiemo of Salzburg, who as prisoner of the Emir of Memphis in 1100 was said to have broken to pieces idols that he’d been […]

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Obama, Just Warrior

posted by Mark Silk

Pastor Dan tweets: “Interesting. Obama engages just-war thought in re: Libya, where Augustine, the originator of the tradition, lived and died (in a war).” Well, pretty close. Augustine was Bishop of Hippo, now called Annaba, in Algeria near the Tunisian […]

The USCCB Reassures

posted by Mark Silk

Honor obliges that I note that last Friday, the United State Conference of Catholic Bishops finally did acknowledge the eruption of scandal in Philadelphia, in the form of a statement from its Administrative Committee, conveyed over the signature of its […]

As Iowa goes

posted by Mark Silk

So goes the GOP? Yesterday’s story by the AP’s Mike Glover takes us to the Hawkeye State, where, it seems, social conservatives are the force to be reckoned with. As someone whose brief career as a national political reporter took […]

Libya and Jihad

posted by Mark Silk

Whether the attack on Libya proves to be a successful exercise in humanitarian war-making a la Bosnia or another incursion into Middle Eastern quicksand, it raises an interesting question for the theology of jihad. Unlike our wars to overthrow regimes […]

Tea Partiers against DOMA. Not.

posted by Mark Silk

Over at ReligionDispatches, Sarah Posner uses the list of anti-DOMA members in the House of Representatives to show (again, correctly) why it’s a mistake to see Tea Partiers as economic rather than social conservatives. I’d just add that there’s a […]

The story is Huckabee against Romney

posted by Mark Silk

According to the latest WaPo/ABC poll, Mike Huckabee is the top choice for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination. Mitt Romney is a close second. The Post‘s lede this morning is that Sarah Palin’s numbers among Republicans are heading south, which […]

Scandal in Philadelphia

posted by Mark Silk

Compared to what’s happening at the Fukushima Daiichi complex it may not amount to much, but the meltdown of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia is still pretty toxic. Yesterday was the first court appearance of three priests and a schoolteacher charged […]

Criticizing another’s doctrine

posted by Mark Silk

Some of you may recall that a week ago, the Catholic League’s Bill Donohue took umbrage at my daring to suggest that the canon law doctrine of Scandal be jettisoned. It wasn’t that he disagreed with what I had to […]

White evangelicals v. the rest of us

posted by Mark Silk

Pew’s latest survey of views on Islam and violence demonstrates again the degree to which white evangelicals stand apart from the other large religious groupings in American society. The question is whether or not you think the “Islamic religion is […]

Gingrich v. Gingrich

posted by Mark Silk

Demagogue’s intellectual that he is, Newt Gingrich has a way of putting his finger on a problem that creates a problem for himself. To wit, here’s what he had to say to David Brody the other day about threats to […]

How to redeem scandal

posted by Mark Silk

Over at DotCommonweal, the estimable Grant Gallicho takes up a cudgel on behalf of the doctrine of scandal. Yes it’s true, he allows, that the doctrine has been abused by bishops to protect their own. But it is within the […]

Bill Donohue v. Moi

posted by Mark Silk

Sheesh. You tell Donohue he’s right and defend his bud Dolan, and what do you get? A smack across the chops for having the chutzpah to suggest that the doctrine of scandal, used time and again to rationalize the shielding […]

Huckabee and the Catholics

posted by Mark Silk

It’s no surprise that Barna’s new survey of the Republican presidential horse race (h/t David Gibson) shows Mike Huckebee doing well among Protestants, the more conservative the better. What’s striking to me is that he’s running neck-and-neck with Mitt Romney […]

The Scandal of Scandal

posted by Mark Silk

Last week, Jeff Anderson, the preeminent plaintiffs lawyer in Catholic sex abuse cases, released a letter from then Milwaukee Archbishop Timothy Dolan to then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger asking that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) do everything […]

Pope Benedict and the Jews

posted by Mark Silk

OK, OK, I really do appreciate Pope Benedict’s hermeneutical exoneration of the Jews in re: the case against Jesus. Never mind that Vatican II settled this half a century ago with Nostra Aetate. As Jim Martin and Michael Sean Winters […]

The Last Victorian

posted by Mark Silk

To say that Peter Gomes was one of a kind hardly conveys his uniqueness. His mother came from Boston’s African-American aristocracy, a type once known to blacks, not unpejoratively, as “dicty.” That she ran off and married an immigrant from […]

Huckabee then and now

posted by Mark Silk

Is it possible that Mike Huckabee, currently testing the presidential waters by way of a book tour, just made a mistake when he suggested to a radio audience that President Obama was not to be trusted because he grew up […]

How long will bishops fight SSM?

posted by Mark Silk

The Maryland Catholic Conference, summoning its flock to keep America’s original Catholic colony from adopting same-sex marriage, thanked “the thousands of Maryland Catholics who have raised their voices in recent weeks in support of our society’s foundational institution – the […]

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Thank you for visiting Religion and Public Life. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here are some other blogs you may also enjoy: Latest News Story on Beliefnet Happy Reading!  

posted 3:10:11pm Aug. 27, 2012 | read full post »

The Ayn Rand Republicans
I confess to feeling a little bit queasy about the American Values Network's new video hoisting Rep. Paul Ryan, Sen. Rand Paul, Rush Limbaugh, and other GOP luminaries on the petard of Ayn Rand and her atheistic philosophy of objectivism. Take a look. [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0TxCW

posted 7:13:30pm May. 24, 2011 | read full post »

Whither evangelicals?
I'm fully prepared to believe that Mitch Daniels' family proved to be the unleapable hurdle in his abortive run-up to the GOP presidential race. Imagine yourself as wife Cheri, having split for the coast to marry on old flame, your husband and young daughters left behind in Boone County, Indiana,

posted 9:19:56am May. 23, 2011 | read full post »

No more "social conservatives"
With the presidential election cycle getting up to speed, it's time for reporters and yakkers like me to stop writing about "social conservatives" as if they were an identifiable segment of the voting population. I say this as someone who has happily been using the term since late 2008, when it

posted 8:25:11am May. 20, 2011 | read full post »

So clerical celibacy was not the problem?
Those on the Catholic left are not very happy that the Jay Report declines in no uncertain terms to blame clerical celibacy for the sexual abuse crisis. As the report puts it: Factors that remained consistent over this time period, such as celibacy, do not explain the sexual abuse "crisis." Celib

posted 9:50:34am May. 19, 2011 | read full post »

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