June 3-10, 2013
Through its signature Food for Peace Program, each year the United States sends about $1.4 billion in emergency food aid to hungry people around the world. The United States has saved the lives of millions of people with such assistance, and it could save millions more. Unfortunately, much-needed reforms in the way food aid is delivered that would reduce costs and improve effectiveness may be thwarted in Congress.
May 27, 2013
For decades, if not centuries, educators have been searching for new ways to bring learning to a mass audience. First radio, then television was seen as an ideal means to educate people who did not otherwise have access to advanced education. Books on tape, public television and “long distance learning” were touted as heralding a new age in public education. The arrival of the Internet was seen as another major step in connecting would-be students to the...
May 20, 2013
How we choose to respond to events of inexplicable violence both reflects and shapes our values. In an interfaith prayer service on April 18, Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley, O.F.M.Cap., said of the Boston Marathon bombings: “In the face of the present tragedy, we must ask ourselves: What kind of a community do we want to be?”
May 13, 2013
Here are two representative headlines that say a lot about the economic state of the union in 2013: “Inequality Widened During Post-Recession” and “Fast-Food Workers Strike in Chicago.” The first headline refers to a story about a shocking expansion of economic disparity. The top 7 percent of the nation’s wealth holders added 28 percent to their asset pile between 2009 and 2011, while the remaining 93 percent of the population saw a net loss of 4 percent...
May 6, 2013
So we confront this grim spectacle again, this time at the Boston Marathon—not only on one of the most enjoyable days of the year in Boston, Patriots’ Day, but in the absolute heart of the town, Copley Square, on one of Boston’s most pleasant streets. Seeing the carnage in a familiar location on such a beautiful New England day was more than the mind and heart could comprehend. Seeing Boston so damaged was like seeing a loved one terribly injured.
April 29, 2013
According to a new study, sponsored in part by the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia, the average age at which American men and women first marry is rising. The authors of “Knot Yet: The Benefits and Costs of Delayed Marriage in America” also note that for the first time, the average age at which women marry is now one year older than the average age of women at the birth of their first child. Women in every social class are choosing...
April 22, 2013
In February U.S. home prices showed an increase of 10.2 percent over the previous year, the largest percentage gain in seven years. Consumer spending is on the rise and federal tax revenue is up. Borrowing costs are at historic lows, and the federal deficit as a percentage of gross domestic product is shrinking faster than at any time since the end of World War II. How does Washington plan to respond to this economic basket of good news? By following...
April 8-15, 2013
According to the Gospels, when witnesses to the resurrection encountered the risen Christ, he was not always immediately recognized. This was the Evangelists’ way of answering that basic question posed in the early church: Where is Jesus? If he still lives, how can we find him? Luke’s response is in the story of the disciples on the road to Emmaus.
April 1, 2013
Three of the four Gospels report that the Lord first appeared to Mary Magdalene following his resurrection. Two of the Gospels, moreover, maintain that Jesus’ first post-resurrection appearance was to Mary alone, and the accounts include some description of Mary’s bewildered, frightened and joyful reactions as well as the condescending dismissal she initially received when she shared the good news with the others.
March 25, 2013
Last January marked the 40th anniversary of the “Agreement on Ending the War and Restoring Peace in Vietnam,” commonly known as the Paris Peace Accords. The principal signatories, U.S. National Security Advisor Henry A. Kissinger and the North Vietnamese emissary Mr. Tho, were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their diplomacy, though Le Duc Tho refused to accept it. The cease-fire did not hold.