Around the Web, 12/6

Women and the Reformation

What’s are the legacies of the Reformation? That seems to be the topic of the hour in the Christian blogsophere in the year of the 500th anniversary. I wrote a series on the good things to come from the Reformation from a Catholic perspective.

Protestant blogger Libby Anne writes, “What Women Lost in the Protestant Reformation“.

“The Protestant Reformation changed the very nature of women’s space. It changed the terrain on which women negotiated their role in society. No longer could a woman go to the pope and petition to create her own religious order. No longer could a woman opt to spend her life in contemplation and study rather than domestic labor. No longer could a woman live in a space dominated by other women, rather than in a domestic household in obedience to a father or husband. To be sure, the options women had were never perfect—but they were options.”

There are good points in the post about the loss of feminine spirituality – at least in the initial wave of the Reformation. But I’m not sure I would describe the two vocational paths available to women before the Reformation as “options”. Just as most marriages were arranged in the Middle Ages, the freely chosen vocation was the exception rather than the rule.

The Benefits of Boredom

A distracted man goes on a trip in the wilderness and discovers the benefits of boredom. From Outside Magazine.

Tax Relief for the Rich at Expense of the Poor  “Unconscionable”

The USCCB (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops) wrote letters to the House of Representatives and the Senate about the tax bill:

“Doubling the standard deduction will help some of those in poverty to avoid tax liability, and this is a positive good contained in the bill. However, as written, this proposal appears to be the first federal income tax modification in American history that will raise income taxes on the working poor while simultaneously providing a large tax cut to the wealthy. This is simply unconscionable. The nonpartisan congressional Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) indicates that by 2023 this tax plan will raise taxes on average tax payers making between $20,000 and $40,000 per year. Taxes for this group will be raised again in 2025, and again in 2027. Taxes will also increase on average taxpayers earning between $10,000 and $20,000 in 2025. The federal poverty line is $12,228 for one person, and $24,339 for a two-parent family with two children. Nearly one in three Americans live in a family with income below 200% of the poverty line. Meanwhile, average taxpayers who make over $1 million experience dramatic tax cuts for the same periods. No tax reform proposal is acceptable that increases taxes for those living in poverty to help pay for benefits to wealthy citizens.”

They’re not mincing words here. Will we hear anything about this national tragedy from the pulpits on Sunday, I wonder?

In addition, the Senate opened up the irresponsible drilling of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

While similar bills have now passed both the House and Senate, they need to vote on a reconciled version. That means it’s not too late to contact your Senators and House representative.

Grand Canyon Time-lapse


Mary and Islam

“What Islam really teaches about the Virgin Mary” by Francis X. Clooney S.J. for America.