Ann Coulter’s Strange God Renders Her Blind

strange gods cover tilt

Others tell me it is "schtick" meant to "make us think" but if that's what Ann Coulter is serving up with her "charity begins at home" number, she's doing it badly. Leading people into productive thought shouldn't involve dragging them through a toxic swamp, where all sorts of rank and dubious detritus may become attached to our thinking.Writes Coulter:America is the most consequential nation on Earth, and in desperate need of God at the moment.And how does she think Americans will … [Read more...]

“Why be singular when you can participate in heaven?”

tcabannercropped

My latest column at The Catholic Answer is called "Our Professors, Who Art in Heaven" and touches on the question that comes up again and again, particularly with those concerned about idolatry: why do Catholics show such reverence for saints?The Communion of Saints must seem strange to outsiders who wonder why Catholics and Orthodox Christians bother taking side roads in their orisons when a prayer to Jesus seems like a faster, more direct route. As a religious sister from my childhood put … [Read more...]

Brendan Eich, Refusenik to an Idea cum Idol *UPDATED

Some great stuff over at OSV this week, particularly this and this, but I wanted to link a piece I contributed on the Brendan Eich story, wherein I flesh out my first thoughts, shared here.A mere two weeks after taking over as CEO of Mozilla, tech-prodigy and Javascript inventor Brendan Eich was released from his contract. No one had disputed either his leadership or creative abilities, and there was nothing in Eich’s management history that even hinted at unfairness or discriminatory p … [Read more...]

Garlic? Honey, I’m 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 ScaliaElizabeth 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 strong as ga … [Read more...]

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

I'd generate a meme, if I knew how...

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 well-being, rat … [Read more...]

“We are Church.” As self-referential as the Curia.

You might think it takes a peculiar sort of mind to find common themes uniting an interview with Antonin Scalia and an exhortation from Pope Francis, and you'd be right. My piece at First Things this week brings these two divertingly counter-cultural men together on the subject of narcissism and idols:After his election to the papacy, notes were released outlining the pre-conclave intervention delivered by Jorge Mario Bergoglio, which many of the Cardinal-electors said impressed them … [Read more...]

Francis Confounds the Associated Press

Via Matthew Schmitz' twitter feed, where he notes a sense of "disorientation."I can just hear the mainstream secular press.WAIT! WHAT? I thought we had a read on this guy! He was gonna shut up about abortion, already! Next day he's telling doctors not to perform them, and sayin' each aborted kid has the face of Christ? WHAT? That's like the WORST THING HE COULD SAY when people are actually listening!This feels like Charlie Brown and Lucy and the Football! It's almost like he's … [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...]

A “Priesthood” Disingenuous, Thoughtless and Vain UPDATED

"I am Long Island's first female priest!"Deacon Greg has the story, from Newsday (while Tom has the impatient snark):A Sag Harbor grandmother says she has become the first Long Island woman to be ordained as a priest in a group that seeks equality for women in the Roman Catholic Church.Eda Lorello, a longtime church worker, said she was ordained during a service in Wellesley, Mass., on Aug. 10 organized by Roman Catholic Womenpriests, an advocacy group that says it has ordained … [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...]


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