Interesting stories I’ve found lately, and it seems to be a bumper crop this week.
This story about suicide in the Army hit me right between the eyes yesterday. Why isn’t this story better known?
Circumcisions have been a hot topic in Germany lately due to a local state interpreting the procedure as a criminal violation of personal integrity. An article from a Jewish periodical about a mohel who may run afoul of the new interpretation of the law illustrates the issue over there.
This story surprised me greatly. Will there be a woman Catholic deacon in Chicago?
Elizabeth Scalia’s excellent column brings together material on the Catholic Both/And syndrome is here. All three of the articles she links to are very worthwhile reading.
We live in a culture that expects us to be busy most of the time. starting almost when we’re able to walk, or at least when we’re old enough for pre-school. It’s part of our Puritan heritage that says: “idle hands are the Devil’s Workshop.” The problem seems to be we’re so occupied with tasks that we have no time for reflection, no time to spend on relationships. An article by Tim Krieder and a response by Phil Fox Rose put things in a good perspective. I’m not telling you how my days are organized, but I try not to keep too busy.
It’s been said that to a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail. I would daresay to an economist, everything looks like a business. There are many entities in the world that are not businesses, nor should they be. It last, someone who has a grasp of how the Catholic Church is put together, especially the business side, offers some insight. And a further critique from Get Religion on how the story is misreported.
John Allen, Jr. is an excellent author and reporter: I found his book on Opus Dei a remarkably fair and balanced study of a group almost no one has a balanced opinion of. This column covers some more very interesting material on the finances of the Catholic Church, the Vatican Butler and the state of Atheism from a recent study.
John Mark Reynolds, the Provost of Houston Baptist University, makes a good case for not being stereotyped as a Christian. I will stand with him in his attitude.
A Good article on the Presidential candidates and how faith affects their public lives. They even agree on something!
Praying for both Vice-Presidential candidates to change their hearts seems to be a very good and very Catholic thing to do right now. At last, a positive attitude for change. Hats off to the Wisconsin Franciscans.
I’ve had people ask me about real magic from time to time. and what the Bible said about magic. Mark Chavalas does a pretty good study on the topic from the Biblical account.
I really don’t know why the story about Congressmen skinny dipping in the Sea of Galilee after drinking is news. People do it at the Lake of the Ozarks and other bodies of water all the time, I imagine, although I don’t know from personal experience (I can’t swim). The Sea of Galilee is a popular spot for all kinds of water sports, including jet skis, and is fished commercially.
The water Jesus walked on flowed out of the Sea of Galilee and evaporated in the Dead Sea almost 2,000 years ago. There are holy sites almost all around it, but I never thought of it as a holy site in itself. The Get Religion blog weighs in on this lunacy in an interesting way.
And shouldn’t we be discussing the actions of Congressmen while they’re in session? I already know they have more of a party budget than I do, and I care as much about what they do with their time off as I’m sure they do about how I spend mine.
Marc Barnes seems to be someone willing to rush in where angels fear to tread. I found his two columns on Catholics and Condoms, Part 1 and Part 2 to be written with wit and a sincere desire to think through a complicated question. It’s something that all of us should do with our simple beliefs from time to time, walk through the long journey from the question to the answer, so we can better understand how we got to the answer and not misinterpret it as we try to apply or explain it. Marc walks a rather long path here, and is willing to admit where he’s wrong: I admire him for doing so. I learned something in reading it, particularly Part 2.
A big caution: don’t read Part 1 without reading Part 2, particularly if Part 1 shocks you. Second big caution: don’t start conversations like this with people you don’t know unless you enjoy a kind of extreme debate where your basic moral character and/or intelligence can come under question. This started when Pope Benedict made a hypothetical observation that was blown out of proportion right away by folks who don’t understand the nature of Catholic Ethical debate. I’m not contributing to this subject because I think there’s enough material out there, and I have no particular insight to lend the conversation. But I will read Ethical explorations and walk the cliff faces with others, usually holding onto someone or something solid.