Uninformed Catholics, Father’s Day, Juneteenth, voting rights and other top Opinion reads

In today’s fast-paced news environment, it can be hard to keep up. For your weekend reading, we’ve started in-case-you-missed-it compilations of some of the week’s top USA TODAY Opinion pieces. As always, thanks for reading, and for your feedback.

— USA TODAY Opinion editors

1. Joe Biden is better on the world stage than any president since George H.W. Bush

By David Rothkopf

“By virtue of his long experience, Biden’s first months in office have been far more successful. He rapidly put together a respected team of foreign policy veterans. He quickly undid Trump policy errors, bringing America back into international groups like the World Health Organization and international accords like the Paris Agreement. When crises erupted in places like Ukraine and between the Israelis and Palestinians, he intervened with a sure touch and helped avert escalation.”

2. Maher is wrong about Lin-Manuel Miranda’s casting apology. There isn’t enough apologizing.

By Kirsten Powers 

“Though it should be stipulated that, contrary to conventional wisdom, conservatives are just as likely to start a Twitter storm as a person from the left side of the aisle. At any rate, we should be able to distinguish between a brutal overreaction to a minor offense and an outcry meant to raise awareness about a serious issue. After all, #BlackLivesMatter and #MeToo could not have had the success they did without Twitter.”

3. On Father’s Day, I’m thankful for the lesson my son has taught me and sorry it took me so long to learn

By Louie Villalobos

“I was able to see your curiosity and sense of exploration in real-time and watched your communication and overall social skills grow. You taught me about the games and had more patience than I did when things didn’t go our way. Those sessions became moments of calm once I stopped getting angry or frustrated with things neither of us can control.”

Voting (Photo: USA TODAY Handout)

4. Republicans crush voting rights, making a mockery of their support for Juneteenth: Brazile

By Donna Brazile 

“Senate Republicans have won an important battle in their disgraceful war on democracy, but it was a major defeat for the American people and our right to vote – a fundamental right long denied to millions of Black Americans, including my enslaved ancestors and my own grandparents and parents born in the South after slavery ended.”

5. Sen. Joe Manchin has good ideas on voting rights, and one very bad idea

By the Editorial Board

“The For the People Act, as sprawling as it is, addresses only a portion of these crucial concerns. It would establish nationwide standards for mail-in balloting, voter registration, early voting and other access issues. And it would end gerrymandering. But S.1 does nothing about new states laws that allow state political leaders to throw out fair election results (although the Lewis proposal could help address this).”

Opposing view  

The For the People Act will protect democracy: Sen. Jeff Merkley

By Jeff Merkley 

“On Jan. 6, we were all reminded in the starkest of terms that government of the people, by the people and for the people is not guaranteed. But a violent mob unleashed on the U.S. Capitol is not the only way to attack a democracy. In fact, our “We the People” democracy has been under siege for decades, as the powerful and the privileged have funneled billions in dark money into elections and undermined American citizens’ right to vote. Why? So the government does their bidding instead of reflecting the will of the people.”

Critical race theory (Photo: USA TODAY Handout)

6. Trump abused power for revenge and personal gain. This can’t be our new normal: Swalwell 

By Eric Swalwell 

“I’ve served as an Intelligence Committee member for almost seven years, and when classified information was leaked before Trump rose to power, Chairman Adam Schiff and I were never targeted because there was no good reason to do so. The difference is that once Trump took power, Chairman Schiff and I helped lead the investigations into his undeniably worrisome political, personal and financial ties to Russia. We stood up to him, so we became targets.”

7.  US Catholics need a crash course in Church teaching on Communion. Biden gave an opening.

By Katrina Trinko 

“Polls regularly show a gulf between the values of many American Catholics and the teachings of the Catholic Church. For instance, more than two-thirds of American Catholics support legalized same-sex marriage, according to a 2020 Gallup survey. Fifty-six percent of American Catholics agree with Biden and Pelosi, backing abortion being legal in most or all cases, per a 2019 Pew Research Center survey.”

8. An ex-officer’s vaccine fear may have killed him. His widow speaks out to save others, his legacy.

By Suzette Hackney 

“But the pandemic has disproportionately affected Black, Latino and Native Americans. There’s a direct correlation between the rates of COVID-19 hospitalization and deaths among racial and ethnic groups. A poll of more than 12,000 Americans ages 18 and up on the vaccine released last week by the Commonwealth Fund and the African American Research Collaborative found that unvaccinated people of color are more hesitant about getting the coronavirus vaccine than their white counterparts.”

Gay rights (Photo: USA TODAY Handout)

9.  If you want to know how battle over defund police plays out, watch New York City election

By Ashish Prashar

“The New York Police Department is hardly on a pauper’s budget. The $11 billion annual funding is the highest in the nation, bigger than many countries’ military budgets. That budget couldn’t prevent a shooting in Times Square, one of the most heavily policed neighborhoods in the world. Is there any other institution that gets more money for doing a terrible job?”

10. My brother died by suicide two years ago. I am not who I used to be. And that’s OK.

By Connie Schultz

“I don’t say any of this to elicit another round of condolences. Sympathy is the language of loss. Remembrance is proof that they lived. I will never tire of hearing another story about my brother, Chuckie. In the retelling, he is alive. It brings me closer to the whisper I long to hear, the one that lets me know he no longer feels alone.” 

You can read diverse opinions from our Board of Contributors and other writers on the Opinion front page, on Twitter @usatodayopinion and in our daily Opinion newsletter. To respond to a column, submit a comment to [email protected]

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