Welcome to the Lunchtime Reader, where we assemble important stories to keep your eyes on.
- Well-respected Catholic scholar Robert George slammed presidential candidate Herman Cain for saying he would only hire a Muslim only after they have agreed to a degree of “loyalty proof” to the Constitution, a loyalty he would not demand of other faiths. Robert George has a strong reputation as a pro-life and pro-marriage scholar. Professor George gave credit to Cain for standing strong on the life and marriage issue, but said that Cain needed “to do the right thing” and retract his comments on Muslims. “If his words are being reported accurately, what he said is wrong, foolish, and unacceptable. It is disrespectful of Muslims, the vast majority of whom in our country are, as Cain himself seems to acknowledge, loyal, honorable citizens; and it is incompatible with a sound understanding of religious freedom (and with the spirit, if not the letter, of the Constitution’s no-religious-tests clause). It puts Cain in a camp with Martha Coakley, the hapless Massachusetts Democrat who, when running against Scott Brown for the United States Senate, infamously said that devout Catholics should not work in emergency rooms inasmuch as they are unwilling to be involved in providing contraceptives and abortions,” said Robert George. Kudos to the Professor George for re-affirming the Framers wise decision to not include religious tests as a requirement for holding high office. We Catholics understand this issue. Read the rest over at Mirror of Justice.
- There are two competing visions of the Church competing in Detroit. A group called the American Catholic Council is hosting conference this weekend in the Motor City. They are calling for married priests as well as female priests. Archbishop Allen Vigneron has warned of severe penalties if any priest or deacon participates in this venue. Deacon Greg Kandra has more on this story at his blog The Deacon’s Bench over at Patheos.
- Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty‘s presidential campaign won the endorsement of Rep. Joe Wilson, a South Carolina Republican famous for shouting “You Lie” at President Obama during the State of the Union address. It’s Pawlenty’s first Congressional endorsement (outside of the Minnesota delegation). Considering South Carolina’s importance as the third state to vote during the primary schedule, the endorsement is a big one. The winner of the South Carolina primary has also gone on to win the Republican presidential nomination every time since 1980. And Pawlenty also got a great boost from former GE CEO Jack Welsh, who said on CNN last night: “Everything I see Tim Pawlenty say in the last month appeals to me.”