Monthly Archives: August 2009
Over at the First Things blog, Joe Carter highlights an excerpt from an article by Randal Rauser, a professor of theology at Taylor Seminary, Edmonton, Canada:
At the end of his tremendously irritating film “Religulous”, Bill Maher states that “Faith means making a virtue out of not thinking.” With this strange definition Maher summarizes a notion of faith which has become enormously popular in recent years, particularly with the rise of the new atheists. (Consider Richard Dawkins who dismisses religious believers as “faith heads”.)
Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited is one of my favorite novels, and unquestionably my favorite Catholic novel. (Spoiler warning for those who haven’t read it — this post has to do with events which take place at the very end.) Not only does Brideshead give powerful and beautiful expression to Catholic themes, but having read it in my late teens, not long before leaving home, it represents one of those crystallizing experiences for me through which Catholicism became not merely something I was brought up in, but something deeply my own and at the root of my understanding of the world.
And yet, there’s a key element of the plot which clashes with the modern experience of joining the Church — as I was reminded tonight when attending the opening RCIA meeting as a member of this year’s team. Near the very end of the novel, Julia (a cradle, though intermittently lapsed, Catholic) tells the man she has been living with for several years (they’re in the process of divorcing their estranged spouses so they can marry): Continue reading
Hattip to the ever musical Cminor. Just like the last Depression, at least we are getting some good music out of this fiasco.
Douglas Brinkley on Ted Kennedy’s Life: ‘He Did a Kind of a Redemptive Work’ by Matthew Balan of NewsBusters
Democrats now seek to exploit Ted Kennedy’s death by Jonah Goldberg
Larry King-like softball questions in a Q&A with Ted Kennedy Biographer Adam Clymer on Kennedy’s Catholicism by Dan Gilgoff of U.S. News & World Report
Hattip to the ever alert Jay Anderson at Pro Ecclesia. Michael Sean Winters at the Jesuit publication America launched a diatribe at Patrick Madrid for his response to Sister Maureen Fiedler’s lament on the death of Senator Kennedy at National Catholic Reporter, He Made Me Proud to Be Catholic, in which Madrid pointed out the obvious: Kennedy was a total pro-abort. Poor Mr. Winters! He didn’t realize he was about to enter the fisk machine of Father Z! You may read the results here. Here is Madrid’s response. Note to liberal Catholics: if you are going to lionize a person like Kennedy, who was ever deaf to the cries of the unborn since his switch on the issue, see above letter, back in the early seventies, there are plenty of other Catholics who are going to point out this very unpleasant fact.
Day II of what Catholics are saying on the passing away of Edward Moore Kennedy around the web (will be continuously updated until tonight at 7:00 pm CST):
A Catholic Funeral for Ted Kennedy by Dr. Edward Peters of Canon Law
A Catholic Funeral for Ted? It’s a Lie, a Sham, a Scandal, a Pretense, an Insult to faithful Catholics by Robert Kumpel of St. John’s Valdosta Blog
Dissident Catholic America magazine doesn’t want to talk about Ted Kennedy’s stance on abortion and trashes Patrick Madrid by Father John Zuhlsdorf of What Does The Prayer Really Say?
Who can have a Catholic Funeral & more by Elizabeth Scalia of The Anchoress via First Thoughts
I have written a bit over the last year about my problems with technological progress and consumerist ideology. One of the most serious consequences of these trends that I have yet to touch upon is delayed adulthood.
Commentators and social theorists are observing that my generation is not growing up. Young adults now take five years on average to get a bachelor’s degree. Marriage, children, home ownership, and a career that can support them all are each coming much later. In the meantime, my generation is living at home with mom and dad, if not all the time, at least some of the time – I myself have had to move in and out of my parent’s home a few times since I graduated.
Only in modern day Western societies, where the struggle for daily existence has been abolished for the majority of the population, could the phenomenon of delayed adulthood arise. It isn’t just that there are too many college degrees and not enough jobs, though that plays an important role. Prolonged education is a part of delayed adulthood. Millions of young people have absolutely no idea what they want to do, what sort of goals they should set for themselves, or what it is that makes life worth living. Meaningful religion has been scrubbed from most of their lives, replaced with some version of Cafeteria Christianity, New Age occultism, or far more frequently, agnosticism, cynicism, relativism and nihilism.
Blogs seem to attract more than their fair share of lawyers, law students and people who want to be lawyers. As a 27 year veteran of the bar, pro bono publico, I am giving my top ten reasons why people should consider not going to law school. Continue reading
Ted Kennedy was a devoted father.
Many years ago, before my complete embrace of our Catholic faith, I used to read a lot on Ted Kennedy due to my fascination of his political career and of his father, Joseph P. Kennedy Sr. There were many good and bad things I encountered, though what stood out above all was his devotion to his children.
Here are what Catholics are saying on the passing away of Edward Moore Kennedy around the web (updates from around the web have ended as of 8-26-2009 AD at 6:32 pm CST):
It’s Already Started: The Party of Wellstone Uses Kennedy’s Death for Political Opportunism by Jay Anderson of Pro Ecclessia
Mixed Record?! my hind end by Rich Leonardi of Ten Reasons
I had been praying for his spiritual health by Jean M. Heimann of Catholic Fire
One of the elements of modern (often Evangelical, but sometimes Catholic) spirituality that I find most foreign is when people talk about Christ as being “my best friend.” It seems an even more familiar form of the relationship suggested by hopeful missionaries, “Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ?”
It’s possible to err in either direction on these things, and I make no representation that I am a perfect Christian, but I don’t think of myself having a “personal relationship” with Christ, certainly in a “best friends” kind of way. The ways in which I would normally envision Christ are not guy-next-door, my-buddy-the-savior kind of images. Christ the King, enthroned in eternal splendor into union with whom all Christians wish to enter for life everlasting. Christ Crucified, pouring out his blood for the sins of the whole world. Christ Risen, triumphing over the reign of death which had doomed humanity since the Fall. Christ in the Eucharist, kneeling before the glittering monstrance in which the Body of Christ forms the center of a sunburst of golden rays, with the crucifix above and the tabernacle behind.
From the only reliable news source on the net, the Onion. How many apocalyptic visions involve strange sounds and sights from the sky? However, I must beg to differ with the Onion as to their musical choice. If terrifying music comes from the sky at the end times, I suspect it will be something like this. Shudder!
[Update at the bottom of this post as of 8-26-2009 4:38 pm CST]
A brief statement was released from his family:
“We’ve lost the irreplaceable center of our family and joyous light in our lives, but the inspiration of his faith, optimism, and perseverance will live on in our hearts forever,”
Requiescat in pace Teddy.
Elizabeth Scalia, a.k.a. The Anchoress, has an in-depth look at Ted Kennedy’s life titled, Ted Kennedy, Healthcare & Purgatory.
Update I: For reactions around the Catholic world click here.
[Updated as of 8-26-2009 AD at 6:01 pm CST, see below]
Bishop D’Arcy pens an article in the dissident Catholic Jesuit-run magazine, America, by rapping the University of Notre Dame in it’s failure in being a witness to the Gospel by honoring the most anti-life president in the history of the United States.
He goes on to single out Father John Jenkins for his failure in leading as a man of faith and to the board of trustees for their deafening silence.
Finally he asks the University of Notre Dame, but also other Catholic universities, whether they will follow the Land O’Lakes Statement, which proclaimed in ambiguous language that it was ‘ok’ to dissent from Catholic teaching, or adhere to Ex Corde Ecclesiae, where Catholic teaching and identity must be a priori.