Andrew Sullivan has not, thankfully, died, but his wonderful blog, after fifteen grueling years, has folded up, leaving many readers wondering where to go on the Internet for a stimulating mix of politics, culture, and religion, among many other things.
So, as a small simulacrum of what he and his team did daily at the Dish, I post several brief items found on the Internet, including a note of my own.
If you want love in your life, you'd better be prepared to tell and believe some lies, according to Clancy Martin in his new book Love and Lies. Kant, who said it is always wrong to lie, was a lifelong bachelor with no apparent experience with romance and the way lovers must bend the truth. Does flattery count as a white lie?
It's a great success, apparently, according the latest figures, with ten million Americans enrolled. Gail Collins in the NYTimes today (2-12-15) has a wonderful Op-Ed column: you can tell Obamacare is great, she says, by looking at the people who oppose it.
CLERGY SEXUAL ABUSE
An acquaintance asked me this week, "Have you been excommunicated yet?" His tone was sardonic, even bitter, as if he expected that I, a layman, would be censured for openly criticizing the Catholic church in the Orlando Sentinel on the issue of the priesthood and its practice of admitting only celibate men. He was unaware that it is my duty to speak up in the spirit of the ongoing reform called for by the Second Vatican Council. The most recent Synod in Rome expects input from the laity.
My acquaintance also was unaware of how commonplace my ideas were: I merely stated what millions of others have been writing and saying in progressive organizations like Call to Action for thirty years and more.
Of the many bouquets I have received for my article, most focused on a man going to bat for women's ordination. But my real target was the clericalism rightly criticized by Pope Francis and the celibate culture that is at the center of clericalism.
To a critic who said I should have left out sexual abuse by priests in my otherwise "excellent article," I quote a member of the papal commission on abuse, as reported in the National Catholic Reporter this week. Peter Saunders, an abuse survivor, said that the only positive thing he can say about the priests who raped him was that they were "desperately lonely people." To me, that speaks volumes about the state of the Catholic priesthood, at least as it has been in recent decades.
On that sad note, I say farewell to Sully (Andrew Sullivan and his team) and a profound thank you for enlivening my reading and broadening my mind.