Both And

One of the hallmarks of Catholic theology is that is rarely falls into the dynamic of it must be this or be that. Most often the true Catholic expression is a “both-and” position. When that perspective carries out into the modern landscape of life in secular America is will inevitably face push back or rejection from a world that is increasingly this or that. There are two options and no middle ground. Sound familiar? A friend of mine was recently called a CHINO (Catholic in name only) because they expressed frustration with their political choices in that they wanted a candidate the was pro-life, fully pro-life, and a candidate that has a social agenda of charity and compassion. When my friend was telling me the story my thought was that we as Catholic Christians and not shaping the world, but the world is shaping us. Continue reading

Now more than ever

With two weeks before the mid-term elections the “volume” has been turned up on political ads. Locally there is only one item on our ballots: seat for this district’s seat in the US House of Representative. The television market place is saturated with political ads. The internet has places that saturate the moment, e.g., YouTube. I think we have all grown so accustomed to the unrelenting, intense bombardment of political ads that we don’t listen and just hunker down ans take shelter until it is over. Too much money and the Supreme Court decision on Citizens United v. FEC have make all this possible – the funding, technology and access. But the content is a different matter. Continue reading

Jumping the Shark

Recently Gov. Ronmey pollster, Neil Newhouse, asserted that fact checking groups (FactCheck.org, the Washington Post “Fact Checker”, Tampa Bay Times “PoliticFact”, etc) have “jumped the shark.” The specific context was the Romney campaign’s advertisement  that the Obama Administration had gutted welfare reform. The various fact checker groups have basically rated this as “mostly false”, “four Pinocchios” or – so it seems to me – intentionally misleading. Gov. Romney has also been subjected to this kind of “spinning” when his remarks about “liking to fire people” were taken out of context.  Seems to be the state of political advertisement.

Have political fact checking groups “jumped the shark.”  As my friend Angie Holan (disclaimer: works for PolitiFact) says: cue the Jaws music.  These groups are invaluable to today’s landscape (or seascape?).

Here is the state of things: I mostly hold judgment on any political ad until it has been fact checked.  Seems to me political ads have jumped the shark