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Religion & Spirituality

What War on Religion?

  • If Obama is hell-bent on waging battle with religious institutions—as his critics allege—he sure has a funny way of showing it.
  • Far from waging war on religious organizations, Obama has largely left in place the federal faith-based infrastructure created by President George W. Bush. He has also increased the amount of federal dollars flowing to religious groups...Under Obama, Catholic religious charities alone have received more than $650 million...US Conf,Of Catholic Bishops got $81.2 million (a raise from Bush's $71.8m)
  • Special Project | President Obama, Change we can believe in?

Stephanie Mencimer, Mother Jones

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Lydia Howell

If you like reading this article, consider contributing a cuppa jove to Evergreene Digest--using the donation button above—so we can bring you more just like it.

For months, Catholic religious leaders have waged a PR campaign criticizing the Obama administration for allegedly infringing on their religious liberties. They've blasted, among other things, an administration requirement (since rescinded) that institutions affiliated with religious organizations offer contraceptive coverage in their health insurance plans. Religious conservatives are also fuming that the administration declined to renew a contract with the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) to provide services for human trafficking victims because the group refused to provide referrals for contraception and abortion to sexual assault victims.

Gary Marx, the executive director of Ralph Reed's Faith and Freedom Coalition, sent out a fundraising letter this month urging people to sign a petition fighting Obama's "war on religion," writing: "The Obama Administration's actions are evidence of a pattern of hostility towards religious institutions and an antipathy to uphold and protect the nation's most fundamental founding principles."

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Special Project | President Obama, Change we can believe in? Week of February 19, Jeanette Eastman, Associate Editor, Evergreene Digest
The key point is that Obama is a president who hasn’t merely tried but failed to achieve what he promised to achieve. He has deliberately and publicly worked to do the opposite of what he promised on key issues.
8 New Items including:

  • Obama Administration Asks Supreme Court to Dismiss ACLU Challenge to Warrantless Wiretapping Law
  • Obama’s Human Rights Insouciance
  • Populism and Pain in Obama's 2013 Budget Proposal
  • Obama’s Plan to Save the Military From Cuts-at the Expense of Domestic Programs
  • Despite Domestic Cuts, U.S. Aid To Israel Up By $25 Million In Proposed Budget
  • Obama's Proposed 2013 Budget Cuts Produce Safety Testing by the USDA
  • Why Obama should have vetoed FAA Reauthorization Act
  • Why white liberals are (really) ditching Obama
     

Special Report | Catholic Bishops' Ongoing Abuse of Human Sexuality, Week of February 12

From marriage to contraception, the tax-exempt Catholic Church wants to run the public agenda.

5 Items including:

  • The bishops: One way on a two-way street
  • Cardinal Edward Egan Just Withdrew His Apology For The Catholic Sex-Abuse Scandal
  • 550 seeking restitution from Milwaukee Archdiocese
  • Vatican sex crimes prosecutor warns bishops
  • Cleric warns of silence on sex abuse in Asia

David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

Taylor Jones

The bishops: One way on a two-way street, John Lesch, Minneapolis (MN) Star Tribune

  • From marriage to contraception, the tax-exempt Catholic Church wants to run the public agenda.
  • In 2012 Bishops Join Fight to Repackage Discrimination as ‘Religious Freedom’
  • Cardinal Edward Egan Just Withdrew His Apology For The Catholic Sex-Abuse Scandal

Cardinal Edward Egan Just Withdrew His Apology For The Catholic Sex-Abuse Scandal, Michael Brendan Dougherty, Business Insider

  • Bishop Egan ran a diocese that was notoriously dangerous for children. Contrary to his claim, during his twelve-year enthronement at Bridgeport, Egan repeatedly failed to investigate priests where there were obvious signs of abuse, according to The Hartford Courant. His diocese had to settle the cases and awarded victims some $12-15 million in damages.
  • 550 seeking restitution from Milwaukee Archdiocese

550 seeking restitution from Milwaukee Archdiocese, Carrie Antlfinger, Associated Press / MSNBC
About 550 people are asking for restitution for alleged sexual abuse by clergy in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee — more than in any of the other U.S. dioceses that have filed for bankruptcy protection, according to a lawyer involved in the Milwaukee case.

Vatican sex crimes prosecutor warns bishops, Nicole Winfield,
Associated Press / Miami (FL) Herald
Bishops must follow the Catholic church's laws and standards when dealing with priests who sexually abuse children or face possible church sanctions for negligence, the Vatican's sex crimes prosecutor said Wednesday (Feb 8).

Cleric warns of silence on sex abuse in Asia, Nicole Winfield,
Associated Press / Boston (MA) Globe
A culture of silence across Asia may be keeping many victims of clergy sex abuse there from coming forward, a top Asian church official told a Vatican-backed conference yesterday (Feb 9). Monsignor Luis Antonio Tagle, the archbishop of Manila, said Asian deference to church authorities in places like the overwhelmingly Roman Catholic Philippines may also have contributed to keeping a lid on reports. He said more and more victims have spoken out in the past five years in the Philippines, but incidents of priests keeping mistresses still far outpace reports of priests preying on children.

 

Sacrifice, Suffering, and Rick Santorum

  • He stands to the right of the Pope on contraception, but to whose benefit?
  • Rick Santorum On Opposition To Abortion In Cases Of Rape: 'Make The Best Out Of A Bad Situation'

Ivan Strenski, Religion Dispatches

"Bella makes us better," Santorum says, in a campaign video that tells the story of his daughter's illness.

The recent news photos of Rick Santorum tenderly cradling his stricken daughter, Isabella, touched my heart. A victim of Trisomy 18 or Edwards syndrome, Isabella suffers from a far graver condition than the better-known Down syndrome, who often live into their teens and beyond—Trisomy 18 children rarely survive the first week.

But as a fellow Catholic, the fate of such children shook me into some serious questioning about the relation among Rick Santorum’s religion, his public policies, and his personal family tragedies. And I wonder especially how Santorum’s version of Catholicism aligns with these policies.

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Rick Santorum On Opposition To Abortion In Cases Of Rape: 'Make The Best Out Of A Bad Situation', Huffington Post

Cardinal Edward Egan Just Withdrew His Apology For The Catholic Sex-Abuse Scandal

  • Bishop Egan ran a diocese that was notoriously dangerous for children. Contrary to his claim, during his twelve-year enthronement at Bridgeport, Egan repeatedly failed to investigate priests where there were obvious signs of abuse, according to The Hartford Courant. His diocese had to settle the cases and awarded victims some $12-15 million in damages.
  • 550 seeking restitution from Milwaukee Archdiocese

Michael Brendan Dougherty, Business Insider

This article is made possible with the generous contributions of readers like you. Thank you!

St. John Chrysostom, once said "The road to hell is paved with the skulls of bishops." Here's proof that he was right.

In an interview this week (Jan 5-11) with Connecticut Magazine, Cardinal Edward Egan, withdrew his 2002 apology for the Church's handling of the sex-abuse scandal, which was once read in all New York parishes.

A decade after that letter, the former archbishop of New York, and former bishop of Bridgeport, now describes the handling of the priest-abuse crisis under his watch as “incredibly good.” He said of the letter, "I never should have said that,” and added, “I don’t think we did anything wrong.”

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550 seeking restitution from Milwaukee Archdiocese, Carrie Antlfinger, Associated Press / MSNBC
About 550 people are asking for restitution for alleged sexual abuse by clergy in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee — more than in any of the other U.S. dioceses that have filed for bankruptcy protection, according to a lawyer involved in the Milwaukee case.

 

Why Religious Conservatives Have Birth Control Benefits Wrong

In a country of alarmingly high unplanned pregnancy, American women need access to affordable birth control for economic and health reasons.

June Carbone and Naomi Cahn, AlterNet

If you like reading this article, consider contributing a cuppa jove to Evergreene Digest--using the donation button above—so we can bring you more just like it.
 
The Obama administration’s recent decision to require most religious-affiliated employers to cover birth control for their employees is good news for the women who work for religious employers and do not share the male hierarchy’s opposition to birth control. It is also good news for a country with the one of the highest unplanned pregnancy rates in the developed world.

More Than Just Using Condoms

Contraception, as every woman knows, is a system that depends on developing the right habits and getting consistent reinforcement from partners, parents and/or friends. In other words, effective contraception takes more work than simply remembering to use condoms. As a result, many women are more devoted to their gynecologists than other doctor in their lives – and gynecologists can be expensive. One of us visited hers after the birth of a third child. By the late thirties, pregnancy becomes riskier for mother and child and few families feel they can afford a fourth even on a law professor’s income. The gynecologist explained that methods of contraception that work for young women often don’t work as well after childbirth. The solution: an IUD. There was only one problem, the doctor sheepishly explained: It cost $400 and insurance wouldn’t cover it for an employee of a Catholic university. For a professional, $400 is not out of reach; for many women it is.

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What Kind of Christianity Is This?

Though founded by a pacifist, Christianity has justified some of the most brutal slaughters in human history, from the wars of the late Roman Empire to the Crusades to the Inquisition to world wars to genocides against “heathens,” Muslims and Jews. Yet, Gary G. Kohls says the essence of Christianity can still be reclaimed.

Gary G. Kohls, Consortium News

This article is made possible with the generous contributions of readers like you. Thank you!

Jesus delivering the Sermon on the Mount (painting by Carl Bloch)

From time to time, I read about condemnations of religion coming from non-religious groups, especially concerning the all-too-common violence perpetrated in the name of religious gods. Indeed there is plenty to condemn.

Altogether too many religions sects of both major and minor religions, despite verbally professing a desire for peace and justice in the world, are actually pro-war, pro-homicide and pro-violence in practice (or they may be silent on the subject, which is, according to moral theology, the same as being pro-violence).

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Christianity Is Not a Jewelry Store

  • Christianity is about loving; I believe that when you don't love then you're committing a slow suicide because there is nothing to nurture your soul. Love is L ife, O pportunity , V oice and E xpression. Wake up and find the strength to love your sons, daughters and others who are different; they are God's gifts to you and to our world, that's what Christianity is all about.
  • Gay marriage - a Lutheran leader's plea to Catholic bishops
  • The Gospel of the Penniless, Jobless, Marginalized and Despised

Milton Lee Norris, OpEdNews.com

If you like reading this article, consider contributing a cuppa jove to Evergreene Digest--using the donation button above—so we can bring you more just like it.

This article is about Christianity and Christians, real vs. so-called Christians. It speaks of Christianity as not being a jewelry store where people get to pick and chose whom they should love. It speaks of the rock b/w Christianity and God's love. It points out how Gays and the LGBT people aren't the real dilemma of the Christian Church but plainly how being evil and hateful are the real issues.

When I think of Christianity I think of God, love and goodness; when thinking of what doesn't fall into the realm of Christianity many other things enter my mind.   It comes to light that Christianity is not like going to a jewelry store or to an exclusive retail store; we don't get to pick and choose which way is the right way to love. We cannot go into a store and pick out people to love like diamonds, gold, silver, cell phones, PCs or any other electronic equipment; people are not things. Jesus' example of love is simple; "This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you."

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Gay marriage - a Lutheran leader's plea to Catholic bishops, Herbert W. Chilstrom, Minneapolis (MN) Star Tribune
May I share a word with all of you who now lead the Roman Catholic community of faith in Minnesota?

The Gospel of the Penniless, Jobless, Marginalized and Despised, Chris Hedges, Common Dreams

  • "If you are gonna worship somebody that was nailed to a tree, you must know that the life of a disciple of that person is not going to be easy. It will make you end up on that tree. And so in this sense, I just want to say that we have to take seriously the faith or else we will be the opposite of what it means.” --James Cone
  • How the GOP Tries to Transform America into a Selfish, Souless Place
     

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