Wesley J. Smith on why nature should not have “rights” :

Of greater philosophical concern, the nature rights ideology subverts what I call human exceptionalism by elevating the natural world to moral equality with human beings—effectively diminishing us to merely another animal in the forest. Such a reductionist self-perception alone could cause great harm. But by asserting that flora and fauna—perhaps even geysers and other geographical phenomena—have “rights,” the movement degrades liberal principles arising from the “Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God” in the same way that wild inflation devalues the worth of currency. Indeed, if a squirrel or mushroom and all other earthly entities somehow possess rights, the very concept withers.

Also today, Colleen Carroll Campbell on the genius of the women saints :

This Sunday, Pope Benedict XVI will canonize seven new saints. His honorees include four women, two of whom—Franciscan sister Marianne Cope and lay contemplative Kateri Tekakwitha—have American roots. Their canonizations follow just two weeks after Benedict named German mystic Hildegard of Bingen a Doctor of the Church, a high honor bestowed on only three women before her