The Vatican has scolded American nuns for deviating from Church doctrine. Conservative bishops decry President Obama’s health-care reform for violating their religious freedom. But some Catholics find this heated rhetoric at odds with the gentler message of Jesus, as Catholic theologian Paul Surlis said in this excerpted sermon.
As talks on Iran’s nuclear program resume in Moscow, the United States and Western powers are showing little willingness to pull back on economic sanctions, even in exchange for Iran’s suspension of its higher refinement of uranium. Ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar suggests looking at the issue from the Iranian side.
Exclusive: The Framers of the U.S. Constitution never looked smarter than when the American system of a strong central government is compared to the European Union model, a loose federation staggered by disunity. But the Tea Partiers want a states’ rights structure more like Europe’s, writes Robert Parry.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s recall victory was a glimpse into the future of American “democracy,” as billionaires showered him with Super PAC gifts like they might a favorite new mistress, a concern addressed by Bill Moyers and Michael Winship.
The American Right has grabbed a sizable voting bloc of working- and middle-class men by pitting jobs from coal against the environment. In the short term, this dichotomy seems to make sense – since it’s important to pay the bills – but it is a mid- to long-range disaster, says former steel worker Lee Ballinger.
Special Report: Definitive proof of a historical mystery is often elusive, even with archival documents and memoirs. Skeptics can always say some witness or some evidence isn’t perfect. But the case that Richard Nixon sabotaged the Vietnam peace talks in 1968 to win that pivotal election is clear, writes Robert Parry.
Special Report: The 40th anniversary of the Watergate break-in has brought reflections on the scandal’s larger meaning, but Official Washington still misses the connection to perhaps Richard Nixon’s dirtiest trick, the torpedoing of Vietnam peace talks that could have ended the war four years earlier, Rober Parry reports.
The Israeli-Palestinian crisis is one of the world’s most troublesome conflicts, especially since it has been exploited by extremists on both sides to justify a range of violent actions far and wide. A book by the son of an Israeli war hero puts the dispute in a human context, writes David Swanson at warisacrime.org.
If the teachings of Jesus were really taken seriously, the Christian Right wouldn’t be devoting so much time to protecting the wealth of the wealthiest. True Christians would be demanding redistribution of the world’s riches in ways far more radical than modern politicians would dare propose, as Rev. Howard Bess explains.
Late-stage capitalism has similarities to an aging billionaire terrified of microscopic germs – imagine Howard Hughes at the end of his days – trying to extend life by frenetically worrying about invisible dangers, writes Phil Rockstroh in this reflection on his father’s death.