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Originally posted at Talk to Action.

 photo franksgraphic_zpsbe286320.jpgIt's time again for the presentation of the annual Coughlin Award. This year's award goes to the cultural warrior’s cultural warrior, Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia.

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Originally posted at Talk to Action.

 photo loathinglincoln.jpgOne under-reported result of the 2014 elections was the rise of Neo-Confederate politics in the U.S. This included the election of unabashed apologist for the Confederacy Michael Peroutka, who was elected to Maryland's Anne Arundel County Council; and Joni Ernst, a proponent of nullification and secession, who was elected to the United States Senate from Iowa. It has also resulted in divisions on the Christian Right as well as in the wider Republican Party.

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Originally posted at Talk to Action.

The Ice Bucket Challenge has been an outstanding success in raising both awareness and research money needed to find a cure for Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). As of September 10, 2014 the ALS Association has raised $111.6 million in Ice Bucket Challenge donations. The wildly popular charity stunt captured the hearts of millions of people last summer bringing together former presidents, movie stars and ordinary citizens in an effort to create a greater awareness necessary to cure a hideous muscle disease. They did it by pouring ice water over themselves and then challenging friends and neighbors to do the same.

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Originally posted at Talk to Action.

I have written a great deal in the past few years about the odd phenomenon of Catholic Neo-Confederatism.  Let's add one more name to the pantheon.

Thomas DiLorenzo is a man of contradictions. He teaches university level economics yet he is best known as an avatar of Neo-Confederatism. He teaches at a Catholic university, but subscribes to economic views that have more in common with the libertarianism of Ayn Rand than anything in Catholic social teaching. He is also a leading loather of Abraham Lincoln and a contemporary advocate of nullification and secession -- two zombie ideas that are being resurrected as a means of and religious oppression -- often in the name of religious liberty.

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Originally posted at Talk to Action.

David Brat, the Tea Party Young Turk who recently shocked the GOP establishment with his primary win over Majority Leader Eric Cantor, is reportedly, a convert to Catholicism, but (one source has him affiliated with four different Virginia churches: St. Michael’s Catholic, Christ Church Episcopal, Third Presbyterian, and Shady Grove Methodist.). If he has converted to Catholicism, it appears he may be hedging his bets.

But if he has indeed become Catholic, apparently he has not yet encountered the Church's social teachings. Brat is a vociferous proponent of libertarian economics, which is not only radically out of step with Church teaching on economics, but glaringly so in the age Pope Francis.

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Originally posted at Talk to Action.
 Pope Francis recently indicated he is serious about ending child sex abuse and cover-ups by Catholic prelates by defrocking a former apostolic nuncio (a nuncio is essentially a high level Vatican diplomat) for having sexual relations with young boys.

But while the Holy See should be applauded for this decisive action, there is unfinished business with the bishop of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Missouri. And the bishop in question is Robert Finn a darling of the American Catholic Right who have very little to say – at least now that he is a convicted criminal.

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Originally posted at Talk to Action

Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, the overseer of the Diocese of Brooklyn-Queens New York, recently weighed in on the recent US Supreme Court decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, the case concerning the ability of certain closely held corporations to opt out of one of the preventive health care  provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare") that required that insurance packages provide free birth control for women. In praising the High Court's decision he offered an analogy that was fractured and misses the point.

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Originally posted at Talk to Action.

William Donohue
The 2013 film "Philomena" tells the moving story of an Irish woman who had an out of wedlock son in the early 1950s.  The nuns with whom she was sent to live sent her son to America for adoption. The film is at once the story of Philomena Lee's search for her child - and a lesson in Christ-like forgiveness as well as of enduring Catholic faith.

So, who would find such a story to be anti-Catholic? Why Bill Donohue, of course!

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Originally posted at Talk to Action.

Fr. C.J. (“John”) McCloskey is in many ways the  American face of the secretive Catholic organization, Opus Dei.  He is a former Wall Streeter, who is well-connected on the Catholic Right and among the political and media elite of Washington, DC. There, he fosters his message of traditional Catholicism and supply-side economics framed with a reactionary view of the American people as being either “Bible Christians and faithful Catholics” or a “...culture of death.”

McCloskey recently raised the stakes of his geo-political vision in an essay in which he considers secession in response to  and the continuation of Roe vs. Wade as the law of the land, which he sees as epitomizing the “tyrannical regime” that is the government of the United States.

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Originally posted at Talk to Action.

Bishop Robert Finn of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Missouri has so far survived  calls for his resignation or removal by Pope Francis. Finn is a convict who not only failed to report suspected child abuse by a parish priest under his charge:  He has become the symbol of ongoing institutional intransigence in addressing the problem of child sex abuse in the Church.

Many Catholics in Finn's diocese -- including priests and nuns -- have had more than enough of him. As the National Catholic Reporter recently reported they have formally appealed to the Vatican “to conduct a canonical review of Bishop Robert Finn say the church's lack of response to his misdemeanor conviction has caused further spiritual harm to the diocese.”

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Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 03:02 AM PST

Mudsill By Any Other Name

by Frank Cocozzelli

Originally posted at Talk to Action.

Over the past year, Rachel Tabachnick and I have written a great deal about the Neo-Confederate elements of the Religious Right. I have focused upon Catholic Neo-Confederates Thomas DiLorenzo and especially Thomas E. Woods, Jr. They claim that without an individual state’s right to secede or at least nullify locally unpopular federal laws and judicial rulings, tyranny reigns.  History not withstanding, they say that secession and nullification are necessary for the expansion of freedom.

I have argued that if Woods' ideas were to prevail, the only freedom that would be expanded would be the freedom to oppress. That freedom to oppress has inglorious roots and those roots have a name that has faded into the fog of history. Its name is Mudsill.

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Originally posted at Talk to Action.

Catholic University of America (CUA) in Washington, DC recently set off a firestorm by accepting a $1 million grant for its new School of Business and Economics from the Charles Koch Foundation.  Progressive minded organizations such as Faith in Public Life called on CUA to return the money, noting how Charles Koch's extreme libertarianism is far out of step with Catholic social teaching on economics.

Many on the Catholic Right responded by slamming Faith in Public Life  for being funded in part by philanthropist George Soros, who they point out is an atheist. But if George Soros' belief (or in his case, non-belief) is in play, why isn't the same standard applied to Charles Koch?

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