The Corner

Twenty Things that Caught My Eye Today: Nigeria, Foster Care, Zoom & More (July 28, 2020)

1. Catholic News Agency: ‘Beyond reprehensible’: Christian aid workers executed in Nigeria

Bishop Matthew H. Kukah of the Nigerian Diocese of Sokoto said that the situation in the country stems from a culture that has devalued Christianity and no longer cares about faith. 

“This is the vacuum that [extremists] are exploiting–mainly, a west that is in retreat, as far as Christianity and Christian values are concerned, a west in which diplomats and businesspeople are far from being interested in matters of faith, especially when it comes to Christianity,” said Kukah

2.  FOX News: Infant critically wounded in Chicago expressway shooting

3. The Baltimore Sun: Joseph Costa, ICU Doctor at Mercy Medical Center, dies of the coronavirus he worked to help others overcome

4. Kelsey Bolar: Her Father Ensured Her Escape From China. Now She Hopes to Free Him From Prison.

5. Catholic News Agency: Controversial Dutch bill would allow assisted suicide for healthy people over 75

Currently, the quickest growing category of euthanasia deaths in the Netherlands is people suffering from a mental illness but no physical impairment, Macdonald noted.

“To now consider extending the euthanasia law to people who are just tired of life, and may well be depressed, is highly irresponsible, immoral and dangerous,” he said.

6. Naomi Schaefer Riley: Children Last

The answer, at least in part, must be better training for foster parents and recruitment of a larger number of foster parents. The more options that caseworkers have for placing a child, the less likely they will be to place a square peg into a round hole. It’s not uncommon for foster families who say they can handle young kids to hear demands from caseworkers that they take an older one, or to get pressure to accept more kids than they can handle. Relatively few families are equipped to deal with special-needs children or medically fragile ones, but these kids have to go somewhere. Improving the recruitment, training, and support of foster families should be a priority for anyone who cares about fixing the child-welfare system.

7.  The Chronicle of Social Change: Missouri Child Welfare Overhaul Includes Kinship Diversion, Access to Birth Documents

The new law creates a “temporary alternative placement agreement,” which is described as an agreement between parents, relatives and the child welfare agency whereby the physical custody of the child changes, but there is no formal removal into foster care. These arrangements are limited to 90 days, and are meant to avoid the often traumatic experience of a court-ordered removal, an action that sets cases on a path where parents could have their rights terminated. 

8. NBC Los Angeles: Adoptions Once Frozen in Time Resume in Pandemic, Officially Uniting Families

Greenberg, along with the judicial counsel, the alliance for children’s rights and the public counsel did something that’s never been done: they rewrote the adoption playbook, created new electronic files, and allowed volunteer judges to finalize uncontested adoptions from a computer, wherever and whenever they have time.

“Everybody was committed to making something work for these kids,” Greenberg said.

9. Russell Shaw: In foster care case, another religious liberty test looms before the Supreme Court

In the term that begins in October, the justices will hear a case called Fulton v. Philadelphia in which the Archdiocese of Philadelphia is challenging the city’s action forcing Catholic Social Services out of the local foster care program because the Catholic agency won’t place children with same-sex couples.

The case does not raise identically the same issues as those involved in the Supreme Court’s recent LGBTQ decision on job discrimination (Bostock v. Georgia). But the clash of interests involved here was foreseen by Justice Neil Gorsuch in a section of his Bostock majority opinion. Conflicts between religious liberty and LGBTQ claims, he remarked, raise “questions for future cases” that the Supreme Court would eventually have to decide.

10. Julie Jargon: Lonely Girls: How the Pandemic Has Deepened the Isolation of Adolescents

“All of the things that a year ago were increasing girls’ depression have been exacerbated by the pandemic,” Dr. Pipher told me. “Our recommendations were that girls spend more time with other girls, that they spend more time outside the home and that parents encourage girls to take more risks in order to develop skills on their own. Most of those things aren’t happening now because of Covid.”

11. Archbishop Lori: How church teaching can help explain why ‘Black Lives Matter’

The words “Black Lives Matter” ought to remind us that every Black person is made in God’s image and is endowed with inviolable dignity, from the moment of conception until natural death. But why single out Black people? Why not be content just to say that everyone is God’s handiwork? First, in saying “Black Lives Matter,” let us remember that we are part of a church whose past is stained by its participation in slavery and other forms of racism. Let us also remember that we live in a country where slavery was once the law of the land in both local statutes and the Constitution. 

12. Mgsr. Richard C. Antall: We Don’t Honor Secession. We Honor Reconciliation

We are moving toward a society that discounts reconciliation and favors even the violent settling of scores.

13. Emma Green: When Conservative Justices Revolt

“There’s certainly going to be some areas that people are going to be disappointed with,” Leo said. But “if you look at where the Supreme Court is today, versus where it was 25, or 30, or 40 years ago, there’s no way that I would trade today’s Court.” Leo, who is in his 50s, has been an influential player in Republican judicial appointments for more than two decades. “We’re having a conversation about whether an application of originalism or textualism could be … botched, as opposed to whether originalism and textualism are abandoned altogether in favor of a more activist kind of overreach,” he said.

14. Tod Worner: Never Destroying, Forever Mending: The Wisdom of a Wall

This craggy fence reminds you of the frontiers of your home and the value of your hearth, and it also reminds me of mine. To me, it speaks of warm order and the assurance of eternity, of steadfastness and integrity. And, of course, it is a meeting place where you and I patch up what has been lost in the last year and found again, what has been forgotten and made new. And we can engage in discussion and continue our debate as we mend the wall for its many purposes. Never destroying, forever mending.

15. Andrea Picciotti-Bayer: Reopening Catholic Schools Can Benefit Countless Students

Before long, the high court is bound to look at the constitutionality of government orders affecting the operations of religious institutions. I am confident that religious institutions will be the victors. In the meantime, Catholic and other religious schools, especially in regions where hospitals are far from being overtaxed, should forge ahead with plans to reopen this fall.

16. Religion News Service: For French Catholics, arson at Nantes cathedral shows their religion is under attack

17. Ronald Radosh: De Havilland Saved Hollywood from Stalin

Trumbo wanted her to condemn “the drive of certain interests toward a war against the Soviet Union,” and his text condemned Truman for union busting, anti-Semitism and racial bigotry.

What de Havilland did was unprecedented and gutsy. Without informing Trumbo or anyone else in the committee’s leadership, she read to the rally not Trumbo’s prepared words, but her own, written with the help of James Roosevelt, the late president’s anticommunist son, who was one of the committee’s leaders.

18.David Wolpe & Kinney Zalesne: What Would Martin Buber Think of Zoom? 

Zoom and Teams can be said to tug us toward I-It: every day now we show up to one another as audiovisual squares, who with the click of a mouse can be hidden, muted, and minimized. As human beings, we are increasingly app-like ourselves, easy to summon and easy to close.

19.  Nick Ripatrazone: Remember Reading in Public? 

The quiet, communal experience of public reading is nearly sacral; the private self made public. The act of reading has a whisper of the monastic—the world before the printing press, when hand-copied texts were shared and savored. This is a romantic conception of the reading act because most readers are romantics at heart: people who believe in the songs made by poems and stories.

20. Eighth Day Books Catalog 23 

 

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