Should Catholics Read Anti-Catholic Materials?

09/23/2014 Comments (119)

Yesterday, someone shared this picture with me.



Well, that's silly. The statue labelled "Semiramis" and "Nimrod" is clearly European and clearly Medieval, which is about as far from "Ancient Babylon" as you can get. A few hardy souls went to the source of the meme and let its anti-Catholic authors know that the statue of "Semiramis" was, in fact, indisputably a Madonna and Child who reside in the South Portal of the Cologne Cathedral.

And guess what? No one cared. They didn't even have the good grace to feel sheepish over the goofy historical error. What mattered to them was that Catholics are wrong, Catholics are always wrong, and if Catholics defend themselves with demonstrable...READ MORE

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Tantrum Ergo Sacramentum

09/18/2014 Comments (18)

It's a whole year away, but I'm starting to get excited about World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia! There are going to be tons of fantastic speakers, and best of all, there will be a Papal Mass. 

Imagine, if you will, how much preparation goes into a huge, complicated event like this:  the scheduling, the promotion, the legal issues, even just making sure there are enough bathrooms. And how about the music? Which hymns would be appropriate for a Mass which culminates a celebration of all things pertaining to family life? Here are a few suggestions, from someone who's spent the last 17 years drowning in rejoicing in Catholic family living:

  • Recalling the importance of preparing...READ MORE

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What Are You Doing for Catechism This Year?

09/16/2014 Comments (42)

The first few weeks of school are accomplished. We've picked up most of the important pieces of our shattered psyches, and are looking around for ways to move forward, rather than just survive. Top of the list: what to do about catechism for nine kids? Even though the summer was technically full of free time, somehow we never managed to get any regular catechesis in. Well, better now than never. On the principle that doing something second-rate consistently is better than doing something first-rate hardly at all, here is our sustainable plan:

The toddler, who two-and-a-half, is perfecting her sign of the cross CUTE!), shouting "SAY HAIW MARY!" when we hear a siren, and learning how to...READ MORE

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Sam Rocha Sings . . . Augustinian Soul?

09/11/2014 Comments (2)

Sam Rocha's new album, Late to Love (Wiseblood, 2014) took me by surprise. Frankly, I had my doubts about music billed as "Augustinian soul." It sounded a little too cute and a little too weird. And there's always that old problem of music that aims to be both popular and religious: to often, it's only musically and theologically mediocre at best. But we're supposed to "support" it anyway, because it's the right thing to do.

Late to Love is different. It sounds good. Good, I tell you! Rocha's voice is supple and velevty, the production value is top notch, the musicians are in the zone, and the tunes are catchy, with flashes of ingenuity to keep you on your toes. In short, it's fun to...READ MORE

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Love, Blame, and Hope in the movie Mud

09/09/2014 Comments (17)

The other night, we watched the 2012 movie Mud with Matthew McConaughy and Reese Witherspoon

My husband and I both enjoyed it immensely, both for its skillful artistry and for its desire to entertain. At no point were we whacked over the head with messages, symbolism, or art (none of that, "Lookit me artist the heck out of this fillum!" stuff that gets so tiresome in so many thoughtful movies). It certainly could have: it has heavy with astonishing imagery: a boat in a tree!  A floating house! A pool full of black snakes!  A string of pearls!  A diver who needs more light! While no second of dialogue was wasted and no scene was framed carelessly, the story worked fine on its own, and...READ MORE

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What About Behavioral and Spiritual Arguments Against Vaccines?

09/04/2014 Comments (90)

As we can see from Tuesday's post and the response to it, it's not necessarily clear what we mean when we say "science" or "medicine." So let's put science and medicine aside entirely for a moment, and let's focus on two arguments against vaccines that I keep hearing -- arguments which don't appeal to science at all, but which are spiritual and behavioral.

The first argument against vaccines is spiritual, and goes like this: vaccines are an affront against God, because they imply that the bodies He created, including their immune systems, are flawed and are in need of artificial alteration or improvement. 

Again: we're not discussing, today, whether vaccines are medically effective. That...READ MORE

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Science, Catholics, and Fear

09/02/2014 Comments (130)

It is a disgraceful and a dangerous thing for an unbeliever to hear a Christian, presumably explaining science, nutrition, and medicine, talking nonsense on these topics. Many non-Christians are well-versed in Natural knowledge, so they can detect vast ignorance in such a Christian and laugh it to scorn. The danger is obvious-- the failure to conform interpretation to demonstrated knowledge opens the interpreter, and by extension, Christianity as a whole, to ridicule for being unlearned.   

All right, so St. Augustine didn't say "science, nutrition, and medicine," he said "the meaning of scripture."  But other than that, he's describing a good 40% of my Facebook wall.

More and more,...READ MORE

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What Did the Pope Mean by "Sins Against Unity"?

08/28/2014 Comments (45)

Yesterday, the Pope spoke about the need for unity among Christians. According to CNA, he said,

In a Christian community division is one of the most serious sins, because it does not allow God to act.  What God wants is that we be welcoming, that we forgive and love each other so as to become more and more like Him, who is communion and love.

This quote is being used like a giant, wet fish to fraternally correct people right in the face. Smack! Unity! The Pope says so! Whack!

Let's put that fishie down for a minute, and let's think about what kind of things the Pope was actually talking about, when he admonished us to avoid division.  He clearly didn't mean "Don't disagree with anyone"...READ MORE

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About Simcha Fisher

Simcha Fisher
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Simcha Fisher, author of The Sinner's Guide to Natural Family Planning writes for several publications and blogs at I Have to Sit Down. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and nine children. Without supernatural aid, she would hardly be a human being.