Our Battle Of The Bulge

02/23/2010 Comments (12)

Ten months ago, the Democrats began their campaign for perpetual political dominance through the bureaucratic machine. Health care became their battle of choice. A theoretical filibuster-proof majority in the Senate and a huge numerical advantage in the House gave the Democrats a lot of firepower and they certainly had the will to use it. They made the decision that they would dominate the continent and usher in a political dynasty.  One of the first tasks of the newly-established dynasty would be to use the machinery of state to systematically exterminate a class of people—the unborn.  A horrible vision of the future emerged, yet it seemed that pro-lifers were powerless to stop it.

But...READ MORE

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2009: Year of On-screen & Offscreen Infidelity?

02/23/2010 Comments (1)

A recent story in Variety connects the dots around various real-life and large- and small-screen stories and comes up with a disturbing picture: One way or another, 2009 was a high-profile year for adultery. 

The headline reads “Infidelity scores Oscar noms,” but Variety writer Diane Garrett sees a larger pattern that includes the public scandals of Tiger Woods, Governor Mark Sanford, and John Edwards, revelations concerning small-screen personalities David Letterman and “John & Kate Plus 8” stars Jon and Kate Gosselin, and what Garrett suggests seemed like “nearly every other movie released in the past six months,” including the musical remake Nine and the Meryl Streep–Alec Baldwin...READ MORE

Filed under marriage, movies

Are Full Body Scans an Affront to Modesty?

How much is too much?

02/23/2010 Comments (14)

The last time I flew, I wore a skirt.

That was a bad idea.

Apparently, wearing a skirt increases the number of “hiding places” on your person and as a consequence, I was subjected to increased security checks. I had to wait in a special line and take my turn walking through a special beeping machine.

When I arrived home, I mentioned this to my mother and she replied, “Of course you know that means they scanned you and they saw everything.”

Thanks, Mom. I feel better now.

If you ever fly, you know firsthand the kinds of personal impositions that are demanded of airline passengers in the name of safety. Now, with the advent of new technology, removing your shoes and belt, handing over...READ MORE

Filed under airport, modesty, privacy, security, terrorism

Eucharist: Communion

02/23/2010 Comments (8)

St. Paul tells us, “The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?” (1 Corinthians 10:16).  But American piety tends to have a strong isolationist streak.  And the funny thing is: it affects both Protestants and Catholics in their own ways.  The proof of this is that, broadly speaking, there are two ways in which Catholics and Protestants place emphasis on the wrong syllables in this verse and fail to receive its meaning in its fullness.

Catholics are fond of making fun of Evangelical Protestant individualism, with its “Me n’ Jesus” tendency to conceive of the Church...READ MORE

Filed under sacraments

Three Olympic Subtexts

02/22/2010 Comment

The Hoopeses bought an antenna and a converter box and so we’re finally watching the Winter Olympics. As usual, it’s not just a sports competition. It’s a microcosm of all that is best and worst about the world we live in.


1. The Moral Subtext.

Olympic Comeuppance. The moral subtext of the 2006 Winter Olympics was “pride cometh before a fall.” A special Bode Miller website and late night partying came before Bode Miller’s fall from the standings. Showboating did in Lindsey Jacobellis when she tried to be cute at the end of her race, and so wiped out, giving the gold and silver to the two people behind her.

Olympian Sportsmanship.
This Olympics, Bode has redeemed himself...READ MORE

Filed under olympics

Who Wants Elton's Jesus?

02/22/2010 Comments (5)

Elton John recently said that Jesus was a gay genius.

Now, Elton’s theological ramblings aren’t to be taken too seriously but I think that there’s a lot of Elton Johns out there. By that I don’t mean there’s millions of flamboyant rockers with funny sunglasses. But I do think it’s rather telling that Elton sees Jesus as a homosexual and a genius as Elton himself is a homosexual and could easily be called a musical genius. Weird, huh?

I don’t think Elton is alone in this kind of thinking. I think people often see Jesus in a narrow way, as a reflection of themselves.

While we’re supposed to see God in others, I think that too often we look for God in ourselves, for reaffirmation of our...READ MORE

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NEWSFLASH! The Catholic Church Is DYING! (Right?)

02/22/2010 Comments (35)

The faithful are abandoning the Church in droves!

The number of priests is plummeting!

The number of seminarians is spiraling downward!

The number of nuns has dropped!

Right?

Well, the number of nuns has dropped, but the rest of that is just wrong.

I remember back in my Evangelical days, it was a well-accepted fact that the Catholic Church was on its last legs, with people abandoning it in droves, losing more and more ever year.

Funny how things change when you check the facts.

Certainly, there are problems in the Church (always have been; cf. Epistles of St. Paul). The Church did take a big hit after Vatican II. And we’re a long way from where we should be.

But we’re actually...READ MORE

Filed under catholic, church, decline, nuns, population, priests, seminarians, statistics

Eucharist: Blessed Sacrament

02/22/2010 Comment

Scripture often looks both backward and forward.  That’s because Scripture is simultaneously traditional and prophetic.  So, for instance, the entire idea of the Messiah is one which constantly calls us to remember the past as well as look forward to the fact that the Lord is doing something new.

The “looking to the past” part is summed up in Psalm 132:11:

The LORD swore to David a sure oath
from which he will not turn back:
“One of the sons of your body
I will set on your throne.

This refers to a promise made in the middle of the epic story of King David and recounted in 2 Samuel 7.  In that chronicle, we are told that David, having established his kingdom and his capital city of...READ MORE

Filed under sacraments

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