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      Gonna Stick My Sword in the Golden Sand: A Vietnam Soldier's Story has just been released. The title comes from a stanza of the gospel traditional, Down by the Riverside, with its refrain--"Ain't gonna study war no more." Golden Sand is a bold, dark, and intense retelling of the Vietnam experience through the eyes of an army scout that is […]
      Obie Holmen
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      I am pleased and honored that the UCC has asked me to moderate a symposium during the games entitled Queer Christians: Celebrating the Past, Shaping the Future. [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
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      . . . a.k.a Port MacquarieI've spent the last week-and-a-half in the Australian coastal town of Port Macquarie, which since 2002 has been home to my parents, Gordon and Margaret Bayly (pictured with me above last Thursday, July 20).I was happy to see that on the local council's new-look signage for the town the aboriginal word for the area – Guruk […]
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      NEXT: Return to GurukImage: Michael J. Bayly (Flynns Beach, Port Macquarie).
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    • Not Our President November 16, 2016
      To hear the simplistic denial of those who scream out with naiveté “give Trump a chance” as they condemn others engaged in selfless protest against a certain political and social tsunami in the making, is to ignore his life-time public embrace of policies that tens of millions reject as not just destructive, but evil per se. They are not mistaken.Those in st […]
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For Further Reading on the Catholic Right: Frank Cocozzelli’s Commentary

2008 Faith in Public Life Survey, Younger American Catholics

As an appendix to my discussions of the shared political objectives of the Catholic religious and political right—of the Catholic right’s subordination of Catholic ideas and values to neoconservative economic and political ideology—I’d like to recommend an extremely valuable resource to readers seeking more information about this topic.

Frank Cocozzelli, Director of the Institute for Progressive Christianity (and an Open Tabernacle collaborator), has done yeoman’s work for some time now tracking and exposing the Catholic right. His ongoing multi-part series on the Catholic right at the Talk to Action website is must-reading for anyone concerned about the collusion of the Catholic right with right-wing money and power, and about the effects of that collusion on our political process. A chronological listing of all his articles and postings at Talk to Action is on Frank’s profile page for the site.

As Frank Cocozzelli’s incisive, soundly documented analysis in this treasure trove of articles about the Catholic religious and political right demonstrates, what is driving its leaders—including political power-brokers like Deal Hudson, Brent Bozell, Newt Gingrich, and Robert P. George, and ecclesiastical players like Archbishop Charles Chaput and Archbishop Raymond Burke and their supporters—is not so much the desire to outlaw abortion and maintain strict orthodoxy, as it is the drive to impose one political viewpoint and one political party on all American Catholics in the name of “orthodoxy.” As my last posting on this topic noted, this drive to make being Catholic synonymous with being neoconservative (and Republican) in the final decades of the 20th century has had extremely destructive effects on the American Catholic church, which are only now becoming apparent to many observers.

With Pew Forum data  last year showing that one in ten Americans is now a former Catholic, and that one third of American Catholic adults have now left the church, it seems to be high time to reconsider the political-cum-pastoral strategy that has dominated the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops for several decades now.  With one index after another indicating that the younger generation of American Catholics is leaving the church in even higher proportions, it’s hard to imagine a bright future for the Catholic church in the U.S. unless the Catholic-neoconservative political alliance is decisively reconsidered, and the conversation about what it means to be Catholic in the 21st century opened up to many more voices than those the center has welcomed in recent years.

(Cross-posted from Bilgrimage, 3 March 2009, with editorial changes)

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