Jesse James meets the Second Amendment

If there should ever be a monument to the Second Amendment, it should be erected in Northfield, Minnesota. In this little college town in 1876, Jesse James and Cole Younger, with six other members of their gang, tried to rob the First National Bank, only to get shot up by an aroused citizenry.  I just finished reading a new book on the subject, Mark Lee Gardner’s Shot All to Hell: Jesse James, the Northfield Raid, and the Wild West’s Greatest Escape.

I knew about the Northfield raid and when I spoke at St. Olaf College a few years ago, my hosts took me to see the bank and the marks of the bullets that still adorn the downtown buildings.  But I did not know the details, nor did I know about the equally thrilling aftermath.  Gardner’s book, while being sober history, reads like an action thriller, but what I most took away from the book was a glimpse of something we don’t see all that much anymore; namely, a genuine community, whose members look out for each other, protect each other, and pull together for the common good. [Read more…]

Child sacrifice then and now

Collin Garbarino tells of a controversy in archaeology about whether or not the ancient Carthaginians practiced child sacrifice, as the Romans always said they did.  Recently, evidence has arisen that they did, in fact, sacrifice children.  Some archaeologists, though, just won’t believe it.

Mr. Garbarino says that the Carthaginians sacrificed children for the same reason we do. [Read more…]

At his post 29 years after the war

The Japanese soldier who held out in a Philippine jungle for 29 years after the end of World War II died.  Hiroo Onoda was 91.  Read his story–including why he finally turned himself in– after the jump.

Would you say Lt. Onoda was an example of outrageous stubborness (a vice) or inspirational integrity (a virtue)?  How does this relate to vocation? [Read more…]

Top Biblical archaeology finds of 2013

Archaeologists keep digging up interesting discoveries.  Christianity Today lists the top 10 finds in Biblical archaeology of the past year. [Read more…]

Will Pope Francis be the last pope?

In checking out the predictions for last year, I came across a post I wrote with this lede:

More doomsday predictions, this time from the Roman Catholic side! According to writings attributed to St. Malachy in 1139, pope #112 will be the last one, and then Jesus will return. That would be the successor to Pope Benedict XVI, who is #111.

And now we have #112, the Person of the Year who has made Catholicism cool again, Pope Francis.  But will he be the last of the line?  After the jump, the story I quoted back in February, 2013. [Read more…]

The snarky year in review

One of my solemn customs for New Year’s Eve is reviewing the events of the past year by reading satirist Dave Barry’s month-by-month lampoon.  I invite you to join me by clicking  Dave Barry’s Review of 2013, the Year of the Zombies – The Washington Post.

I invite you to respond in kind with your own snarky and/or satirical comments on things that happened in 2013.


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