The Burke and Kasper Videos: Epic Fail All Around – UPDATED

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If you're not already fully repelled by everything in our world being politicized, this might do the trick.Seriously, when I watched these two CNS-produced videos -- which take a page from the political propaganda playbook -- my stomach turned. I actually had a visceral reaction to the overt manipulation at work, here. Propaganda videos, complete with dark music and heavy messaging on one side and fluffy light and goo on the other, are repellent enough in in the political arena. To see them … [Read more...]

Consigning Joni Mitchell to the Prayers of Dorothy Day

Joni Mitchell smoking

Very likely due to being ill for nearly four months, I'm in a bit of a work-and-spiritual funk just now. I've got the blues and am hauling out all the usual prescriptions to try to help myself along.I want to "snap out of it" because I know that I have no business feeling glum; my life is too full of good things, for which -- when my head is on straight -- I am everyday grateful. My husband and kids are healthy. My son is happily married to a wonderful young woman. My other son is making … [Read more...]

Sisters Rescuing Women from Sex Trades

MQHM Sisters

They are the Mary Queen of Heaven Missionaries, and who looking at them could imagine that they have taken upon themselves -- as have so many great missionary sisters before them -- such difficult work, serving populations invisible to so many?Nuns reach out to sex workers in fight against prostitution in the Philippines:In a red-light district in Cebu, central Philippines, the taxi stopped when its passenger called out, “There, that girl,” pointing to one of the women standing in the … [Read more...]

Confirmed: Yes, the “Fire Challenge” IS Real!

the-fire-challenge

So, the other day, I posted here about this "fire challenge", wherein teenagers set themselves on fire for fun and Facebook Fame.And then I learned that the page I'd linked to calls itself a satire site, and did the full "mea culpa" for being taken in about it.Then someone on Facebook sent me a YouTube video of someone aflame and I threw up my hands to heaven, wondering what was true or not; when Glenn Reynolds linked from Instapundit, I welcomed his readers and asked them to help me … [Read more...]

On Cantor: Dems Rang Pavlov’s Bell, Conservatives Barked

its midterms again

Well, Eric Cantor has lost his re-election bid to a fellow who seems exquisitely unready for prime time, and the questions are flying: did the Immigration issue sink Cantor? Is Immigration reform dead for this session? Will John Boehner "surrender" on "amnesty" and then run from office?I've said this before, multiple times. The immigration question is never going to be settled, because no one wants it settled. The GOP is too afraid of its base to do anything, and the Democrats love that … [Read more...]

Patheos Welcomes Dr. Pia de Solenni to the Mix!

Pia headshot

One of the great pleasures and challenges of assembling the Catholic channel at Patheos has been presenting a broad-but-balanced-view of Catholicism -- one that is not-too-conservative, nor too-progressive in scope, but finds the more common middle area between those extremes, wherein most Catholics reside.For most Catholics, in fact, arriving at Catholic Orthodoxy is a process. Our faith is difficult, sometimes; that's what makes it great.Catholicism demands not "blind obedience" but … [Read more...]

Douglas-to-Dust: Feeling Helpless About the Homeless

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New York City is such a microcosm of every aspect of the human experience -- and the human condition in all its vagaries of darkness and light -- that if one is halfway awake and paying attention, it is impossible not to, at some point, have your world-view challenged, or your spiritual bell rung. I recently related how getting clocked at Penn Station has changed everything for me, though not always in a good way.Recently, Tom Zampino, a lawyer working in the city, had one of those moments, … [Read more...]

The Bada-bing, Bada-boom Nursing Center

badabing

Many years ago, when we were only a few years married, my husband and I joined friends at a local club, for a New Year's Eve celebration. As the night progressed, we discovered that part of the entertainment included a young woman performing a strip-tease, down to her g-string and miniscule pasties, which she proceeded to set "fire" to, as she vacated the room.Perhaps it is because of my childhood history, but I have never been comfortable around such displays, which always strike me as … [Read more...]

Transparency: Can you see the illusion, now?

JIM LO SCALZO/EPA  (Source)

As the great Edward G. Robinson might say, "How do ya like yer transparency now? Ya! Ya!"Obama's "transparency" was always a damned illusion, of course. People bought it b/c they wanted to. In truth, I can't think of a less transparent administration than this one, which keeps using that word as though it means something else.So, here's the latest:The Sunlight Foundation notes that Change.gov, the website created by the Obama transition team in 2008, ceased to exist after June 8, … [Read more...]

Can Pro-and-Anti Gay Marriage People Co-exist?

shutterstock_102538235 (1)_gay marriage flowers

Still stuck in my writer's block, the only way I could write a column this week for First Things was to format it as a playlet -- a little one-act thing called "Suitable Recommendations" -- wherein I try (and I have no idea whether I succeed) to showcase a story we're increasingly seeing being played out as gay marriage becomes more common: the business owner whose conscience can't let him or her provide services to a same-sex couple planning a wedding.Gentleman: That’s some religion you’ve … [Read more...]


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