Teen Suicide, Media Excess, Palin and Bullies, Again

A horrible story made even worse by our excesses of media. Try to fully engage and consider this awful story while attempting to ignore the unstoppable video-with-commercials that ABC News plops into almost all of its pages, and which cannot be stopped while in commercial mode.The story is shattering -- two young teenage girls committed suicide together, and yes, bullying once again seems to lie at the heart of their hopelessness:The bodies of best friends Haylee Fentress and Paige Moravetz, … [Read more...]

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The Toxicity of Idolatry – UPDATED

My Tuesday column at First Things is up, and today we're talking about the strange gods we put before us and the toxic effect it has had on our politics:[In Barack Obama] . . . chattering classes, largely indifferent-to-agnostic-to-hostile toward religion, had suddenly found themselves a god, and to speak his name in vain could not be countenanced. Heretics sinning against the speak-not commandment were speedily feathered with the gooiest tar available and then ostracized from polite … [Read more...]

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The Healy Brothers; a Thrilling, Shameful Story

February is Black History Month, and to kick it off historian Dr. Pat McNamara brings us a fascinating story that thrilled and shamed me. What a remarkable family of faith existed in the sons and daughters of Michael Healy and Eliza Clark; they became priests, nuns and even a bishop emerging from their home in Georgia, where mixed-race children were called "slaves." But none of it came easily or peacefully in 19th century America:By any standard, the Healys were an impressive family. … [Read more...]

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Surrender unto Surrender for Peace – UPDATED

I admit, my Tuesday column requires some patience. If you jump too quickly you're going to think I'm saying Christians should never defend themselves.Jesus surely didn’t preach that; he didn't preach a crusade either. He taught us to turn the other cheek.Our instincts tell us that turning the other cheek is stupid, but this is what Christ preached. He did not teach that we were meant to conquer others—be they radical Islamists, or gay activists, or evangelical atheists—but that we were to co … [Read more...]

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"Limited Dictatorships" of the Americas

So, Hugo Chavez thinks he should be allowed to run a dictatorship for a year:Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Tuesday asked congress to grant him special powers to enact laws by decree for one year, just before a new legislature takes office with a larger contingent of opposition lawmakers.The measure would give the president the ability to bypass the National Assembly for the fourth time since he was first elected almost 12 years ago.How much do you want a bet that Nancy Pelosi and … [Read more...]

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Bullying, Tolerance & the Disconnect

(Source)Yesterday, I wrote a little about the rampant bullying that is driving too many gay teenage boys and straight teenage girls, to suicide.Today, I look at how that can be, after whole generations have heard the "tolerance" messages since their cradles, and suggest one surprising step that the church could take, in order to teach the world how to actually walk all that talk.USA Today has picked the piece up, with predictable emphasis. I notice that in the midst of the pc-focus on … [Read more...]

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In the Day of the Bully

Over the weekend, I mentioned to someone that I hate the tv ad for the Chrysler Town and Country--the one where a little boy is being chased by bullies; he dives into the open hatchback of a waiting minivan, and his mother--who apparently knows her son is the target of bullies, but parks some distance away from school--then smiles as he makes his escape and the hatchback slowly closes behind him. Still smiling, and oblivious to the fact that thwarted bullies do not surrender, but only slink … [Read more...]

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The Best & Brightest Need to Vacate

Well, for sure, Mrs. Obama will never go back to her life, as usual. Apparently there are two more vacations scheduled before September, next weekend's overnight "somewhere" at Florida's Gulf coast, and then 10 days at Martha's Vineyard.I don't begrudge anyone a vacation, especially not to Martha's Vineyard, which I hear is great. But as reports suggest that coverage of the First Lady's 5 days in Spain could have generated about a billion dollars to the economy of that nation, I wonder if … [Read more...]

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"Gender no longer…essential (to) marriage"

In an utterly unsurprising ruling, and one that is inarguable if one is peering through the narrowed prism of stringently secular law, and reducing marriage to a sort of contractual partnering, Judge Vaughn Walker has ruled restrictions against same-sex marriage to be unconstitutional.You can read the whole Prop 8 decision here.I was intrigued with this part:Race and gender restrictions shaped marriage during eras of race and gender inequality, but such restrictions were never part of the … [Read more...]

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Rosary for Job-Seekers – UPDATED

UPDATE: I have written an expanded version of these rosary meditations for OSV; you can order pamphlets of it for your church or group, hereReading about these especially horrific numbers and the endless squeezing of the Middle Class, and watching my son--still trying to find a real, full-time job now that the temporary one has ended--brought prayer.Prayer has power. When everything is falling apart, prayer holds. Any one of us can suddenly find ourselves out of work, and looking at … [Read more...]

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