Where did the story of Noah come from?

A National Geographic special next month offers some educated guesses: Scholars of ancient writings from Mesopotamia (now Iraq) point to texts written thousands of years before the bible that describe a flood and say that the bible story comes from those stories. Others like archaeologist Jeff Rose say these pre-biblical stories have merit because the [Read More...]

Stuck for a last minute gift? Here’s a little something for the Christian who has everything…

Msgr. Pope discovered it a few days ago: Have breakfast with Jesus every morning! In the past you’ve had see him with eyes of faith. Now you can seem him right on the toast! It’s the Jesus Toaster! Just $31.95 plus shipping and handling. No Christmas is complete without this fine new toaster. Was not [Read More...]

A toast to eggnog

Curious about where that peculiar holiday tonic originated?  Everything you need to know is here: Eggnog really makes you wonder: How did humans first think chugging a spiced and spiked egg-yolk-and-milk mixture was a good idea? It’s a bit like Gaston from Beauty and the Beast: “Now that I’m grown, I eat five dozen eggs, [Read More...]

Alert the Magi: frankincense may be disappearing

One of the most celebrated gifts in history — and a staple of the Christmas story — is endangered: The world may still have gold and myrrh, but it’s quite possible that frankincense could become a thing of the past, given ecological pressures on the arid lands where it grows in Ethiopia. The storied resin, [Read More...]

Are veils coming back?

When  I was growing up, my mother kept a small white circle of lace in a plastic bag in her pocketbook, in case she needed to pop into church for one reason or another.  And in the 1960s, it wasn’t uncommon  for a woman to improvise a veil with a bobby pin and a Kleenex. [Read More...]

A senior citizen flash mob?

This is what happens when a group of senior citizens decides to be cool. Place: a Target Store in Lawrence, Kansas. Music: “Last Christmas,” from the cast of “Glee.” Don’t say I didn’t warn you. [Read more...]

Mary’s pregnancy test

The intentionally provocative image above — without any words — has been posted on a billboard by a church in New Zealand: Vicar Glynn Cardy said: ‘It’s real. Christmas is real. It’s about a real pregnancy, a real mother and a real child. It’s about real anxiety, courage and hope. This billboard portrays Mary, Jesus’ [Read More...]

Saints in storage: inside Pittsburgh’s warehouses for used religious items

Another sign of the times, from Pittsburgh: warehouses for used tabernacles, statues and religious items: As a seminarian, the Rev. Joseph McCaffrey knelt before a tabernacle in the chapel at Mercy Hospital, where his mother was being treated for a brain tumor, and prayed for her recovery. Later, when he was named pastor of Ss. [Read More...]

Tim Tebow’s gospel of optimism

It’s not everybody’s favorite gospel, particularly in the world of professional sports, but it’s got a lot of people talking and thinking — including Frank Bruni in the New York Times: He genuflects so publicly and frequently that to drop to one knee in the precise way he does has been given its own word, [Read More...]

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...]


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