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Twelve Things That Caught My Eye Today: Beirut, Amy Coney Barrett & More (October 14, 2020)

Twelve Things That Caught My Eye Today: Beirut, Amy Coney Barrett & More (October 14, 2020)

1. Church in Need: Archbishop of Beirut: ‘We want to know the truth about the explosion’

Now, people are thankful because they have been helped by other people to get back to their homes. But they keep asking the same question: why? Who did it? We want to know the truth, especially those who lost loved ones who were killed or who disappeared.

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3. If Amy Coney Barrett Has To Apologize for Saying Sexual ‘Preference,’ Does Joe Biden?

During a roundtable discussion in May, the Democratic Party’s presidential candidate promised to “rebuild the backbone of this country, the middle class, but this time bring everybody along regardless of color, sexual preference, their backgrounds.” Was Biden implying that he thinks being gay is a choice, or was he just using a term that is obviously, in many contexts, a synonym for sexual orientation, just as Barrett was?

4. No, Amy Coney Barrett Isn’t Part of a ‘Dark Money’ Plot To Overturn Gay Marriage and Abortion

5. Many Catholic women see themselves in Amy Coney Barrett. Others see an impossible standard.

6. The Times of Israel: Israeli and Lebanese officials hold first border negotiations in 30 years

Wednesday’s meeting marked the first time in more than 30 years “since any meaningful negotiations took place between Lebanon and Israel,” according to Alan Baker, a former legal adviser of Israel’s Foreign Ministry.

“The negotiations are intended to cover a disputed 330-square-mile area (860 square kilometers) straddling the maritime border area between them in the Eastern Mediterranean, rich with natural gas fields,” Baker, who participated in bilateral talks between Israel and Lebanon in 1982-3 and 1991-3, wrote in a paper.

7. Naomi Schaefer Riley: Fixing the Foster Care System

There are egregious cases of badly run for-profit foster care companies. But for every one of these, there are dozens of badly run state and local child welfare systems. 

. . .

The child welfare system raises a complex set of problems. Frankly, none of us would trust the fate of our own children to a government bureaucracy. And few large companies or even nonprofits would give us much confidence, either. The best hope is that more stable, loving, middle-class families surrounded by supportive religious (or other) communities offer to take in foster kids and hold agencies (both public and private) accountable for making the best decisions about their fate. In the meantime, though, blaming corporate America for the problems of foster care will only divert our attention from real reforms.

8. Catherine Ruth Pakaluk: Morbid Safetyism

A good life isn’t just an additive bundle of all the secondary goods. It isn’t worth more if we are healthy, or able-bodied. And anything truly great requires real risks.

A morbid obsession with safety jettisons life in order to preserve life. (As I have six sons, this is a lesson I have to learn over and over again!) I hope that the political realignments of our time will include serious pushback against the notion that policy and class preferences for eliminating risk have moved us closer to the good life, or even to the good society. A sanitized life is no way to live.

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10.  Pope Francis urges laity to ‘take a step forward’ in evangelization

“If the heart of the priest’s identity lies in consecrating the Eucharistic bread, the center of the lay mission consists in consecrating the world according to God’s plan,” Pope Francis wrote.

11. The Atlantic: Teens Did Surprisingly Well in Quarantine

In 2018, only 55 percent of teens said they usually slept seven or more hours a night. During the pandemic, this jumped to 84 percent among those for whom school was still in session. With teens going to school online during the pandemic, they were likely able to sleep later in the morning than usual.

. . .

Teens who were able to sleep later during the early months of the pandemic might have improved their mental health.

. . .

With many parents working from home and most outside activities canceled for both parents and teens, the majority of teens reported increased family time. With positive family relationships linked to better mental health, more family time might have mitigated any negative mental-health effects of the pandemic.

12. Callista Gingrich: Human Trafficking in the Wake of Covid-19

During this pandemic, while millions around the world have lost their livelihoods, human traffickers continue to prey upon the most vulnerable. They have capitalized on the chaos of the moment – exploiting communities and individuals already disproportionately vulnerable to poverty, exploitation, and abuse.

. . .

On September 21, Attorney General William Barr announced that the U.S. Justice Department will provide more than $100 million in grants to combat human trafficking.  This money will go to special task forces working to defeat traffickers, support research and evaluation, and to provide services and housing to victims.

Published at Wed, 14 Oct 2020 21:52:31 +0000