After 53 years of being on air, Radio Caracas Televisión, the oldest privately owned television station in Venezuela, has been officially closed by the Venezuelan government. This TV station, as well as all the other private stations, has shown opposition to Chávez’s regime for many years now and was therefore thought subversive by the government. The paranoia of the regime, or perhaps in a resounding demonstration of its power, finally took the station off the air and replaced it instead… Read more

“I want to be blunt with you,” the priest said to me. He was behind a curtain, and had just digested my confession. “It sounds,” he said, “like you’ve got a really ungrateful heart.”Today, memorial day, I found myself beside a creek, watching the birds wash, breathing in the smells of spring, loving the presence of my future wife, and truly enjoying the freedoms that countless soldiers have died for, but mostly killed for.I am grateful for these freedoms. But… Read more

This the second post of a two-part response to Michael’s excellent Memorial Day post. My main problem with nationalism is that it violates the “Catholic principle”, the idea that we should not set limits and definitions on our definition of “neighbor”. In other words, borders might be necessary for purely administrative reasons, but should never become imbued with mystical qualities of their own. Too often today, there is the tendency in America to glorify the nation state and all the… Read more

Memorial Day in the United States is a time to pause and remember those who have sacrificed their life on the battlefield. It is also a time to pray for the families of those who lost a beloved soldier.I do not find there to be any tension between hating war, loving life, AND honoring those who have chosen to serve their country and lose their life in the process. ANYONE who has ever served in the military or been a… Read more

Following up from Michael’s excellent Memorial Day reflection on the intermingling of true and false religion (Catholicism and nationalism) in America today, I think it is important to delve more deeply into this issue. More than any other country today, Americans tend to fuse Christianity with an invented civic religion, and, sooner or later, it all comes back to the idea of American exceptionalism, the notion that America is somehow ordained by God and is held to a different standard…. Read more

Today is the Christian Church’s birthday.”You will receive Power when the Holy Spirit falls upon you,And you will be my witnesses to the ends of all the Earth.” Act 1:8Fabulous, eh? Love it! I was at Confirmation last Sunday when I read this and of course I had John Michael Talbot’s song in my head as I read it because it is only by music that I can memorize Scripture easily.The Holy Spirit is probably the most misunderstood or ignored… Read more

Today is Pentecost, when we receive the Spirit and power of God. It all started with a sacrifice. I just have a short thought – that Christians are called to suffer and sacrifice themselves, almost to torture themselves, rather than sacrificing and torturing others. In all the arguments I’ve heard about torture, I’ve never heard anyone mention the idea that sometimes we simply have to suffer for the sake of the Gospel. Sometimes we have to get nuked. Sometimes we… Read more

During my high school and college years and beyond, I thought about becoming a Catholic priest and made an effort to discern and pray about it over the course of those years. Eventually I discovered that part of my vocation was to marry — Emily and I will celebrate our two-year anniversary this July — and so the presbyteral ordination option was closed. As I have reflected on how my religio-political views have evolved over the last ten years or… Read more

Complete separation between morality and politics is one of the prevalent errors of the present age. From the Christian point of view and within Christendom, those two realms – the moral and the political – ought to be most intimately connected, though they cannot coincide.Just as Christian morality has in view the realization of the Kingdom of God within the individual, so Christian politics should be preparing the coming of God’s Kingdom for humanity as a whole consisting of large… Read more

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