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...]

The “it’s an honor to be mentioned” cliche

Strange Gods, now with Study Guide!

You know that whole, "it's an honor just to be nominated" thing that people say when they discover they're up for some sort of award?It's a true thing! I know, it sounds hackneyed and cliched and false, but it's a reality.I know it's a reality, because the Association for Catholic Publisher’s Excellence in Publishing Awards has announced their finalists for titles published in 2013, and I just learned that Strange Gods: Unmasking the Idols in Everyday Life is one of them! It is a f … [Read more...]

Newhart, Bullies, Shunning, and Cliques: The High-Schoolization of America

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com

I was really disappointed to read that 85 year-old comedian, Bob Newhart -- a man who managed to have not one, but two highly successful television sitcoms and end both of them on brilliant, darn near iconic notes -- recently cancelled a speaking engagement rather than have to deal with being hassled.He was to speak before a gathering of Legatus members -- a group of Catholic businessfolk who try to conform both their personal and business lives to Catholic teaching.Many of the Legatus … [Read more...]

“Hell is empty and all the devils are here.”

hellgate

For the past week or so, Patheos writers have been on a Hades kick. You might think it had something to do with Halloween, but you'd be wrong.Apparently things started with Mark Shea defended Father Robert Barron against what seems to me to be a case of misinterpretation. Whatever, I still wasn't paying much attention, because my kid got pneumonia again. And then young Ryan Adams brought in some Orthodox perspective, and suddenly there were Facebook eruptions of hellish debating and people … [Read more...]

Talking “Strange Gods” with Brandon Vogt

brandon_vogt_1

One of my favorite people on the planet is Brandon Vogt, a young man of considerable energy and imagination, but also great faith and astounding generosity. No one could have faulted him, had he sought to profit from his first book, The Church and New Media, but Brandon donated 100% of the book's proceeds to establish school computer labs throughout the Archdiocese of Mombasa, Kenya.Kathy Schiffer has mentioned meeting Brandon in Rome in 2011, for the beatification of Pope John Paul II and … [Read more...]

“Everyone must make his choice…”

choose wisely

Earlier today, I linked to remarks from Pope Francis (which you should go read, because they're great) and I mentioned that they reminded me of what are purported to be the last words of G.K. Chesterton: "It is between light and darkness, and everyone must choose his side."This afternoon, Francis' words came to me again, and once again, they brought me to Chesterton, but a different line.Pope Francis said: "Everyone must make his choice.”Chesterton said: "When you chose one thing, y … [Read more...]

Francis Confounds the Associated Press

lede

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...]

I’ll See You in DC!

CIC

Oh, you all know how much I hate to travel, but when I got an invitation from the Catholic Information Center to come and talk about Strange Gods and do a little wine-and-cheesing, and book signing (hmmmm...I wonder how those things go together...I suspect...dangerously!) I couldn't say no.It starts at 6PM, so if you're around, stop by. I think the schedule is: drinking wine, me talking...more drinking wine.If you can't make it, though, I'd surely appreciate some prayers for my … [Read more...]

Wherein K-Lo Wonders if I am Committing Sacrilege

KLO

She looks so sweet, doesn't she? Smart, and nice and soft-spoken. And I've met Kathryn Lopez and she really is all of those things, plus she is a completely down-to-earth, authentic sort who would "give you the shirt off her back", as the saying goes, if she can help you out.So, when someone like this says, "how about I interview you, regarding your book" you think, "well, this will be lovely; a piece of cake! I'll have a gentle afternoon burnishing my ego and tra-la-ing my way through the … [Read more...]


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