As another week comes to an end, this is your chance to top off your glass with a final helping of news, current events, and just plain interesting stuff that may not have made into the mainstream media. A chance to linger for a few more moments before we close the door on the week. Below are some links to articles, blogs, and miscellaneous happenings that caught my eye over the past few days. Sample what you like - I'll serve up more next Friday...
Word Getting Out: Bishops Think You Can’t Vote for Obama as a Catholic - "The fight for today is to inform our fellow Catholics and Christians about what the stakes are in this upcoming election and to pray for and encourage our priests and bishops to be courageous in speaking up in defense of the truth as we head into the November elections!"
Archbishop Chaput: I can’t vote for pro-abortion Obama - "As an individual and voter I have deep personal concerns about any party that supports changing the definition of marriage, supports abortion in all circumstances, wants to restrict the traditional understanding of religious freedom. Those kinds of issues cause me a great deal of uneasiness." Read more here.
Catholics Can’t Vote for Pro-Abortion Candidates - "What if a candidate supported terrorism? Would citizens say, 'Well, I disagree with you on terrorism, but what’s your health care plan? Maybe we can work together on some social programs. After all, terrorism isn’t the only issue.'"
No Issue More Important in Election 2012 Than Pro-Life - "We encourage all citizens, particularly Catholics, to embrace their citizenship not merely as a duty and privilege, but as an opportunity meaningfully to participate in building the culture of life."
Practical Voting - Fr. Frank Pavone: "Both we and the elected official are obliged to make the maximum improvement possible at the moment."
Romney Would “Get Rid” of Planned Parenthood Funding - "Answering a question from CNN affiliate KDSK of St. Louis, Romney listed a series of programs he would cut or eliminate as president in order to reduce the federal deficit."
Campaign 2012—Religious Freedom vs. Aggressive Secularism - "Aggressive secularism was once thought to be a primarily European malady. Then it migrated to Canada. Now it has become a serious problem in American public life." [George Weigel]
New York Times' Selective Outrage - "Here are a few local examples of real church and state violations that the Times showed no interest in addressing..."
Why Religious Liberty Should Be the Moral Center for American Diplomacy - "Despite the claims of Western nations to support religious freedom, restrictions on religion have continued to rise in each of the five regions of the world—including the United States."
Time to stop calling Islam a religion of peace. IT IS NOT! - "There are two facts that become immediately apparent. The first is that freedom of speech does not exist in Islamic societies where one can face punishment and persecution for verbal or written criticisms. The second fact is that Islam, at last of the variety that is practiced by violent protestors around the world, cannot in any way be labeled a 'religion of peace.'"
Paul Ryan: Mission Is to Address Root Causes of Poverty, Not Only the Symptoms - "So, our goal, our mission is to address the root causes of poverty instead of simply treating the symptoms of poverty. That's very critical. You see, by going after the root causes of poverty, trying to break the cycle of poverty, you need economic growth. You need job creation. You need higher take-home pay..."
Are entitlements corrupting us? Yes, American character is at stake - "What is monumentally new about the American state today is the vast empire of entitlement payments that it protects, manages and finances. Within living memory, the federal government has become an entitlements machine."
Do Social Programs Intrude on 'Moral Space'? - "Morally, it is my duty to provide for my family in my community. Providing for my family isn’t something that is merely altruistic; it’s part of my moral perfection. If the state takes over that moral duty, it has violated the moral “space” wherein I can and must become good."
Two million more Americans to pay penalties under Obamacare law - "Of those who choose to pay the penalty in lieu of purchasing health insurance, 10 percent are projected to be below the federal poverty level for 2016..."
Another Cloud on the Moral Horizon: Assisted Suicide - "The appearance of multiple articles in mainstream medical journals advocating killing is disturbing. Now is the time to clearly denounce such positions before they become acceptable."
Assisted suicide, three-parent families, and the future of America - "As President Obama said not long ago, this year’s elections will offer Americans the clearest choice in a generation between two different paths for our country. Let’s make sure we choose the right one."
Violence in Muslim Nations Not About a Video but About Hatred - "...Islamism (not Islam) is grounded in a spiritual pathology and has produced a dysfunctional culture. In general...the primary reason Muslim countries are poor is because their culture is dysfunctional."
Muslims Misbehaving - "While anger at having one’s religion insulted is certainly understandable, the violent backlash that inevitably results after an episode like this tells us that “turn the other cheek” is not a principle that holds much sway with Muslims."
Doubts over Harvard claim of ‘Jesus’ Wife’ papyrus - "Scholars on Wednesday questioned the much-publicized discovery by a Harvard scholar that a 4th century fragment of papyrus provided the first evidence that some early Christians believed Jesus was married." See also this piece.
The Facebook Meme that Proves that We Live in a Culture of Death - "It's the product of decades of misinformation about human sexuality, an outgrowth of the fact that millions of people have tried to live according to the rules of secular culture, only to find themselves hurting and scared as a result."
All Catholics Must Share in Evangelizing the U.S., Archbishop Says - "The task of preaching, teaching, growing and living the Catholic faith in our time, in this country, belongs to you and me. No one else can do it..."