Links: Flynn wants an American religion; Cavadini on the love of the poor; Dionne’s political advice


A wise reader took issue with my essay on Friday, especially the reference to Jonathan Haidt’s book The Right Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion. His concern was that I suggested – or the authors of the investigative report suggested and repeated – the idea that the Conservatives embrace some of the six moral intuitions (care, fairness, liberty, loyalty, authority and holiness) which, according to Haidt, are fundamental to all moral systems while liberals embrace others. Haidt’s argument is, as the reader has pointed out, less impartial. As William Saletan wrote in a brilliant New York Times Review at the time:

Faith, patriotism, bravery, chastity, law and order – these Republican themes cut across all six moral foundations, while Democrats, in Haidt’s analysis, focus almost entirely on caring for and combating oppression. This is Haidt’s surprising message to the left: when it comes to morality, conservatives are more open-minded than liberals. They serve a more varied diet.

I cannot speak for the authors of the survey, but I do not agree with Haidt here and I think the distribution of moral intuitions between left and right is more balanced. But I should have made it clear that this is my point of view, not Haidt’s. I regret the confusion and thank the reader for the correction.

Today the bishops will vote on their inadequate Eucharist document and almost everyone is hoping that it will be passed just to put the problem behind us. But how come the chairman of the doctrine committee, Bishop Kevin Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Indiana, produced such a lackluster document while the theology professor at the University of Notre Dame, John Cavadini, was just writing a exquisite item that the Church is “a sacrament of the preferential option for the poor”.

Former Donald Trump adviser General Michael Flynn thinks he knows what America needs. He wants the country to have a religion. Does this man know anything about American history or America today? The wars of religion ended in the 17th century, didn’t they? Daniel Politi at Slate has history.

In The Washington Post, EJ Dionne argues that Democrats need to stop getting sucked into debates about the issues Republicans want to discuss and, instead, stand up for the policies that are really in infrastructure and Build Back Better bills, policies that will help American families:

But these families will not even know what is on offer if the supporters of Reconstruire en Better (1) do not pass it through both houses; and (2) put the same explaining and defending energy that the Conservatives invested in making “critical race theory” three of the most popular words in political commentary.

The president signs the infrastructure bill today. Since it passed the House two weeks ago, Republicans have had a tough time. This is how Democrats work their way into the midterms. Make the GOP respond to it.

AT Politics, Holly Otterbein examines some key Republican gains in suburban Philadelphia. It was the suburbs that delivered the all-important swing state to Joe Biden in 2020, where he consistently outperformed Hillary Clinton. Republicans didn’t mention Trump during the campaign, but the GOP base came out anyway. Democrats need to figure out how to run against Republicans again, not just against Trump.

AT Sapientia, the online journal of the Center on Religion and Culture at Fordham University, Christopher Bellitto writes about the history that makes us humble. It includes a wonderful observation by CS Lewis that I was not familiar with. Reflecting on World War I Lewis observed: “Seeing this one comes to the realization that our own time is also ‘a period’ and certainly, like all periods, has its own characteristic illusions. They are more likely to hide in those widespread assumptions which are so ingrained in the times that no one dares to attack them or deems it necessary to defend them. ”What a splendid and cutting invitation to intellectual humility!

I can’t help but laugh every time I watch this ad for Mark Zuckerberg’s “Metaverse”, created by the Icelandic tourism bureau, the “Islandevers. “The line that kills me every time is” water that gets wet. “


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