A few fit men: Healthy youth for healthy forces

By Kevin Clarke| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Social Justice War and Peace
We should be helping America’s young people really be all that they can be.

Despite the grim toll taken in what is becoming a war of attrition in Afghanistan, the Great Recession has helped U.S. armed services achieve record recruiting numbers in 2009. And after years of lowering minimum standards, the 2009 recruits are among the best educated and highest skilled in history. But Army and Marine recruitment drives are generating another and less welcome profile of America's youth: Call them Generation Unfit to Serve.


Get off the fence and support immigration reform

By Joshua Hoyt| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Hispanic Catholics Immigration
Some Catholics aren't so sure about the bishops' push for comprehensive immigration reform, but this Catholic activist says it's time for the entire church to stick up for immigrants.

Sounding Boards are one person's take on a many-sided subject and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of U.S. Catholic, its editors, or the Claretians.


Welcome to the Motel California

By Kevin Clarke| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Politics Social Justice
What was once such a lovely place is becoming the country’s financial flophouse.

While most of us have watched, mouths agape, as the eye-rubbing economic clown parade that has been the last three years or so of American life has passed down our ply-wooded Main Streets, the collapse of California has been a true standout.


Welcome to the Motel California

By Kevin Clarke| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Politics Social Justice
What was once such a lovely place is becoming the country’s financial flophouse.

While most of us have watched, mouths agape, as the eye-rubbing economic clown parade that has been the last three years or so of American life has passed down our ply-wooded Main Streets, the collapse of California has been a true standout.


Mind the gap: Teaching doesn’t meet gay Catholics in the pews

By Bryan Cones| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Marriage and Family Sex and Sexuality
Which path do we choose when the twain of experience and church teaching don’t meet?

Over three decades of Mass-going, I've explored pretty much every avenue of distraction to make the time pass: pestering my brothers, making faces at buddies who were serving, and, in my adult years, reading the bulletin. I've found all but the last to earn me trouble, but I think I've found a new and completely respectable remedy to my wandering attention: A beautiful brown-eyed girl named Isa.


This is your country on drugs

By Kevin Clarke| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Social Justice
Countries who live in glass houses should take care when criticizing others’ anti-drug efforts.

Bolivia received a little diplomatic scolding from the Obama administration in September as a nation that had "failed demonstrably" in the global war on drugs. Bolivia joined a handful of other nations that did not receive a U.S. certification that they were properly engaged in preventing drug production or intercepting drug transit within their borders.


This is your country on drugs

By Kevin Clarke| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Social Justice
Countries who live in glass houses should take care when criticizing others’ anti-drug efforts.

Bolivia received a little diplomatic scolding from the Obama administration in September as a nation that had "failed demonstrably" in the global war on drugs. Bolivia joined a handful of other nations that did not receive a U.S. certification that they were properly engaged in preventing drug production or intercepting drug transit within their borders.


This land is our land: National parks protect God's creation for all

By Patrick McCormick| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Environment
Would you like a demonstration of the Catholic belief that everyone has a right to the beauty of God's creation? Visit a national park.

This October millions of Americans took a stay-cation by watching Ken Burns' gorgeous new film The National Parks: America's Best Idea, enjoying a 12-hour pilgrimage through some of the most beautiful places in the United States, perhaps on the planet.


Manger Danger: Let's keep Uncle Sam out of church affairs

By David A. Lysik| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Politics Saints, Feasts, and Seasons
Let's keep Uncle Sam out of the nativity scene by reinforcing the wall between church and state.

Our varied beliefs can bring us together to feed the hungry and comfort the afflicted; to make peace where there is strife and rebuild what has broken; to lift up those who have fallen on hard times. This is not only our call as people of faith, but our duty as citizens of America, and it will be the purpose of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships."


Please, sir, I want some more

By Kevin Clarke| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Social Justice
The nation's most vulnerable children are getting the short end of the spending stick.

Spending more and getting less: sound familiar?

A recent assessment of the well-being of children in the industrialized world offers some parallels and correlations between the state of the nation's wheezing health care system and the prognosis for its youngest and most vulnerable members: children.


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