“The Golden Compass” on DVD

“The Golden Compass” came out on DVD yesterday, and I got it from Netflix today. I had reviewed the trilogy it begins earlier this month. The film adaptation looks nice, but messes with the story. Contrary to some reports, it doesn’t water down the anti-religious message of the trilogy–most of that comes in the second…

Odds and Ends

Andrew and I went to Free Cone Day at Ben and Jerry’s. I’m reading John Adams by David McCullough and looking forward to getting the HBO series when it is available on DVD. On the bus from Boston to Portland last Friday I enjoyed “August Rush”; on the trip back, I was surprised I liked…

American Gratitude

An Army dad has posted a video on YouTube about the hardships his son’s unit faced in Afghanistan–without complaint–and the horrid conditions they then had to endure at Ft. Bragg when they returned. He encouraged people to complain to Congress and the Commander of Ft. Bragg. They did. The Army is listening. Finally.

A UU Pastor on Lakewood

It sounds like a joke … “Joel Osteen went into a bar with a Unitarian pastor ….” In this case, though, a Unitarian-Universalist pastor went to visit Lakewood. He was impressed by Osteen’s sermon, observing, “It could have been one of mine.” Of “Victoria Osteen’s Bible interpretation”–“She uses the same method I do.” He didn’t…

Iranian Take on Jesus

From the sounds of it, a recent Iranian movie about Jesus is blasphemous, sacrilegious, insulting, denigrating–pick your modifier–from a Christian perspective. The Muslim director says instead it is giving the truth about Jesus (i.e., the Muslim view, in which Jesus was just a prophet, and was neither crucified nor resurrected). Be that as it may,…

Oh, What a Beautiful Morning!

I woke up groggy from yesterday’s travels, but then got a couple of pleasant surprises: my tax refund has made its way to my checking account, and the bank has returned $1600 of surplus escrow. Now I look forward to my tax rebate, which should arrive by May 9. So my next trip to Maine…

From Memphis to Maine to Minnesota …

I’m home after an exhausting weekend. I was invited to speak about young adult ministry in Freeport, Maine, for the Northern New England Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. It was a great weekend, with some enthusiastic young adults in attendance, and I got to see some old friends (and many of my wife’s old friends). But…

Demands of the “Democratic” Dictator

Howard Dean hasn’t figured out what democracy is about, despite being the leader of the party bearing that name. He’s demanding that one of the final candidates for president drop out before the convention. He’s given a deadline: “We want the voters to have their say. That’s over on June 3.” But it isn’t over.…

Corpse Show in Italy

In Italy, the crowds will be lining up for what will likely prove to be one of the most popular corpse shows ever (aside from Lenin’s Tomb). The corpse on display: St. Pio da Pietrelcina.

Expelled: Further Thoughts

I’ve been reflecting some more this week on Ben Stein’s Moore-ish documentary, Expelled. One thing that unsettles me about its approach is its snide sarcasm. It approaches the subject from the vantage point of wronged professors and violated freedom. I think a better starting point is the wonder expressed by the psalmist (Psalm 19): “The…

Ashcroft and Torture

Tompaul Wheeler points us to a report of a visit by John Ashcroft to Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois. There was a lively Q&A. Here’s a sample: ME: First off, Mr. Ashcroft, I’d like to apologize for the rudeness of some of my fellow students.  It was uncalled for–we can disagree civilly, we don’t need…

A Cardinal Accused

Richard Sipe has written a letter to Pope Benedict XVI accusing Cardinal Theodore McCarrick of preying upon seminarians and young priests. This sexual aberration is not generated from the bottom up—that is only from unsuitable candidates—but from the top down—that is from the sexual behaviors of superiors, even bishops and cardinals. The problem facing us…

Earth Day Predictions

Washington Policy Center reminds us of some Earth Day predictions from the past (ht Mark Shea) … • “…civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind,” biologist George Wald, Harvard University, April 19, 1970. • By 1995, “…somewhere between 75 and 85 percent of all the…

The Pope, Tancredo, and Immigration

The Wall Street Journal drops its collective jaw at Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo’s views on immigration and the pope. The pope spoke of America’s heritage of welcoming immigrants, even citing the poem on the base of the Statue of Liberty. He didn’t address the issue of illegal immigration. Yet Tancredo railed against him for daring…

McCain and Islamic Terrorism

The ISNA wants John McCain to stop speaking of “Islamic Terrorism.” I suppose he will when Islamic Terrorists stop saying they are acting on behalf of Islam.

USCCB Priorities

It’s useful to read not just what the pope said to US Catholics and politicians, but to read what they said to him. For example, here’s how Cardinal George outlined the priorities of the USCCB: The episcopal conference has recently identified the strengthening of marriage and of family life as one of five priorities for…