Living in two times

The post about “Happy New Year,” referring to the beginning of Advent and asking about why the last days of the church year aren’t really noted, made me realize that the church year is not supposed to cover everything.  Christians are under two calendars, just as they live their lives in two times.  There is the secular calendar, the time of the world, that progresses from season to season, along with its distinct cultural and national holidays, such as in… Read more

The megachurch bubble?

There was the dot.com bubble and, more recently, the real estate bubble, markets that grew and grew until they they burst.  Some experts are saying that we may be in for a megachurch bubble: In the 1970s, only a handful of churches drew more than 2,000 people on Sundays. Now they number in the thousands. But the collapse of the Crystal Cathedral near Los Angeles, which is being sold to pay off more than $40 million in debt, has prompted… Read more

Pakistan erupts against U.S.A.

NATO planes bombed  a Pakistani military base, killing 24 soldiers.  (Afghans claim that the Pakistanis were firing on them as they patrolled with NATO troops.)  So the country is refusing to allow allied convoys into Afghanistan and the people are rioting. Hundreds of enraged Pakistanis took to the streets across the country Sunday, burning an effigy of President Barack Obama and setting fire to US flags after 24 soldiers died in NATO air strikes. The rallies were organised by opposition… Read more

Happy New Year!

Sunday is the first day of Advent, the beginning of the new church year.  So happy New Year! I have a question for you, one that I have been unable to answer, but I’m sure you readers can answer it for me:   Last Sunday we celebrated the last Sunday of the church year, in which we contemplate the final victory of Christ the King at His return.  It was a big deal, a fitting climax to the long, long season… Read more

Boycott or Buycott?

The Occupy Wall Street folks are planning to “occupy” publicly traded retailers in their efforts to protest American big business.  They are calling for boycotts to stop corporate profits.  In response, Tea Party folks are calling for everyone to go out on so-called Black Friday to buy lots of stuff, thereby supporting American business and helping the economy. Anti-Occupy Wall Street” groups are taking on the protesters of “Occupy Black Friday” with “BUYcott Black Friday.” Liberate Philadelphia/Liberate America, a Tea… Read more

The invention of the weekend

Monica Hesse on the invention of the weekend: Before weekends could be long, they first had to be weekends. For most of the 19th century and part of the 20th, there were none — there were simply weeks that ended. The working class had Sundays off only. Because of this, many of them would spend the Lord’s day carousing, then call in sick on Mondays. This practice was observed with enough regularity that it was called “Keeping Saint Mondays.” Religious… Read more

Thanksgiving’s poll numbers are up

Another study by social scientists that proves  the perfectly obvious:  people like Thanksgiving: Consensus at last: almost all Americans – from coast to coast and across stiffening party lines – have favorable views of Thanksgiving dinner, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. Overall, 93 percent say they have positive views of the traditional meal, including 77 percent who say so “strongly.” Not everyone, however, is equally enthusiastic about Thursday’s main event. Fully 89 percent of Republicans have strongly… Read more

Sing “Mary Had a Little Lamb” today

Monica Hesse on why we celebrate Thanksgiving on a Thursday, giving us a really, really long weekend: The first federally endorsed Thanksgiving holiday was the one proclaimed by George Washington in 1789. More than 70 years later, Abraham Lincoln issued his own proclamation. But between those events were decades of relentless lobbying and letter-writing campaigns by Sarah Josepha Hale, a New Hampshirite who made it her life’s mission to formalize the then-ad hoc holiday. (She also wrote “Mary Had a… Read more

The latest GOP debate

You report.  I didn’t watch it.  It does seem like something comes out of each debate, often including another front runner.  So what happened? Read more

The Penny Plan for deficit reduction

Florida Republican congressman Connie Mack has put forward an ingenious approach to deficit reduction:  cut one penny (1%) from every dollar spent for six years.  This modest across the board reduction would be in place of the percentage increases every year that have become the norm (so that even talk of reductions are actually reductions in the rate of growth).   Even some liberals are coming out in favor of this option.   One of them, ex-Clinton official Lanny Davis, explains how… Read more

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