Why Tyranny Fears Art – UPDATED

About ten years ago, maybe longer, I read an interview with U2's Bono, and he said (paraphrasing from memory) "art and lovemaking are the ways to touch God."I think he meant that art and lovemaking were transcendent because they are both activities are a means of self-revelation - that they take us out of ourselves and make us vulnerable in an act of creation, or co-creation, and there is tremendous power in that.Well, I happen to think - if that's what he meant - that Bono was correct. The … [Read more...]

The Beatitudes & Sargent Shriver

Deacon Greg Kandra has had a very impressive career; as a writer and producer with CBS News, he won Peabody Awards and Emmy Awards, and Writer's Guild Awards - and then he went to the Diocese of Brooklyn and helped establish Currents, the first daily Catholic news broadcast in the country, at New Evangelization Television. He has a gift for zeroing in on the human center of a story, and extending it in a way that brings all the peripheral loose ends together into a cohesive and marvelous … [Read more...]

The Audacity of Wonder – UPDATED

Illustration Source)Over at First Things, my Tuesday Column is looking at our mania for credentials and how it closes doors, narrows minds and holds wonder at arms length:He has authored over a dozen books, written a syndicated newspaper column and countless essays and articles covering a broad range of subjects—sports, politics, mobsters, union thugs, cultural touchstones, booze, and blades of grass—all of it written in a smart, literate voice of the casual sophisticate who takes his sub … [Read more...]

Gentlemen: A tale of two apologies – UPDATE

First read the New York Times going through a long, belabored and ultimately lame exercise of excuse-making where a simple "we screwed up, sorry" would have sufficed - as Jerry Wilson ably fisks.It was hectic in the newsroom with many news reports flowing in as Kathleen McElroy, the day Web news editor, was trying to decide whether The Times was ready to report Giffords’s death. She decided against it and was telling Web producers to hold off reporting it in a news alert when J. David Goodman, … [Read more...]

Pedophilia Chic; Criminal Parenting?

Joe Carter wrote earlier this week, about how Vogue has sexualized little girls to the extreme--and served up a platterful of fantasy for pedophiles--while intoning "innocence" and "playing dress up."And in this picture, I can actually buy it:I'm not easily shocked, but now Deacon Greg links to a batch of these appalling pictures, and yes, color me shocked:Look, I know the world is full of dark, evil places, none darker or more easily conformed to evil than the human heart itself, but … [Read more...]

Seriously, who triumphs, here?

My "Surrender" piece on the home page, and my blog post which expands on it, are creating some angry or confused reactions. I anticipated that, to an extent, and wish I were a better writer, so there would be less confusion, less anger. Fortunately, the Holy Spirit has, via Taylor Marshall, provided a visual aid that touches on my point: our lives are not really ours. The world is not ours. Civilization, even...is not ours:Look at the picture, and tell me who triumphed. Who won? Your … [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...]

A 2011 Gift to Self & the World

Christmas has, in too many ways, become the equivalent of an overdone theme-park vacation. By its end, one is knock-kneed with exhaustion and desperately in need of a genuine opportunity to rest.A Christmas snow, like the one we’ve just had, does wonders to cull the silence. A few inches of white powder brings an unusual and welcome softening of sound—in cities, the hum of traffic is muffled; in the suburbs even the broom of the ubiquitous snowblower is reduced to a faint and unintrusive whir, … [Read more...]

Behold! We have always been "radical" -updated!

I very much like this piece by Pat Gohn:"Behold!" is one of my favorite words from the Bible. The wordsmith in me adores words that tickle my ears, words that are uncommon yet descriptive. Behold sounds somewhat archaic yet it still shows up in modern usage. Behold makes me perk up and pay attention. Simply defined, behold means to see, to gaze upon, to observe, to have vision.Whenever I find it in the New Testament, I always watch what happens next. Behold is like the sound of the drum roll … [Read more...]

Ration me? Hey, Ration U2! – UPDATED

Regular readers know I am a big U2 fan. I've even slipped U2 songs into previous Advent posts.But if the phonies in Cancun are going to start talking about rationing the lives of others in order to save Gaia, they're going to have to start looking at other excesses they can eliminate, first. That's my Tuesday column: Rationing Bono & Other Gaia-Saving IdeasCuriously, no one at these conferences ever suggests that less-draconian measures, affecting a relative minority of human beings, … [Read more...]


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