Madness and death in the nation’s Capital

A man doused himself with gasoline and set himself on fire on the National Mall in front of the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.  Though bystanders, quite nobly, tried to put out the fire, the man died of his injuries.  As of this writing, no one knows who he was or why he did what he did.

The day before a mentally ill woman drove through a barricade at the White House, hit a Secret Service agent with her car (though he was not seriously injured) and started a car chase with Capital police that scattered tourists and put Congress in a lockdown.  The chase ended near the Capitol Building when the woman’s car went through another barricade and got stuck on a median whereupon she was shot dead.  It turned out she was unarmed, with a one-year-0ld child in the car. [Read more…]

The Obamacare rollout debacle

Obamacare got off to an inauspicious start as the website that people were supposed to use to sign up for health insurance kept malfunctioning–not letting users sign in, throwing up error messages, and crashing users’ computers.  To the point that hardly anyone has been able to sign up for the mandated insurance.  Are these mere technical glitches, a bad omen, or an example of the problem with the whole program?  Namely, that it is too complicated, tries to do too much, is poorly planned, and is being run by agencies that don’t realize what they are getting into.

After the jump, a discussion by Ezra Klein, who supports Obamacare, about just how bad the website is. [Read more…]

The playoffs

As far as baseball in concerned, to true fans of the game, this is the best time of year.  The playoffs tend to give us some of the best baseball and the most interesting games of the year.  This time we have some perennial powerhouses (St. Louis, Atlanta), a recently-developed powerhouse (Los Angeles), sentimental favorites (the two traumatized cities of terrorized Boston and bankrupt Detroit), a constant contender (Tampa Bay), and appealing underdogs (Pittsburgh, Oakland).

I am pulling for the Cardinals.  They are consistently outstanding year after year after year.  They seldom make mistakes, come through in the clutch, and keep coming back.  At least they have always been that way when I would watch them torment the teams I have followed lately (the Milwaukee Brewers, the Washington Nationals). [Read more…]

Leaving Catholicism

When we think of Roman Catholicism, many of us think of Dante and St. Thomas Aquinas, an edifice of doctrine and moral teaching, an all-encompassing church grounded in history and a sumptuous liturgy.  We non-Catholics may not agree with its theology and practice, but even so the institution demands a measure of respect.  But many people who become Catholics, looking for that church of what they have read about in books, do not find it in the typical parish of modern American Catholicism.  Christian writer Rod Dreher tells about how he converted to Catholicsm and why he left it for Eastern Orthodoxy–not because it was so conservative but because it was so much like liberal Protestantism. [Read more…]

“Missional” churches vs. the church’s mission

One of my former pastors, Rev. Lucas Woodford, has published a book entitled Great Commission, Great Confusion, or Great Confession?: The Mission of the Holy Christian Church.

It tells the tale of his attempt to be “missional,” buying into all of the church growth principles and techniques, until he discovered what the mission of the church really is.   Amazon reviews after the jump. [Read more…]

Has Bigfoot been verified?

Researchers are claiming that they have new photographic and physical evidence of the existence of the Sasquatch, a.k.a. Bigfoot.  Not only that, they have sequenced Bigfoot’s DNA, which reportedly shows that the creature is a hybrid human.

A consistent feature of Bigfoot sightings is that the observer smells an overpowering musky stench.  I am experiencing that right now, and it smells like a hoax.  Still, I get a big kick out of this sort of thing.  After the jump, I give you the website of these reports, a link to the scholarly article on the physical evidence and the DNA analysis, a news story, a photograph of Bigfoot, and a video.  Everything you will need for a Bigfoot extravaganza. [Read more…]