The Sift comes to you this week from Santa Fe rather than New Hampshire, which means everything will appear around two hours later than usual.
The featured article this week is about Pope Francis. I’ve been curious about Francis ever since his election, when he was saying all the right things about poverty and making symbolic gestures of humility. I am, in general, skeptical of such first impressions; I well remember the 1980s, when each new leader of the Soviet Union was rumored to have been a secret liberal for many years, and then turned out to be just another Brezhnev. But eventually Gorbachev really was different than the others, so maybe Francis could be different too.
On November 24, the Vatican published Francis’ first major work, Evangelii Gaudium, which caused Rush Limbaugh to denounce the “pure Marxism coming out of the mouth of the Pope.” So I decided to see what the fuss was about.
In this week’s summary post, the neocons are lamenting how President Obama is screwing up their marvelous plans for a war with Iran; everybody else is talking about whether HealthCare.gov is finally fixed; John Derbyshire manages to create a furor by explaining why slavery wasn’t really that bad; and a Quaker explains the difference between conscientious objection to the draft and the “conscience exemption” Hobby Lobby wants from ObamaCare.