Luke Hill

Luke Hill is a writer and community organizer in Boston. He blogs at dotCommonweal and MassCommons. 

By this author

Veterans, Conscientious Objectors & Guns of Love

For those observing both Veterans' Day and the feast of St. Martin of Tours (patron saint of soldiers and of conscientious objectors), here's Maura O'Connell's rousing cover of "Guns of Love".

"With guns of love brought into battle, the nights will burn like never before;
Pride will fall and foundations rattle, when guns of love put an end to war.

Praying for Senators...Whether They Like It or Not

The Rev. Dr. Barry Black is a Baltimore native, Seventh-Day Adventist, retired Rear Admiral, former Chief of Chaplains for the US Navy and, since 2003, the first African-American to serve as chaplain to the US Senate.

By opening the Senate in prayer each day, he's one of the few people US senators have to listen to...and to whom they can't talk back.

A trim, erect, dapper and distinguished-looking man, Rev. Black is not happy about this government shutdown.

The First Order of Business for Pope Francis and his Kitchen Cabinet

Long before Pope Francis selected Boston Cardinal Seán O'Malley as the only North American to serve in the pontiff's "kitchen cabinet", O'Malley was a prolific blogger.

The Theology of Hip-Hop: Marshall Mathers Edition

If you never thought of rapper Eminem as an artist to turn to for theological insights on the nature and meaning of kairos and kenosis, join the crowd.

Open Thread On The Trayvon Martin Case

Here are links to both the video and the text of President Obama's remarkable, unscripted speech in the White House press room yesterday about Trayvon Martin.  What are your reactions?

The Sin of Racism and the Supreme Court's Catholic Majority

While still waiting to find out what provision of the Constitution section four of the Voting Rights Act violated (Justice Roberts' majority decision doesn't appear to ever get around to providing that little detail), it occurs to me that Shelby County v. Holder reflects, among other things, the ongoing failure of white American Catholicism to fully come to grips with the depths of the sin of racism in this country.

Daniel O'Connell, the great Liberator of 19th century Ireland, couldn't understand why Irish-Americans weren't at the forefront of the abolitionist movement.  Both O'Connell and his friend and ally, Frederick Douglass saw the two struggles as linked.

But Irish immigrants to the US ended up seeing it differently.  They saw a society much like the old one they'd left behind---where general prosperity and political freedom relied on the maintenance of a segregated and oppressed "other".  In the Old World the "other" was Irish Catholics.  In the New World, it was Blacks---and the newly American Irish fought bitterly to avoid getting caught on the wrong side of that dividing line.  Thomas Nast's racist, nativist and wildly popular political cartoons (example above) give a hint of how fluid and up for grabs the "race" line was in mid-19th century America.

The Big Dig

Last fall, the Archdiocese of Boston released an ambitious plan designed to stem the decline it has experienced—in priests, Mass attendance, and treasure—since the 2002 wave of sexual-abuse scandals. The plan, called “Disciples in Mission,” will be phased in throughout Boston’s 288 parishes over five years.

Catholic Commencement Controversy Season Commences

It's graduation season at the nation's colleges and universities, so it must be time for another round of Catholic Commencement Controversy.

Drunk Driving Was Only Part of the Bishop's Problem

Worcester, Massachusetts, Bishop Robert McManus was arrested Saturday night at his family's vacation home in Naragansett, Rhode Island, on charges of drunken driving, leaving the scene of an accident, and refusing a chemical test."I made a terrible error in judgment by driving after having consumed alcohol with dinner, McManus said in a statement.