Newtown and New Media: must we “do better” on big questions? UPDATED

That's the question I'm asking in my column at First Things, this week. More correctly, I suppose I am wondering, does the Pope (and the church) need to do better with the "hard" questions of faith that are now subject to New Media?Or do we -- and especially the non-believers who are pining for "big" questions -- simply not understanding the depth of the answers?It all started with a tweetback from...a self-described “Agnostic Atheist, Freethinker, Skeptic . . . ” called the Pon … [Read more...]

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Does Mo Dowd think Celibacy = Pedophilia?

Zoran Karapancev / Courtesy of Shutterstock.comI hadn't read Mo Dowd's latest screed because I've been really busy and because, well, her Yosemite Sam act has really begun to bore me over the years -- as Joanne (envisioning Dowd as another Looney Toon fave) writes here:I wonder sometimes why she doesn’t simply self-destruct in her Tasmanian Devil hissing and spinning...Anyway, because I read Joanne's piece, I read Dowd's -- and if you're going to read either you should read both. T … [Read more...]

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Advent of the Super Genius!

Patheos is going to be launching a whole-site redesign, very soon. Long in the works, we expect to flip the switch sometime this weekend.What does it mean to you? Well . . .hopefully, not much. All redesigns have to shake out some bugs, but hopefully this process will be fairly painless.On my end, though, it's keeping me pretty busy and feeling a little changed to the desk. After calling it a night at about 2:00 AM, I realized I needed to avail myself of one of these. And one of these, … [Read more...]

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Successful Satire Always Bites a Little

Today Father James Martin and our own Max Lindenman have created some biting satire (I might call Fr. Martin's piece more of a parody) and I think both of them will tickle your funnybone while also biting the ankle -- all with the result of getting you thinking, as they certainly did me.First up, Fr. Martin does a brilliant (and brilliantly balanced) job of recreating the sort of exchanges all-too common to the combox, the FB page, the Direct Messages and so forth -- we Catholics are a … [Read more...]

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Trayvon and the MSM: “Who will guard the guardians?” UPDATED

It's an ironic question, given George Zimmerman's own ideas about guardianship, but it's one that needs to be asked of the mainstream press.A long time ago, in the midst of of a month-long discussion on media, I noted a piece by a journalist who bristled at the existence of alternative media. To his way of thinking, the internets lacked the scruples, ethics, and sensibilities of "the mediating intelligences" within traditional, mainstream media. I had suggested, back then, that the whole … [Read more...]

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Komen and HHS: The Day of the Bully Dawns – UPDATED

In just about 24 hours the "non-political" billion-dollar entity known as Planned Parenthood -- which does not itself do mammograms, despite how ABC News frames it -- managed to leak the news that the Susan G. Komen Foundation would no longer be contributing $700,000 dollars to its coffers, get the two stupidest women in the US Senate to go into public hysterics, bring out the heavy guns of the mainstream media and apparently win Komen's surrender!We want to apologize to the American public … [Read more...]

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Chelsea Clinton’s Debut – UPDATED

So, Chelsea Clinton made her debut last night on Brian William's (to me) awkwardly-named Rock Center, and you can watch her piece, here, and even vote for how you think she did.I voted "boring but I think she'll get better" even though I thought it an imprecise choice. She was not "boring" -- the piece itself, on the generous, inspiring and inspired Annette Dove, and her mission to enhance the lives of disadvantaged kids, was not boring. Ms. Clinton chose an interesting subject, and I do … [Read more...]

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What’s Patheos? Where did it come from?

Not too long ago, I did a radio show and the host struggled with the name of Patheos, "how do you pronounce, it; what does it mean? He asked."It's PATH-eeohs. It's a portmanteau: PATH and THEOS -- think of it as Path-to-God. And the company's origins make for very interesting reading in the Denver Westward News:In 1989, U.S. Marine Leo Brunnick was in the jungle, training a group of Thai Royal Marines. He gestured to the top of a hill and told the Thais to run up there. It was the best … [Read more...]

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Internet Addiction, Spam and Comboxes

My spam filter currently has 900 spams, and counting, and the situation can't be rectified until Monday.Meanwhile, this weekend is work-packed for me and I'm way too busy this weekend to keep fishing through new spam to find legitimate comments, so I am closing comments through Sunday, and perhaps Monday, depending on whether I get everything done.Besides, the comboxes are routinely unpleasant these days and I'm kind of sick of that.There is a whole combox merry-go-round of sneers … [Read more...]

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Confederacy of Dunces: The Future in our Midst

I am ashamed to admit I have never read it (as I warned below, I am no intellectual), but I certainly will read it now, as it appears John Kennedy Toole's Pulitzer Prize winning A Confederacy of Dunces may have been prophetic, in a way. Note Max Lindenman's exposition of the book's anti-hero, Ignatius Reilly:[Ignatius] is a figure few readers would care to identify with. Obese, a sloppy eater, and a fashion nightmare—the earring, though exceptional for him, does little harm to the effect of h … [Read more...]

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