Garlic? Honey, I’m like buttah. Like BUTTAH!

like buttah

You know...all fat and salty! Anyhow, back in September I did an interview with Jonathan Merritt at the Religion News Service, talking about idols and the pope and whatnot, and today the piece has dropped: Pope Francis craze may be idolatry, says Catholic writer Elizabeth Scalia Elizabeth Scalia claims to be a shy person, happy to hang in the background. But the popular Catholic Portal editor at Patheos, writing as “The Anchoress”, doesn’t shy away from offering opinions as … [Read more...]

“Strange Gods” heads into 3rd Printing, with Study Guide!

strange gods cover tilt

I know, I know, I haven't done my "comprehensive" list of good reads for Christmas, or my annual Christmas Gift Ideas post -- they're coming, I promise -- but first let me share this because I'm having a bad, overwhelmed day where all I can do is fight on Twitter and quote T.S. Eliot, and announcing this makes me feel better! Coming soon, a third printing of Strange Gods: Unmasking the Idols in Everyday Life, with a Study Guide included (as they say) "by popular demand"! That's cool, … [Read more...]

“I. Am Not. A Hoo-er. I. Am Not. A Hoo-er…”

hooercrop

Pope Francis said he wanted us to make a mess. Golden Voiced Dan Sealana has built a whole radio show out of that idea and taken The Mess to the airwaves in San Antonio, Texas. He's smart, he's fun, he's a little puckish, which I liked when we settled into a chat a few days ago, and not just to talk about Strange Gods. Give a listen. Toward the finish, you'll discover what the header of this post is about, even though -- beyond the rest of it -- I really didn't mean to say that I would … [Read more...]

Pope Francis and Strange Gods: “A Meme on the Rise”? – UPDATED

francis bad meme

Yes, we've been joking for some time about how Pope Francis and I appear to be in some kind of mind-meld on the subject of idols -- he talks about them almost every single week, and brought them up in his encyclical, Lumen Fidei*. In today's homily, Pope Francis really hit hard on the theme: Once again, the liturgy of the Mass elicits from Pope Francis a reflection on the traps that punctuate the life of faith: To become an apostle of one’s own ideas, or a devotee of one’s own … [Read more...]

Are we making an idol of the pope who warns against them? UPDATED

Pope likes my book! Heh.

I can't think of modern pope who has so explicitly, and so frequently, warned us against the creation of idols; he mentioned idolatry early-and-often in his first encyclical, Lumen Fidei, and has exhorted against succumbing to it so frequently that the joke around here is: he's in a mind meld with Scalia. And of course, the other joke is this: Even when the crowds cheer him at his audiences, Francis reminds them, "cheer for Jesus, not for me" And yet, as I write this morning in the … [Read more...]

Remarks to Catholic Marketers, Shop Owners

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A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to meet and talk with members of the Catholic Marketing Network at their annual conference and trade show. The show is always delightful -- walking amidst a convention hall of Catholic wares, tsotskies and books is my idea of a very good time, indeed, and of course, I also got to photobomb the pope! And of course, there was the wine-and-cheese book-signing sponsored by Ave Maria Press, which was great fun and looked like this: The conference … [Read more...]

What is the Sin? It is in the Self, the Idol

Chartres2006_065

Reflecting on Lumen Fidei over at First Things, Nathaniel Peters writes: . . .an unexpected word does appear in Lumen Fidei: idolatry. As is characteristic of his evangelical boldness, Francis notes that in the story of the golden calf, “the opposite of faith is shown to be idolatry.” Faith demands a kind of patience. It requires us to abide the hiddenness of the God we long to see. The pope notes Martin Buber’s definition of idolatry, which he in turn took from the rabbi of Kock: … [Read more...]

In your raving idolatry I find a bit of peace…

Strange Gods BN Bookshelf

Last night, I logged off fairly early and missed a big donnybrook on Facebook that had to do with people angry at me because of this piece from yesterday. Lots of namecalling and screaming in my direction, mostly because I dared to find anything worthwhile in Obama's speech, even as I identified it as a cynical move to divert attention away from his awful presidency. Apparently my near-constant criticisms of the man since 2007 were insufficient bona fides to allow me one instance of (mild) … [Read more...]

Strange Gods Now on Kindle and my Sally Field Moment

sally-field-you-like-me

Color me very grateful for the interest in Strange Gods and I have felt a little helpless when emails and social media messages asked when the book would be out on Kindle. The answer, finally, as of right now! I'm also grateful to folks who have been very kind in their assessments of the book, although I do have to admit that Terry Nelson from Abbey-Roads blog -- one of my favorite blogs, I don't link to enough -- gave me a start. I happened upon it this weekend and read: "At first I thought, … [Read more...]

Pope Francis and I are in a Vulcan Mind Meld!

Francis-strange gods

We've joked that our new Pontiff and I seem to be enjoying an unusual bit of synchonicity on the issue of idolatry. In his wonderful talks and homilies he touches frequently on the issue, enough so that Brandon Vogt -- the hardly sleeping and inventive Brandon Vogt -- took the time to create this amusing photoshop for me: Here's Pope Francis this morning: “The worship of the golden calf of old has found a new and heartless image in the cult of money and the dictatorship of an … [Read more...]


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