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I Don't Think the Moral High Ground Exists Anymore

 

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  • Some thoughts on Al Franken's departure.
  • Related: Franken is no victim as he leaves the Senate.

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Charles P. Pierce, Esquire / Portside 

December 7, 2017 | I was going to let Dahlia Lithwick’s angry, lucid account in Slate of the end of Al Franken’s senatorial career speak for me, since Lithwick said everything I felt about this tawdry episode, and probably better than I could. Especially this part:

"Is this the principled solution? By every metric I can think of, it’s correct. But it’s also wrong. It’s wrong because we no longer inhabit a closed ethical system, in which morality and norm preservation are their own rewards. We live in a broken and corroded system in which unilateral disarmament is going to destroy the very things we want to preserve."

Charles P. Pierce is a staff writer for Grantland and the author of Idiot America. He writes regularly for Esquire, is the lead writer for Esquire.com’s Politics blog, and is a frequent guest on NPR.

Full story … 

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Franken is no victim as he leaves the Senate, Editorial Board,  Minneapolis (MN) Star Tribune

  • He deserves credit, however, for a decision that's best for Minnesota.
  • Related: Al Franken has to go.
     

 

Catholic Bishops spearhead letter encouraging parents to reject their transgender kids

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Members of the the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops ride an escalator during a break in sessions at the USCCB's annual fall meeting. Credit: AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

  • This latest rejection of transgender people is not inconsistent with prior Catholic teaching. Last year, Pope Francis called it “ideological colonization to teach that students can “choose their gender.”
  • Religious leaders dismiss the legitimacy of transgender identities as a "false idea."
  • Related: From the Archives | Catholic Bishops End Family Synod With Little To Say To Gays

Zack Ford, Think Progress

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Dec 18, 2017 | The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has issued a new open letter, signed by many other religious leaders, rejecting the legitimacy of transgender identities. Titled “Created Male and Female,” the open letter asserts that gender and sex “cannot be separated,” calling it a “false idea” that “goes against reason” and “deeply troubling” notion “that a man can be or become a woman or vice versa.”

The letter attempts to simultaneously show compassion to transgender people while simultaneously condemning them. “A person’s discomfort with his or her sex, or the desire to be identified as the other sex, is a complicated reality that needs to be addressed with sensitivity and truth,” the letter states. Trans people deserve “to be heard and treated with respect,” and when they express “concerns” or discuss “wrestling with this challenge,” religious leaders should respond “with compassion, mercy, and honesty” — but not affirmation.

https://i1.wp.com/thinkprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/zack.jpg?w=300&crop=0%2C0px%2C100%2C300px&ssl=1 Zack Ford is the LGBTQ Editor at ThinkProgress.org, where he has covered issues related to marriage equality, transgender rights, education, and "religious freedom," in additional to daily political news. In 2014, The Advocate named Zack one of its "40 under 40" in LGBT media, describing him as "one of the most influential journalists online."

Full story … 

Related:

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From the Archives | Catholic Bishops End Family Synod With Little To Say To Gays, Peter Montgomery, Religion Dispatches 

World Congress of Families Has Plenty To Say, None of it Good; How Same-Sex Marriage Came to a Buddhist Temple in Japan; Global LGBT Recap
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The Uncommon Conversation on Sex Abuse Needs to Move to the Next Level

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  • Part 1: 'Uncommon conversation' on sex abuse falls silent
    • An "uncommon conversation" is on hold in Minnesota.
  • Part 2: Leonard Pitts Jr.: What does it mean to be a man?
    • You see, Fox "News" has it exactly wrong. Men are not an endangered species. Real men are another matter.
  • Related: The Sexual Harassment Conversation Needs to Move to the Next Level

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest 

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Part 1: 'Uncommon conversation' on sex abuse falls silent

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An "uncommon conversation" is on hold in Minnesota.

Brian Roewe, National Catholic Reporter (NCR) 

Jul 18, 2017 | After meeting a decade ago at a sex abuse treatment conference, Gil Gustafson and Susan Pavlak each came to see in their pasts a possible way forward for their home archdiocese, St. Paul-Minneapolis, as it struggled to deal with the scandal of clergy sexual abuse.

Pavlak, now 62, was sexually abused as a child by a teacher who was a former nun at a Catholic school. Gustafson, now 66, pleaded guilty in 1983 to sexually abusing a teenage boy, and has since admitted to abuse of three other male minors. By coming to know each other, each had grown personally. They wondered if they could duplicate that experience for other victims and abusers.

Brian Roewe is an National Catholioc Reporter (NCR) staff writer.

Full story … 





Part 2: Leonard Pitts Jr.: What does it mean to be a man?

You see, Fox "News" has it exactly wrong. Men are not an endangered species. Real men are another matter.

Leonard Pitts Jr. <>, Miami (FL) Herald / Tampa Bay (FL) Times

November 26, 2017 | So I guess you can take men off the endangered species list.

It wasn’t that long ago we were hearing that men were in trouble. It was said that our manly maleness was under siege from a culture of runaway political correctness hellbent on snipping off our masculine accoutrements and turning us into sissified wimps who ate kale, clipped coupons and talked about our feelings. Fox "News" sounded the alarm about what it dubbed the "feminization" of the American man.

Leonard Pitts Jr. is an American commentator, journalist and novelist. He is a nationally syndicated columnist and winner of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary.

Full story … 

Related:

The Sexual Harassment Conversation Needs to Move to the Next Level, Katrina vanden Heuvel, the Nation

https://www.thenation.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/believe-women-march-ap-img.jpg?scale=896&compress=80Participants march against sexual assault and harassment at the #MeToo March in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles, November 12, 2017. (AP Photo / Damian Dovarganes)

  • What’s needed are real structural and legal changes to support the victims and curb the predators.
  • Related: What We Lose When We Let Predatory Men Shape The National Conversation

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From the Archives | Pope Francis Focuses on the American Environmental Movement.

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  • Part 1: Pope Francis is actually bringing America’s environmentalism movement to its religious and moral roots.
    • Opponents of selfish greed and avarice, the common enemies of nature and mankind, would welcome Francis’s powerful words.
  • Part 2: 10 key excerpts from Pope Francis’s encyclical on the environment
    • Here are some of the key passages people will read closely, everything from climate change and global warming to abortion and population control.

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest 

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Part 1: Pope Francis is actually bringing America’s environmentalism movement to its religious and moral roots.

https://img.washingtonpost.com/wp-apps/imrs.php?src=https://img.washingtonpost.com/rf/image_908w/2010-2019/Wires/Images/2015-06-17/AP/Rainy_Farms_Illinois-0323f.jpg&w=1484 In this photo taken on Tuesday, June 16, 2015, water from recent heavy rains stands in a cornfield off 200th Avenue west of Elkhart, Ill. (David Spencer/The State Journal-Register via AP)

Opponents of selfish greed and avarice, the common enemies of nature and mankind, would welcome Francis’s powerful words.

Mark Stoll, Washington (DC) Post

June 17, 2015 | Pope Francis is set to publish “Laudato Si’: On the Care of Our Common Home” on Thursday, the first encyclical on the environment by any pope. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and many others have expressed hopes the encyclical will put the moral weight of a popular pope and the world’s largest Christian church behind meaningful action on environmental problems, such as global warming.

Mark Stoll, associate professor of history and director of the Environmental Studies program at Texas Tech. He is author of “Inherit the Holy Mountain.”

Full story … 



Part 2: 10 key excerpts from Pope Francis’s encyclical on the environment

https://img.washingtonpost.com/wp-apps/imrs.php?src=https://img.washingtonpost.com/rf/image_908w/2010-2019/Wires/Images/2015-06-13/Getty/476965548.jpg&w=1484 Pope Francis attends an audience with Scouts in St. Peter’s Square on June 13, 2015 in Vatican City, Vatican. (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)

Here are some of the key passages people will read closely, everything from climate change and global warming to abortion and population control.

Sarah Pulliam Bailey, Washington (DC) Post

June 18, 2015 | Pope Francis is calling for an “ecological conversion” for the faithful in his sweeping new encyclical on the environment. In “Laudato Si,” or “Be Praised” (or “Praised Be,”) he warns of harming birds and industrial waste and calls for renewable fuel subsidies and energy efficiency.

Here are some of the key passages people will read closely, everything from climate change and global warming to abortion and population control.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-apps/imrs.php?src=https://s3.amazonaws.com/arc-authors/washpost/e5e41d50-21b6-4c3c-95db-2bfd1631e9ee.png&w=180&h=180&t=20170517aSarah Pulliam Bailey is a religion reporter, covering how faith intersects with politics, culture and...everything.

Full story … 

 


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My Christian manifesto for surviving dark times

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Illumination," Mary Southard, CSJ/www.MarySouthardArt.Org/LaGrange Park, IL 60526-1721 (Used with permission)

  • Sometimes our part to play means speaking truth to power and risking our lives, as did so many courageous religious leaders last weekend (Charlottesville, VA). And maybe then — Trump and company notwithstanding — God's new reign of justice and peace will dawn at last.
  • Related: Charlottesville and Trump: A spiritual exercise for the overwhelmed and exhausted

Christine Schenk, National Catholic Reporter

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Aug 15, 2017 | OK, so I haven't been in the greatest personal space lately. Maybe it's because I had a knee replacement in the middle of June followed by intensive and — thanks to long-suffering physical therapists — successful rehab. But I had little energy for anything besides watching cable news and HGTV reruns on the oh-so-appropriately-named boob tube.

I felt internally "flat" and missed the quiet sense of God within. This is always painful, since I tend to focus on everything that is wrong with me, with U.S. policy, and with the universe. Maybe it was anesthesia after-burn but I suspect there is more to it.

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Christine%20Schenk.jpgChristine Schenk served urban families for 18 years as a nurse midwife before co-founding FutureChurch, where she served for 23 years. She holds master's degrees in nursing and theology.

Full story … 

Related:

Charlottesville and Trump: A spiritual exercise for the overwhelmed and exhausted, Jim McDermott, America

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Two people comfort Joseph Culver of Charlottesville, Va., Aug. 12 as he kneels at a late night vigil to pay his respects for a friend injured in a car attack on counter-protesters rallying against white nationalists. (CNS photo/Jim Bourg, Reuters)

Each new day finds us inundated with more data, the latest takes and the prospect of another crisis.
How do you continue to “bear witness” when every three or four days there is another crisis?

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