Derivative Lady Gaga – UPDATED

Lady Gaga, reclining on a slant board in her underwear and a shawl, casts off a wire-mesh face mask that has begun to bore her. As the closing strains of the Alejandro playback fade out, she addresses her nameless flunkies and bodyguardsDarlings! Why aren't you looking at me? I am in my underwear again. Doesn't that stimulate you and shock you? Are you not provoked? Be provoked, damn you! I am a f*****g genius, am I not? Give me that Groucho nose and glasses, I can't stand my face. … [Read more...]

Dwelling in Possibilities of Life & Death – UPDATED

We have recently seen pro-life conservatives like Sarah Palin and Ed Morrissey admit that fear of the unknown, and the possibility of complicated outcomes, were brief temptations toward abortion, an option which they rejected, and rejections they pointedly do not regret.Their acknowledged temptations are something most of us would understand. People want to feel sure of themselves and what is going on in their lives; they want an illusion of control.An abortion performed at a Catholic … [Read more...]

Life of Faith, Power of Prayer

The life of faith, in truth, is -like Jumpin’ Jack Flash, a g-g-gas; it is a mind-blower. We humans tend to try to put everything, including God, and love and life, into manageable compartments, and we hide in them. We hide inside our frameworks, our structures, our plans, our narratives, our willful and our unintentional bigotries.But God -who created a world of order- points cannons at those tidy compartments and goes ba-boom! And when we ask, repeatedly, “why did you do that, when I had it a … [Read more...]

The New Celibates

How ironic that in a year where religious, and especially priestly, celibacy has been put under a microscope, debated and often excoriated, the secular hipsters in New York City are discovering the power that comes with celibacy:“I had man whiplash,” [Julia Allison] says. “I needed to put my neck in a brace.”She issued a proclamation, writing on her Web site last week, “I decided to codify my unofficial gut reaction of ‘I really don’t feel like dating’ into an official ‘No Dating, No Sex’ sta … [Read more...]

Retreat Day Rerun

From September 2009Mariette in EcstasyAnd Christ still sends me roses. We try to be formed and held and kept by him, but instead he offers us freedom. And now when I try to know his will, his kindness floods me, his great love overwhelms me, and I hear him whisper, Surprise me. --Mariette Baptiste, Mariette in EcstasyIt has been a long time since I first read it, but last night I found within this wonderful and strange novel by Ron Hansen (who Deacon Greg reminds us is a permanent … [Read more...]

"No, we're fearless and edgy. Really." – UPDATES

This is both funny and a bit pathetic:Comedy Central might censor every image of the Prophet Muhammad on "South Park," yet the network is developing a whole animated series around Jesus Christ.As part of the network's upfront presentation to advertisers (full slate here), the network is set to announce "JC," a half-hour show about Christ wanting to escape the shadow of his "powerful but apathetic father" and live a regular life in New York City.In the show, God is preoccupied with playing … [Read more...]

The Paradoxes of Christianity -UPDATED

***It seems that Bill Maher, who has never demonstrated more than an adolescent understanding of religion, wrote recently in Newsweek, “The problem with faith ... is it kind of screws up your priorities. Your priorities shouldn’t be about saving your own (butt), which is the focus of Christianity.”Over at the National Catholic Register, radio host Tony Rossi writes:Is [Maher] right?Of course we Christians do want our souls saved so we can spend eternity in heaven. The concept Maher ignor … [Read more...]

"I forgive the man who raped me…"

Recently, writing about the terrible scandals of the church and the need for the hierarchy (and others) to do penance, I added:The fullness of healing, of course, can only come when the victims finally feel capable of saying “I forgive you…” That moment -which cannot be compelled and does not mean forgetting- is the moment when a victim takes his life back. When a victim says, “I forgive you,” she confers her own power over the entire situation, and controls it. It is transformative; it brings … [Read more...]

Secular Sex Abuse Gets a Look – Poll Added

In New York, Queens Assemblywoman Margaret Markey routinely presents a bill which seeks to open a year-long "window" into the statute of limitations on child sex-abuse cases, allowing victims whose cases may go back as far as 40 years to bring suit for damages.Because the bill has -until now- been limited by Markey to impact the churches, exclusively, it has always either failed or been shelved. It is difficult to pass a bill that essentially finds some sexual abuse victims to be more worthy … [Read more...]

Immigration & the Storm Next Time

Chapel at Green-Wood Cemetery, BrooklynLast week, I was in Brooklyn taping a few episodes of In the Arena, and one of the drivers, taking a route that brought us past The Green-Wood Cemetery, reminisced about Park Slope, where he had lived all his life."We were working class, then. Our fathers were train conductors and shoe salesmen. No, we'd never be able to afford to live here. We'd cut through Prospect Park to Ebbets Field to watch the Dodgers. In the summer, they'd close off four … [Read more...]


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