January 20, 2016

Juan Williams: Republicans Alone Are Responsible for ‘Civility’s Breakdown’

Poor President Barack Obama.

Juan Williams, in a Monday column at The Hill, insists that “the president is not to blame for the rancor and polarization that have characterized his presidency,” and “is not responsible for the unprecedented obstructionism employed by (Mitch) McConnell’s Senate Republicans.” Why, In Williams’s world, Obama has apparently been the very model of civility, while Republicans “have let anger and extreme voices define their party.”

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Positivity: When you think of MLK, don’t forget the faith that inspired him

Filed under: Activism,Positivity — Tom @ 10:55 am

From Kevin Jones at the Catholic News Agency:

Jan 18, 2016 / 01:39 pm

Martin Luther King Day is a time to promote racial harmony in America and honor the slain civil rights leader who was “inspired by the teachings of Christ,” says the head of the Knights of Peter Claver.

“Considering that so many ‘church-going folks’ were supporting segregation and Jim Crow laws during the civil rights movement, it is wonderful that King dedicated his life to employing Christ’s teachings to resist and counter the very social sins of prejudice, racial discrimination and segregation,” Supreme Knight F. DeKarlos Blackmon told CNA.

He said Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. a Baptist minister, was “a man of faith and deep conviction” who studied Catholic theology and was “particularly impressed” with St. Augustine.

King’s famous “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” cited St. Augustine’s saying “An unjust law is no law at all.”

Since 2010, Blackmon has headed the Knights of Peter Claver, a New Orleans-based Catholic fraternal order present in about 39 states and in South America. It takes as its model the Spanish Jesuit priest St. Peter Claver, who ministered to slaves in Colombia in the 1600s. Its membership is significantly African-American but the order is open to all practicing Catholics without regard to race or ethnicity.

The organization was founded in Mobile, Ala. in 1909 by four priests of the Josephite Fathers and three Catholic laymen to serve African-Americans and other racial minorities. Its founders were concerned the Catholic Church would lose black individuals to fraternal and secular organizations, at a time when local racism kept many out of the Knights of Columbus.

The order has six divisions: the Ladies of Peter Claver, two separate junior divisions for young men and young women, the Fourth Degree Knights and the Fourth Degree Ladies of Grace.

The Knights of Peter Claver and the Ladies Auxiliary opposed segregation and worked to transform how communities and cities thought about race, equality and justice, Blackmon said. They worked with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the National Urban League.

The order’s leadership and members were “intimately involved” in the civil rights movement. Civil rights attorney A.P. Tureaud, a national secretary and national advocate of the order, worked with future Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall to help overturn legal segregation.

The now demolished Claver Building in New Orleans, which was the Knights’ headquarters from 1951 to 1974, hosted early meetings “that ultimately launched the civil rights movement,” Blackmon added.

Today, members of the order organize Martin Luther King Day activities like Masses of Unity, prayer services, days of unity, and programs commemorating King’s vision in addition to their other charitable works.

Blackmon said King challenged America “to live out its creed that all men are created equal.” He said the observance is an opportunity for American Catholics to remember King’s life and work and to realize the challenge to work towards Jesus’ prayer that the Catholic Church “may all be as one.”

He said African-American Catholics should use the day to remember those who have accomplished “something for the larger community and the greater good.” He mentioned African-American Catholic bishops like the late New Orleans auxiliary Bishop Harold Perry and Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Atlanta, former president of the U.S. bishops’ conference. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

Wednesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (012016)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:00 am

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items either briefly noted below (if any) or otherwise not covered at this blog. Rules are here.

Not This Again: Politifact Gives Rubio ‘Pants on Fire’ For Correctly Pegging Reagan’s Influence in Hostage Crisis

Politifact, the leftist propaganda mill disguised as a “fact-checking” web site, always has its “Pants on Fire” matches at the ready for conservatives and Republicans. This is remarkable, given that it has never given any Hillary Clinton statement or campaign assertion a “Pants on Fire” evaluation. The one example it cites falsely claims to “involve” her, but has nothing to do with anything she or anyone in her campaign said.

One of the latest outrages concerns the web site’s obvious problem with accepting the realities behind the January 1981 resolution of the Iran hostage crisis. GOP presidential candidate Marco Rubio made an obviously true claim about the timing of the hostages’ release after 444 days, namely that it occurred as Reagan took the oath of office on January 20 of that year. He further stated that the Iranians knew that America would “no longer (be) under the command of someone weak.” Fortunately for Rubio and unfortunately for Politifact, Rubio’s timing-related statement is beyond dispute, and his implication concerning the Iranians’ and American negotiators’ respective mindsets is true beyond a reasonable doubt.

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