Sunday, September 30, 2007

Canada's State-Supported Religious Schooling --
Did you know that Canada funds religious schools? (Well, I did, but my question was if you, my non-existent reader did.) Via the Christian Science Monitor, Rondi Anderson writes on how school funding is affecting the upcoming provincial elections in Ontario.

In the United States, there was state establishment of religion at the onset. Not at the federal level, since the Bill of Rights forbade it, but at the state level for many of the states. The language of the First Amendment was even crafted to ensure that it didn't outlaw the states' establishment of religion.

That establishment slowly went out of fashion. In Massachusetts, for example. disestablishment occurred because Congregationalists didn't like state money going to the growing number of Unitarians.

Adamson would prefer to scrap all funding of religious schools in Canada, but thinks that the status quo is better than funding similar schools for Jews, Muslims, and evangelicals. If Adamson really wanted to defund all religious schools, she should encourage the funding of all religions in the short term in order to make the entire system so poisonous that enough people want to get rid of it. (Which isn't to say that I think Canadians should scrap their system. I'm fairly tolerant of such measures, moreso than others on the American political left.)
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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Nixon Can Go to China, But Condi Can't Go to the Vatican --
Well, technically, the Castelgandolfo, according to the BBC.

Senior Vatican sources told the BBC the Pope does not normally receive politicians on his annual holiday at the Castelgandolfo residence near Rome.

But one leading Italian newspaper said it was an evident snub by the Vatican towards the Bush administration.

Reading between the lines, I would guess that the pope would receive a politician if there was a sufficiently important matter to discuss and that there is no way Rice could possibly have anything worth discussing.

I wonder which Vatican sources disclosed this information. The clear intent is that it be perceived as a "snub," whether or not it actually was one.
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Saturday, September 15, 2007

What do they expect the pope to do? --
Via the International Herald Tribune:

Austrian and other European Jews want Pope Benedict XVI to use his moral authority to stop Iran from developing the ability to produce nuclear weapons and prevent a "catastrophe for all of humanity," a Jewish leader said Wednesday.

The plea was included in a letter the pope received during a recent three-day visit to the Alpine republic, which began with a highly symbolic stop at Vienna's Judenplatz, or Jewish Square.

Copies of the letter were provided to reporters Wednesday at a news conference organized by Ariel Muzicant, the head of Vienna's Jewish Community.


The letter said that Jews were greatly concerned that 62 years after the Holocaust, Iran was "officially threatening the state of Israel with 'destruction and obliteration.'"

It goes on to ask the pope, referred to as one of the world's most important moral authorities, to do everything in his power to prevent a "possible catastrophe for all of humanity."

Muzicant declined to specify what he'd like the pope to do but said time was running out.

I, too, would like to know what Muzicant thinks the pope can do. Does he have specific actions in mind? If he thinks that the pope will stand aside and not speak against violence in the case of future war against Iran, that is unlikely.
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Saturday, September 01, 2007

I Heart Tucker Carlson --
Several people on the internets have been calling for the head of Tucker Carlson. Here's a dirty secret. Liberal as I am, I enjoy Tucker Carlson. I find him easier to watch than Chris Matthews. I think that he would be a fun conservative voice when partnered with a progressive on a left-right talking heads.
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