Unusual Liturgy, Unusual Media, Unusual Holy Week – UPDATED

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My piece over at First Things this week, recounts the unusual, and ultimately rather empty-feeling Palm Sunday liturgy I experienced last weekend:It struck me as odd that the same people who say they wish to “build up the community of the People of God,” and who often decry what they see as “limitations” to the role of the laity, completely omitted any interaction between themselves and the people in the pews. The Gospel reading for Palm Sunday is the only one inviting lay participation, yet … [Read more...]

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...]

The Fundamental(ist) Imbalance

Nowadays, the truth of peace continues to be dramatically compromised and rejected by terrorism, whose criminal threats and attacks leave the world in a state of fear and insecurity. These are often the fruit of a tragic and disturbing nihilism.Looked at closely, nihilism and fundamentalism share an erroneous relationship to truth: the nihilist denies the very existence of truth, while the fundamentalist claims to be able to impose it by force. Both show a dangerous contempt for human beings … [Read more...]

Deadline linking – UPDATES

First I wrote something long and angry and decided that after five years of blogging I should know better than to write angry, so I dumped it.Then I got busy with something that I actually have to write on deadline.Then, I took a break, mosey'd over to Deacon Greg's establishment and found this:"From the beginning and throughout history, Peter has often been a wobbly rock, a source of scandal, corrupt, and yet this is the one - and his successors - whose task is to hold us together so that … [Read more...]

Cardinal Levada Responds to NY Times -UPDATE

H/TA week into the whirlwind sown by a NY Times article that traveled around the world before accuracy, fairness or balance could get their pants on, Cardinal William J. Levada, the pope's successor as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, has written a long and rather stunning reply to the Times, in which he writes very personally.Rocco Palma, who reproduces the entire piece at his site, writes that in all the coverage and defense of the Pope you may have read, "you've … [Read more...]

Politics & Religion until you puke

Lots and lots to read today, but I'll break it down for you, one section for religion, one for politics. Pols first - got this from Insty:You can read the lyrics here.SOTU Address: Obama "needs to come off as authentic".Come off? Perhaps this illustrates a big difference between Presidents Obama and Bush. Bush did not have to "come off" as authentic. He was authentic.Beltway Democrats (and to be fair, too many Beltway Republicans) do not understand it because they -as smart, … [Read more...]

The shadow of the jackboot…

I have only just begun to read news about The Ghastly Mrs. Pelosi's machinations, or the single-mindedness of the president who flinches at the slightest criticism but seems not to care about the CIC part of his job, and the passing of the monster bill, and also about some of the troubling rumbles coming out of Europe. While reading, I had the overwhelming image of the shadow of a jackboot, poised just above our nation.Socialism is an opportunistic infection of the body politic. It occurs … [Read more...]

Post Pope, Israel may support 2-state solution – UPDATED

The AP is reporting thusly:On the eve of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's crucial visit to Washington, his defense minister suggested Saturday the Israeli leader might be ready to endorse a Palestinian state when he meets President Barack Obama.That would be a significant shift for Netanyahu, who has made clear in the past that he does not think the Palestinians are ready to rule themselves. But that position has put him at odds with long-standing U.S. policy that supports Palestinian … [Read more...]

Gentle Ben in the Holy Land

My latest piece for Pajamas Media is up this morning, entitled Pope Brings his Gentle Touch to the Holy Land.An excerpt: Israel’s unending struggle is written into her very name, Isra-El: “struggles with God.” Since its formation in 1948, the world has watched the tumult of the modern state of Israel and one thing remains unclear: is the “struggle” between Israel herself and God, or between Israel and the world, with God beside her?Either way, that Israel will always struggle should by now be … [Read more...]

An Exceedingly Interesting Round-up

You will like this round-up of links. No, seriously, you will; it is full of chewy, satisfying round-uppy goodness, and contains no artificial sweeteners, and I will fully resist the urge to fall into my cowgirl lingo of yore. Some religion, some politics, some gossipy stuff.Bookworm: is wondering if Obama is an atheist:Obama’s White Houses instinctively uses the same wishy-washy language atheists use: “My heart is with you.” “My thoughts are with you.” “I send you my wishes.” No prayer … [Read more...]


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