Stories I’ve Found, 6/7/2013

Interesting stories I’ve found lately:

Pope Francis speaks about our “throw away culture”, and its harmful effects on the planet and on human dignity.  He goes as far to say that throwing away food is like stealing it from the poor.  You can find the entire audience text on Whispers in the Loggia (June 5 post) among other places.

He’s also not taking the usual Papal vacation at Castel Gondolfo this summer. Since the poor can’t take holidays, he won’t either. I don’t think I have that kind of strength.

And my favorite quote for him lately: “Triumphalism of the Church stops the Church.”  I think this is true of any church, any movement that thinks it sits at the apex of Creation.

Leah Libresco provides a thought provoking look at Modern Stoicism. I agree the philosophy is useful, especially in helping us train ourselves not to let the actions and attitudes of others rule our lives, and isn’t really great as an overarching philosophy of life.

I found this opinion piece on the CNN blog A Plea From an Exhausted Muslim woman very compelling, especially since one of my close relatives is a Muslim woman who has to deal with some of this kind of prejudice.

Comparisons are always fascinating, and Tom Roberts gives us a little essay on two different Capuchin Franciscans: Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia and Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston.

These views of the Eucharist in Medieval Life and Art opens a window to a time when the sacrament was something to be gazed at in contemplation. This slideshow reveals a very different world than ours. 

My God Plays Hard to Get is an essay by Jessie Kahnweiler about her trip to the other side of the West Bank Wall.  Her journey is insightful and provoking.

Can a Christian Watch ‘Game of Thrones’?  David Gibson’s article surveys the different of opinion on the issues. I don’t watch it and the clips I’ve seen don’t really inspire me to, but series like this need to be considered for what they say about society and religion today. David Lose shares his Gospel According to the Game of Thrones where he sees which Christian trends this series supports and which it doesn’t. 

It’s always something special to read one prominent celebrity’s comments on another’s passing. The noted religion scholar Martin Marty gives a few brief thoughts on the passing of Fr. Andrew Greeley.

A thought provoking excursion into contemporary morays in 5 Compelling Reasons Marriage Was Never Meant to be Monogamous. It’s interesting that after going through these, Chaunie Brusie says: “While this all makes for an interesting conversation (especially if you drop these little tidbits to your husband while eating B.L.T. pizza with him, although a word of warning-he probably will choke on that piece of bacon), I have to say that I’m just not buying it. Sure, it may be “natural” in the animal world for mates to fool around on each other, but it’s also “natural” for some animals to eat their own offspring. Obviously, we have all evolved a bit to overcome some of our primitive urges and instincts.

So, sorry Mother Nature, but I’m just going to have to disagree with you on this one. “

My favorite comeback to the question of polygamy is Matthew 6:25: No man can serve two masters.

How much do you know about Calvinism?  I’m proud of the fact that even though I haven’t been a Calvinist for over 30 years, I got 92% on this quiz.  I even remembered what TULIP was.  As an alumnus of Central Methodist University who keeps in touch with his ordained classmates, I’ll be glad to tackle a Methodist quiz now.

One comment

  1. I watch Game of Thrones. I enjoy it. Martin does some very interesting things and asks some very interesting questions. His characters aren’t pure. They are in fact human. I think that there is more to the series than what the author of the article states “The appeal of the series seems bound up in the senseless violence and amoral machinations – not to mention the free-wheeling sex – that the writers use to dramatize this brutish world of shifting alliances and dalliances.” The sex isn’t free-wheeling in an excessive way. In most cases, the couples in the show are in committed relationships with each other and many of them are married in a religious ceremony. I think if you ask most people who watch the show, they will tell you that this is not the appeal. It is on HBO and if you think that sex and violence aren’t going to be present, than you obviously don’t know HBO. Game of Thrones actually features some very classic religious themes. And while it does not call anything by names we are familiar with (as it is fantasy and not on “Earth” as we know it), it does feature a conflict of religions as an old religion featuring “old gods” meets the religion of “the one, true god of light.” The Christian themes might be present in ways that many are afraid to look at because they are dark and unpleasant. The violence is brutal but not gratuitous. I think it has been handled fairly well… Red Wedding aside. It is hard to really get a feel for the issue in this article. It is brief and I am not sure how much of the show he has actually watched or if he has read the series.

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