Links: Disorders in the counting of ballots; fractured French politics; Cathonomic

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At Politico, Elena Schneider tells how the sleepy town of Green Bay, Wisconsin – sleepy except when the Packers are playing at Lambeau Field! – has seen its electoral processes become such a source of turmoil and friction that they need police on the spot when counting the ballots. Why? Election conspiracy theorists and their allies conduct media campaigns questioning the legitimacy of past elections. Our political system has long regarded conflicting interests and ideas as a guarantor of freedom, but no political system can long survive if it is unable to stigmatize pure inventions.

In The Forum, the online magazine of the group Catholic Theological Ethics in the World Church, Filipino theologian Eric Marcelo Genilo examines the political involvement of some clergy in the upcoming presidential elections in the Philippines. He rightly argues that the Catholic Church and its clergy are right to raise deep concerns about any attempt to rewrite history, but that clergy must avoid partisanship from the pulpit.

In The New York Times Magazine, Elizabeth Zerofsky looks at France’s fractured and fractious right, where Marine Le Pen’s role as standard-bearer has been challenged by right-wing pundit Eric Zemmour, who has won support from Le Pen’s niece, Marion Maréchal. Zerofsky considers the role of religious identity in the split between Le Pen and Maréchal, and while the title points to “Catholic” identity as the key inflection point, the article itself points to anti-Muslim attitudes and the traditional French liberal ideas of secularism at the center of the debate. It is remarkable that the author did not mention French action, which involved an attempt to co-opt Catholicism into the cause of anti-Semitism, but which was condemned by Pope Pius XI. This condemnation caused many prominent Catholics to leave the organization. One wonders if a similar condemnation today would have any effect on conservative French Catholics who flock under the banner of the political right?

From the Berkley Center at Georgetown University, a discussion of Anthony Annett Cathonomics: how the Catholic tradition can create a fairer economy. Moderated by Amy Uelmen, a Georgetown law professor and senior fellow at Berkley, the panel included Christine Firer Hinze of Fordham, EJ Dionne of the Brookings Institution and Kate Ward of Marquette University. I reviewed Annett’s wonderful book here. Glad to see so many super bright people have shared my positive review of Annett’s important book.

Another interesting video chat: At Religion News Service, a discussion on the role of religion in the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The conversation featured Mark Silk, director of the Greenberg Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life at Trinity College, where I am Senior Fellow; Reverend John Burgess of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary; and Elizabeth Prodromou of Tufts University. A really intelligent discussion on an extremely complicated subject. The discussion was moderated by RNS Editor-in-Chief Roxanne Stone.


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