Clergy, temptation, sex abuse and the law

Surely one of our world's most endangered species -- right up there with the Mountain Gorilla or the Sumatran Tiger -- is the church "ministerius youthii." That was the conviction of the late Louis McBurney, a Mayo Clinic-trained psychiatrist who spent decades at his Colorado retreat center helping ministers crushed by the demands and temptations of their jobs. Youth ministers, for example, face stunning parental expectations, low pay, the loss of privacy and a nagging sense of … [Read more...]

Year 26: Frustrated Catholics playing ‘Name that pope’

Soon after Pope Francis skyrocketed into media superstardom, some frustrated Catholics started playing an online game that could be called "Name that pope." Most of them were not upset with what their charismatic shepherd from Argentina was actually saying and doing. Instead, they were frustrated with the media storm portraying him as radically different -- in substance -- from his predecessors. Frankly, this is one of the strangest stories I have seen during the many years -- 26 as of … [Read more...]

Faith and the Millennials — it’s complicated

LOS ANGELES -- When pollster David Kinnaman went to college two decades ago, his Generation X life was surrounded by electronic screens and all the gadgets that connected to them. There were TV screens, movie screens and new computers, some of which even had speakers. There were VCRs, CD players, cassette recorders, video cameras and other cool devices. The hottest trend was "email" that allowed students to do something Baby Boomers could only dream about -- send private, instant messages to … [Read more...]

Dark (porn) secrets in modern sanctuaries

At some point before 35-year-old Jesse Ryan Loskarn hanged himself in his parents' home outside Baltimore, he wrote a painful letter soaked in shame and self-loathing in which he attempted to explain the unexplainable. The former chief of staff for Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) had lived a secret life, hiding memories of child abuse and his addiction to child pornography. Even as U.S. Postal Inspection Service agents used a battering ram to enter his house, it appeared that he was trying to … [Read more...]

Culture wars in the App Store, part II

At first glance, the original rules written to govern the Apple App Store seem to be simple, logical and easy to enforce. After all, who wants one of the world's most powerful corporations to circulate digital forms of hate? Consider, for example, the guidelines governing "personal attacks" and "objectionable content." The former rejects, "Any app that is defamatory, offensive, mean-spirited, or likely to place the targeted individual or group in harms way." This does not apply to … [Read more...]

Culture wars in the App Store (and what they mean)

In a career packed with sound bites, the late Steve Jobs offered one of his best when describing his vision for a family-friendly Apple App Store. "We do believe we have a moral responsibility to keep porn off the iPhone," he famously responded, in an email to a customer. "Folks who want porn can buy and [sic] Android phone." This stance was clear, but hard to apply in the flood of information and images on the World Wide Web. After all, many consumers are very easy to offend, when hot … [Read more...]

Baptists rethinking the use of catechisms (plural)?

This joke may be the most famous in all of Baptist humor. While crossing a high bridge, a traveler encounters a distressed man who is poised to jump. The first man asks the second if he is religious and a Christian. The suicidal man answers, "yes," to both. Catholic or Protestant? The jumper says, "Protestant." And, as it turns out, both men are Baptists. "Are you Baptist Church of God or Baptist Church of the Lord?" The second man, in a classic version of this joke found at the "Ship of … [Read more...]

Apple, iSacraments and this lonely age

Probing the mysteries of Christmas, Pope Benedict XVI asked his flock gathered in 2006 to ponder what this season might mean to people living in the Internet age. "Is a Savior needed," he asked, "by a humanity which has invented interactive communication, which navigates in the virtual ocean of the Internet and, thanks to the most advanced modern communications technologies, has now made the earth, our great common home, a global village?" What the world really needed, quipped Gizmodo … [Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X