The Corner


Twenty Things that Caught My Eye Today: Foster Care, Lebanon, Love & Marriage & More (July 21, 2020)

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1. Religion Clause: State Department Releases Draft Report of Commission on Inalienable Rights 

2. Washington Post: The lights go out on Lebanon’s economy as financial collapse accelerates

Known as an oasis of prosperity and relative stability during the past decade of Middle East turmoil, Lebanon is descending into poverty, despair and potentially chaos. Economists are now predicting a Venezuela-style collapse, with acute shortages of essential products and services, runaway inflation and rising lawlessness — in a country at the heart of an already unstable region.

3. “He cried out to live:” Woman credited for saving life of newborn found in trash bin

4. Chris Arnade: Immigrants and the American Dream

Newer working class immigrants haven’t fully accepted America’s dominant secular and material culture that views credentials as the central goal of life and individual liberty as the central form of meaning.

They still put their personal desires second to longer term social connections, including family, faith, and local community. The result is they maintain strong communities centered around the church social, the backyard bbq, the sports league, and other things not connected to career building.

5. The New York Times: Planned Parenthood in N.Y. Disavows Margaret Sanger Over Eugenics 

“The removal of Margaret Sanger’s name from our building is both a necessary and overdue step to reckon with our legacy and acknowledge Planned Parenthood’s contributions to historical reproductive harm within communities of color,” Karen Seltzer, the chair of the New York affiliate’s board, said in a statement.


7. Actor Zac Efron Visits Lourdes Sanctuary in Netflix Series: “Incredibly Special and Holy Place”

“It’s hard to believe that back in the 1800s, a 14-year-old girl that people wrote off as crazy, had a miraculous, holy vision, right here at this very spot,” Efron says. “There is no denying the sacred feeling you get, just by being here.”

8. New York Daily News: Queens pastor survives 100-day battle with coronavirus, spent 54 days on ventilator and six weeks in coma

“The whole team said there is no hope, they fully gave up on me,” Thomas recounted. But once Varghese asked for divine intervention, everything seemed to improve.

9. Mgsr. Charles Pope: Coronavirus Stalks in the Darkness, But Do Not Be Afraid

What about us today? Is God no longer with us? Are sickness and death the worst fate or is crippling fear a far more painful and dehumanizing sentence? Isn’t there more to living than just not dying or not getting sick? Will we as a Church be part of this conversation or will we remain fearfully silent? Will we simply reflect the beliefs and opinions of the current culture, or will we influence it with a theology that insists that suffering and death have meaning and an important role in our lives?

10. Institute for Family Studies: Kids Thrive When Their Parents Are in Love

We’ve always known that being in a loving home is good for us. But it’s not just the love of the parent towards the child that is important (though it is important). Kids also do better when their parents love each other.

11. The New York Times: This Hospital Costs $52 Million. It Treated 79 Virus Patients. 

The pandemic has presented unique challenges for officials grappling with a fast-moving and largely unpredictable foe. But the story of the Billie Jean King facility illustrates the missteps made at every level of government in the race to create more hospital capacity in New York. It is a cautionary tale for other states now facing surges in cases and for New Yorkers bracing for a possible second wave.

12. Michael Gerson: John Lewis’s faith was a source of strength in the face of cruelty

Lewis sided with King in embracing a distinctly Christian vision of the “beloved community.” Lewis believed in the promise of interracial democracy. He was an integrationist at a time when many young activists were turning to separatism. And he believed that the movement for civil rights “was based on the simple truth of the Great Teacher: love thy neighbor as thyself.”

13. Maureen Ferguson: AP Report Ignores Important Work Done By Catholic Church

It’s worth considering what “aid to the Roman Catholic Church” means in practice, because the church’s contributions to our society are immeasurable and benefit all Americans, Catholics and non-Catholics alike. 

How so? Beyond the men and women who work in parishes, parochial schools, and archdiocesan offices across the land – American workers that the Paycheck Protection funds were meant to keep employed during the lockdown – there are the Catholic organizations, orders, and societies that have ministered to people in need from our country’s beginning. 

14. Grazie Pozo Christie: Angry mob attack on St. Junipero Serra statue exposes vandals’ ignorance

We have generally been able to understand that the line between good and evil doesn’t lie between one race and another. Rather, in the words of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, it runs “right through every human heart.”

For Hispanics, Serra’s life’s work — his excruciating, months-long evangelical journeys up and down the California wilderness, his peaceful missions where agriculture was taught and noble Christian ideals like the inherent dignity of man were communicated — show that this line was drawn along the farthest edge of the saint’s heart.   

15. National Catholic Register: Democratic Party Aligns with the Growing Disregard for Religious Exemptions

Lipinski, who is Catholic, told the Register that “there are Democrats now who say that religious freedom, religious liberty are just code words for bigotry, and that’s very troubling to me.”

“I think there is really a failure to understand what religious liberty means, how it is enshrined there in the First Amendment to the Constitution,” he said. “There’s been a real attempt to limit religious liberty to being about the practice of one’s own faith, really narrow it down to ‘you can practice your own faith’ — but it stops there.”

16. Fr. Raymond J. de Souza: Wheat and Tares, Saints and Frauds

That good and evil exist side by side is not really news, and is not the meaning of the parable of the wheat and tares. The meaning is that they are so intertwined that sometimes it is hard to recognize which is which. St. John Paul spoke of priestly sexual abuse as a manifestation of the mysterium iniquitatis, the profound mystery of how evil exists in a world made good by God.The parable addresses that, but also a more ordinary sense of the word “mystery.” We simply do not know fully what is going on around us.

17. Robert P. George and Cornel West: To unite the country, we need honesty and courage

We need the honesty and courage to treat decent and honest people with whom we disagree — even on the most consequential questions — as partners in truth-seeking and fellow citizens of our republican order, not as enemies to be destroyed. And we must always respect and protect their human rights and civil liberties.

18. Joe Heschmeyer: How the News and Politics Is Destroying Your Soul (And What You Can Do About It)

It’s worth exploring two questions: How do the people I follow speak and act? Are they doing it with enmity and anger? Or are they marked by a spirit of joy, peace, and patience? And even more importantly, what am I like after I read or watch their stuff? Does it fill me with love and a spirit of kindness? Or do I have the hallmarks of outrage addiction and the works of the flesh? 

19. Russell Moore: How Do You Know If Your Religious Liberty Is Violated? 

Can governments temporarily suspend public gatherings (including churches) or cap their sizes? Yes, as long as there’s a valid reason to do so and as long as houses of worship are treated no differently than other, similarly-situated entities and as long as every reasonable accommodation is made for religious practice.

20. Meet the foster dad who opened his home to kids during the pandemic 



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