All posts filed under: Current Affairs

Political rage is no way to run a democracy

Current Affairs

There likely a whole bunch of reasons we’re all about explode with rage at any provocation, but Steven Webster, a Political Science faculty member at Indiana State University says the way we run political campaigns is a big part of the problem: Angry Americans: How political rage helps campaigns but hurts democracy: Anger-filled political rhetoric is nothing new. From Andrew Johnson and Richard Nixon to Newt Gingrich, politicians have long known that angry voters are […]

Holy Cross Day 2020

Climate Change / Current Affairs

Lord Jesus hear us; the earth is crying in torment, the west is in flames, storms threaten the southern coasts and our communities are separated by pandemic. Our leaders seem absent and uncaring while our communities are turned against each other. By the power of your Holy Cross, overcome our woundedness and bring us hope and a new dawn. Protect those in danger and turn the hearts of those intent on harm. Let us find […]

Fannie Sellins, the labor union martyr | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Current Affairs

The first parish I led as a priest was in Brackenridge PA. The community it served included Natrona Heights and Tarentum, the neighboring towns. Labor Day there was remembered differently than it has been anywhere else I’ve lived, in part because there were still people who remember the “Hunky Strike” of 1919.  People told stories of the Pinkertons and other para-military, para-police groups that were brought in to stop the strike, and people still remembered […]

President Obama’s words to all of us today

Current Affairs

President Obama, giving the eulogy at Congressman John Lewis’s funeral today, said (in part) the following: [T]his country is a constant work in progress. We were born with instructions: to form a more perfect union. Explicit in those words is the idea that we are imperfect; that what gives each new generation purpose is to take up the unfinished work of the last and carry it further than anyone might have thought possible. John Lewis […]

Can God still use a people such as us?

Current Affairs

John Meacham writes in his 2006 book “American Gospel”: ”A tolerant, pluralistic democracy in which religious and secular forces continually contend against one another may not be ideal, but it has proven to be the most practical and enduring arrangement of human affairs — and we must guard that arrangement well.” As we celebrate a difficult anniversary of the Declaration of Independence this weekend, fully aware of the flaws in our foundation and the shortcomings […]

Something is shifting in this country’s understanding of race

Current Affairs

It feels like this moment in America’s racial divide is different than the moments that have gone before. There have been racially motivated shootings and violence in the last decade or so here in America, but after a few weeks of protest, most of us move on to the next issue. Yet this year, the data indicates that there’s a real and measurable shift in the way white American’s view discrimination. The data is presented […]

Remarks for the Vigil for Racial Justice, Peace and Reconciliation

Current Affairs / Reconciliation

This evening the Center for Reconciliation held an online candlelight vigil. As board chair I made the opening remarks: On behalf of the staff and the board of the CfR, I welcome all of you who have joined us for this time of prayer and silent vigil, on this the Eve of Juneteenth, the anniversary of Emancipation and the “effective” end of slavery in the United States, and in the week when we mark the […]

The Prophets vs the Cognitive Distorters

Current Affairs

Anne Applebaum, writing in The Atlantic traces how institutions turn aside from one set of values and take up another. It has to do with small changes to the way we perceive what is acceptable behavior, a willingness to go along with a group rather than rocking the boat. Applebaum describes how this worked in East Germany during the Soviet Occupation: Why Do Republican Leaders Continue to Enable Trump? – The Atlantic: In the 1950s, […]

Statement from the Center for Reconciliation

Current Affairs / Reconciliation

The Center for Reconciliation celebrates the lives of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd in all their fullness, beauty,  and complexity, along with all those murdered by white supremacy. We deeply grieve their loss, and we deeply grieve the insidious  persistence of racism and racial violence throughout the fabric of American law, culture, and society. We cannot bring them back from the dead and restore them to their families and friends, but we can raise our […]