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Sunday, July 27, 2003

When does strong criticism turn into bashing?

Philip Jenkins says anti-Catholicism is raging these days. Although I'm grateful to learn about the sociological phenomenon he has studied — "moral panic" — I find this hard to accept:

Today, he argues, an unholy alliance of feminists, homosexual activists, and radical secularists—together with a fifth column of people who call themselves Catholics but who hate the church deeply—has seized upon the sex-abuse scandal in order to drive the church out of public life once and for all.

At Harvard Divinity School, where Catholics made up the largest denominational group (although Unitarian Universalists made up the largest group of students intent on ordination), it always struck me that Mormons were the readiest target for a cheap shot. I'll grant that liberals manipulate news for their own ends — usually badly — but I simply don't see anything distinctive to the left here. A lot of folks are trying to use the abuse scandals for their own purposes, but Voice of the Faithful — to point to the most important new group to emerge from the scandals — seems to me to be asking for entirely legitimate demands: greater accountability from the hierarchy and a real stake in the Church's goverance, just as Vatican II called for.

Conservatives unimpressed by Mel.

Tacitus thinks Mel Gibson's team isn't playing fair, either.

Liberia.

A more thorough national motto:

''The love of liberty brought us here because liberty was unattainable at home.'' And it would be more accurate to add that Liberia was ''founded in 1847 by freed American slaves on land obtained at gunpoint in 1820—and valued at $1 million but paid for with $300 worth of goods—by two white agents of the American Colonization Society, a philanthropic organization chartered by the US Congress and supported by Southern slaveholders who wished to avoid the mixed society made inevitable by emancipation, and to export the most dangerous byproduct of their economic system: free blacks who posed a threat to their power.'' ("Crying freedom," Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts, Boston Globe 7.27.03.)

Plus, read to the end for a great new example of President Bush's theology at work!

Copyright © 2003 by Philocrites | Posted 27 July 2003 at 12:34 PM

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