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Happy Hannukah! Or Oy, Come all ye Faithful!

Mulling Advent and Friendship over coffee. It’s a nice, thoughtful piece by Patrick O’ Hannigan, even though he does not say whether it was the delectable Mystic Monk Coffee being served. No, I can’t recommend it enough!

We’d like Rites and Rituals: but with no transcendence, please.

Bush is mulling a farewell message. I personally think he should buy an hour of tv time and debunk the NY Times one distortion, spin or outright lie at a time. At the very least he ought to read these facts vs myths to the nation.

Christmas celebrated in Baghdad: Bush is to blame. Video here

Whither diversity?: Caroline Kennedy is “un-diverse”

Rick Warren: I haven’t been following this but it seems not every gay person is freaking out about Obama’s inviting him to participate in the inaugural.

It’s unfortunate that some gay activists (and their allies on the left) have let their disagreement with the prominent pastor on this one issue color their reaction to the president-elect’s choice. To be sure, had Warren expressed his support of Proposition 8 in the hateful tones of some of the proposition’s proponents, these activists would have a point.

But, in coming out against gay marriage, Warren didn’t attack gay people. He merely expressed his belief that gender difference was a defining aspect of the institution.

Given the civil nature with which Warren has expressed this view, activists’ opposition to the president-elect’s choice marks them the more intolerant party in this controversy. It shows how all too many of them readily label any opposition to gay marriage as bigoted, hateful, or otherwise anti-gay. Moreover, their claim that the inclusion of Warren means the exclusion of gay people is belied by the inclusion of the gay band in the inaugural parade.

It just seems so strange to me. It’s like Cardinal John O’ Connor, who – back when people were afraid to breathe the same air as AIDS patients – helped create AIDS hospices and would go to visit AIDS patients, and even help out the nurses, when they needed it, being called a “fat cannibal in a dress” by ACT-UP when they invaded St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

“You’re not great on everything for us, 100%, so you’re a homophobe and a hater.” That’s precisely the same “all or nothing” attitude we saw on the right a few years ago, when President Bush, was delivering 70% but was reviled for not delivering 100%. Extremists with microphones certainly do complicate things.

Deb Saunders puts it well. Go read!

Lots of folks have already heard they won’t be getting bonuses or raises in 2009; most of us will feel lucky to remain gainfully employed. But congress sure did take care of itself.

Cardinal Sean O’Malley talks about vocations, liturgy and the value of meaning, and its care. (H/T)

A young advocate for prayer: Consecrated at 23.

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