Daily Links, May 30: A bishop, an atheist, and a woman religious all walk into a bar...

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Atheists and religious adherents both do good but have different motivations, a study from the University of California at Berkley finds.  “Across three studies, we found compassion played a much bigger role in the way that less religious people treated others. Religious people, in contrast, tended to behave as generously as they would regardless of how compassionately they felt,” said Robb Willer, an assistant professor of sociology at Berkeley and a co-author of the studies.

The bishops intend to include this letter in church bulletins this Sunday. It includes references to Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” as well as comparisons between their fight against HHS and the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 60s as both were about awakening consciences. But, as Eduardo Peñalver at dotCommonweal points out, “[I]t’s hard to visualize people refusing to obey a mandate to issue insurance covering contraception.  It certainly doesn’t have the visceral (and visual) punch of students being physically attacked or dragged off by police for refusing to leave a segregated lunch-counter...” Likewise, Peñalver adds that the bishops “share very little with 1963 Birmingham black community in terms of their political influence…”

As editors, we’re likely to geek out over the discussion of grammar rules. Hopefully, because I just used the word “hopefully” as a sentence adverb, you will not think I’m wrong. The Associated Press is now including it in their style manual, after all. (Though, you might disagree if you find AP Style inferior to Chicago.)

The  national board of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious began a four-day meeting yesterday to discuss the findings and the report by the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith on their organization. According to the LCWR website, “The conference plans to move slowly, not rushing to judgment. We will engage in dialogue where possible and be open to the movement of the Holy Spirit. We ask your prayer for us and for the Church in this critical time.”

Catholics around the country are joining rallies and prayer groups in support of the sisters.