Closed communion, Catholic style

From an advice column in the U. S. Catholic: Should you pass on communion at a Lutheran church or participate fully? You are at the wedding of a beloved family member or friend, which is taking place at a Lutheran church. You gladly accepted the invitation to celebrate this happy day with the bride and groom. But then there is a call to come to the table of the Lord’s Supper, to receive communion. This is the awkward moment you… Read more

Qaddafi is killed

Saddam Hussein, Osama bin-Laden, and now Muammar Qaddafi: Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, the former Libyan strongman who fled into hiding after an armed uprising toppled his regime two months ago, met a violent and vengeful death Thursday in the hands of rebel fighters who stormed his final stronghold in his Mediterranean hometown Surt. At least one of his sons was also killed. Al Jazeera television showed footage of Colonel Qaddafi, alive but bloody, as he was dragged around by armed men… Read more

Fleeing from a victory already achieved

“Who am I?” By Dietrich Bonhoeffer (March 4, 1945) Who am I? They often tell me I would step from my cell’s confinement calmly, cheerfully, firmly, like a squire from his country-house. Who am I? They often tell me I would talk to my warders freely and friendly and clearly, as though it were mine to command. Who am I? They also tell me I would bear the days of misfortune equably, smilingly, proudly, like one accustomed to win. Am… Read more

OK, what about Newt?

The consensus of yesterday’s discussion here on the last Republican presidential debate is that Newt Gingrich had the best performance.  He is certainly conservative, experienced, creative in his problem solving, and very, very smart.  (It is said of him that the only preparation for a debate that he needs is a Diet Coke.)  So why not rally around him as the alternative to Romney? Social conservatives and the Christian right turned against him because of his multiple marriages and his… Read more

The World Serious

Even though the St. Louis Cardinals broke my heart by beating the Brewers in the playoffs, I find myself wanting them to win the World Series.  Not too long ago, the Cardinals were written off, 10 games back, with no hope for the wild card even.  But here they are in the World Series.  On paper, they are supposed to lose to the Texas Rangers–a team I also liked, especially last year in the series–but they have been defying whatever’s… Read more

God is Red

On Monday night, the dissident Chinese author Liao Yiwu gave a reading on my campus.  He read a poem, “Massacre,” about the killings of the pro-democracy protesters in Tiananmen Square. For writing that poem, Liao was tortured and imprisoned for four years.  This led to his writing about his fellow prisoners and documentation of more government abuses.  He now lives as an exile from his homeland.  He also read from his latest book, God is Red, which is about the… Read more

The latest debate

We had another G.O.P. presidential candidate debate.  I’ve stopped watching them, finding them too disheartening.  If you watched it, please report in the comments.  Did anyone rise or fall? Read more

Creative destruction

One side effect of the foreclosure crisis:  Many banks do not want to hold and pay taxes on run-down properties that no one will ever want to buy.  So they are razing the decrepit buildings that plague so many of our big cities and are donating the lots to new land banks.  These, in turn,  are making the land available for next to nothing for new development and neighborhood improvement projects.  (These include churches, which in some cases are getting… Read more

Episcopalians vs. Anglicans

Lutheran journalist Mollie Hemingway has a fascinating piece in the Wall Street Journal about how the Episcopal Church in the USA is trying to thwart the new conservative Anglican denomination: When the Church of the Good Shepherd in Binghamton, N.Y., left the Episcopal Church over disagreements about what the Bible says about sexuality, the congregation offered to pay for the building in which it worshiped. In return the Episcopal Church sued to seize the building, then sold it for a… Read more

And the winner is. . .

Interesting discussions about “Manliness” in that contest we started last weekend.  As was noted in the thread, many of the virtues that were put forward could also apply to women.  Perhaps they apply to men, though,  in a distinctive way, but that way is what we are trying to get at.   There were lots of thoughtful comments.  I appreciated especially things said by sg, SKPeterson, Kirk.  I liked Helen’s point that “man” is not only the opposite of “woman,” it… Read more

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