US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Under the influence: Special interests and behind-the-scenes policy making

By Kevin Clarke| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
The special interest groups pulling legislators’ strings can no longer hide in the shadows.

The shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida has focused national attention on the at times mortal perils faced by African American teens due to racial profiling. But the use of deadly force against a young man armed only with a bag of Skittles also inadvertently spotlighted an organization, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), that generally prefers to work in the background of U.S. politics.

Though the mountains may fall: The cost of mountain top removal

By Kyle T. Kramer| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
In Appalachia, the coal industry thrives on stripping the landscape—and people’s livelihoods.

[Watch the slideshow that accompanies this article.]

Rick Handshoe lives on the battle line. Explosions shake his house regularly, covering it with dust and debris and cracking its foundation. A convoy of supply trucks rumbles constantly past his front porch. He lives amid danger and disturbance, with peace but a distant memory.

Slideshow: Though the mountains may fall

Online Editor| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare

This slideshow accompanies the article Though the mountains may fall, which appeared in the April 2012 issue of U.S. Catholic (Vol. 77, No. 4, pages 12-16).

Catholics and the Tea Party: Not our cup of tea

By John Gehring| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Catholics fed on the church’s social teaching won’t like the taste of what the Tea Party is serving.

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

Smoke and mirrors: Our nation's image is marred by social injustices

By Kevin Clarke| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
America’s inflated self-image doesn’t reflect our nation’s obvious flaws.

When Harry Potter looks at the magical Mirror of Erised, he sees what he wants to see: his heart’s desire (get it?), a happy and whole Potter family. Harry finds himself transfixed by the beautiful reflection. And that’s the danger of the wondrous mirror, the ever-wise Albus Dumbledore informs Harry: the distinct possibility of never being able to tear oneself away from its satisfying perspective.

Houses divided: How the new immigration laws separate families

By Alejandro Escalona| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
New state laws and the failure of immigration reform are taking a heavy toll on children and families.

Carlos Rodriguez has been receiving letters and brochures from colleges and universities from across the country encouraging him to apply because of his outstanding grades in an Alabama high school. He dreams of the day he can start college next year.

Unbalanced diet: Global poverty and obesity

By Kevin Clarke| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Our eating binge is purging the developing world of access to healthy foods.

In a world of want where 1.4 billion people are struggling to survive on $1.25 a day, the No. 1 global health problem related to food is now obesity. According to the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC), the 1.5 billion obese people worldwide now outnumber the 925 million who are hungry.

Performance review: More feedback on President Obama

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We don't normally publish the feedback from our Reader Surveys online, out of respect for the privacy of respondents (name and city are included in this section), but between the record amount or responses to our survey on President Obama and the passion with which our readers responded, we wanted to share them with our online readers.

We've included some of our favorite answers without any identifying information.

For Catholics, the greatest success of the Obama administration has been:

The passage of healthcare reform.

Performance review: Readers rate President Obama

By Scott Alessi| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
U.S. Catholic readers provide a progress report on Barack Obama’s first term in office.

Stay of execution: Abolishing the death penalty

By Bryan Cones| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
With a common commitment, Catholics could make the death penalty a thing of the past.

The first time I felt certain of my opposition to the death penalty was, oddly enough, after the execution of a man I knew to be guilty, a mass murderer who had admitted his crime and shown no remorse: Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma City bomber who killed 168 people on a spring afternoon in 1995.