* There has been a lot of fuss over the remarks of Reverend Jeremiah Wright, Jr. recently. I don't really approve of pastors using shock rhetoric to make points; I think it usually unwise, and I think pastors who use it need to take responsibility for the fact that their using it will reflect on others besides themselves (and I don't think most do). But my view of the fuss over the "God damn America" comment is pretty well summarized by Ralph Luker's post on the subject. Obama's response is here. I didn't listen to the speech at all; reading the transcript, it's pretty, but I actually don't think it particularly good, considered as a response to the issue. If (unlike me)you take the issue seriously, I don't think the speech really addresses it adequately; if you never thought it was a serious problem in the first place, you'll probably like it. But it's not my view that matters in this case, and the speech seems generally to have gone over well.
* Currently Reading:
Colwell-Chanthanphonh and Ferguson, Virtue Ethics and the Practice of History: Native Americans and Archaeologists along the San Pedro Valley of Arizona (PDF)
Joseph Alan Jackson, Democracy, Tradition, and the Local Community (PDF)
Jack Russell Weinstein, Adam Smith and the Problem of Neutrality in Contemporary Liberal Theory
Arto Laitinen, Rationality and Evaluative Frameworks
Andrew Aberdein, The Uses of Argument in Mathematics (PDF)
Mark Granovetter, The Strength of Weak Ties (PDF)
* Fr. Michael J. McGivney, founder of the Knights of Columbus, was made Venerable recently.
* A discussion of the "generic naked public square" thesis -- i.e., the claim that in the public square we should only use reasons that are public, in some sense or other of the term:
Discussion at "What's Wrong with the World?"
* American views on sin, according to a poll.
* Michael Liccione has an excellent post on moral theology.