July 19, 2014
"The Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel is a weeklong event that began Monday with the highlight the 2.5-mile parade to honor the appearance of the Blessed Mother to the Carmelite prior general, St. Simon Stock, in 1251, offering him a brown cloak. In Hammonton, the parade began as a way for the new immigrants to give thanks for safe passage to the United States and a new beginning.”It’s great, There’s not a lot of tradition left in life,” Vivona said in between joking and shaking hands with men he knew and fielding work calls from employees wondering if the carnival was doing hand stamps that day. “There’s only a few left. This thing keeps going.”“Blue Devils!” the high school band roared in front of him, and the horns joined in with the drummers. They quit marching in place and moved forward.The celebration is organized by the St. Mary of Mount Carmel Society in Hammonton, and the organizers still believe in the original message of thanks and prayer. The men that run the society are mostly in the family: The traditions are passed from father to son."

In Hammonton, a procession honors the saints - Philly.com

July 19, 2014
"It is not clear in what sense Casey remains an “anti-abortion Democrat.” He votes the same way as pro-choice Democrats on judicial nominations and subsidies for insurance plans that cover abortions. The bigger problem here is that the bill Casey is planning to vote for does more than reverse the effect of the Hobby Lobby decision.Obamacare authorized the federal government to require that insurance plans cover preventive health services for women, and the Obama administration decided that a broad range of contraceptives — including some that may act as abortifacients — should be included. Some organizations have objected either to providing this subset of contraceptives or contraceptives in general, and raised legal claims under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act against being forced to do so.The Senate Democrats’ bill would take away this legal defense, and not only in the case of contraception. The Obama administration could decide next year that surgical abortion should be covered as a preventive health service too, or the Hillary Clinton administration could do so in a few years, without having to amend the text of Obamacare. And the bill Casey is voting for would mean that companies that object to providing surgical abortions would in that case no longer have a legal defense under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act."

Bob Casey vs. Religious Freedom | National Review Online

July 19, 2014
"It is the rising political assertion of the “nones,” or the religiously unaffiliated, that I find most interesting. America is developing a homegrown anticlerical politics, despite the fact that we’ve never had an established church. While chasing the mirage of theocracy, social liberals are increasingly embracing a weaponized secularism. This has led to sharp conflicts between right and left, and traditionalists seem to be finding themselves on the losing side of these debates as often as not. Going forward, though, I wonder if weaponized secularism will prove more divisive within the Democratic Party, which must appeal to the emphatically secular and the emphatically religious alike."

Weaponized Secularism | National Review Online

July 19, 2014

July 19, 2014
"The reigning dogma of our time, according to Lilla, is libertarianism — by which he means far more than the anti-tax, anti-regulation ideology that Americans identify with the post-Reagan Republican Party, and that the rest of the world calls “neoliberalism.”
At its deepest level, libertarianism is “a mentality, a mood, a presumption… a prejudice” in favor of the liberation of the autonomous individual from all constraints originating from received habits, traditions, authorities, or institutions. Libertarianism in this sense fuels the American right’s anti-government furies, but it also animates the left’s push for same-sex marriage — and has prepared the way for its stunningly rapid acceptance — in countries throughout the West.
What makes libertarianism a dogma is the inability or unwillingness of those who espouse it to accept that some people might choose, for morally legitimate reasons, to dissent from it. On a range of issues, liberals seem not only increasingly incapable of comprehending how or why someone would affirm a more traditional vision of the human good, but inclined to relegate dissenters to the category of moral monsters who deserve to be excommunicated from civilized life — and sometimes coerced into compliance by the government.
The latter tendency shows how, paradoxically, the rise of libertarian dogma can have the practical effect of increasing government power and expanding its scope. This happens when individuals look to the government to facilitate their own liberation from constraints imposed by private groups, organizations, and institutions within civil society. In such cases, the government seeks to bring those groups, organizations, and institutions into conformity with uniform standards that ensure the unobstructed personal liberation of all — even if doing so requires that these private entities are forced to violate their distinctive visions of the good"

How liberalism became an intolerant dogma - The Week

July 19, 2014
"You have a specific and important mission, that of keeping alive the relationship between the faith and the cultures of the peoples to whom you belong… . [W]e have to follow Christ along the concrete path of our daily lives so that he can transform us."

What Francis Said

July 19, 2014
"Much is spoken today of diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. By analogy, their symptoms can, at times, be found even in our own Christian communities. For example, when we live myopically in the fleeting present, oblivious of our past heritage and apostolic traditions, we could well be suffering from spiritual Alzheimer’s. And when we behave in a disorderly manner, going whimsically our own way without any co-ordination with the head or the other members of our community, it could be ecclesial Parkinson’s"

Ecumenical consequences of C of E decision on women bishops (aka “wyshyps”) | Fr. Z’s Blog

July 15, 2014
How Bayern Munich Won The World Cup

July 12, 2014
"Argentina will not buckle as Brazil did. Their midfield will not be so open, their defence so ill-disciplined, their mindset so frenzied. The theory before the tournament was that Argentina’s defence would be a weakness, but that was to reckon without Alejandro Sabella. The fluidity and risk of qualifying never sat easily with him; his time at Estudiantes showed that his preference is to close the game down, controlling matches through defensive resilience"

Germany wary of Lionel Messi counter threat in World Cup final | Jonathan Wilson | Football | The Guardian

July 12, 2014
"No, I didn’t flag this because the parents who commissioned their artisanal child are gay. I flagged it because they custom-ordered a child like some people custom-order living room furniture — and there is an industry in place to serve their desires."

The Consumerization Of Human Life | The American Conservative

July 12, 2014
"Maybe the most surprising example was Senator Mike Lee. Here’s a real firebrand Tea Party guy, who defeated a respected conservative senator from Utah. He was the senator most visibly allied with Ted Cruz during the notorious government shutdown, and yet all the while Lee was turning his office into a kind of reform-ideas shop. If you go onto his website, you see reform ideas on transportation, on infrastructure, on tax policy, and a lot of it is coming directly from Yuval’s group and National Affairs magazine. I was surprised by how many legislators had met with Yuval or Ramesh Ponnuru or Reihan Salam or Michael Strain — had them in their offices and pounded out ideas together. Voters may not know who they are; the out-front political candidates and officeholders know very well who they are."

Behind the Cover Story: Sam Tanenhaus on the G.O.P.’s New Intellectuals - NYTimes.com

July 12, 2014
"The question, “Does a religious burden exist?” turns on whether the college is “affirmatively compel[led]… , by threat of sanctions, … to engage in conduct that they find objectionable for religious reasons.” Only if Wheaton performs a specific action ordered by the government—an action the college holds to be contrary to its religious conscience—will the contraception coverage be provided. If the college fails to act as HHS requires, it will be penalized. Legally, that is the very definition of a religious burden. Given the amount of the penalty, there is no doubt that it is “substantial.”
A more accurate rendition of Judge Posner’s analogy is that the selective service officer tells the Quaker that he is willing to grant conscientious objector status—but only if the Quaker identifies a colleague and brings him back to the office to take his place. Wheaton has not only been drafted; the HHS accommodation compels it to help recruit its own replacement against its will."

Justice Sotomayor Misses the Mark: Religious Non-Profits Should Prevail | Public Discourse

July 12, 2014
"In this group, Messi both takes the best shots and does the most with those attempts. If we break this down using shot-location data, it’s clear that Messi is highly efficient across a wide range of distances. The percentage of shots Messi makes from outside the penalty area is absolutely stunning. He scores almost as often per shot from outside the penalty area (12.1 percent) as most players do inside it (13.1 percent)."

Lionel Messi Is Impossible | FiveThirtyEight

July 12, 2014
"The current modus operandi of building rosters to maximize the sum of individual talent also will be challenged; data compiled using new technologies will enable management to assemble players in new ways, emphasizing their ability to complement one another. Whereas current metrics describe players’ performance in isolation, front offices will increasingly rely on statistics that measure a player’s value in the context of the rest of the team, picking up externalities such as how a player’s defensive abilities may compensate for the deficiencies of those playing around him. In a new twist to the “old school vs. new school” debate in sports, technology-based roster-building and algorithm-driven decision-making thus will be the strongest propagators of the traditional virtues of teamwork and chemistry"

Billy Beane on the Future of Sports: A Tech-Driven Revolution - WSJ

July 12, 2014
"This NEXT paper makes a startling discovery: a new gender gap has emerged—one where girls and young women outperform boys and young men in both education and key aspects of the workforce. This gap could be as much about social family structure as it is about economic forces like the demise of labor unions, globalization, and rapid changes in technology. Authors David Autor and Melanie Wasserman make the case that the decline in male achievement is almost exclusively reserved for males born into single-parent households; while females in single-parent households do OK, boys seem to suffer."

Wayward Sons: The Emerging Gender Gap in Labor Markets and Education

Liked posts on Tumblr: More liked posts »