Pope resigned to purge “the filth”?

John Cornwell, a recognized Catholic journalist, says that the real reason the pope is resigning is because in doing so the whole Curia–the Vatican bureaucracy that is reportedly rife with financial and sexual corruption–must step down when he does.  Thus, the pope is sacrificing himself to clean up the Vatican. [Read more…]

When the worst case is that nothing bad happens

Charles Krauthammer is another candidate for best sequester commentary:

“The worst-case scenario for us,” a leading anti-budget-cuts lobbyist told The Post, “is the sequester hits and nothing bad really happens.”

Think about that. Worst case? That a government drowning in debt should cut back by 2.2 percent — and the country survives. That a government now borrowing 35 cents of every dollar it spends reduces that borrowing by two cents “and nothing bad really happens.” Oh, the humanity!

A normal citizen might think this a good thing. For reactionary liberalism, however, whatever sum our ever-inflating government happens to spend today (now double what Bill Clinton spent in his last year) is the Platonic ideal — the reduction of which, however minuscule, is a national calamity.

Or damn well should be. Otherwise, people might get the idea that we can shrink government and live on. [Read more…]

Writing contest for “Testimonies”

David Aikman, former journalist with Time Magazine and a friend and colleague of mine, has organized a writing contest designed to revitalize the genre of the “Testimony.”  That’s not just a conversion narrative, though it can be, but it can also refer to any true story of faith in a person’s life.  (For example, think of the tradition that ranges from St. Augustine’s Confessions and Bunyan’s Grace Abounding to the more recent The Cross and the Switchblade by David Wilkerson, God’s Smuggler by Brother Andrew, and The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom.)  The contest is for writers 35 and under, and it features a grand prize of $20,000!  And the contest doesn’t require an entire manuscript, just a proposal of 1,000-1,500 words!

We Lutherans tend to be leery of focusing on our lives, since we need to be focusing instead outside ourselves, on the Cross of Jesus Christ.  But there is a Lutheran way to write in this genre.  Notice too that you don’t need to write about yourself.  You can also write about someone else whom you’ve interviewed, researched, and whose story you are telling.  (For example, refugees from Ethiopia who have fled Muslim persecution; a survivor of the Soviet Gulag; an ordinary member of your congregation who has undergone great hardship with great faith).  Here is the website.  [More details after the jump.]

[Read more…]

How the pop culture would choose a pope

The latest offering from the inestimable Rev. Hans Fiene with his Lutheran Satire enterprise has actually gotten picked up by Roman Catholics!  See the video after the jump.  [Read more…]

Shaming and exposing gun owners

A number of newspapers across the country have been using open records laws to get the names of people who are registered owners of firearms and then publishing their names and addresses.  Why would they do this?  I guess it’s part of the movement to exert social pressure against gun owners, shaming them as smokers are shamed.  That’s the strategy recommended a number of years ago by the man who is now our Attorney General, Eric Holder. [Read more…]

Watergate journalist vs. Obama

President Obama and his administration have picked a fight with the legendary reporter who broke the Watergate story, Bob Woodward.  The journalist criticized the way the president is handling the “sequester” issue–including pointing out that the automatic spending cuts were the president’s idea in the first place–whereupon all the president’s men put him on the enemy list.  Are there other ways that Obama is like Nixon? [Read more…]


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