US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Daily Links, Oct. 4: Voting, getting arrested, and nuns riding Harleys

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Happy Feast of St. Francis of Assisi! On our blogs today, Liz Lefebvre wonders how St. Francis would react to some of the things in our world were he still around.

We're just over a month away from Election Day, even though all the focus is really on the election that won't take place for another 13 months. The U.S. bishops today announced that they will reissue their Faithful Citizenship document, along with a new intro that addresses some key concerns for Catholic voters, including abortion, health care, and education.

When it comes to the issue of same-sex marriage, the church is taking a pretty extreme approach in Australia. An archbishop says the church would no longer perform legal marriages of any kind if it were forced to marry same-sex couples, but would still offer sacramental marriages. I guess that means if you want to be married in the church, you double up on your weddings by getting legally hitched elsewhere. Would that make Catholics opt for two weddings, or just skip the church version altogether?

In other legal news, things are heating up in a Nebraska case where a school banned students from wearing a rosary because it can sometimes be used to symbolize gang affiliation. The ACLU has sided with the sixth grade girl who was told she can't wear her rosary in school, claiming it is a case of religious freedom. But wait, are Catholics even supposed to wear rosaries as a fashion accessory?

The death penalty is still in the headlines, and perhaps there will at least be some good that comes from the killing of Troy Davis. Stephen Dear of People of Faith Against the Death Penalty writes about his experience of being arrested for protesting Davis' execution, issuing a call to save the "next Troy Davis." And in case you missed it, for those still confused about what Catholic teaching tells us about capital punishment, a Vatican official helps to clarify the issue.

And finally, a group of Sisters of Charity in Texas are going hog wild with a 50-mile "Nun Run" motorcycle ride to raise money for low-income school clinics. Must be hard to ride a Harley in a habit, though.