Daily links, Thurs., July 12: Do you say it skizem or sizem?
According to church historian Diarmaid MacCulloch, the Catholic Church will soon experience schism.  Not sure I agree. While it’s true that plenty of groups have and do leave the Catholic Church, you have to have a bishop leading a group of Catholics for an official schism. I don’t see any bishops stepping up to the plate on that one.
One such reason for schism among European (which likely includes European-descended Americans), is the matter of how women are perceived and treated in the church. According to the new head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, German Bishop Gerhard Ludwig Mueller, women can never be ordained deacons because it disrupts the “unity of orders,”  which are reserved to only men. Muller: “If the deacon, with the bishop and presbyter, starting from the radical unity of the three degrees of the orders, acts from Christ, head and Spouse of the Church, in favor of the Church, it is obvious that only a man can represent this relation of Christ with the Church.”
This little theological argument may be news to Phyllis Zagano , but not to Meinrad Scherer-Emunds, who points out  that Muller was dismissing the women deacons of old as an “amusing anachronism”  more than 10 years ago.
The Christian Century asks what matters most when picking a president. Ethics, right?  Steve Thorngate writes: “If you're going to evaluate candidates based on personal characteristics, values and ethics are certainly a more meaningful yardstick than looks, height , taste for swing states' local delicacies, have-a-beer-with-ability or any of the other ridiculous things that seem to sway voters. But the more fundamental problem is that we spend way too much energy evaluating individual candidates for president in the first place. We do this because of two basic misconceptions about the presidency.” Those misconceptions? The notion that the “president is an individual first and a party member second” and “that the presidency is extremely, unimaginably powerful.” Keep reading for Thorngate’s analysis. 
The Huffington Post reports  that in a country where suburban sprawl increasingly dominates the American landscape, “getting a job and getting to a job are two different things.” We’ve talked about this issue before on the blog. Ironically, while many people who responded to our Sounding Board survey on car usage  that having access to public transportation was a luxury, for people like Lebron Stinson, it’s a necessity. 
This is at once a head scratcher and an eye roller. The USA Olympic team will be donning uniforms made in China.  Because nothing screams, “USA! USA! USA!” quite like choosing cheap exported labor in an umployment crisis. The U.S. Olympic committee responded: "The U.S. Olympic team is privately funded and we're grateful for the support of our sponsors. We're proud of our partnership with Ralph Lauren, an iconic American company."