No-One Expects the Marquett Inquisition

With apologies to Robert Tracinski.

Cheryl Abbate, a grad student teaching “Theory of Ethics” at Marquette University, recently told a student that if he wants to speak against gay marriage, he should drop her class.  We do not know the student’s name but we do know that he secretly recorded the conversation, which took place after class, on his cell phone, and that the recording has been heard by Marquette political science professor Prof. John McAdams, and by aFox News reporter among others.

The student says he approached Ms. Abbate after class because she had put up a discussion list of controversial topics, including gun control, death penalty, gay rights on the blackboard and when it came to gay rights, she just crossed it off saying “everybody agrees about that”.  Ms. Abbate later claimed to Inside Higher Ed that this was just a case of not enough time to discuss all topics.  But on tape she told the student after class than any opposition to gay marriage would offend gay students in her class and so should not happen. When the student complained to Marquette, he was referred to the Chair of the philosophy department, who blew off the complaint.

I am not surprised that this could in Midwest universities, because it has already happened to at least one Catholic student at a public high school in Michigan.

I wish I were surprised it is happening in an allegedly Catholic university, but two years ago I was invited to address a small group of students at Georgetown, and the employee who invited me to address them told me we were having a small, private meeting, because it was unacceptable at this allegedly Catholic university to publicly oppose gay marriage.

Read the Full Article Here

NRO: Why The Democrats Lost

Why did the Democrats lose?

It wasn’t Obamacare.

While 49 percent of voters said the health-care law “went too far,” just 25 percent of voters picked health care as their most important issue in this election, and they broke for the Democrats 59 percent to 39 percent, according to exit polls. Fears of Ebola and terrorism and a generalized feeling of insecurity were a factor, but 45 percent of voters said the economy was their most important issue.

And here is the biggest red flag for Republicans moving forward: After six years of Obama, these voters broke for the GOP by just 2 points, 48 percent to 50 percent.

After every election, whether Republicans win or lose, social issues get a disproportionate share of the “problem defining” blame.  But the GOP’s biggest branding problem, even in victory, is clearly the economy. GOP candidates are not yet naming the biggest problem voters are facing: wage stagnation and a pervasive decline in the average household’s standard of living.

Read the full article at the National Review Online

National Review: Losing the War for Women

Women today are not reliably liberal on social issues. 

It was a deft trick by the Left’s culture warriors over the last two election cycles: Persuade rich Republicans donors that social issues were the GOP’s core problem, especially with women.

Take high-end investor Mark Cuban’s word for it: “If I was going to give guidance to the Republican Party, . . . I’d say, ‘Stay completely out of social issues,’” Cuban said on CNBC’s Squawk Box.

Elections are where political wisdom can be tested and, if you are paying attention, falsified. And if you pay close attention, this is the election cycle that is going to definitively falsify the idea that social issues are what hurts Republicans and elects Democrats.

The AP/GFK poll released last week shows a strong movement of women toward the GOP. Asked whether they favor a Democratic- or Republican-controlled Congress, female likely voters have moved in one month from favoring Democrats 47 percent to 40 percent to preferring Republicans 44 percent to 42 percent.

Take note: Democrats are massively shedding support by women, just as they have poured massive amounts of messaging on contraception and abortion to the front and center of their campaigns.

USA Today reported that “Democrats in this trio of states [Colorado, New Hampshire, Iowa] have focused heavily on abortion rights, contraception access and other female-targeted wedge issues.” It’s not working.

Read the Full Article at the National Review Online

Your Incompetent Host

When I created a Disqus account I misspelled my own name.  Commenters asked me to verify that is me, it is.  I will now cease commenting until I”m competent enough to fix my Disqus. 

-Maggie

NRO: The Church’s Crises of the Faith, and Mine

Nothing has changed, they tell us.

But something has changed. Pope Francis, by hand-selecting these six men to issue an unprecedented public report on a discussion in mid-process, is sending a strong if indirect signal about how Catholics and our institutions should respond, practically, to the triumph of the sexual revolution, including its latest phase, gay marriage. The synod report, if adopted by the bishops, will change Catholic witness and teaching either on marriage, or on the Eucharist, or both.

{…}Look, I am a nobody in the broader scheme of things, and I do not relate my personal troubles as if they should be of interest to anyone else, except insofar as they may inform the fathers of my Church what, pastorally, they are doing now in Rome.

The priests who martyred themselves rather than permit powerful men to remake marriage need a public apology and possibly restitution. “We should replace the feast day of St. Thomas More with the feast of St. Henry the VIII,” one wag told me privately. After all, a desire for a child is one of the very good authentic “family values” he displayed.

The faith of millions will be put at risk, and among those millions are the ones who are sustaining the Church, as even Crux noticed. (Crux urges Pope Francis to make some kind of generous gesture to the orthodox Catholic community, as if we are children seeking a pat on the head instead of those whose steadfast faith rests in the belief the Church stands for the unbroken teachings of Christ.)

I hope Cardinal Kasper is wrong. I hope he is delusional, so that I need not fear for my church or his faith, or mine.

But the combined public comments of Cardinals Burke and Kasper make the “nothing has changed, no worries” position of Catholic commenters untenable and disconnected from the truth very publicly now on display.

There is a crisis of faith taking place in public, in real time, in Rome.

When the final synod report comes out over the weekend, we will have a first glimpse of how serious and sustained that crisis is.

Read the Full Article Here

NY Times Quotes Maggie Gallagher on Chris Christie’s Social Conservative Problem

At a confidential meeting over the summer, Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey boasted to influential evangelical leaders that he was the state’s “first pro-life governor since Roe vs. Wade,” reminded them that he had vetoed legislation allowing gays to wed and, in a knowing reference to the Gospel of Matthew, spoke of his moral obligation to help the “least of us.”

But even as Mr. Christie sought to persuade them of his conservative credentials, his own deep-seated discomfort with ideological purity kept creeping in. He suggested that if the Republican Party wanted to win back the White House, it needed to look to a candidate with broad appeal, like himself or Jeb Bush, said one attendee, Leith Anderson, president of the National Association of Evangelicals. If it instead demanded orthodoxy, Mr. Christie’s message was “they can pick somebody else and lose,” Mr. Anderson recalled.

With the contretemps over lane closings on the George Washington Bridge on the back burner for now and Mr. Christie laying groundwork for a Republican presidential run, the persistent skepticism, unease and, in some cases, distrust that he faces from social and religious conservatives may be the biggest and least understood obstacle in his path.

…“He has appointed some really terrible judges to the State Supreme Court,” said Maggie Gallagher, a prominent social conservative, writer and senior fellow at American Principles Project, a right-leaning think tank.

Read the Full Article Here