Showing posts from October, 2006

The Libertarian Crusade

My latest webzine home page offering is at my website, The Catholicist Nation . I invite you to look it over and see if you see the same things I do when an individual rips into government for being so, well, so evil. I'm kind of excited about this issue, because for the first time I put in a neat media tool: a scene from the film V for Vendetta . It's about four minutes long, and it adds the whole vibrant visual dynamic to the site. Woo-hoo!

The Next Culture Warriors

Went to see Jesus Camp last night. After seeing what the film was about, I wanted to see what the filmmakers' take was on evangelical Christianity. It was not surprising to see it assembled to highlight many of the things considered extreme to those who reject the idea that Jesus is the only way to be saved. I can't deny that much of what I saw among the ministers and the children they influenced was disturbing. The reason it was disturbing was they did many of the things the secular world fears in anyone , here it was just slathered with God language and Christian rituals. Children are trained to fight battles for the Lord, and they were inexplicably subjected to all kinds of emotionally wrenching activities. After I left the theater, I so much wanted to ask any of the other 20 or so who were there, "Was that disturbing to you?" If they're reasonably seasoned Catholicists they'd certainly say yes, but this was my next question: " Why was that disturbin

The Nobel Rescue Prize

The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded this past week, and it went to Muhammad Yunus. I'd never heard of the guy, but I had heard of his organization. In fact, about seven years ago I was so intrigued with what it did that I made an assignment out of it for my Economics students. I've been using it ever since to teach the foundation that must be in place for an economy to work. His organization is Grameen Bank, and it makes "micro loans" to poor people. Since the dawn of time richer people have been handing out money (loans, gifts, whatever) to poorer people, yet we still have poor people, now umpteen millennia later. What Yunus and the bank realized was that the recipients of such magnanimity were doing certain things that kept them in poverty. The people the bank aids are not just poor, they suffer in the most abjectly horrific conditions imaginable. Yunus tried what he thought was something new. He went about identifying those things that kept them in their dire destitu

No Kidding - Roman to the Core

Have you seen this? It is a photograph featuring U.S. President George Bush, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, and U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts leaving St. Matthew's Cathedral in Washington D.C. where, every October before the Supreme Court begins its term, they hold the "Red Mass." This particular picture is dated in 2005 (and exhibited on the White House's own website), but I'd first heard about this event just recently after its 2006 service, having no clue that it had been held every year for the past 50 years to honor those in the legal profession. I'll say. There's the law right there. Apparently some form of it has been held, however frequently, for eight centuries. There it is. Roman prosecutorial preeminence in all its glory. There they are. The highest ranking law enforcement officials in the World (at least the most visible ones), all together, celebrating their authority to kick the behinds of anyone who jerks them around. It is called the Red Ma

Andrew Sullivan is Certainly a Fine Writer

On the cover of the latest Time (October 9) is a chimp and a baby with the feature "How We Became Human." The idea is that since our DNA is 99% similar, us humans had to have made some evolutionary baby-step from apes. Okaaay. They do offer the gratuitous, "Well, we are different, too, in some ways." Interesting, though, how dogmatic the Darwinists are. Which leads me to Andrew Sullivan's essay, which is a mere couple of pages after the ape-human story. He says lots of nifty things about Christianity and philosophy and some of those particularly thorny questions of life like "Who is God, really ?" and "Does faith really mean anything?" What I see is Time hedging its bets, saying, "Hey, we're really certain about this evolution thing, and that's because, well, we're the ones who really know, being scientifically-minded and all. For all you religious types, we just want you to be assured that if you get your faith thing wron