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This week’s live discussion led off with the passage in the House of a measure reaffirming “In God We Trust” as our national motto. While the courts have been clear that there is no church-state issue here, there are plenty of other reasons to question these words and the importance of raising this issue right now.
Should this be our national motto? What about “E Pluribus Unum?” Which words are more needed as our nation experiences paralyzing political polarization?
We also discussed the worsening feud between the Obama administration and segments of the Catholic Church, especially the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Were political appointees at the Department of Health and Human Services correct to champion the cancelation of multi-million dollar grants which supported Catholic-administered services to victims of human trafficking because the providers did not offer contraception and abortion to those they served?
What happens when experts acknowledge that that best overall services are provided by people who refuse to include legal and, what many would argue are, necessary options for the people they serve? Although abortion is clearly a political issue, is it really right for people to play politics with it?
Finally, we explored why the “Occupy” movement has been relatively weak in Washington. Could it be that people living closest to the seats of political power are most aware that the economic challenges we face are much more complex than the rage at “1%’ers” which seems to define the occupy movement?