(Nuns) were the first feminists, earning Ph.D.’s or working as surgeons long before it was fashionable for women to hold jobs. As managers of hospitals, schools and complex bureaucracies, they were the first female C.E.O.’s.
They are also among the bravest, toughest and most admirable people in the world. In my travels, I’ve seen heroic nuns defy warlords, pimps and bandits. Even as bishops have disgraced the church by covering up the rape of children, nuns have redeemed it with their humble work on behalf of the neediest.
So, Pope Benedict, all I can say is: You are crazy to mess with nuns.
The Vatican issued a stinging reprimand of American nuns this month and ordered a bishop to oversee a makeover of the organization that represents 80 percent of them. In effect, the Vatican accused the nuns of worrying too much about the poor and not enough about abortion and gay marriage.
What Bible did that come from? Jesus in the Gospels repeatedly talks about poverty and social justice, yet never explicitly mentions either abortion or homosexuality. If you look at who has more closely emulated Jesus’s life, Pope Benedict or your average nun, it’s the nun hands down.
Since the papal crackdown on nuns, they have received an outpouring of support. “Nuns were approached by Catholics at Sunday liturgies across the country with a simple question: ‘What can we do to help?’ ” The National Catholic Reporter recounted. It cited one parish where a declaration of support for nuns from the pulpit drew loud applause, and another that was filled with shouts like, “You go, girl!”
At least four petition drives are under way to support the nuns. One on Change.org has gathered 15,000 signatures. The headline for this column comes from an essay by Mary E. Hunt, a Catholic theologian who is developing a proposal for Catholics to redirect some contributions from local parishes to nuns.
“How dare they go after 57,000 dedicated women whose median age is well over 70 and who work tirelessly for a more just world?” Hunt wrote. “How dare the very men who preside over a church in utter disgrace due to sexual misconduct and cover-ups by bishops try to distract from their own problems by creating new ones for women religious?”
Sister Joan Chittister, a prominent Benedictine nun, said she had worried at first that nuns spend so much time with the poor that they would have no allies. She added that the flood of support had left her breathless.
“It’s stunningly wonderful,” she said. “You see generations of laypeople who know where the sisters are — in the streets, in the soup kitchens, anywhere where there’s pain. They’re with the dying, with the sick, and people know it.”
“I think women are encouraged to be into sex, but we’re encouraged to be into sex in a very performative way, and we also aren’t supposed to be too excited about sex, because then we’re seen as “easy” or “slutty”. There’s nothing wrong with doing sexy things because you like looking sexy, but I think a lot of women feel as though we MUST look sexy in a certain way, and that’s really limiting and stifling. On the one hand, if we don’t seem to enjoy sex in this very performative way then we’re seen as “prudes”; at the same time, if we seem to enjoy sex too much then we’re seen as “sluts”. It’s a tightrope.”—Clarisse Thorn (Interview with a sex-positive feminist — Feministe)
“A BROOKLYN man who spent two years upstate for an armed robbery was sprung from prison Monday after another man confessed to the crime. Lawrence Williams, 36, was convicted of assault and robbery in the April 2008 shooting of Alberto Ortiz. He received a 10-year sentence, but his family went on a mission to exonerate him, eventually getting a statement from the real shooter, records show.”—Out of jail after con fesses up
This year we started with new research (PDF) from Georgetown University—which drew from two years of census data to determine the prospects for myriad majors—to narrow down our list to more than three dozen popular college majors. We also used data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, equally weighing the following categories to determine current and future employment and earnings potential for our final ranking.
A House panel is boosting money for Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system by $680 million amid an election-year fight over whether President Barack Obama is doing enough for the longtime Mideast ally.
The Republican-controlled Armed Services Committee, which begins crafting a fiscal 2013 defense budget next week, plans millions more for the system designed to intercept short-range rockets and mortars, according to a congressional aide. The money would be in addition to the $205 million that the Obama administration and Congress agreed to in a special request in the 2011 budget and would cover several years, through fiscal 2015.
The aide spoke on condition of anonymity in advance of the formal announcement on the budget.
An increase in money for the program was expected as the Pentagon said last month that it would work with Congress to steer more funds to a system that has proven effective in intercepting rockets and mortars fired by Palestinian militants from Gaza. The budget plan also comes as the Obama administration tries to dissuade Israel from launching a potential unilateral strike against Iran to stop its disputed nuclear development program.
“Supporting the security of the state of Israel is a top priority of President Obama and Secretary (Leon) Panetta,” the Pentagon said last month. “The Department of Defense has been in conversations with the government of Israel about U.S. support for the acquisition of additional Iron Dome systems and intends to request an appropriate level of funding from Congress to support such acquisitions based on Israeli requirements and production capacity.”
In addition, since 1988 and the early days of U.S.-Israeli cooperation on missile defense, presidents have proposed a specific amount for the program knowing full well that Israel will contact members of Congress and ask that they come up with more money. Congress routinely complies.
Last year, lawmakers took the overall request of $106 million for cooperative U.S.-Israeli missile defense programs and added millions more, providing $216 million.
This year, Republicans see a political opening in the uneasy relationship between Washington and Jerusalem over Israeli settlements in the West Bank and the state of Mideast peace talks, further complicated by the administration’s pressure on Israel to hold off on a possible military strike against Iran.
The Iranian threat to Israel has stoked the bitter rhetoric both in Washington and on the presidential campaign trail, where likely nominee Mitt Romney has accused Obama of throwing Israel under a bus and emboldening the Palestinians. The fierce talk reflects that Jewish voters, who comprise only 2 percent of the electorate nationwide, are a critical part of Obama’s base and could be the difference in close battleground states such as Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Nevada.
Obama’s budget for next year calls for $3.1 billion in military assistance for Israel, a slight increase over the current level and the most for any foreign country. In February, Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Calif., the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., who heads the Foreign Affairs Committee, complained in a letter to Obama that his “record low” budget request jeopardized Israel’s security.
Israel threatens to attack Iran and potentially start one of the greatest wars seen in decades and it escalates attacks on Gaza and in return, the United States increases their military aid.
We claim to want Israel to pull back on their incredibly dangerous warmongering with Iran and we want them to come to the table with the Palestinians and finally work out a peace agreement but we refuse to do the one thing that would likely get Israel to comply: pull funding.
“Economic resources and racial and other privileges enable people to buy land, move to inaccessible locations, ensure their right to privacy and to resist police surveillance, and hire private security and engage other surveillance structures. As the public sphere is increasingly associated with a lax ‘big government’ and dangerous people and spaces, safety means fortifying one’s own private domain. Compliance with ideological norms (for example, individualism, capitalism, and heteronormativity) improves the odds that individuals will be seen as deserving of state protections in the public sphere and not demised as complainers who exploit others by ‘playing the victim.’”—
from “Fear and Loating: Public Feelings in Antiprison Work” by Jessi Lee Jackson and Erica R. Meiners
relevant to Trayvon Martin. & why the colorblind theory promotes white people as “the real victims of racism”