Saturday, May 29, 2021
I suppose we knew this was coming, but it's still striking to see:
U.S. President Joe Biden’s proposed 2022 budget omits a ban on federal funding for most abortions that has been part of government spending bills for decades.
The budget, released Friday, makes no mention of the "Hyde Amendment," first passed in 1976, which has been included in federal spending bills since.
When X is publicly funded, a common result is more X.
Friday, May 28, 2021
The Notre Dame Law School Program on Church, State & Society has awarded three fellowships to Notre Dame law students for the summer of 2021. The fellowships are designed to give law students legal experience with religiously affiliated organizations. This year’s fellows are Lizzie Walter, Alec Afarian, and Mary Coleman.
May 28, 2021 | Permalink
A friend sent me a link to this speech, by President Roosevelt, to the National Conference of Catholic Charities in 1933. Here's a bit:
[T]he people of the United States still recognize, and, I believe, recognize with a firmer faith than ever before, that spiritual values count in the long run more than material values. Those people in other lands, and I say this advisedly, those in other lands who have sought by edict or by law to eliminate the right of mankind to believe in God and to practice that belief, have, in every known case, discovered sooner or later that they are tilting in vain against an inherent, essential, undying quality, indeed necessity, of the human race —a quality and a necessity which in every century have proved an essential to permanent progress—and I speak of religion.
Wednesday, May 26, 2021
I've been enjoying a newish journal called Plough Quarterly. The latest edition has (among other things) a really nice essay by Leah Libresco Sargeant called "Let the Body Testify: Whose Body Counts?" Sargeant makes good use of the new book by my colleague, Carter Snead, What It Means to Be Human. Here is Sargeant:
The vulnerability of our bodies is part of what binds us together into a community. In Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan, the story begins with the traveler’s suffering when he is beaten and robbed. His need is what calls neighborliness out of the Good Samaritan, who binds the traveler’s wounds, takes him to a refuge, and ensures his continued care.
This story is Christ’s answer to an expert in the law, who asks Jesus to clarify the limits of the Great Commandment. God calls me to love my neighbor as myself, but who, exactly, counts as my neighbor? And, left as the subtext, who doesn’t count? Whom am I allowed to not love?
Here, in the (indispensable) Church Life Journal, is an essay by (the indispensable) John Cavadini, called "Is the Secular University a Contradiction in Terms?". A bit:
Ex Corde does conceive of the university as having utility, but its main usefulness is precisely in its institutional witness to the pursuit of truth as good in itself, and to the vision of the human being whose dignity is reflected in his or her capacity for joy in the truth. It is only useful secondarily, in the practical utility of knowledge acquired or imparted along the way.
That this could be a viable, intellectually coherent enterprise, as noted, implies an institutional commitment to a view of reality where reality is characterized by an intelligibility that is not simply imposed and thus a mere construction and therefore not truth. This means a commitment not simply to truths in the plural, but to truth as transcending all individual truths, namely, to quote Ex Corde again, “the supreme Truth, who is God.” Although Ex Corde is here speaking specifically of Catholic universities, the claim is that this is how the Catholic university fulfills its identity not so much as Catholic, but as a university.
It is a claim about what is essential for a university to provide the cultural service which most makes it useful. It is the precisely institutional dedication to truth as transcendent of particular truths and of their utility, and its concomitant explicit commitment to the idea of God as the Supreme Truth, that permits a Catholic university—or any university—to fulfill and preserve the broadly based humanistic vision that is properly at the heart of a school dedicated to educating in the tradition of the liberal arts. It is this commitment that permits a Catholic university to resist a purely utilitarian view of education and its tag-along reductionist view of human being. In other words, the pursuit of truth for its own sake is in itself a witness to human dignity. One cannot “improve the world” and at the same time violate human dignity, or, as Notre Dame’s mission statement puts it, “a sense of human solidarity and . . . the common good,” explicitly employing language drawn from Catholic Social Teaching and Ex Corde both.
Monday, May 24, 2021
The Catholic Bishop of Charleston, along with the South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities, filed a federal lawsuit challenging the South Carolina constitution’s “Blaine Amendment.” This provision, which prohibits the state from “directly” funding any religious or private school, is responsible for blocking the schools operated by the litigants from receiving the federal COVID-19 relief funds to which they are entitled. Although Governor McMaster planned to distribute these funds equitably to all schools, the Blaine Amendment has caused private schools in South Carolina, including many that educate the state’s most vulnerable children and young adults, to miss out on millions of dollars of federal coronavirus funding during the pandemic.
Full article by Nicole Stelle Garnett & Daniel T. Judge at Real Clear Policy:https://www.realclearpolicy.com/articles/2021/05/20/ending_the_shame_of_blaine_777880.html
May 24, 2021 | Permalink
Friday, May 21, 2021
Here is a short piece I did for Our Sunday Visitor on the recently granted Dobbs case. A bit:
It is often asserted by abortion-rights advocates that regulations of abortion involve the inappropriate imposition of a sectarian (which usually means “Catholic”) morality. In fact, until Roe, Anglo-American law had always permitted governments to proscribe abortions, and there is nothing specifically “Catholic” about recognizing the fact that unborn children are human persons, entitled to the same legal protections enjoyed by other (bigger, perhaps) persons. . . .
Thursday, May 20, 2021
Law students are invited to submit a no more than 1,500 word essay on the dangers of adopting a broad “history test” to justify violations of the separation between state and church. The contest will award $10,000 in prize money, with $4,000 for first place, $3,000 for second and $2,000 for third place, plus $500 discretionary awards for honorable mentions. The deadline is midnight on June 15, 2021.
May 20, 2021 | Permalink
I've very excited to be presenting my paper, Spirit of the Corporation, at the 12th Annual Berle Symposium tomorrow. The theme this year is Corporate Capitalism and the City of God, the first time it has considered the role of religion in corporate law and theory. It is a great group of corporate scholars, religion scholars, business scholars, and historians. Details of the conference can be found here, and my paper can be found here.
Wednesday, May 19, 2021
Latest issue of the Journal of Law & Religion is free through June 15: https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/journal-of-law-and-religion/latest-issue
May 19, 2021 | Permalink