Monday, April 6, 2009

Some Interesting Thoughts, Findings

In other news: A great piece on the decline of religiosity, Sean Hannity's claim to have never watched porn, and why capital punishment is breaking our wallets...lefty cries again!

With an abundance of major news stories from this weekend, including Iowa's reversal on gay marriage, the unemployment rate up to 8.5%, the President offering tough words to Europeans, and the massacre in NY, I figured it would only be fitting to talk about some less-known stories floating around so as to bolster Lefty's reputation for giving our readers something new to digest. Enjoy!

1) The first piece I came upon is a great expose on the declining rate of religious membership/identification among American citizens. Jon Meacham talks gives a comprehensive telling of the seismic shift and its historical roots. Perhaps most importantly, he raises a number of important questions about what this means for the future of our nation. As students at a religious institution, it is something that is very relevant to our daily discussions. Often we have engaged in the discussion over declining number of Catholic faculty or the current debate over the President's visit in May. Thematically inserted into each of these discussions is an underlying question about the waning role of religion in our lives. Our very own Mike O'Brien recently wrote a thoughtful piece about the topic. For many progressives on campus, there is a burning question in their minds about their own religious identity. We ask ourselves: "does my outer rational intellectual self agree with my religious inner self?" For some, undoubtedly, the conclusion has driven them away from the church, faith, and religiosity in general. For others, the answer comes in maintaining faith and balancing the two sides, often at the direct/indirect ridicule of their liberal friends. Altogether, the dynamic is powerful and ubiquitous at Notre Dame. I highly encourage you to take 15 minutes and read Meacham's piece.

On a completely unrelated note, prepare to laugh...

2) Sean Hannity, Fox News Channel program host and loud conservative (which are one and the same), recently claimed that he has NEVER watched porn. Unbelievable as this may seem, I reserve my judgment. As Fox News loves to say, "YOU DECIDE":

3) Finally, I stumbled upon an interesting bit about capital punishment, an area that our own editor Bill has notable experience with (he worked for the NCADP last year).
In a speech before the Maryland Senate in mid-2009-FEB, Governor Martin O'Malley argued that the death penalty in the state be eliminated to cut costs. He noted that capital homicide cases cost three times as much as homicide cases in which the death penalty is not sought. He said: "... we can't afford that when there are better and cheaper ways to reduce crime." (
As the lifeless and decrepit economy dominates America's daily conversation, I have seen a number of peripheral policy changes mentioned. Some include numerous calls for marijuana legalization and the hilarious "Prop 8 Musical" to legalize gay marriage. But eliminating capital punishment as a form of budgetary relief is just pure genius. The United States, of all countries in the world, is the most recent to use the practice. Not only is this embarrassing, it is expensive (California wastes $63.3 million a year). Moral arguments aside (don't let me start), the economics of the issue seem quite obvious.

The question should be asked: WHY DO WE STILL EXECUTE PRISONERS?


Andrea Watts said...

May I suggest, Bill Maher's documentary Religulous. It shows how TRULY fanatic religion has become. I was raised Catholic, but am obviously in discord with many of the church's political stances. As a student in Indiana, I am ecstatic about Obama speaking at Notre Dame's commencement. HAIL TO THE CHEIF! For one day the Catholic church can put political issues aside... Great post Henry!

Bill said...

That Hannity clip is all kinds of ridiculous. Forget about Hannity claiming to never have seen porn. I don't even understand why they're even talking about watching porn in a college anyway. What's the controversy?
"Did you send your children to college to watch porn?"
"Why college?"
Children? There are no children being harmed in this story. Do they not understand what college is all about? These are adults, doing what they want to, and learning about the real world. It's time to let the kids out of the nest, because you can't shield them from the realities of life anymore.
This isn't a conspiracy to turn them into Democrats! We're talking about adults here. They aren't going to be corrupted by being introduced to new ideas. College students should be examining all kinds of ideas to come up with their own. That's what college is about. Sean Hannity seems to have missed the point of college entirely, which is understandable since he never graduated from one