Meet the “Nones”: “We may not believe in God, but we hope to one day”

Here’s a different take on religion and American culture from someone who professes no faith, but is still searching: For a nation of talkers and self-confessors, we are terrible when it comes to talking about God. The discourse has been co-opted by the True Believers, on one hand, and Angry Atheists on the other. What [Read More...]

Christmas card of the year

The mayor of San Juan, Jorge Santini, is sending the card pictured above to some of his friends. (Mine must have gotten lost in the mail…but it’s popped up in the interwebs). This story in a San Juan paper explains (via Google translator): According to El Nuevo Dia, the image is one of five that [Read More...]

The role of religion in the Civil War: “It was absolutely pervasive”

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War, and at least one historian has taken the time to look at religion’s role in the war: “One of the things that surprised me was that there were certain dominant ideas, regardless of particular religious affiliation. Ideas about providence, ideas about sin, [Read More...]

In hard times, a surge in cremations

At the rate things are going, by the end of this decade a majority of Americans will choose cremation. Details: As Toni Kelly battled lymphoma, first with a bone marrow transplant and then with brutal rounds of chemotherapy, she worried obsessively that her four-year struggle would destroy her family’s finances. Her husband, Doug, refused to [Read More...]

Circle of light: behind the Advent wreath

It’s a popular fixture in Catholic churches and homes, but the Advent wreath comes with a long history and rich meaning. From the Catholic Sentinel in Portland, OR: Advent is about more than marking an event 2,000 years ago and the wreaths help make that clear. Progressive lighting of candles symbolizes a two-part hope surrounding [Read More...]

RIP, Harry Morgan

One of the most familiar faces on television has gone to the great dressing room in the sky: Harry Morgan, the prolific character actor best known for playing the acerbic but kindly Colonel Potter in the long-running television series “M*A*S*H,” died Wednesday morning at his home in Los Angeles. He was 96. His son Charles [Read More...]

A Catholic wedding performed without a net

Remember the good old days before Vatican II, when people took sacraments seriously and priests treated the liturgy with reverence? Behold, a Catholic wedding in France from 60 years ago.   [Read more...]

Red Bull to stage extreme ice event on cathedral steps

This may be a first: A Red Bull Crashed Ice extreme sports event is going to be staged on the steps of the Cathedral of St. Paul come January. The event, which is referred to as a “downhill ice cross,” pits international competitors skating down a specially designed ice ramp. To see a video of [Read More...]

Have an ice Christmas

Once again, they’ve erected a stunning nativity scene in Graz, Austria, sculpted from ice: The life-size sculptures of Jesus, Mary, Joseph and the three kings have been handmade by Gert J. Hoedl and his international team, using 54 tons of ice. The scene shows the Virgin Mary cradling baby Jesus, while Joseph looks on. The [Read More...]

Acts of contrition: why some are more prone to apologize

It seems some of us are just hard-wired to be more contrite, according to one study: A new study suggests that specific personality traits offer clues about whether a person is likely to offer a mea culpa. Psychologist Andrew Howell and his colleagues at Grant MacEwan University in Edmonton devised a questionnaire to measure a [Read More...]


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