Here's some news items which caught my eye:
Richard Malone, the Catholic bishop from Maine has spoken out against the witholding of communion as a means to punish certain classes of people. The open table which Malone practices will likely generate little media interest even if it is the most faithful response to the Gospel.
Paul Weyrich, a conservative activist, has sought to reassure evangelicals that when Bush separates Islam from terrorism and praises the religion it's nothing but a big smokescrean. Weyrich argues that Bush understand this is a war against Islam but because of politics he cannot let his true views out. If this is the case, there is no way Bush could engage the middle east in a manner which could make the world safer.
And Bush decided to use some lousy arguments for the federal marriage amendment in his weekly radio address. He argued that marriage would be cut off from the past if it was changed to include gay and lesbians. I don't see why though. Change assumes a modification of the past not a removal of it. The civil rights movement, for example, affected change in our country, producing something new while at the same time bringing out the resources of the past to further that change and provide meaning to it.
Bush then proceeded to list important functions which families perform, all of which most anyone could agree with. But he never provides us a basis for believing that gay and lesbian families cannot perform these same functions. Bush then argued against cutting marriage off from it's religious foundations. But what of those religious movements which sanction such marriages? How do they figure into this claim? Most likely it's not figured into it at all.
But there will be such a union of religion and marriage at Harvard's Memorial Chapel when Diane Eck, a Harvard professor of comparative religion will be marrying Dorothy Austin, an Episcopalian priest this month. Ellen Goodman has a column on this union. Some thoughts about religion from these two women are shared in this piece which need to be heard in today's religious climate since they are rooted in a vision of a religion which can "build connections" and which can overcome the divisions which are tearing this country and world apart. It's worth a read.