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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

U.S. CATHOLIC - Listen: Let's Be Still

January 14, 2014

Should laypeople have a role in choosing their bishops? 
It's time for the flock to have their say when it comes to selecting the shepherds of the church.
Pope Francis says that he wants a special kind of bishop for our church--he wants "shepherds who smell of their sheep." Let us take our Holy Father at his word: Who knows how the sheep smell better than the sheep themselves? No one. So then why not let the sheep make a modest proposal and ask that we laypeople have a significant say in the choice of our bishops. Read more.

What do you think? Should laypeople be consulted when new bishops are chosen? Or are the pope and other church leaders in a better position to pick shepherds for the flock? Be sure to take our survey and let us know what you think.

Let's get organized: Domestic workers fight for their rights
Deemed indispensable by the families who hire them, why are domestic workers excluded from legal protection?

When Juana Flores first arrived in the United States from Mexico 27 years ago, she found a job taking care of a child for what seemed like a huge amount of money: $75 every two weeks. After the first two months, her employers told Flores that she would need to care for two additional children. "A few months after that, the first boy's father began to intimidate me, to insult me, and talk to me in suggestive ways," says Flores, speaking through a translator. Read more.

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A different take on 'threats to family life'
A growing work-life imbalance is pushing some parents over the edge. 

If the bishops were to ask me, a married layperson with four children, about a threat that feels much more real to marriage and a functioning, contemporary family life--you know, one that actually succeeds in nurturing kids and preserving parental/spousal sanity--I would point them to a different suspect altogether. If they want to help shore up family life, they need to look at the issues that are really tearing it down. Read more.

War on poverty: 50 years and still going strong
The battles have been fought for half a century, but the war is far from over.  
On January 8, 1964, former President of the United States Lyndon B. Johnson gave his State of the Union Address to millions of Americans. During his speech, Johnson declared an "unconditional war on poverty." He cited a lack of education, housing, and health care as a few reasons for poverty. Not having a decent neighborhood in which to live and raise children was another. Racism and joblessness were two more. Read more.

Ethicists criticize treatment of brain-dead patients 
Knowing the differences between a coma, persistent vegetative state, and brain death can help with tough end-of-life decisions.
The cases of two young women--a California teen and a pregnant Texas mother--have generated sympathy for their families, but also have left some doctors and bioethicists upset about their treatment. Many doctors are questioning continued medical procedures on a 13-year-old girl declared brain-dead nearly a month ago, calling interventions to provide nutrition to a dead body wrong and unethical. Read more.

Listen: Let's Be Still
The Head and The Heart (Sub Pop, 2013) 

Can we agree to stop comparing everyone to Mumford & Sons? Can we just agree to let that go? Every other review of The Head and the Heart's new album is going there, but the often unkind comparison is both lazy and inaccurate. The Head and the Heart's sophomore album Let's Be Still is a great addition to any collection that includes artists like Travis and Fleet Foxes. But unlike both of these bands--and unlike Mumford & Sons--The Head and the Heart delivers a new sound that harnesses both the au courant medium of folk and spices it up with some of the residual grunge of the Pacific Northwest, where many of the bandmates hail from. Read more.

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January 2014

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