Hawaiian Folk Music, Crusades and Columns


Last night, my husband got home from an outing and watched The Descendents, starring George Clooney. Not really a Clooney fan, but he was very good, and the movie was engrossing. Hubby and I both wished that some religious perspective might have been introduced, but then that would have made it a completely different movie, so -- it is what it is. The reason I'm mentioning it at all, though is because we both commented, almost at precisely the same moment, that we were really enjoying the … [Read more...]

Bible Basics for Catholics: A New Picture! – UPDATED

bible basics

Got three new books in the mail yesterday, and I'm going to share all of them with you. I actually have about 25 books that arrived while I was sick last month and I never did get a chance to catch up on them, so perhaps this week I will slip them into the blog and let you make up your own minds about whether they might be of interest to you, but this book, Bible Basics for Catholics: A New PIcture of Salvation HistoryI know I can highly recommend, because I read the galleys and loved it so much … [Read more...]

Style, Sex, Substance:Frank Talk from Catholic Women – UPDATED


The first time I head the title of Hallie Lord's new book, I was intrigued:Then I saw the list of formidable female writers Hallie had assembled to write ten frank, strong, funny, thoughtful and wrenching essays on the challenges of living an authentically Catholic life in a world where women are expected to take their cues from Kim Kardashian and Reality Wives (no thinking required) or Hillarys-Clinton-or-Rosen (the thinking is settled). I was hooked.What writers? Besides Hallie … [Read more...]

Catholicism and Bad Religion: a One-Two Punch

catholicism book

Last year, the book I spent more time urging you to read than any other was Robert Barron's Catholicism, which I called a "course in revolution", arguing that a better-understanding of who we Catholics are, where we came from and what we embody in the world can be a social and political game-changer like nothing else.This year, I believe I am going to be nagging you to read Ross Douthat's Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics as a sort of "companion book" to Catholicism. Once we … [Read more...]

American Heretics Abounding

bad religion

In my First Things column of last week, I quoted a small portion from Ross Douthat's remarkable book Bad Religion; How We Became a Nation of Heretics, which will be released this week.I plan on writing a fuller review of the book, but one of my concerns with my column was that I'd inadvertently given the impression that Douthat spent a lot of time discussing the issue of sexual morality, hypocrisy and homosexuality. In fact, he spends very little time on that front -- mostly, in fact, as he … [Read more...]

Want a Free Book?


Image Books, a Random House imprint, and Patheos are giving away 100 copies of Mother Teresa's book, Where There is Love, There is God.Who doesn't like free books? And it's Mother Teresa! Who doesn't like Mother Teresa (yes, yes, I know, Christopher Hitchens, but he may have changed his mind by now...)Sign up, here! You get the Catholic Portal newsletter, too, if you want it, which -- naturally -- I hope you will!Don't forget to check out Patheos' Book Club this week! … [Read more...]

2 Sexes, 60 Saints Each, 2 Questions – UPDATED

60 for girls

For reasons that are not worth going into-- at least not yet -- I have a question for the Catholic Moms and Dads out there -- particularly those of you who home-school, or take main responsibility for your child's religious formation or teach catechism, yourself.The question is, are you familiar with these out-of-print books?Sixty Saints for GirlsSixty Saints for BoysSecondly, if'n you are familiar with the books, do you like them? If so, why?If not, I'd really … [Read more...]

Ban the Divine Comedy? Really?


Oh, come on, now!It is a world-renowned work of literature and one of the foundation stones of the Italian language, but Dante's Divine Comedy has been condemned as racist, homophobic, anti-Islamist and anti-Semitic.The classic work should be removed from school curricula, according to Gherush 92, a human rights organisation which acts as a consultant to UN bodies on racism and discrimination.Dante's epic is "offensive and discriminatory" and has no place in a modern classroom, … [Read more...]

Lies, Cynicism and the Spin Cycle – UPDATED

Quit church

The intellectual dishonesty of the hysterical and adolescent tract below is staggering. It is a full-page ad in the NY Times.In a transparent (and largely successful) bid to keep the electorate distracted and the conversation off his numerous dubious policies and practices, January's cynical move by the Obama Administration, helped along by an equally cynical and mostly-surrendered press, has delivered two profound lies -- the first is that the HHS mandate battle being waged by the churches … [Read more...]

Vogt and Barnes: Young Faces of Catholicism -UPDATES


I do believe Brandon Vogt may be one of the busiest, most focused young men-with-a-mission I've ever seen.Brandon is the author of the very well-received and widely read The Church and New Media, and a journalist who, like our Pat Gohn and Tony Rossi, has a knack for conducting great interviews (I do believe he knows every Catholic currently online!). He blogs at The Thin Veil and -- along with partners Matthew Warner and Josh Simmons -- he has founded the Digital Diocese Conference, a … [Read more...]