Friday, August 29, 2014

More on Jill Lepore's Book of Ages: The Life and Opinions of Jane Franklin — The Challenge of Reconstructing Women's Lives in Historical Studies

Some days back, I blogged about Jill Lepore's brilliant history of Jane Franklin Mecom, a sister of Benjamin Franklin, Book of Ages: The Life and Opinions of Jane Franklin (NY: Random House, 2013). As I noted, Lepore points out that, while the sky was the limit for Jane's brilliant brother, she spent her life giving birth, caring for and burying numerous children, dealing with the messes several of her children made of their lives, cleaning house, buying and preparing food, trying to eke out a living for her dependents on a tiny income, making soap, dyeing cloth, plying her needle to sew and earn money for her family through needlework, etc. Though she had a brilliant mind and a thirst for the education afforded without question to her brother Benjamin and most men in her time and place . . . .

National Catholic Reporter Exercises Censorship Again: Jerry Slevin Reports Being Blocked from Commenting at NCR — Without Any Explanation

An important discussion has been taking place here in the past several days on two different threads. At both threads (cited below), Jerry Slevin reports that he was recently blocked from making comments at National Catholic Reporter — blocked without explanation or warning. And when he has sought an explanation for this from the powers that be at NCR, he receives no replies to his questions.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Thanking You for Recent Comments, and Explaining Why I'm Running Behind in Replying to Them

Dear Readers,

My schedule has been more than usually chopped up with non-blogging commitments lately, and I'm falling behind in thanking you for comments you've left here in recent days. I wanted to let you know that I appreciate them and will do my best to respond, when I can find a few free minutes. Wishing all of you a good weekend, too — one that will perhaps begin for U.S. readers of this blog tomorrow, given the Labor Day holiday . . . .

The Catholic Abuse Crisis: Three Recent Stories — Cardinal Pell (Again) Infuriates Survivors, Bishop Finn Up for Probation, Damning Report on Józef Wesołowski , Former Apostolic Nuncio to Dominican Republic

On the front of the sex-abuse crisis in the Catholic church, there have been several important stories in recent days. I'd like to point readers today to commentary about these stories that I've found valuable: 

Quote for Day: "We Must Not Lose Sight of Michael Brown's Body"

At Moyers & Company, Ian Haney López reminds us that, beyond all the heated rhetoric about what has or has not happened in Ferguson, Missouri, lies a human being. Whose body was left lying for hours in the street after he was gunned down, no weapons in his hands:

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Apologies for Absurd Spell-Correct Error

My apologies to readers that I did not see until now the crazy spell-check correction the automatic-insert program made in my first posting today. I typed "evangelical pastors," and sassy Ms. Spell-Check changed the phrase to "evangelical pastures." She has done that before when I type the word "pastors." This time, I didn't see it happening, and am only now spotting the change as I re-read the text later in the day.

I do know the difference, and am chagrined to think readers of the posting may have imagined I don't.  Don't even get me started on the way Ms. Spell-Check tries to change the word "contracept" into "contract." Her theological vocabulary appears to be a bit limited, to say the least. 

Talking About Exile: Valuable Testimony from Tom Doyle and Ruth Krall

Yesterday, I looked at the movement now developing among conservative Christians in the U.S. to herd the church into exile. The reasoning that lies behind this rhetoric appears to be that since contemporary American culture has resisted the attempt of the churches to control culture to offer the good news of Christ to it via culture wars, the churches are left now with only one plausible response: to turn their backs on contemporary culture and go into exile.