Back in the Saddle

As my Facebook friends are aware, the past two weeks I’ve been at Fort Hood, Texas, for my National Guard unit’s annual training. It was a great time as always, mentally and physically exhausting as always. I brought home plenty of MREs for the family to enjoy. 🙂 Now, back to the routine.

A Buddhist Chaplain

They were talking about Buddhist chaplains when I did my Chaplain Officer Basic Course back in 1986 and 1990. The Army finally has one on active duty: CH (CPT) Somya Malasri. CH Thomas Dyer has served in the National Guard since 2009.

Key Points in Adventist Eschatology

I have a sermon or article that’s been stewing on the back burner for some time. In this post, I want to jot down some points that I want to elaborate on at another time. 1. Adventists look forward to the second coming of Jesus as “the Blessed Hope.” It isn’t something to fear, it…

Catholic Liturgy in the News

The Vatican’s Ecclesia Dei Commission has issued in instruction, “Universae Ecclesiae,” on the use of the “extraordinary form” of the liturgy (i.e., the mass that was common before Vatican 2, aka the Tridentine mass, aka the “old Latin mass,” aka the Missal of 1962). See Fr. John Z’s links and commentary. Let me sketch the…

Sojourners Upsets Liberal Protestants

Sojourners had been seen as a leader of “progressive” Christianity because of its apparently liberal positions on economic and peace issues. But Jim Wallis and company always claimed to be evangelical. They never bowed the knee to either the abortion or the homosexual lobby. They recently reminded the liberals of that when they rejected a…

To Tell the Truth

If you are of a certain age, you may remember the television game show, “To Tell the Truth.” Three challengers would be asked to introduce themselves—they would all say, “My name is X.” Two were lying. Celebrity panelists tried to guess who was telling the truth. When the time for questions was over, the announcer…

Annulments and the Catholic Church

Our Sunday Visitor had an article on “Top 10 Annulment Myths.” It provoked this response from Bai Macfarlane (divorced in scandalous fashion by her Catholic celebrity husband, Bud). For more about Bai and her struggle to save her own marriage and the marriages of others, see Mary’s Advocates.

There Be Dragons

I don’t care what the critics say … I liked “There Be Dragons.” As in “The Mission,” Joffe juxtaposes two contrasting characters. He portrays men of faith (Fr. Gabriel in “The Mission” and Josemaria Escriva, here) sympathetically, without Hollywood cynicism. He may not be a believer, but he creates believable stories in which people of…

Navy Does About Face

Navy Chief of Chaplains rescinds policy that would have permitted chaplains to perform gay marriages in chapels if permitted by state law. This now causes other problems, as I see it. Chaplains of liberal denominations that permit gay marriage will be able to argue that chapels are available for all other religious rituals, but not…

“Informed Consent”

Informed consent is a basic principle in health care today–except when the topic is abortion. That’s become clear in the reaction of the Abortion Industry to sonogram laws, as noted in this NPR story. Can you imagine a doctor not using imaging technology of some kind before any other medical procedure? Can you imagine lobbyists…

The Rabbi’s Beard

A Chabad rabbi was accepted as a chaplain in the Army Reserve, but the acceptance letter was rescinded the next day because he has a beard. The Army has granted beard waivers for others, but is apparently saying he would have to shave first and then ask for a waiver. This is ridiculous.

Navy Chaplains and Gay Weddings

The Navy has decidedthat chaplains whose denominations approve of gay marriages can use Navy chapels for the weddings in those states where gay marriage is legal. Some are sensationalizing the story and suggesting that chaplains will be pressured now to perform such weddings. I’m not worried. Regulations on the rights and responsibilities of chaplains are…

On the Revised Catholic Liturgy

Later this year, American Catholics will begin to celebrate the liturgy with a new translation. The translation currently in use dates to the early 1970s, and reflects the Zeitgeist of that era. The folks in charge of that translation were committed to “the Spirit of Vatican 2,” which they felt went beyond the actual texts…

“The Shame of John Paul II”

Jason Berry, one of the journalists who has done the most to report on the sexual abuse scandal of the Catholic church, has a compelling article in the latest issue of The Nation. I read it at BN … you can read it online. “The Shame of John Paul II: How the Sex Abuse Scandal…

The Death of Osama bin Laden

Spectrum published a pair of essays on the death of Osama bin Laden. I made a number of contributions to that conversation. I’m posting a couple here, edited. The question was how are we to respond to the death of bin Laden. Steve Moran says we should celebrate. Jared Wright, on the other hand, quoted…

National Day of Prayer

The president has, as usual, declared this Thursday to be a National Day of Prayer. Note: the presidential proclamation is distinct from the private organization that calls itself the National Day of Prayer Taskforce. That’s an evangelical organization with a specific agenda. Links.

Bin Laden

Lots of folks opining about the death of Osama Bin Laden. The Bible is clear that God does use the sword to execute justice (Romans 13). But it warns: “Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he is overthrown” (Proverbs 24:17 English Revised Version).