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Charles J. Reid, Jr.
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Charles J. Reid, Jr., has degrees in canon law and civil law from the Catholic University of America; and a Ph.D. in medieval history from Cornell University. He was raised in a union household in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and graduated from the University of Milwaukee with degrees in classical languages and history.

Entries by Charles J. Reid, Jr.

Bernie Sanders' Old-Time Religion

(17) Comments | Posted July 6, 2015 | 4:52 PM

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont is this summer's campaign phenomenon. Consider the crowds he is drawing. In Madison, Wisconsin, he recently attracted a crowd of nearly 10,000 raucous, enthusiastic supporters. This on a beautiful summer's evening when many Wisconsinites are at the lake or on vacation. And in Iowa,...

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Confederate Ideology and the Second Amendment

(205) Comments | Posted June 23, 2015 | 6:54 PM

It is all to the good that the Confederate flag is now being seen as odious and hateful by most Americans. It truly has been a symbol of hate and injustice going all the way back. In the Civil War it was used to rally slave-holders and their sympathizers to...

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Pope Francis, the Common Good and Global Climate Change

(69) Comments | Posted June 13, 2015 | 4:16 PM

It is a line repeated with tiresome regularity in right-wing circles: Pope Francis has no business proposing solutions to the crisis of global climate change. He is not a scientist, they say. He should stick to morals and to matters of faith and doctrine.

Pope Francis' defenders point out that...

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The Irish Referendum and the Future of Catholicism

(3) Comments | Posted May 26, 2015 | 3:25 PM

Ireland is a Catholic country. The Church has filled a leading role in society not only in modern times, but ever since the early middle ages. One need only think of St. Patrick and St. Bridget, the great monasteries, and the beautiful works of art and literature like the Book...

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Can You Trump That?

(0) Comments | Posted May 13, 2015 | 10:26 AM

Donald Trump has teased the voting public before. He has flirted several times with the possibility of running for president. In 2012, he even rose to near the top of some early opinion polls. Each time, however, Trump backed away from an actual candidacy. Indeed, there are many who believe...

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Does He Have a Prayer? Mike Huckabee Runs for President

(58) Comments | Posted May 6, 2015 | 9:51 AM

In 2008, Governor Mike Huckabee of Arkansas made a strong run for the Republican nomination for president. He won the Iowa caucus and carried over four million popular votes across the length of the Republican primary. In the wake of the nominating contest, there were even some commentators who suggested...

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What Genesis Says About Marriage: It's Not What You Think

(2) Comments | Posted April 19, 2015 | 7:11 PM

There are many Christians, especially fundamentalists, who remain convinced that the Book of Genesis establishes life-long monogamous marriage between one man and one woman as the sole biblically-approved form of marital union. This is a viewpoint shared by popular writers and even some academics.

To justify this claim, fundamentalists select...

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The Modern Papacy and War

(3) Comments | Posted April 13, 2015 | 4:29 PM

It did not receive nearly the attention it should have. In the last five weeks, Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, who is the Holy See's chief diplomatic representative to the United Nations, has issued calls for organized military responses against Boko Haram and against ISIS. In both cases, he spoke...

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The Greening of Pope Francis

(1) Comments | Posted March 30, 2015 | 2:47 PM

Pope Francis is poised, within the next two or three months, to announce one of the signature documents of his papacy, an encyclical on climate change. And we can hope and pray that it will be "world-changing" in the very best sense of that expression.

If he sticks to the...

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No Evolution Deniers in the White House

(422) Comments | Posted February 19, 2015 | 1:28 PM

The 2016 presidential campaign is already upon us and the debate is heating up over an unexpected issue -- the theory of evolution. Of course, in an ideal world, evolution would never really become a campaign issue. But the anti-science wing of the Republican Party continues...

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President Obama at the Prayer Breakfast

(2) Comments | Posted February 9, 2015 | 11:34 AM

James Gilmore, the former Virginia Governor, has it wrong. Indeed, Governor Gilmore committed a categorical falsehood. What did Governor Gilmore say? He pretended to speak for all Christians when he declared that President Obama's remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast "offended every believing Christian in the United States." I am...

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Pope Francis and Rabbits

(2) Comments | Posted January 22, 2015 | 4:32 PM

On the flight back to Rome from the Philippines, the papal spokesman, Fr. Federico Lombardi, indicated that Pope Francis was ready for another of his now famous airplane press conferences. And this one did not disappoint. He covered a number of topics, including his future travel plans to the United...

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Pope for the Holidays

(0) Comments | Posted December 19, 2014 | 10:09 AM

The holiday season is always a good time to take stock of the year just past and see what we might anticipate in the 12 months to come. In the case of Pope Francis, it is fair to say that a great deal went well. And not only Catholics but...

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Pope Francis and the Catholic Crisis

(191) Comments | Posted December 15, 2014 | 10:56 AM

There is a growing crisis haunting the Catholic Church. And it is a crisis larger than the events that have so greatly afflicted the American Catholic Church. The pedophilia scandals are a horrifying element of this crisis. So, too, are the bishops who covered up and excused these outrages. And...

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Pope Francis Speaks to Europe -- and the World

(4) Comments | Posted December 4, 2014 | 4:29 PM

Popes are not merely the head of a Church. Because they are the spiritual leader of a billion people, popes also have a role to play in shaping and forming global order. And historically, there have been popes who have used this position to change the direction of world events....

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Post Card From the Fringe: Right-Wing Dissidents Against Pope Francis

(185) Comments | Posted November 14, 2014 | 5:01 PM

The Catholic Church at this moment in history is faced with a rising chorus of right-wing dissent. This movement poses a threat to Pope Francis's reforms, but the threat should not be overblown. The self-proclaimed leader of the resistance movement has become Cardinal Raymond Burke. To understand both the nature...

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This Changes Everything

(1) Comments | Posted October 16, 2014 | 5:08 PM

The Vatican report issued Monday, October 13, is a preliminary document, intended to mark the halfway point of a synod convened to discuss the family. Documents like that aren't supposed to excite passions. They're supposed to be sleepy, soporific, committee-crafted documents meant to reveal little. They are not...

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The Carnage Continues: Catholic Schools Are Still Firing Gay Teachers

(10) Comments | Posted September 9, 2014 | 2:07 PM

It is September. The days grow a little shorter. There is that hint of fall crispness in the air. And, of course, it is back-to-school season.

And if it is back-to-school time, then it must also be time for that very sad, very sorry, and utterly needless ritual that we...

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Let's Stop Whistling Dixie: Missouri's Toxic Political Culture Must Change

(2) Comments | Posted August 20, 2014 | 2:47 PM

Quite properly, journalistic reaction to events in Ferguson, Missouri, has focused on the militarization of the police, on the role of racism in the killing of unarmed African-American men, and on the political disenfranchisement that allows communities like Ferguson to operate in obvious defiance of public sentiment.

But there is...

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God and the Multiverse

(15) Comments | Posted August 6, 2014 | 9:52 AM

In a broad sense of that term, reading Max Tegmark'sOur Mathematical Universe is akin to a religious experience. I would not be at all surprised if Tegmark felt a similar sense of excitement in writing this massively learned yet wonderfully accessible book. For by the book's close, he found himself...

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