Making the arrangements

My heart isn’t in blogging today.  I’m certainly not in the mood to complain about the culture, worry about politics, or pick theological arguments.  Death gives a different kind of perspective, an eternal perspective, that, for all its hurt, is  healthy for me to consider. With my mother, my brother, and my sister, we have been “making arrangements” for my father’s funeral Friday.  [Read more…]

100,000 Christians per year die for their faith

Statistics about the number of Christian martyrs today:

A top Vatican official has said around 100,000 Christians are killed every year for reasons linked to their faith and pointed to the Middle East, Africa and Asia as the biggest problem areas.

Monsignor Silvano Maria Tomasi was quoted by Vatican radio on Tuesday as saying that the figures were “shocking” and “incredible”.

Tomasi said Christians were also forced to leave their homes and see their churches destroyed in some parts of the world, and were often subjected to rapes, kidnappings and discrimination.

The Vatican official made particular reference to the kidnapping of two Orthodox bishops near Aleppo in Syria last month.

Religious freedom is beset by “sectarianism, intolerance, terrorism and exclusionary laws,” he said, while also pointing to exceptions like Bangladesh where he said rights are protected.

Another senior Vatican figure, the secretary of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Mario Toso, said recently that discrimination against Christians “should be countered in the same way as anti-Semitism and Islamophobia”.

via 100,000 Christians die for faith every year: Vatican.

Interesting last sentence.  Is there even a name for this?  Anti-Christianism?  Christophobia?

God in the whirlwind–and a personal interruption

Well, in our travels, we went through Moore, seeing the devastation that was truly awful–in the sense of both “terrible” and in the older sense of “awe-inspiring.”   A whole swathe of the city, marking the twister’s path, just obliterated, with houses, businesses, and other structures reduced to unrecognizable piles of debris.  Coming back, we went by a forested region outside of town, the trees just knocked over and thrown about like toys.

We didn’t see our two sets of relatives by marriage who lost their homes.  They were at work when the tornado struck (a major reason the loss of life was relatively small being that most people in the neighborhoods where it hit the hardest weren’t at home at that time of day).  They came back to find their homes blown down to the foundations.  We were told that they are feeling philosophical about it all. [Read more…]

The American energy bonanza

The BBC reports that new information about American oil and gas supplies, thanks to our vast shale deposits and the new ability to extract energy from them, will shake up the world’s economy.

From BBC News – US shale oil supply shock shifts global power balance:

A steeper-than-expected rise in US shale oil reserves is about to change the global balance of power between new and existing producers, a report says. [Read more…]

The God whom Christians worship

Yesterday was Trinity Sunday, in which we reflect on the One true God who consists of three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  That God is a unity of distinct persons means that we can accurately say that He is love, love being at the very essence of God, since love–even human love–can be defined as a unity of distinct persons.  Christians worship the Triune God, a very different kind of deity from that of all other religions.

On Trinity Sunday, churches that follow the classic liturgy recite The Athanasian Creed[Read more…]


Have a happy, but thoughtful Memorial Day.  I know it’s mainly become just the beginning of the summer holidays, the first bratwurst of summer (in the words of Those Darned Accordians).  Enjoy that part of it, but the holiday was started as a commemoration of the war dead.  It’s been extended for many people as a day to remember all of the dead, to decorate graves and to reflect on the memory of family members and other loved ones who have died.  It so happens that for the first time in a long, long time, we are close by the cemetery where generations of my family members have been buried.  We loaded up with flowers and are going to participate in that custom of adorning the graves.  I’m really looking forward to that.  We too may end up in that cemetery some day.  I guess I’ve gotten to the age where that thought really doesn’t bother me anymore.  It’s going to be very meaningful.

At any rate, as we have done before on this blog, use this space to write a memorial to someone you would like to remember on this day.