Is My Ignorance Invincible?

Thanks for all the responses to my post this weekend asking for advice on RCIA and the tone of the blog .  Tomorrow, I'll be returning to the ongoing series about Diane Duane's Young Wizards books and what they've taught me about religion, but I wanted to take a break today to deal with some questions Saturday's post brought up.Kevin brought up a problem that goes to the heart of the blog and one that I've heard before. This kind of argumentation just isn't what makes people religious. … [Read more...]

Harry Potter and the Unnecessary Assumption

Last week, I went to Mass with my boyfriend on the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The officiating priest had lucked out, as the parents whose child was being baptized at the Mass had named their child Mary, providing him with ample material for a homily. Happily, he still returned to the matter at hand, telling the story of the Assumption, talking about the reasons it wasn’t in the readings or the Bible and explaining how the act of taking the event on faith could be t … [Read more...]

“You can’t go around building a better world for people”

For an explanation of what Weatherwax Wednesdays are all about, read the introduction post. This week’s Discworld quote comes from Witches Abroad, which is, among many other thing, a retelling of the Cinderella fairy tale. In the story, Granny Weatherwax and her companions are pitted against a more conventional fairy godmother, who is intent on scripting a happy ending for the characters. ‘We’re the other kind [of godmother],’ said Granny. ‘We’re the kind that gives people what they kn … [Read more...]

A Parable of Talents

 In a very schmaltzy YA book I read in middle school, a whole school bus load of middle schoolers died in a car accident and went straight to Heaven. I’m pretty sure the protagonist and his eventual girlfriend got to come back to life by the end because they had Unfinished Business back on Earth, but before they do, they get a preview look at Heaven as all their friends settle down for the rest of their afterlives.The Heaven of this book most closely resembles a glitzy theme park. … [Read more...]

Back from the Rectory

Thank you all for your thoughtful comments, and, of course, my greatest thanks are reserved for Deacon Michael who generously spent two hours chatting with me yesterday.  I really appreciated both his candor and his enthusiasm.  It's always so encouraging to see people who are energized by disagreement and conversation, rather than frightened of it.I'm not going to do a beat by beat recap of our discussion for a variety of reasons.  The primary one is that I have a policy of only attributing … [Read more...]

Chatting with a Catholic Deacon tonight… what should I ask?

The deacon at the local parish has been kind enough to set aside some time to chat with me tonight.  I'm not having a debate, but a conversation.  I've been reading plenty of apologetics and having debates of my own, but I was planning to have this be a less academic-themed discussion.The main question I'd like to discuss is what sustains him in his faith.  I'm curious as to whether it's mostly the kind of academic/philosophical ideas that I've been discussing here or the more experiential th … [Read more...]

Two quick stories about Santa and Empiricism

I really appreciate the personal stories that were shared in the comments thread of yesterday's post on Santa Claus.  I'm going to be returning to some of the more philosophical issues that were raised tomorrow in my Weatherwax Wednesday post (luckily enough, Terry Pratchett wrote an entire book about the Discworld analogue of Santa, so I've got some great passages to draw on).  For today, I thought I'd just share two stories about my own experiences with Santa growing up.The E … [Read more...]