Chaplains and Gays in the Military

A group of retired military chaplains has written a letter to the president claiming the freedom of religion of military chaplains would be threatened if the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” were to be revoked. I don’t think the situation is as dire as they make it out to be. Not yet. US law and Army…

Idaho

I’m not able to access my Facebook page to give updates there, but just to let my friends who read this blog know that I got safely to Idaho, where I will spend the next two weeks with my National Guard unit on annual training. I’m chaplain for the 1-149th Attack Reconnaissance Battalion–a unit of…

A Cardinal Hung Out to Dry

Cardinal Darío Castrillón Hoyos was to have been celebrating a Tridentine mass in DC this week. No more. This on the heels of the uproar over his 2001 letter congratulating a bishop for not turning a priest over to the police. He has defended the letter, saying he posted it publicly on the Vatican webpage…

Will Religious Liberty Last on Campus?

On Monday, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Christian Legal Society v. Martinez. The Christian Legal Society (CLS) chapter at the University of California – Hastings College of the Law filed a lawsuit on October 22, 2004, against school officials who denied recognition to the group because the chapter requires its officers and voting…

The National Day of Prayer

Before you get upset about the recent court ruling, READ IT. The federal judge in Wisconsin said the 1988 law requiring the president to issue a proclamation for a national day of prayer each May is unconstitutional. The judge did not rule on the right of the president to issue such proclamations himself, only the…

“Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness”

The Ten Commandments are suffering from neglect these days. Turn on your television and you can find lots of idolatry, taking God’s name in vain, killing, stealing, lying, adultery, coveting … 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Christians lament this state–and the fact that these attitudes are present not just on television, but…

Hitchens and Dawkins contra Benedict

It sounds like the start of a joke … Did you hear the one about the two atheists who plotted to arrest the pope? I don’t know how serious they are, but they are certainly getting headlines. And they have succeeded in recruiting some Christians to their cheering section. Stories about sexual misconduct by Catholic…

On Ordination

I’m coming up on the 21st anniversary of my ordination as a pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. It was June 11, 1989. There was some fear and sadness mixed with the joy of that day. My son, Andrew, was born ten days before, two months premature, and would be in the hospital…

On the Road Again

This has been a whirlwind of a week. I’m heading to Columbus this morning for “Just Claim It,” a youth/young adult event of the North American Division of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and a board meeting on Friday for Adventist Christian Fellowship (our ministry to students at secular colleges and universities). I just got home…

Maciel’s Money

Jason Berry, the first journalist to bring the problem of sexual abuse in the Catholic church (and hierarchical malfeasance) to light in the early 1990s, has written the first of two articles on how Fr. Marcial Maciel, founder of the Legion of Christ, bought his way into Roman favor. Berry first exposed the corruption of…

New Archbishop for Los Angeles

The much anticipated announcement of a coadjutor-archbishop of Los Angeles has been made: Cardinal Roger Mahony will be succeeded by Archbishop Jose Gomez, currently in San Antonio. I’m happy for Jose, who is a friend of mine. He was a priest in Houston when I first met him, soon after I arrived in Houston. He…

The Scandal of the Cross

From Religion Clause–Down in the land of Oz, police stopped a passion play because they felt the scenes of a bloody Jesus were “offensive.” They later admitted no laws were broken. Now, this wasn’t being done in a church, or on a church’s property, or as part of a scheduled dramatization–it was done as a…

Shooting the Messenger

The Catholic Church and its defenders are rushing over each other to condemn journalists who dare criticize Pope Benedict XVI for his handling of sexual abuse cases as an ordinary, as head of the CDF, and as pope. Peggy Noonan is more balanced, and suggests that maybe the Vatican defenders give the press some credit.…

Triduum

Today is Maundy Thursday, the beginning of the Triduum for liturgical churches–three days that begin tonight and go on to include the liturgies of Good Friday and the Easter Vigil. I’ve been back in the Seventh-day Adventist Church for three years, but the rhythm of life built up through 25 years in Lutheranism and Catholicism…