In your raving idolatry I find a bit of peace…

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...]

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Strange Gods Now on Kindle and my Sally Field Moment

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...]

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Pope Francis and I are in a Vulcan Mind Meld!

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 e … [Read more...]

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Catholicism and Nationalism Do Not Really Mix – UPDATED

The neighborhood where I grew up was a block of "mutts", and my own family boasted Irish-Italian-English-Scots-German muttage, but if you asked any of us "what are you?" the answer, our answer would have been "Catholic" and our Catholicism precluded all of our other labels, including "American." Our culture was American, yes, but it was first-and-foremost "Catholic". We didn't have a flag hanging out the door, but we had a Saint Jude on the doorstep, and the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the kitchen. … [Read more...]

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Talking “Strange Gods” on Catholic Weekend

When Maria Johnson invited me to come and chat with the gang at SPQN's Catholic Weekend, I said "sure" without really knowing what to expect. I didn't anticipate a party atmosphere at Google hangouts, and I was a little frightened at the idea of talking with four people at once. But when Maria greeted me with a tiara on her head and a tee shirt proclaiming herself "The Queen of Everything" I realized I could have retained my Donald Duck sweatshirt. Tiara aside, I felt overdressed!In this … [Read more...]

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“He listened to the girl on GPS. Then to me, for 200 miles…”

I totally forgot that while taping this interview with Tony Rossi, I had completely revealed myself to be the harridan I try to hide from you, on a daily basis. It's here at about 5:10 into the chat.Tony's blog Christopher Closeup is one of the places I go when I need to decompress, because he always has a perspective-changer up there, lighting "one candle" against the darkness with heartening regularity. I'm not much of a light, but he generously offered to talk to me about my … [Read more...]

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Pope Francis Endorses My Book, “Strange Gods”? – UPDATE

Well, no, not officially, but I had a little fun on Twitter this weekend, when several friends mentioned Pope Francis' latest tweet at @Pontifex:It just slips in so very well with the whole topic of my book, Strange Gods; Unmasking the Idols in Everyday Life, which will be hitting bookstores soon. In the introduction I write:Do we stop to think of what it means to have something "before God"? It means to put something "first", yes, but more fundamentally, it means to put something … [Read more...]

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