Conspiracy Theories

What’s behind the need of some folks to run after conspiracy theories? This spans all denominations and political philosophies; the manipulators of history are also varied–for some it’s the Jews, for others the Freemasons, for others the Illuminati, for others the Jesuits (and some creative folks find ways to link these all together, though they…

Making Communion Bread

From Michael Paulson at the Boston Globe–links to an article and a video about a company in Rhode Island that makes communion wafers for Catholic churches. Interesting economic points: after 9-11, sales went up; after the sex abuse scandal, sales dipped 15%.

Prop 8 & Tax Exemption

Gay activists are now threatening to go after churches who supported California’s Proposition 8 to remove their tax exemption. The New York Times agrees; Barry Lynn of Americans United for Separation of Church and State does not. “They almost certainly have not violated their tax exemption,” said Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for…

Advent Reflections

At the beginning of the Advent season, the four weeks before Christmas, some reflections. Advent Hope (a sermon last year). From Commonweal: Whatever Happened to Advent? Alternatives for Simple Living Advent Conspiracy O come, O come, Emmanuel, And ransom captive Israel, That mourns in lonely exile here Until the Son of God appear Rejoice! Rejoice!…

Greed Kills

Today is indeed a black Friday for the family of a 34-year-old Wal-Mart employee in Valley Stream, Long Island, NY–he was trampled by an unruly mob rushing the store to get in for the sales. Update: A fuller report here, with news that police will try to find those responsible. I think they need to…

One Day Only

Not a sale — but a one time day to honor the contributions of American Indians. Today, the first and only Native American Heritage Day. Then (apparently) we can go on forgetting them.

Sharing It with the World

From R. Adlerstein at Cross Currents: Should Jews actively promote Jewish values to the rest of the world? For two millennia, there was not much of a question. No one would listen. Today in the West we have the ability to speak our minds, and often a large audience of those who believe that Jews…

On the Table

The centerpiece today was a Tofurky,  basted with a mix of soy sauce, olive oil, a little OJ, some sage and some fresh rosemary and oregano, surrounded by potatoes, carrots and pearl onions (all arranged around the sliced Tofurky on the platter). Sides included snow peas, cranberry sauce, stuffying, the cranberry dumplings that came with…

Institutional Ethics

They had a problem in Tyler, Texas. The Catholic hospital wasn’t abiding by Catholic teaching. It was performing sterilizations. The administrators went through some creative mental gymnastics in saying it was going by a “good faith” interpretation of Catholic teaching, as reinterpreted by certain ethicists. The bishop is shocked–shocked!–to learn there are dissenters in his…

When Miracles Grow Old: A Thanksgiving Reflection

Let’s do a little remembering, this Thanksgiving. Let’s remember why we celebrate this day. I’m going to begin with a little history first, and use this history as an entry into a Scriptural reflection. Let’s start with the Pilgrims. Who were they? They were English Protestants in the early 1600s who sought to worship God…

Thanksgiving Hymns

Come, Ye Thankful People, Come Come, ye thankful people, come, raise the song of harvest home; All is safely gathered in, ere the winter storms begin. God our Maker doth provide for our wants to be supplied; Come to God’s own temple, come, raise the song of harvest home. All the world is God’s own…

A Tale of Tyranny and Free Speech

At a recent dinner of the Federalist Society, Attorney General Michael Mukasey defended the Bush administration’s abridgment of liberty in the fight against terror. While others laughed at his jokes and applauded the iron fist, one man stood up and shouted, “Tyrant!” before walking out–Washington state Supreme Court justice Richard Sanders, who is of course…

Missing the Point of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is not about giving thanks to random people. Why do we have the holiday? Consider the words of Abraham Lincoln, who established it in 1863: The year that is drawing toward its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that…

Partisan Captivity

Nicholas Cafardi, writing in NCR, laments the “Republican captivity” of the American Catholic Church–because a handful of the 300 Catholic bishops spoke about abortion and marriage as important moral issues in this year’s election. Do they represent the bulk of Catholic bishops, chancery and USCCB bureaucrats, and priests and lay ministers in the parish? Or…

“Small Towns”

A Lutheran pastor reflects on life in small towns at First Things. Small town life has its advantages and disadvantages, but they are not the obvious ones. When the media focused on small towns, viewers got the feeling that they were visiting a distant nation not their own. They were clearly delighted to be somewhere…

The Passion of Mel Gibson

Benedict Fitzgerald is suing Mel Gibson, claiming he wasn’t paid enough for cobbling together Scripture, Anne Catherine Emmerich, and Mary of Agreda to produce the script of “The Passion.” He wants another $10,000,000. Some old links to things I’ve written on the subject of Gibson’s Passion: The Passion of the Christ: Crisis and Opportunity in…

The Catholic Church and the Law

Cardinal DiNardo  is using his red hat as a megaphone, and calling attention to his favorite causes. But they are troubling. He wants to reward those who broke the US law and infiltrated the country, treating them more favorably than those who followed the law patiently. He was speaking at an event sponsored by the…

Talking Turkey

In a few days we’ll celebrate Thanksgiving, a day traditionally set apart by our nation to gather with family and friends and give thanks to God for his bounty. It’s been a national holiday since Abraham Lincoln established it in the midst of the Civil War (take a look at his Thanksgiving Proclamation). But when…

Tony Jones: Gay OK

Tony Jones, national coordinator of Emergent Village, says gay relationships are OK and should be blessed by the church. Another sign that much that is known as “emergent” isn’t new, or postmodern, but is simply plain old fashioned liberal Protestantism.

An Abortionist Talks

A abortionist who was sentenced to jail for a botched abortion that resulted in the death of woman, tells his story. He’s unrepentent. And the “pro choice” people say this is something that wouldn’t happen if abortion was legal. Duh. It is legal. Women end up in the hospital and die. Because of butchers like…

Wacky Laws

Eugene Volokh reports that rain barrels and home cisterns are apparently illegal in Colorado, Utah, and Washington, because the state has already decided that rain falling on your roof belongs to someone else. Another article on this subject links to this Denver Water page: Colorado Water Law requires that precipitation fall to the ground, run…