Archived Posts October 2012 - Page 6 of 12 | Acton PowerBlog

Blog author: rnothstine
posted by on Wednesday, October 17, 2012

I think somebody needs to admit that the level of pandering to women in this election is over the top. Whether it is Ann Romney awkwardly yelling, “I love you women” at the Republican National Convention, or the ridiculous “War on Women” meme from the left. The examples are just too many to cite and evaluate for one post. So much of it is focus driven and poll tested and here with us to stay, but the issue still needs to be addressed.

A young woman in the audience at the second Obama – Romney debate named Katherine Fenton asked the candidates, “What are they going to do about equal pay for women?” I’m not saying this is not a legitimate question. But there is something deeper that I think we need to recognize on this issue.

As evidence shows now, young women currently are compensated at a higher rate than young men. There are a host of reasons for this being the case. Women are better educated for this economy, which is growing in service sectors and the health fields. Manufacturing continues to collapse, which disproportionately affects men. The coal industry, which is heavily male, is being strangled by regulation. Young women are more apt to go to college now than young men and they dominate college and university settings. Many men who have been on a college campus in the last few decades are well aware of the male-bashing, which is ridiculously excessive. Women are more apt to graduate and more likely to go on and get a graduate degree. Studies consistently show that the biggest benefactors of affirmative action are not racial minorities but women.

Now it’s true, at the highest level of industry there is still pay disparity between men and women, but much of this has to do with some women voluntarily leaving the work force for family reasons and raising children, and not because of evil sexist pay charts cooked up in corporate cigar lounges.

Even many of the economic statistics thrown out by Romney last night had to do with the level of female poverty on the rise in this economy, but poverty is on the rise regardless of gender. I’ve attended religious conferences and events where men have gotten up and apologized for being a white male. I don’t see that as helpful to anything. I know in a high stakes political setting it’s too much to ask for the constant pandering to cease, but I feel that we would be better served by leaders who are committed to promoting the equality under the law above all else.

For many on the Catholic left, the confusion of “non-negotiables” in Church teaching with matters of prudential judgment has become all too common. In this week’s Acton Commentary (published October 17), Dr. Don Condit looks at how Vice President Joseph Biden’s “facts” about Obamacare were received by the Catholic bishops. The full text of his essay follows. Subscribe to the free, weekly Acton News & Commentary and other publications here.

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“No taxation without representation” was a slogan taken up and popularized by this nation’s Founders, and this idea became an important animating principle of the American Revolution. But this was also an era where landowners had the primary responsibilities in civic life; theirs was the land that was taxed and so theirs too should be the rights to vote and be represented. Thus went the logic. But the question that faces us now, nearly two and a half centuries later, is the flip side of the Revolutionary slogan: To what extent should there be representation without taxation?

Check out the rest of this week’s commentary, “The Dignity of Paying.”

Gallaudet University is a unique institution. Founded in 1864 in Washington, DC to meet the educational needs of the deaf and hard-of-hearing, the school currently serves just under 2000 students in various capacities. As one might imagine, it is a distinct community, aware that they educate a group of people who have often been victims of discrimination. The school asserts:

Gallaudet University as an institution embraces diversity… A university has an obligation to be a place where all views can be shared freely and any belief can be discussed respectfully, allowing the exchange of ideas to flourish. Accordingly, Gallaudet will integrate diversity into every aspect of its operations. This statement on diversity is only part of an ongoing process in which all members of the university participate. Gallaudet’s excellence and survival depends on respecting, honoring and embracing the diversity that exists within the university community…

Yet, the university recently suspended the school’s chief diversity officer, a 23-year employee of the school. Angela McCaskill was placed on leave for expressing a diverse viewpoint: she signed a petition (along with 200,000 others) to place “Maryland’s Question 6″ on the ballot. “Question 6″ states:

Establishes that Maryland’s civil marriage laws allow gay and lesbian couples to obtain a civil marriage license, provided they are not otherwise prohibited from marrying; protects clergy from having to perform any particular marriage ceremony in violation of their religious beliefs; affirms that each religious faith has exclusive control over its own theological doctrine regarding who may marry within that faith; and provides that religious organizations and certain related entities are not required to provide goods, services, or benefits to an individual related to the celebration or promotion of marriage in violation of their religious beliefs.

McCaskill, the first deaf African-American woman to earn a Ph.D. from Gallaudet, said at a recent press conference, “I am dismayed that Gallaudet University is still a university of intolerance.”

On behalf of the university, President T. Alan Hurwitz noted,

…many individuals at our university were understandably concerned and confused by her action. They wanted to know ‘does that action interfere with her ability to perform her job?’

I placed her on paid administrative leave as a prudent action to allow the university — and Dr. McCaskill – the time to consider this question after the emotions of first reactions subsided…

As Gallaudet itself points out, a diverse place is one where “all views can be shared freely and any belief can be discussed respectfully, allowing the exchange of ideas to flourish.”

It appears, to paraphrase George Orwell, that some diversity is more diverse than others.

Blog author: jcarter
posted by on Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Church and Social Programs
James Kalb, Catholic Word Report

Christians in the US are not under hard totalitarianism, but we are in the midst of a struggle for the soul of our country.

Report: ‘Christians Flee Bosnia Amid Discrimination, Islamization’
Stefan J. Bos, BosNewsLife

Christians are massively leaving post-war Bosnia-Herzegovina amid mounting discrimination and Islamization, according to a new report released Friday, October 12.

Free Markets as a Fruit of the Gospel
Joseph Sunde, Remnant Church

In our discussions of the pros and cons of various socio-economic models, Christians have a common tendency to forget what should be our more fundamental aim: spreading the message of salvation through Jesus Christ and living as Christ would have us live.

The Constitution: Model, Resource, or Outlier?
Daniel Dew, The Foundry

The United States Constitution is the oldest written constitution still in use. A little more than 225 years ago, there was a meeting of the greatest political minds that had ever been assembled. Each American colony sent its brightest citizens to revise the failing Articles of Confederation.

“There are rich people everywhere, and yet they do not contribute to the [economic] growth of their own countries.”

If such a statement were made by an activist at an Occupy Wall Street rally, most adults would chuckle and recommend the budding young Marxist take a course in economics. But what do we do when the claim is made by Hillary Clinton at an event hosted by a former U.S. president and in front of an audience of global leaders?

As Secretary of State, Clinton is the U.S.’s top diplomat and a key spokesperson for America’s interest across the globe. What interest is being promoted by such absurd, economically illiterate class warfare rhetoric?

Does Secretary Clinton think we’d be better off without the wealthy? As Gene Veith asks, “if you do believe the rich are such shiftless, lazy freeloaders why should any country want them to stay around?”

This morning at Ethika Politika, I argue that “acting primarily for the sake of national interest in international affairs runs contrary to a nation’s highest ideals.” In particular, I draw on the thought of Vladimir Solovyov, who argued that, morally speaking, national interest alone cannot be the supreme standard of international action since the highest aspirations of each nation (e.g. “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”) are claimed to be universal goods. I would here like to explore his critique with reference to the subject of international trade. (more…)

Blog author: jcarter
posted by on Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Shut up and play nice: How the Western world is limiting free speech
Jonathan Turley, Washington Post

Free speech is dying in the Western world. While most people still enjoy considerable freedom of expression, this right, once a near-absolute, has become less defined and less dependable for those espousing controversial social, political or religious views.

Muslims protest ‘age of mockery’ as thousands descend on Google HQ
Jennifer O’Mahony, The Telegraph

Thousands of Muslims have pledged a series of protests against Google HQ for a “hateful and offensive” anti-Islam video, saying they now live in an “age of mockery”.

Plaintiffs Against the HHS Mandate Reach More Than 100 Strong
Sarah Torre, The Foundry

The number of plaintiffs that have joined legal challenges to Obamacare’s anti-conscience mandate reached over 100 this week.

America’s Endangered Religious Liberty
Rick Plasterer, Juicy Ecumenism

Same-sex marriage and the Health and Human Services contraceptive/abortifacient mandate are emerging as the greatest threats to domestic religious liberty, according to panelists at a half-day conference on legal protection for liberty of conscience, held by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty.

Blog author: jcarter
posted by on Monday, October 15, 2012

What is Catholic Church’s teaching on the size of government? And what is the principle of subsidiarity? Our friends at CatholicVote.org have put together a brief video to help answer these questions.

Laurel Broten, the Education Minister of Ontario, stated on Oct. 10 that the “province’s publicly funded Catholic schools may not teach students that abortion is wrong because such teaching amounts to ‘misogyny,’ which is prohibited in schools under a controversial anti-bullying law.” Ontario enacted Bill 13 in June and it casts a wide net against bullying in schools. It is under this law that Broten has declared that Catholic schools may not teach that abortion is wrong.

Broten noted,

Bill 13 has in it a clear indication of ensuring that our schools are safe, accepting places for all our students. That includes LGBTQ [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, queer] students. … Bill 13 is about tackling misogyny, taking away a woman’s right to choose could arguably be one of the most misogynistic actions that one could take.

Broten is equating the Catholic Church’s pro-life stance with the hatred of women, and deems the Church’s teaching now illegal, disallowing freedom of conscience, clearly putting the state in a position of telling a church what it can and cannot teach.

Fr. Tim Boyle, a Catholic priest from Mattawa, Ontario, says this,

Minister Broten ignores … the fact that her decision also violates section 93 the Canadian Constitutional Act which enshrines the rights of Catholics in Ontario to a school system in which they can teach their children in a Catholic environment without government interference. While it may be debatable whether or not Bill 13 in its entirety might be constitutional, a matter soon to be taken up by the courts, it’s clear that prohibiting Catholic schools from teaching that abortion is wrong is a clear violation of this legal guarantee of the separation of Church and State.

Of course, one of the issues here is that Catholic schools in Canada do receive public monies. Recently, Catholic Charities of Tulsa, Okla., chose to stop all government funds, relying instead on private donations.

“What Catholic Charities of Tulsa is doing is showing the way forward for Catholics and other Christians who want to be faithful to the ancient Church’s age-old moral teachings, and who want to assist those in need without compromising the truth of the Gospel,” wrote Dr. Samuel Gregg, research director at the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty…

Fr. Robert Sirico, the president of Acton, agrees. “I think we need to separate the giving from the mechanism of the state,” he said. “There’s the threat that he who drinks the king’s wine sings the king’s song.”

It remains to be seen if the Catholics of Ontario will be satisfied with the king’s song and dance.