Category Archives: Conservative Perspectives

Pearl Harbor, Pope Benedict & the Contested Catholic Discovery of Religious Liberty

Jesus bestowing the “Keys of the Kingdom” (aka, the control of the brand-new Catholic church to Peter, the first pope) in Matthew 16:17-19.

I missed a significant anniversary last month, on December 7.

No, not Pearl Harbor Day, December 7 1941, when a deadly Japanese surprise attack on American bases in Hawaii pulled the U. S. into World War II.

Nor was it December 7, 1973, my son’s birthday. Continue reading Pearl Harbor, Pope Benedict & the Contested Catholic Discovery of Religious Liberty

More on “The Scheme” — Part 1

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, on a Rhode Island beach.

I haven’t met Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Democrat of Rhode Island. And I don’t know much about him, beyond a skim of Wikipedia and some other articles.

(The gist: Northeast liberal, some family money, Yale; he’s 67, doesn’t look it; married only once. As U.S. attorney he put some Rhode island hoods and crooked pols in the slammer. Critics have challenged some of his stock trades in office. The trades seem tacky but not like anything serious; after all, he bought Tesla a couple years ago — does that make him smart or stupid?  Continue reading More on “The Scheme” — Part 1

After Buying the Supreme Court for Rightwing Catholicism — Why not Add a Few Universities? Deal!

[NOTE: Some readers might wonder: why does this Quaker blogger post so often about Catholic church issues & development?

Is it just because I was raised RC? No doubt that upbringing left its marks. [If you’re interested, this background is explored in my memoir, Meetings.]

But there are broader reasons. Here are a few:

— The RC church is the biggest Christian denomination

— In the U.S., it is run increasingly by a rightwing, clerico-fascist faction of the church.

— That faction has become a major pipeline of authoritarian influence in key American institutions, supposedly public and secular (eg., the Supreme Court).

–This authoritarian & theocratic drive has been increasingly effective, with continuing impact far beyond the RC church, on many other groups, many of whose adherents don’t even realize it–

–That would include Quakers.

Perhaps the most important independent watchdog on all this is the National Catholic Reporter. I don’t agree with all their perspectives (having long since left most RC dogmas behind); but their work is the best we’ve got.

This deep report outlines the impact of one key activist rightwing Catholic, Leonard Leo. He was once aptly described by justice Clarence Thomas as “the No. 3 most powerful person in the world,” and readers can get a better understanding here of the Catholic side of that quip.

It matters.]

Leonard Leo has reshaped the Supreme Court. Is he reshaping Catholic University too?
National Catholic Reporter — December 15, 2022 — News

by John Gehring

[John Gehring is Catholic program director at Faith in Public Life and author of The Francis Effect: A Radical Pope’s Challenge to the American Catholic Church.

Leonard Leo

During a June gathering inside a century-old gothic building at the Catholic University of America, mingling among the crowd gathered to say farewell to departing president John Garvey was one of the most powerful men in Washington.

Leonard Leo, the chief adviser to Donald Trump on Supreme Court nominations, listened as one of those picks he helped secure on the bench, Amy Coney Barrett, delivered remarks praising Garvey, her longtime mentor and former law professor at the University of Notre Dame. Leo and Barrett’s presence together that night reflects the rising influence of conservative Catholics on the law at a time when the Supreme Court’s rightward transformation is reconfiguring American jurisprudence on issues of abortion, voting rights and religious liberty. Continue reading After Buying the Supreme Court for Rightwing Catholicism — Why not Add a Few Universities? Deal!

Indiana AG Targets Doctor who helped 10 year-old rape victim

[NOTE: Given that the core anti-abortion belief that abortion is murder, there are many of the movement’s zealots who are eager to see doctors and other medical personnel involved on trial, in prison, and/or on death row. AG Rokita is hard-charging to stage the first big show trial, or get as near to one as he can.  Even if his effort fails, what is euphemistically called its “chilling effect” (plain talk: intimidation) will be real. I expect other such show trials to follow.]

AP News: AG: Penalize doctor who spoke of Ohio 10-year-old’s abortion

November 30, 2022
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana’s Republican attorney general on Wednesday asked the state medical licensing board to discipline an Indianapolis doctor who has spoken publicly about providing an abortion to a 10-year-old rape victim who traveled from Ohio after its more-restrictive abortion law took effect. Continue reading Indiana AG Targets Doctor who helped 10 year-old rape victim

National Review: Trump is finished & will be indicted

[Note: since the midterm elections, with their disappointing outcomes for many Republicans, there have been reports that some influential conservatives are ready to end their support for Donald Trump. One place where such sentiments have surfaced is in National Review, a senior conservative journal, founded in 1955. How influential this burst of chatter will be with the legions of Trump supporters is by no means certain; but here is an articulate sample.]

Continue reading National Review: Trump is finished & will be indicted