Political Punch

February 05, 2009

Crime, Sin, and Politics

By Ronald J. Rychlak

On January 9, the Illinois House deliberated less than 90 minutes before voting 114-1 to impeach Gov. Rod Blagojevich. The case then went to the state senate, where on January 29 he was convicted by a vote of 59-0. Illinois legislators may tolerate some corruption, but they will not stand for the incompetence of being caught red-handed.             Federal authorities had wiretapped Blagojevich talking about selling President Barack Obama's vacant Senate seat to the highest bidder....

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January 22, 2009

The Difference Two Days Makes

By Steve Skojec

As Washington D.C. geared up (or in my case, hunkered down) in preparation for the unprecedented influx of people expected to attend the inauguration of President Barack Obama today, a telling paradox came to light. Officials estimate at least 1.5 million people are in town for the historic swearing-in of our nation's first black president. Security is tight, with some 25,000 police officers on duty, all bridges into the city shut down to motor traffic, and enforced attendance cutoffs once...

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January 15, 2009

Staying Balanced on Israel and Gaza

By Mark P. Shea

Last week, startled by the vehemence some Catholics expressed against Israel on her blog in the wake of the attack on Gaza, Dawn Eden noted a vital point about magisterial guidance when it comes to thinking about Israel's right to exist: As a Jewish convert to Catholicism who desires ardently that everyone, especially my loved ones, should find the salvation granted through Jesus Christ, I am distressed to see, following Israel's attempt to stop Hamas's violence against its citizens, some...

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December 18, 2008

Why Conception?

By Michael Baruzzini

In response to Vice-President elect Joe Biden's erroneous public comments on the Catholic Church's teachings on abortion, USCCB Chairman Justin Cardinal Rigali released a statement asking:   When does a new human life begin? When is there a new living organism of the human species, distinct from mother and father and ready to develop and mature if given a nurturing environment?   The answer, the cardinal concludes, is conception -- and he goes on to make it clear that this answer is...

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December 04, 2008

Life Issues in the New Administration

By Ronald J. Rychlak

\The election is over, and the changes are already beginning. For sincere Catholics, the most disappointing prospect is President-elect Barack Obama's complete embrace of the culture of death. He is dedicated not only to preserving the right to abortion, but actually to extending it. Unfortunately, he can make lots of changes quite quickly, and he almost certainly will do so. Last year, Obama promised Planned Parenthood that his first act as president would be to sign a bill that he...

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November 20, 2008

A Prime Minister and Two Cardinals

By Rev. George W. Rutler

Ordinarily this column is devoted to people I have known. Our current national crisis is an excuse for me to mention three exceptions. I cannot say I really knew Winston Churchill, but once my father took me to see him when he was visiting Bernard Baruch in Manhattan. He had no idea who I was but I remember his voice: "You are a good little boy." I took the detached protocol as an oracle. On November 10, 1942, after El Alamein, Churchill had said that the North African campaign was "not...

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November 13, 2008

A 'Culture First' Strategy

One of the great strengths of the Roman Republic was its courageous realism. When Hannibal defeated the Romans in the first great encounter between the two armies, a battle in northern Italy, the leaders of the city called the people together to give them the news, and the opening words of the announcement were these: "We have suffered a tremendous defeat." In their heyday, the Romans obviously did not believe in sugar-coating bad news. Those of us in the pro-life movement need to imitate...

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Now that Barack Obama has been elected president of the United States, one hopes he will be able to carry through on his campaign promise of bringing all kinds of Americans together -- red states and blue states, Republicans and Democrats, whites and blacks, liberals and conservatives, men and women, young and old. Heaven knows we Americans need bringing together.   George W. Bush recognized this need eight years ago when he told us he was "a uniter, not a divider." That Bush failed to...

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November 04, 2008

It Can Happen Here

By John Zmirak

Our choices matter. They hurtle before us into eternity, dragging us in their wake. And in this election, more than any in the United States since 1860, they matter desperately. I wish they didn't.   The single most damning objection raised by atheists is this: Why would a loving, omnipotent God permit sin, suffering, and the eternal damnation of souls? And our answer is stark and comfortless: For the sake of freedom. To give our choices consequence and meaning. To make our existence...

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October 30, 2008

The Moral Case against High Taxation

By Kate Wicker

As a pro-life Catholic, I wouldn't vote for a politician with radical pro-choice views. And, for the most part, even those who disagree with me respect that position. But people begin to raise eyebrows when I say I believe that raising taxes on the wealthy to benefit the less well-off is wrong as well.   How do I reconcile my obligation to promote social justice and embrace Jesus' teaching that "whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me" with my strong...

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