I am a big fan of ArchBishop Dolan, who was featured on 60 Minutes last week. The interview mixed some standard snarky liberal remarks with some clear admiration for Dolan’s charm and intellect. Watch here and here. This way my favorite exchange:
Morley safer remarked/asked: "But if you think that Dolan is going to push for changes in those doctrines and beliefs, think again: despite the jolly, open demeanor, he’s about as conservative as they come. … No question that you’re conciliatory, that you like to dialogue, but underneath that you’re an old-fashioned conservative; I mean, in the sense of a right-wing conservative."
I loved Dolan’s response: "I would bristle at being termed “right-wing,” but if somebody means enthusiastically committed and grateful for the timeless heritage of the Church, and feeling that my best service is when I try to preserve that and pass that on in its fullness and beauty and radiance, I’m a conservative, no doubt.”
Political note: So it appears we have replaced one President with an inflated sense of executive authority with another. Remember candidate Obama saying this? – “The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.”
How does this square with Secretary of Defense Gates saying on Meet the Press yesterday that “I don’t think it’s a vital interest for the United States”?
This article briefly discusses gender difference as seen through the difference between how girls and boys play. Her description of the imaginative girl play is spot on with my children (all girls). Madeline, at 4 my oldest, develops these very elaborate narratives about place and person and relationships, but we never actually do anything but continue to elaborate on the narrative. I know gender identity is muddy waters to wade into, but having children is a pretty good argument for considerable nature differences between men and women.
That said, I am glad that my 4 year old wants to have her 5 year birthday party themed on “math games.” She loves doing addition, subtraction and various other math puzzles. I am encouraged because recent studies show that as soon as 2nd grade girls already think math is for boys.
A video review of the process of translating the new Missal. Quite an interesting inside look at what goes into translating a large work in Latin into English.
A nice reflection on consequentialism and the Catholic understanding of sin.
Hart encourages (ironically?) a return to a way of being politely discourteous – social “cutting” which is the practice of obviously failing to greet or even notice a person in a public setting. This is done as a rebuke for some outrage against public decency.
David Brooks discusses a “new humanism.” He makes a short list of suggested qualities that would be encouraged by the “new humanism.” These include attunement (the ability to understand how others think), equipoise (a kind of self-control and ability to correct for one’s biases), metis (the ability to see patterns in complex situations), sympathy (a social skill required for being a “team player”), and limerence (a motivation having to do with transcendence). This looks to me like an excellent way of framing the value of a philosophy degree, or liberal arts degree generally.
Should you give money to a homeless person? Studies suggest that the answer is yes and no.