Preface for Maundy Thursday

It is very meet, right, and our bounden duty, that we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks unto thee, O Lord, holy Father, almighty, everlasting God, through Jesus Christ our Lord; who for our sins was lifted high upon the Cross, that he might draw the whole world to himself; who by his suffering and death became the author of eternal salvation for all who put their trust in him.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

News: Stanford Law School Opens Religious Liberty Clinic

I don't usually read the New York Times -- partly because I trust very few media outlets, out of a mixture of apathy, good training in logic, and anarchist sympathies; partly because its hostility to the Catholic Church makes me cranky (I've checked its headlines for nearly six years now, and can recollect perhaps two occasions on which articles on the Church, which are legion, were anything but negative). However, a blurb caught my eye in today's issue, and I actually read it. The article was rather poor, glaring with oversimplifications and false dichotomies, but the event it described was interesting: Stanford Law, which already houses a number of clinics devoted to particular fields of legal study and practice (such as environmental law and immigrant's rights), has just opened one devoted to cases on religious liberty. A few cases already taken up were mentioned in the Times, including those of some Seventh-Day Adventists fired by FedEx for refusing to work on Saturdays, a convert to Judaism in prison who was refused circumcision, and a Moslem group having difficulties in building a mosque due to land-use laws.

I don't hail this as the dawn of a new era, or even as a group of manifest national, cultural, and religious heroes; but I am cautiously optimistic, and interested to see where this goes. I am particularly encouraged that the group (founded by a Catholic lawyer and including students from divergent Christian traditions) has taken up a case involving the rights of Moslems, a less-than-popular cause among many Christians and among many conservatives, even those who profess great concern for religious liberty. Fingers crossed.

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