As you perhaps recall from previous posts, I have for many years been a member of an international women’s movement , the Grail, which is located in seventeen countries around the world. I recently wrote a position paper for the Grail’s international Global Justice/Overcoming Poverty network, “Converging Crises: Climate Change and Nuclear Power.”
In this paper, I expand on the painful lesson learned from the meltdown at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant in Japan in March 2011–that the dangers of nuclear power are converging with the extreme weather events that are part of climate change to make life on this planet increasingly hazardous. I begin by detailing the inevitable connections between nuclear power and nuclear weapons, to wit, that the same technology is used to produce them both. I also point out that even if this were not the case, nuclear power would be extremely problematic because of the use and pollution of huge quantities of water in the production of nuclear power and the generation by that same production of enormous quantities of waste that remain radioactive for thousands of years. I then discuss the recent return to nuclear power here in the US (after three decades of building no new plants in the wake of the Three Mile Island disaster in 1979) based in the belief that nuclear power does less harm to the environment than fossil-fuel-based energy. Yet the effects of climate change–sea-level rise and extreme weather events–as well as the increase in earthquakes caused by hydro-fracking–call such a belief into question.
In the last section of my paper I wonder aloud about what we can possibly do, since both nuclear power and the fracking of natural gas risk converging with and intensifying rather than solving the problems that accompany climate change. It could be, I suggest, that political action, like the huge turnouts against nuclear power in Germany in the wake of the Fukushima Dai-ichi meltdown, will cause us to renounce these dangerous addictions. But in the end I argue that the essential shift to renewable energy will most surely increase costs across the board and undercut the consumerist lifestyle to which so many of us westerners–myself included–have become accustomed. The only thing that will save us, I suggest, is a “conversion to a more abstemious way of life…a new asceticism, (something like) the great turn to asceticism and community by the Desert Mothers and Fathers of the late 3rd century…who rejected the wordliness of late Roman civilization and the pursuit of riches; instead they practiced self-sacrifice for the sake of the reign of God.” Such a new asceticism, I argue, would be aimed not at suffering as an end in itself but at self-sacrifice for the sustaining of creation.
It seems as if Lent is a great time to undertake such a new asceticism. So what practices for the sake of God’s creation shall we begin–or continue–during these forty days?
Tags: College of Cardinals, nuns on the bus, Resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, Sister Simone Campbell
It seems that my figures about the number of men (ahem) in the College of Cardinals were wrong. I should never do figures; I’m a word girl.
So I’m not going to correct the number and make another dumb mistake. Lots of people have been mistaken on this. Sister Simone Campbell, the lead “nun on the bus,” said on Democracy Now the other night that 120 cardinals will be voting, but that’s surely the number Paul VI set as the limit of members, not the actual number; whether voting or belonging to the college outright I am less sure. Somebody on NPR said that B-16 has appointed the majority, 67, but the majority of what?
What I was not wrong about is that JP II and B-16 have appointed the entire group that will be voting in March, which sets certain limits on the outcome.
What I am hoping for is the election of a Latin American. Not that said pope will change the church’s near-fatal obsession with sexual orthodoxy. But at least he will symbolize something beyond the tired old European church. And perhaps there will be the faintest echo of liberation theology in the back of his head.
Well, we awoke this morning to amazing news. Pope Benedict XVI, the head of the largest Christian denomination in the world, will resign at the end of this month.
I had the privilege of listening to a number of radio commentators hold forth on said development, and it was pretty entertaining. My own theory about the global fascination with the papacy has to do with how visual it is. I mean, these guys wear spectacular costumes, and ride in a pope-mobile, while the heads of many other Christian denominations wear suits and ties. If you were going to take a picture of somebody for your Easter edition, who would you choose?
But I digress. The commentators’ observations on this particular development deserve particular attention. Somebody on the BBC, maybe Lavinia Byrne, said that the pope’s resignation is a sign of the church’s modernization. Modern medicine keeps people alive long past the age when they are fit to rule physically, psychologically, or even spiritually. So popes now will resign. (JPII’s gruesome decline from Parkinson’s illustrates the point). Another commentator said B-16 was a transition pope; maybe part of the deal when he was elected was that he would stay in office only so long, then step down to make way for a longer-term pontiff.
With regard to B-16′s resignation being a modern gesture, you need to understand that he made the announcement in Latin, to a gathering of Catholic cardinals a number of whom didn’t have enough Latin to understand what he was saying. One assumes the more erudite guys translated it for them. Furthermore, Benedict began his earth-shaking announcement with the salutation “Brothers”–fratres. So much for the seven hundred million or so sorors who will, like me, get the news over the radio. The modern era began in 1492, with Columbus’s discovery of the “new” world. The Catholic Church then ostensibly entered the modern world in the 1960s, just as the rest of the world was contending with the fractures of postmodernity. Now, in 2013, the church enters the modern world a third time, with an announcement in Latin.
Another commentator raised the question of whether Benedict, by virtue of being the first pope in six hundred or so years to resign, will try to influence the selection of his successor. But even if he really does hie him to a monastery and do nothing but pray, B-16, and his larger than life predecessor John Paul II, will influence who the next pope is big-time. They appointed all of the College of Cardinals who will gather to elect the next pope (John Paul II appointed 179 of the current 199 cardinals, and Benedict the rest; this after Pope Paul VI limited the size of the college of Cardinals to 120). This means that the only likely transition will be from a seriously old conservative pope to a fairly old one.
Another commentator expressed the desire that the new pope would see to it that more power is shared with the local church. I guess the sharing of power is one of the characteristics of modernity. But consider this: even Benedict’s closest aides expressed amazement at the announcement of his resignation. The head of the second largest religious body in the world (after Sunni Islam) decided to resign his post without discussing it–the timing, the ramifications–with anybody. As Benedictine Anthony Ruff said (with amazement!) a while back, the Roman Catholic Church is an absolute monarchy, and absolute monarchs do not share power. End of story.
All this notwithstanding, I suppose a good Christian would continue to hope that the next pope will share power, or even simply implement the Second Vatican Council. As for me, I remember the election of Pope John XXIII. What a pope and a council do, the next pope can and probably will undo. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me 4,769 times, I’m the fool.
Tags: Catholic Church, Catholic women priests, Elisabeth Schuessler Fiorenza, Mary Fainsod Katzenstein, Mary Hunt, priesthood, Timothy Matovina, women in combat
On January 24, colleague and feminist theologian Mary Hunt published an article on Religion Dispatches, “Combat Soldiers and Clergywomen: A Problematic Equation.” In my response, which appeared on Religion Dispatches yesterday, I argue that to change social institutions, whether the church or the military, we need a more complex strategy than Hunt’s article suggests.
Tags: "Being Catholic Now", "Why Catholicism Now?", "Why Priests? A Failed Tradition", Father Paul Mayer, former Catholics, former Episcopal priest ordained Catholic priest, Garry Wills, John Cornelius, Kerry Kennedy, married Catholic priests, the line in the sand, Vatican attack on US sisters, William Donahue
There’ve been all kinds of books lately about Catholicism: Garry Wills’s new book on the priesthood, Why Priests? A Failed Tradition; Kerry Kennedy’s anthology, Being Catholic Now, and even, if you’re so inclined, Why Catholicism Matters, a study of the cardinal virtues in the 21st century, by Bill Donahue of the Catholic League.
Sometimes, though, if you want to know what’s happening with American Catholics, it’s just as helpful to notice what’s going on. Like the other day, when I had lunch with a relative down in Philadelphia, a cradle Catholic like myself, but even more so since a number of her parents’ siblings were nuns or priests. (She’s also a successful lawyer.) We chatted a bit about her kids, and then she said, “Well, I’ve stopped going to Mass.” In response to my inquiry as to why, she told a long but all-too-familiar story: first there was the new pastor, who’s a lot more conservative than the previous one. Then there was the archdiocesan campaign to which she refused to contribute because of the Philadelphia archdiocese’s shocking record of protecting child sex-abusers.
But the last straw, she said, was the attack by the Vatican on the nuns. “I know that my aunts who were nuns put up with a lot from the pastors and priests they interacted with,” she said, “but the idea of these women being treated this way in old age is more than I can take. I’m finished with it.” This, as I suggested some months ago might be the case for many Catholics, was the “line in the sand” for this extraordinarily theologically middle-of the road, (almost) life-long Catholic.
Next there is the steady movement of married priests into the Catholic mainstream (by which I do not mean the institutional church). First there was the celebrant of the memorial service for my friend Susan Donahue down in West Chester, PA, in January. This former member of a religious order, now married, and vested in an alb and stole, led a room full of nuns, ex-nuns, and practicing and non-practicing Catholics through readings, hymns, prayers of the faithful and eulogies. Nobody blinked.
Then there was an article on the National Catholic Reporter webpage this week about “Fr. Paul Mayer” of East Orange, New Jersey, who has called for faith communities to begin building a major movement that elevates climate change above its current “footnote” status and places it squarely in the center of both spiritual and public concerns. Mayer’s lifetime of social justice activism, as described in the article, is truly inspiring. Almost as an afterthought, in the last sentence, the authors identify Mayer as “the founder of a spiritual peace community in East Orange, (who) teaches yoga to seniors and has an active wedding ministry as a non-canonical, formerly married priest.”
And lest you think that all the change goes in one direction, there’s an article in the January 27 New York Daily News about John Cornelius, the first former Episcopal priest to be ordained a Roman Catholic priest in New York state. A big part of the story is that Cornelius took a vow of celibacy, to which his wife of thirty-three years gave her blessing, in order to be ordained. I will attempt here to restrain my cynicism about the quality of the sex lives of couples who eagerly renounce same and say instead that it’s good to know that the exclusion of women and gays and sexually-active married men from the Catholic priesthood is an inspiration to somebody.
I suppose I could close with a riff on the increasing number of Catholic women priests in the US, but since that’s been going on for decades, it hardly constitutes a change at all!
Tags: "I thank you God for most this amazing day", Dana Green, death, Delaware County Pennsylvania, Denise Levertov, e. e. cummings, Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, Susan Donahue
Last Saturday, January 12, I went to Philadelphia for the funeral of another friend, my high school classmate, Susan Donahue. I have decided to stop lamenting about people in my generation dying, though I surely miss them. What can we do? We’re getting older.
But even if I’m not lamenting, I keep on observing things, –in myself and others. And if it’s not too weird to say, I rather enjoyed my friend’s memorial service. A hundred or so people came. Susan had been a Sister of Notre Dame de Namur for about half her adult life (more or less–the details were vague) and a bunch of SNDs and former SNDs and almost SNDs, some of whom I’ve known for fifty years, came to the memorial. Clearly Susan had a good life, teaching school in the South and then working in a free health clinic in DC while she was a sister, and later working with the CDC on HIV/AIDS. And she had wonderful friends who testified to the enormous difference she had made in their lives. We should all do so well at the end.
One thing that kind of put me off, though, was the reading of a poem by e.e. cummings during the service; Susan had apparently loved cummings’s poetry her whole life, so we heard one of his works, along with a passage from Isaiah, before the eulogies started.
I should perhaps confess at this point that I have ambivalent feelings about the world I came out of. Delaware County, just south of Philadelphia, was in the 50s and 60s mostly white, working class, and Republican; I put a lot of energy into getting out of there. I also love (or loved) a lot of the people I met there.
What came to me about the e.e. cummings part of Susan’s service was, “Deliver us from the poetry we learned when we were teenagers, O Lord. Surely Susan got beyond e.e. cummings!”
I did not say this out loud. Another friend smacked me at a funeral last summer for saying something negative about the deceased, so I kept my mouth shut this time. But that didn’t stop me from thinking.
Then, a few days after Susan’s funeral, I came across a reference to Dana Green’s new biography of the poet Denise Levertov. I have been in the habit in recent years of reciting a poem to myself as the Q train takes me across the East River from Brooklyn to Manhattan: “I thank you God for most this amazing day.” I suppose it functions as a prayer for me, though if it’s a prayer, it’s one I sort of say to the Brooklyn Bridge, since I always look at the bridge as we cross the river. Anyhow, I had forgotten who wrote the poem, and then it occurred to me that perhaps Denise Levertov had.
So I googled “I thank you God,” and guess whose name came up? e.e. cummings.
I am writing this blogpost as an act of penance for being, once again, a judgmental twit.
Susan, I hope you’re laughing up there.
During a recent domestic crisis which my regular readers may remember, I had occasion to look directly at all my worldly possessions. It’s hard, when looking at all your “stuff,” ” as Annie Leonard puts it, not to wonder: why the hell do I own all this?
There are, of course, various answers to this question, depending on which stuff you’re scrutinizing. During my recent (and happily ended) domestic crisis, I had occasion to think, in particular, about the huge stack of bookmarks in the basket on my desk. My first thought was to pitch three-quarters of them, but as I sorted through them, I came across a large number that I just can’t seem to separate from. Nor do I ever use them: they mean too much to me to risk sending them to the library by mistake with my latest read.
I suppose I could put them in an album. Or maybe, if I tell you about them, I’ll get them out of my system, or at least, off my desk. Here goes:
2.5×8.5 inch cream-colored card with a picture of the woman at the well (John 4), commemorating the ordination of Mary Anne Whitfield Rammerman to the Catholic priesthood, Spiritus Christi Church, Rochester, NY, November 17, 2001.
2.25×8.5 inch orange and green on white card with a picture of Jesus on a meditation cushion, and Luke 4:18-19 in Vietnamese, commemorating the ordination of Hanh D. Pham S.J., my student at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, to the Catholic priesthood, June 7, 2008, St. Francis Xavier Church, St. Louis, Missouri.
(I attended neither of these events, though I did attend my student’s ordination to the diaconate.)
2×8 inch, plasticized white card announcing the publication of Francis Yates and the Hermetic Tradition: The First Biography of a Pioneering Woman Historian (1899-1981), by Marjorie G. Jones, whom I met at the awarding of the Mary Magdalene Award to Sister Teresa Kane RSM by the Southeastern Pennsylvania Women’s Ordination Conference in Philadelphia in spring, 2012.
2.5×4.25 inch memorial card, printed in green, for Lydwine Van Kerstbergen, Dutch co-founder of the Grail in the United States, 1905-1995. “And a Mother Arose in Israel.” (Judges 5:7).
4×6 inch, black ink on grey paper, in Spanish, of St.Teresa of Avila’s famous saying: “Let nothing disturb you, let nothing affright you; those who seek God will never go wanting…only God is enough (Solo Dios basta).” From the Gross Munster Church in Zurich, whose founders during the Radical Reformation would not have been entertained.
3×5.5 inch multicolor, mostly blues, picture of Edith Stein, “ebrea, filisofa, carmelitana, martire” (Jew, philosopher, carmelite, martyr), 1891-1942.
3 1/8×6 3/4 inch folded card, red and white flowers with Latin words in black on beige, from a Flemish Book of Hours (1500), a birthday note from one of the sisters of Notre Dame who taught me in high school and who has never missed my birthday since then. No date.
2.25×6 inch tealish green on cream card from Tropiques, a bookstore at 63 rue Raymond Losserand, 14th arrondissement, Paris. Owners Valerie Alvim and Sophie Barets.
Well, there are about 75 more of these, but you get the idea. I’m off now to Philly for the weekend. Talk to you again soon.
Tags: "Cross Examination", Sister Claire McCormick SNDdeN, Sister Helen James John SNDdeN, Sister Mary Daniel Turner SNDdeN, Sister X, Trinity bWashington University, US Catholic Sisters, Vatican Investigation of US Catholic Sisters, Vatican Visitation of US Catholic Sisters
When I began writing about the two Vatican investigations of US Catholic sisters that began in 2009, my first post was a response to an article in Commonweal, the liberal Catholic magazine. It was written by a Catholic sister whose pen name, “Sister X,” indicates how dangerous she considered it to say what she was going to say. She titled the piece “Cross-Examination.”*
There was much about “Cross Examination” that I found meaningful, but what moved me most deeply were Sister’s X’s reflections on the frequent experience of burying her sisters. “If the Vatican wants to know about sisters’ ‘quality of life,’ she riffs, ‘let me tell you about a common form of liturgical life in our community’–the burial of a sister, in a service without a priest, because priests are in short supply.” This thought gives her an idea about the cause of the visitation of women’s religious congregations and the doctrinal investigation of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious: ‘What Rome is really asking,’ she ventures, is ‘Why don’t you have more nuns to bury? What aren’t there more of you?’”
My strong response to this thread in “Cross Examined” was more than theoretical. Catholic sisters, especially the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur who taught me in the 1960s at Notre Dame High School in Moylan PA and at Trinity College in Washington, have been some of the most influential figures in my life . Catholic women in those years often entered the convent at age 18 and so some of the Sisters of Notre Dame at my high school were only ten or twelve years older than I was and are still going strong.
But many of them were older, and like the women in Sister X’s community, have in recent years, left us. The first of the deaths that really registered with me was that of Sister Claire McCormick, the high school Latin teacher from whom I learned that sometimes being clever just isn’t enough; sometimes you really have to study. In 2008, in her eighties, in what seemed pretty good health, Sister Claire sustained a stress fracture in her spine, developed pneumonia, and died within a week. I still can’t believe it.
Then, in 2010, came the death of Sister Mary Daniel Turner, one of the influential leaders of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, who had become a hero to me when I did a series of interviews with her between 2003 and 2006. Sister Mary Daniel died of cancer, so she left us a bit more slowly than Sister Claire did, but her loss was very hard nonetheless. As she said, there was a lot she still wanted to do. I continue to miss her.
And most recently, in early December, Sister Helen James John died at the age of 82. As her obituary in the Washington Post notes, Sister influenced very many students as she taught philosophy for four decades at Trinity Washington University (formerly Trinity College). She was also a vigorous outdoors-woman and fought for justice in civil rights demonstrations and at her own institution.
What Sister Helen James did for me, though, was to help me to believe, for the first time, that I could be the scholar and intellectual I dreamed of becoming. I had done fairly well in school previously, but during the first semester of my sophomore year, I took Sister Helen James’s honors metaphysics class, a pre-requisite for further study in philosophy and theology. The class was a ferocious encounter with the works of the great metaphysicians–Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, Descartes, Kant, Hegel, and more–and when I got an A at the end of the semester, I felt I had arrived. I also took a number of memorable walks around the campus with Sister Helen James; on one outing, we decided that “being” is better than “doing,” an insight that, as you may know, I certainly do not embody! Not long ago I came across a copy of a reference Sister Helen James wrote for me when I was applying to a Ph.D program. It’s thoroughness and thoughtfulness take my breath away.
We’re all going to die, of course, and living into one’s eighties is a whole lot better than dying young, as recent events have reminded us. But the passing of these Catholic sisters marks not only their end, but, in a certain sense, the end of a way of life, at least here in the US. The median age of US Catholic sisters is 74. At a conference on women’s religious life at Fordham Lincoln Center in December, a sociologist reported that 1200 women are currently in formation to become sisters here in the US. This figure may not sound particularly low till we consider that it comprises slightly less than 2% of the sisters in the US today.
I could go an a rant about the ways in which mistreatment of US sisters by the Vatican and the hierarchy has contributed to this decline. In “Cross Examination,” Sister X writes of the Vatican, ”Do they really wonder why our numbers shrink and shrink? They might ponder their own actions.”
But perhaps this is not the time for such a rant. Perhaps, as the winter wind blows outside my window, it’s time simply to be grateful for these splendid women and the incalculable difference they made in so many of our lives.
*Sister X’s article is now only available in the Commonweal archives for a fee, but my 2009 blog post summarizes it.
Tags: "Tracing the Sign of the Cross", 9/11, Cynthia Crysdale, Embracing Travail, myrrh, Newton Connecticut school shooting, the cross, The Three Kings, We Three Kings, World Trade Center, World Trade Center attack
The following is the revision of an article I published in a Catholic feminist newsletter in early 2002, soon after the bombing of the World Trade Center. In light of the deaths of twenty children and their teachers in Newtown, Connecticut just before Christmas this year, it is perhaps even more to the point in 2012 than it was in 2002.
One problem with writing for periodicals is lag time. Back in 2001, the editor of a newsletter asked me to do an article about Christmas. Ho-ho-ho. But the request came on October 11, 2001, when my mind was filled with bombed skyscrapers and fear of anthrax.
In such a conundrum, it helps to remember that the incompatibility between Christmas and death is a consumerist construct. Fundamental to the Christian tradition is the understanding that Christmas and Easter are different manifestations of the same mystery. Jesus himself may have escaped Herod, but those other Jewish babies did not. The liturgical calendar keeps them out of sight for a few days, but ultimately, there’s no separating life and death.
Even the kings themselves, those wise men from the East, are implicated in this part-ho-ho, part-horror story. In Matthew’s rendering of it we learn not only that these men brought gifts with them but what those gifts were: gold, and frankincense, and myrrh. Gold and frankincense fit nicely with the spirit of the season, thank you very much, but myrrh is another matter. John the Evangelist makes the connection clear when he writes of Jesus’ burial: “So (Joseph of Arimathea) came and took away his body. Nicodemus also, who had at first come to him by night, came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds weight” (19:38-39).
A week or so after the September 11 attacks, at the end of an interview, NPR’s Terry Gross asked the writer Karen Armstrong if she had any last thoughts to leave with the audience. Armstrong replied that although people might not appreciate her approach immediately, eventually she hoped they would come to think of the bombings as a revelation. If we consider the suicide bombers to be our own version of men from the East bearing gifts, what the nature of that revelation might be becomes clearer. We are more interested in the gold and the incense, but the myrrh is under the tree too.
Years ago Thomas Berry, the cosmological prophet, remarked in a lecture at Grailville, in Loveland, Ohio, that Christianity had become preoccupied with the crucifixion in the 14th century, when the Black Plague killed one European out of every three. I took him to mean that this preoccupation was some sort of distortion; only years later did I realize that the need of many of us 70s liberal Catholics to distance ourselves from the morbidity of the cross was another form of distortion, or rather, another moment in the centuries-long Christian oscillation between resisting the cross and embracing it.
During the heyday of the women’s movement, Catholic feminists joined their Protestant sisters in struggling with the meaning of the cross. In Embracing Travail: Retrieving the Cross Today, the Canadian feminist theologian Cynthia Crysdale rejects the Anselmian argument that God, like an offended medieval warlord, required the death of Jesus as retribution for sin. But she argues that this is not the only possible interpretation of the cross. For Crysdale, “embracing travail” means struggling, along with Jesus, against the evil that is part of human existence, not from a desire to sacrifice our selves, but to heal and free those very selves. In mr book, Tracing the Sign of the Cross, I explore the writings of four post-war American Catholics who know very well that there is no escaping loss, even if our financial resources exceed those of our immigrant forebears. Embracing the death of Jesus is one way to work through those losses to new hope and understanding.
In many respects, I am a New Yorker. My parents began taking me from Philadelphia to Manhattan as a small child, sharing with me their modernist passion for the bright lights and the big city. I love every minute of the fourteen years I have lived in New York, identifying with its energy and relishing the sense that everything I want is a subway ride away. During our decade in Berkeley, when I tried I try to explain my homesickness to my California colleagues, I invariably spoke of my longing for skyscrapers.
The World Trade Center was like a Christmas tree, a tall, glittering fantasy of promise and possibility. I spent one of the happiest afternoons of my life there, at The Windows on the World, the famous restaurant at the top of World Trade Tower #1, celebrating my graduation from seminary with my family, my future husband, and some of my closest friends.
But after 9/11, the World Trade Center didn’t look like a Christmas tree any more. The shards of building that were left standing looked more like a severe, modernist crucifix with its jagged ribs piercing the sky. Of course, another skyscraper will soon be completed near the place where the Golgotha-like remains of the previous towers once stood. And who knows? I may even come to love it. But I will never love it as optimistically as I did its predecessors. .
Again this year, a few miles north of Ground Zero, a huge Christmas tree is glowing in Rockefeller Plaza, and people like me are looking up at it, singing carols. Together these men and women will recreate an image of peace and harmony, of new birth, and the promise of salvation. But if they get as far as Balthazar’s verse of “We Three Kings,” they will remember something else, something 9/11 taught us all too well:
“Myrrh is mine; its bitter perfume/ Breathes a life of gathering gloom./Sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying,/ Sealed in a stone cold tomb.”
Perhaps 9/11 has made us better able than we once were to hold the two parts of the Christmas mystery together in our hearts.
Tags: "Remember All the Children, Bill Quigley, Connecticut school shooting, Mr. President"
Bill Quigley, law professor at Loyola University in New Orleans, makes the point of my previous post in much more detail than I do; see “Remember All the Children, Mr. President,” on the Common Dreams webpage.