Daily links, Mon., Sept. 26: Scalia on the death penalty and the healing powers of BBQ

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Let us begin with gag-worthy support of the death penalty from Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia: "If I thought that Catholic doctrine held the death penalty to be immoral, I would resign," he said. "I could not be a part of a system that imposes it." So why are you still on the Supreme Court? John Gehring at Faith in Public Life offers a nice lesson in Catholic morality. We are talking about state-sponsored murder of a defenseless human being here. Happily, more than 150 Catholic theologians are calling for an end to the death penalty.

The Phoenix diocese's decision to restrict access to the blood of Christ for most of the faithful in almost all instances continues to draw comment, including this from Vox Nova, for those of you that thought my post last Thursday was a bit high-strung: "The changes on reception under both species strike me as having clericalist underpinnings. Thus, one explanation is that in distributing communion under both kinds, parishes might be forced to rely on lay ministers—the horror, the horror. In the same vein, clerics and quasi-clerics are exempted: non-concelebrating priests and seminarians are allowed to receive under both species at any mass."

Alleged high-strung post from yours truly ended up in the Arizona Republic. (If you want more good info about receiving from the cup, here's a Glad You Asked from our archives: Why drink from the cup?) Guess one should be careful about blogging. PrayTell has some better news about a new national association of priests who will devote their first national conference to Vatican II's reform of the liturgy.

On the interreligious front, I'm happy to report some delicious religious cooperation in my home state of Tennessee: a kosher BBQ competition that joins Jews and Muslims in a sweet and spicy rivalry. “ 'This is what America is all about,' said Adam Itayem, who manned the Halal Smokers’ booth." Amen to that. Unfortunately, France doesn't replicate Tennessee's interreligious good will, imposing its first fines against women who wear burqas. As we sometimes say here at USC: That's dumb.

Looking evangelical-ward, we discover that Rob Bell, fresh off his best-selling Love Wins, is leaving Mars Hill congregation for sunny Los Angeles, where he will likely write more books. When Bell arrives, he may be receiving an appeal from the LA Catholic schools, who are trying to raise $100 million. Really, Rob, you should consider a tithe on your royalties.

And if you need laugh--or are a Texan who wants to get riled up--you can go read Mark Gordon's love letter to Texas.