February 12, 2020

The following is a speech I offer to Sen. Amy Klobuchar as she tries to build on her New Hampshire momentum: Earlier this week, I reached out to the leadership of the Democrats for Life of America and asked for an opportunity to speak with some of their members here in the beautiful state of [fill in the blank].  And I’m here to ask for your vote — and to explain myself and to tell you that, well, I get… Read more

February 8, 2020

Here’s a line of reasoning that promotes voting for a Democrat, any Democrat, for president in 2020: Yes, protecting the life of unborn children is important.  But Trump can’t produce a change in American law with respect to abortion – that’s happening at the state level, in the form of increasing restrictions in Red states and elimination of any restrictions in Blue states — including a number of states which have or are moving towards wholly eliminating any limitations or… Read more

February 7, 2020

Yes, after a break of over two years, I am trying to get back to the family history project, if for no other reason than to save off information and cancel an ongoing subscription to Ancestry.com.  In my last post on the subject, I wrote about the mystery of the Lutheran great-grandmother whose father and died-in-infancy sisters were buried in a Catholic cemetery.  Now I’ve made another discovery, and it goes like this: Richard Stapleton was a son of an… Read more

January 30, 2020

OK, confession time: who among you hate-reads the Slate advice column “Dear Prudence” or the more explicit “How to Do It”?  These two, and especially the latter, don’t hesitate to suggest “opening up the relationship” as a cure to something that’s gone wrong — and, no, that doesn’t mean being more open with your partner about what troubles you.  It means one or both partners having sex with others, openly, in some sort of negotiated arrangement specifying the conditions. If… Read more

January 24, 2020

Regular readers will by now be used to the fact that I get into funks periodically about the Catholic Church, as an institution, and about my local parish, and, in fact, the other day I was told that our attendance numbers have dropped by about 20% in the past half-decade or so, so it’s not just my imagination.  And I seethe at the inaction, at the complacency and fatalism of those who are the designated leaders, whether it’s “we’ll just… Read more

January 23, 2020

Yeah, it feels a bit silly to be writing this down — it’s neither something where I feel like I have something meaningful to add to the conversation, nor is it a cathartic exercise for something that’s irritating me.  But it feels appropriate to say a few words anyway. Here’s my bottom line: I think it’s more likely than not that Trump thought that there were corrupt Hunter Biden dealings which he would unearth by prodding the Ukrainians. But I… Read more

January 23, 2020

Yesterday Pew, or specifically the Religion and Public Life arm of the Pew Research Center, released its latest study on “What Americans Know About the Holocaust.” Yes, the historical understanding of the Holocaust is deemed a matter of “religion.”  Yikes. As far as the key question, “do Americans have at least a minimum clue of what the Holocaust was all about?” well, I suppose it’s all a matter of expectations.  Pew asked its interviewees to state in their own words,… Read more

January 21, 2020

So here’s something of a ranty update on what’s going on at my own parish: In the fall, our pastor announced that he had agreed with the bishop to accelerate his retirement, previously scheduled for two years from now, to this coming summer, so that we can be a part of the next wave of pastor reassignments and have a new pastor well-integrated into the parish before the upcoming Renew My Church process begins. That’s fine, it makes sense.  I… Read more

January 15, 2020

So who’s following the Harry-and-Meghan drama? Are you waiting with bated breath to see if they get to keep their royal titles?  The Duchy of Sussex?  Their income from Dad? Are you on Team Meghan convinced that the royal family’s mistreatment of her, and the racism of the British people, in general, forced her into this decision? Are you on Team Royal Family believing that Meghan and Harry are narcissists who want to enjoy all the trappings of royalty without… Read more

January 5, 2020

Here’s the headline of the Chicago Tribune’s online article about the United Methodist split announced on Friday and reported on Saturday:  “United Methodist churches that oppose gay marriage and clergy will break away, form new religion: ‘We came to an impasse that can’t be bridged’.” Here’s the headline in the printed version: Now, I’ll assume that, as readers of a website devoted to religion, whether or not you identify as believers, you understand the basics of the major world religions. … Read more

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