Writing Cartoons

For writers, two cartoons, not hugely funny but amusing: Creative Thinking and The Writer's Retreat. … [Read more...]

Brooklyn Rescue

How often do you get bitten tells the story of a young man who (as a friend put it) seems to have found his vocation in a way most people never do, and it’s a vocation he can be proud of. Sean Casey, who founded and runs . . . wait for it . . . Sean Casey Animal Rescue in Windsor Terrace, a old-fashioned family neighborhood in Brooklyn, rescues nearly anything, from dogs and cats to guinea pigs to snakes and tortoises. (I've told this story elsewhere but our eldest sent me a video of Sean s … [Read more...]

The Experience of Conversion

One kind of would-be convert, as I wrote in Long's Commitments a couple of days ago, is drawn to aspects of the Catholic Church but not exactly to Catholicism. Over time he may develop an interest in Catholicism and move closer and then into the Church, or he may settle into a kind of respectful or affectionate fellow-travelling, or he may just lose interest, or he may repudiate the whole thing in reaction, though this last seems to happen rarely.It's a hard difference to explain. I tried to … [Read more...]

Ayn Rand’s Harry Potter

Something many readers may have seen, but for those like me who hadn't, here is Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Objectivism, the first in the Harry Potter series as retold by Ayn Rand. Unfortunately the website doesn't seem to provide a page with a link to all seven.Here is the scene from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone in which Harry sees the parents he never knew, retold: Harry and Ron stood before the Mirror of Erised. “My God,” Ron said. “Harry, it’s your dead parents.” Harry’s ey … [Read more...]

The Spiritual But Not Religious Annoy a Pastor

"[H]is marriage ended, and he began to feel that the church was more his former wife's than his," writes Lillian Daniel in the Christian Century of a man who'd told her ""I'm spiritual but not religious" and insisted on explaining why he didn't go to church. (The article appeared in 2011 but I just stumbled across it.)He told Daniel, a Congregational minister, that "I worship nature. I see myself in the trees and in the cicadas. I am one with the great outdoors. I find God there. And I r … [Read more...]

Living With Rockets

"I go to visit a local family," writes the journalist Tuvia Tenenbom. "It is Friday Night and the family sits at the table. The husband makes the Kiddush, the wife shares the challahs with everybody, some people sing some songs and everybody gets busy eating the Sabbath food: fish, chicken, meat, followed by Coke Zero and Johnnie Walker Black Label." He is in Israel, near Gaza. A conversation follows about beautiful sights in distant lands and then, just before the cakes and cookies are to be … [Read more...]

Long’s Loyalties

In My Church Loyalties, the Methodist philosopher and Marquette professor D. Stephen Long explains why he has not become a Catholic, though he has started the process twice. It is an honest and helpful essay, and a gracious one toward his Protestant brethren on the one side and his Catholic friends on the other, though also one that proves his wisdom in remaining a Methodist. I think that Long, like many would-be converts, is attracted to aspects of the Catholic Church but not exactly to Cat … [Read more...]