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When America Hated Catholics

When America Hated Catholics In the late 19th century, statesmen feared that Catholic immigrants were less than civilized (and less than white). By Josh Zeitz September 23, 2015 In the late nineteenth century, political cartoonist Thomas Nast regularly lambasted Irish Catholic immigrants as drunkards and barbarians unfit for citizenship; signs that read, “No Irish Need […]

After Protest

After Protest by Bill Droel This column is hardy ready to endorse Hillary in 16. But Clinton is correct in her reaction to Black Lives Matter activists with whom she had an off-stage exchange early in August. They probed her how she will change hearts to eliminate racism. “How do you actually feel that’s different,” […]

Papal Visit – Part II

Papal Visit – Part II by Bill Droel Where does Pope Francis get his ideas on the economy? The same place as every other informed Catholic. Like other Christian traditions, Catholicism says God’s truth is revealed through the Bible. Like other Christian traditions, Catholicism says Jesus Christ is God’s unique self-revelation. Catholicism also says God’s […]

Pope’s Visit

Pope’s Visit by Bill Droel Is the pope a socialist? During this month’s papal visit to our country a few vocal critics raise the question. Why would someone call Pope Francis a socialist? First, there is still a strain of anti-Catholicism in corners of our society. Socialist conjures up abhorrent communism. The socialist label is […]

Rules Part II

Rules Part II by Bill Droel Chris Matthews supplies several rules for public life in Hardball: How Politics Is Played (Free Press, 1988). One chapter explains why “it’s better to receive than give.” Such surprising rules make Matthews’ book a classic. “Contrary to what many people assume,” he writes, “the most effective way to gain […]

No Rules

No Rules William Droel  Saul Alinsky (1909-1972) could not tell less experienced organizers more loudly or more frequently: There are no rules. Creative life is for fluid people. Alinsky’s insistence caused cognitive dissonance in many of his novice disciples. They read his Rules for Radicals (Random House, 1971) and concluded there really are rules for […]

Free Choice?

Free Choice? by Bill Droel Rebecca Friedrichs doesn’t want to pay her union dues. And indeed, because our culture is premised on individualism some workers can now legally opt out of their dues. Friedrichs, whose workplace is represented by California Teachers Association, wants something more. She wants no payroll deduction for what is called agency […]

Action First

Action First by Bill Droel Young adults do not so much need a meaning in life as an experience of living. Despite or because of our cosmopolitan culture and global economy, too many young adults get caught up in a small circle of co-workers and friends while communicating mostly about small comings and goings. Meanwhile, […]

Hometown Brag

Hometown Brag by Bill Droel Political commentators derisively call it The Chicago Way. They refer to our machine-style politics. Its motto, of course, is Ubi est mea? (Where’s mine?) It is accompanied by corruption and then jail time for some, including in recent years a Congressman and two Governors. By contrast, two commentators point to […]


Stockyards by Bill Droel Your Working Catholic blogger frequently drives through Chicago’s abandoned stockyards on the way to the ballpark, but the area doesn’t visually tell much of a story. Back in the day, 50,000 people worked on the killing floors, where each hour 600 animals were slaughtered and packaged. That history is the subject […]