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OPEN DOORS

I just wanted to write and let you know that I loved your recent editorial, “Don’t Shut the Door” (December 18). Even though I haven’t been a practicing Catholic since I was a little girl, I still love your stance on many social issues like refugees. Jesus said, “Whatever you do to the least of these, you do unto me.” With so many of our country’s leaders professing the Christian faith, you’d hope they would keep that Scripture in mind.

Lenten Reflections 2016

Through the Lenten season, Fr. Joseph A. Komonchak, a longtime Commonweal contributor, will be providing excerpts of his translations of the writing of St. Augustine. A new reflection will appear every day, at the Lenten Reflections 2016 page. You can get to the page from anywhere on our site; just look for the Lenten Reflections 2016 link in our blue Trending Topics bar at the top of this or any page. And make sure to come back each day, now through Easter, for a new reflection.

Union Dues & Don'ts

Labor unions can be corrupt, obstructionist, and maddeningly bureaucratic. They are also important mediating institutions—John Paul II called them “indispensable”—that serve as a counterweight and check on government as well as corporate power. In that role, unions are essential to the health of democracy, and crucial to promoting participation in the political process.

Our Theological Books Issue

Our Theological Books issue is now live. You can read Terrence W.

Toxic Neglect

For more than a year, the people of Flint, Michigan, were exposed to drinking water contaminated with lead that had leached from the city’s water pipes. The health risks, especially to children, are potentially catastrophic. Mainly poor and mainly African-American, Flint residents have every right to be outraged. How a city of a hundred thousand could be forced to live under such conditions in twenty-first-century America defies explanation. Or does it? In fact, this was less an unfortunate accident than a foreseeable consequence of our dysfunctional politics.

New Issue, New Stories

We've just posted our January 29 issue to the website. Among the highlights: Timothy P.

A Debate Worth Watching

This presidential-primary season remains uncommonly depressing. The media, driven by dependence on page views and social-media clicks, fixate on Republican candidate Donald Trump’s every demagogic utterance, providing what amounts to free advertising. When the Trump campaign released its first television spot earlier this month, for example, the Huffington Post’s monitoring service, TVEyes, counted that within twenty-four hours Fox, MSNBC, and CNN had featured the ad an astonishing sixty times during news segments.

Top Books of 2015

Out of the more than eighty book reviews Commonweal published in 2015, the following twelve were the most read, discussed, and shared on social media. The subject matter ranges from sexually deviant nuns in nineteenth century Rome to racism in twenty-first century America; from a deep backgrounder on Pope Francis to an indictment of Norman Mailer; and from Barbara Ehrenreich's search for the truth about everything to Michael Ruse's kinder, gentler atheism.