Friday, March 26, 2004

Religious Law Schools and Their Commitment to Religion

Should religious law schools be religious? Some interesting insights by St. John's Law School prof. Rob Vischer over at Mirror of Justice.

To the extent law schools can help students elevate internal over external motivations, I have no doubt that students would be better off. But I wonder how realistic it is to expect law schools to do so. After all, in an environment where institutional decisions seem driven in significant part by US News rankings, law schools themselves are motivated primarily by extrinsic considerations, most notably reputation. Law schools don't seem concerned as much with helping students "find themselves" as in enabling students to plug into the best (i.e., most prestigious) job possible, whether private practice, government, or public interest. I have no doubt that a student at the top of the class who turns down a federal clerkship or big firm job is perceived as a disappointment to the school, regardless of the compatibility of such career paths with the student's own priorities. A school's reputation is not enhanced by students who take the road less travelled.

The tradeoff of building reputation at the cost of religious identity seems to be empirically supportable. I myself graduated from a law school (Trinity Law School) that is expressly committed to integrating its Christian perspective with the teaching of law. Because of this commitment, the school's reputation in the secular legal community is almost nonexistent. Indeed, if it does have a reputation, it probably isn't very positive to the extent that the school is seen as more of a theological center than a serious law school. Without a reputation, of course, graduates of my law school (including yours truly) have generally been hard pressed to find jobs, thus perpetuating the school's obscurity.

Personally, I'm glad there are some (though very few) religious law schools out there that are committed to helping students elevate their internal motivations (i.e., faith) in addition to trying to expand its external institutional interests. Unfortunately, though, the reality of the legal environment simply won't allow such a formula to work, and so religious schools must sadly choose between maintaining their religious identity or discarding it so as not to be cast into perpetual obscurity.
Pay Attention NFL Football Fans

JPII says subordinating God to sports and beer commericals on Sundays is not good. So stop worrying about getting home on time to watch a game when you're at Mass! Yeah, you know who you are.

"When Sunday loses its fundamental meaning and becomes subordinate to a secular concept of 'weekend' dominated by such things as entertainment and sport, people stay locked within a horizon so narrow that they can no longer see the heavens," the pope said in a speech today to Australian bishops, according to Reuters.

The 83-year-old pontiff recognizes sports as having an important role in life, however.

In his younger days, he was known as an excellent athlete, and in an October 2000 speech at Rome's Olympic Stadium he gave "thanks to God for the gift of sport, in which the human person exercises his body, intellect and will, recognizing these abilities as so many gifts of his Creator."
I'm Gonna Try to Make This

The Archdiocese of San Francisco will be sponsoring a prayer rally in support of traditional marriage and families on April 3. Hopefully, no trouble will brew, but I may bring along my nun-chuks, for self-defense purposes of course, just in case.

The event begins at 8 P.M. April 2 at Sts. Peter and Paul Church, with all-night Eucharistic Adoration. San Francisco Archbishop William Levada will celebrate 9 A.M. Mass on April 3, followed by a 10 A.M. prayer rally. A procession through the neighborhood of North Beach concludes the event.

“Archbishop Levada set a great example by standing up and publicly witnessing the truth on marriage,” said XXXX, a volunteer from St. Dominic’s Parish. “It is part of our baptismal promise to stand with him.”

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom’s unilateral decision February 12 to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples in violation of state and federal law sparked the rally. The California Supreme Court halted the practice March 11, pending its ruling. Newsom’s action came on the heels of the Massachusetts Supreme Court decision that the same-gender couples are entitled to marry.
Newbie Lawyer Stuff

As a relatively new lawyer, licensed for two years and out of law school for two and a half, I had my first experience yesterday with The Barristers, a group of "young" attorneys that just about every county bar association in the State of California has. Now even though I'm located in San Francisco County (which basically only comprises of the City of San Francisco), I've chosen to be a member of the San Mateo County Bar Association simply because it doesn't seem to be as hellbent as the San Francisco Bar on promoting disordered lifestyles and attacking the Boy Scouts.

Anyway, The Barristers "Meet & Greet" I went to included a tour of the County Court House and meeting a few of the staff and judges. As far as state courthouses go, San Mateo County Superior seemed pretty nice, although I did find it interesting that the most aesthetically pleasing floor in the building happened to be where the District Attorney's office was located. And in case you're wondering, no I didn't see Scott Peterson.

All in all, The San Mateo County Barristers seem like a pretty cool bunch. Somewhat noteworthy about the meeting I went to, however, is that there seemed to be an inordinate number of women in attendance. In fact, except for the president, all of the officers of this local group are women. The possibilities for personal social prosperity are looking pret-tee good. Now if I can just tell how many of these ladies are single and Catholic...

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

It's Bigotry if Directed at Jews, But "Educational" if Directed at Catholics

SF Archdiocese lodges protest against planned anti-Catholic Brownshirt homo event on Easter Sunday; Brownshirt homos say Catholics aren't Jews.

Monday, March 22, 2004

Losers. All of Them.

Baby-boomers (and wannabes) who have nothing better to do with their time on a beautiful sunny day than act like obnoxious morons.

A guy in a gorilla suit, a bevy of Raging Grannies and a massive papier-mache Gandhi joined tens of thousands of protesters in San Francisco on Saturday for a two-mile march and anti-war rally to mark the first anniversary of the war in Iraq.

Either 25,000 or 50,000 people attended the event -- based on early estimates from police and organizers, respectively.

With temperatures hovering in the high 70s and a cloudless sky overhead, a mellow mood seemed to permeate the crowd, with countless marchers basking in the sun on their backs, their eyes closed as an amplified call of "Long live Cuba" filled the air.