Once, of course, I was a teenage atheist; and it brings me no shame to say that, but it certainly makes me smile. I grew up, and stopped being an atheist, in my 20s, in the 1980s. But it was only when my parents died, within a year of each other at the turn of the century, that I became religious. I'm going to be a bit un-Christian here, but nothing makes me hoot, mock and retch like people who bleat that they stopped believing in God when their parents died. Don't get me wrong – if a parent buries a child and rails against God, I can see why. But to lose one's faith because of the death of a parent? That's what old people do, the swine, they die on you! And don't tell me about loving your parents – I loved mine just fine. I am an only child who, well into her early 20s, simply assumed that when the surviving parent kicked the bucket, I would quite cold-bloodedly top myself because life would be simply incomprehensible without them. But when my father died in 1999 and my mother in 2000, I stood in the same church twice in two years and felt the same sense of what I can best describe as joy as I watched the two coffins move away from me. While all around me wept, I was filled with the absolute certainty that they were on their way to a better place...
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Friday, August 22, 2008
What he fails to perceive and understand is that the election is about principles.
The only - only - coherent point in Batman - Dark Knight was that the citizens of Gotham had a code of decency that would not allow them to blow each other to smithereens (the Staten Island ferry scene). The gentleman senator from the state of Illinois underestimates Americans with his emphasis on the economy.
The election is still about principles, and regardless of the cynical, nihilistic stage of the sacrificial crisis afoot in the west - of which Obama is the froth on the cauldron - Americans still remember the words of the Saviour:
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Thanks to Dawn Eden for pulling together the facts about Barack Obama's support of infanticide.
Yet another example of the way the modern, well-to-over-educated mind will engage in pretzel-twisting contortions when left on its vacuous ontologically, epistemologically challenged own. A wolf in sheep's clothing that sincerely believes it is a peace-loving, rational humanist. Sure. And these guys should be his closest advisers.
RAWALPINDI, Pakistan -- Naheed Arshad, her bright green head scarf framing dull, brown eyes, had just endured nine months in prison on a charge of adultery.Like Job of the Old Testament, Arshad knows she has done nothing wrong in the sight of God or human beings. But the accusation, which in itself has brought shame and degradation, stands like a hangman's scaffold before her, points toward her, scapegoats her.
"My husband accused me of having an affair," said Arshad, 35, her hand covering her mouth as she spoke quietly of the serious criminal charge that has disgraced her.
After a judge acquitted her in May, she joined thousands of other women living in a growing network of government and private shelters. She spends her days cooking, sewing and sad; despite the judge's verdict, the shame of the charge has narrowed her already-limited options in life.
It is rare for a Pakistani woman accused of having illicit sex to talk publicly or allow herself to be photographed. But Arshad spoke freely about once taboo subjects, saying repeatedly, "I have done nothing wrong."
"Why do I suffer?" Arshad asked. "It is just not fair."
Here we see most clearly the way that the Gospel is at work in the world and in history ... yes, even and most especially in the lands of the Scimitar. Predictably, the article dithers into unhelpful eddies of liberal feminism the same way some priests turn up their noses at their own people in the forlorn mission fields of western nihilism and pine for southern Latin climes romanticized by Henri Nouwen. But the message is clear: the Paraklete is at work. Today. Even in the unjustly, even satanically, tautologically accused poor woman, Arshad.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
The history of democracy in the West owes a great debt to (the Two Commandments,” i.e., love of God and love of neighbor). Secular-minded historians and political scientists would like us to believe that democratic ideals emerged from the triumph of Enlightenment thought—in opposition to Christian doctrine. In fact, the Biblical concepts of human dignity and equality supplied the philosophical pillars of liberal democracy, especially in the Anglo-American tradition. Ministers on both sides of the Atlantic, for example, regularly cited the golden rule—what they called “the great rule of equity”—to argue for religious toleration and equal justice under the law.
Are the Christian leaders who gathered at Yale familiar with this history, and are they willing to press its lessons upon their Muslim guests? Participating groups such as the liberal National Council of Churches have shown scant interest in defending the persecuted church, the principle of religious freedom, or the democratic institutions that sustain it. Yet if Muslims are serious about the golden rule, they must explain why the governments of most Islamic states represent such a brutal contradiction to its democratic expression ...
The global threat today is a faith-based version of European fascism—a re-emergence of the totalitarian impulse, animated by the theology of radical, Islamist jihad. This ideology of bloodlust and martyrdom claims millions of adherents worldwide, inspires terrorist cells across entire continents, and is obsessed with acquiring the world’s most destructive weapons to unleash against civilian populations. “Why were millions of people astounded by what happened to America on September 11?” writes Ayman al-Zawahiri, al Qaeda’s second in command. “We have the right to kill four million Americans—two million of them children—and to exile twice as many and wound and cripple hundreds of thousands.” There is simply no equivalent to this perverted religion anywhere in the Christian world—it is a crisis within Islam, a moral and spiritual malaise that has grown unchecked for decades.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
You're most welcome, M*******. I'll keep this short, and take it for what it's worth, if you'll bear with me for a few sentences.
Your Dad's death doesn't make sense. But life is a gift and privilege, not a right we can expect life to honor (on our time table).
The longer I lived, the more I realized how few answers I had not only to the big questions, but the multitude of tiny questions of life. Being a preacher for 20 years didn't help. Life was extremely complicated, sometimes brutal, sometimes wonderful. I couldn't find answers in 'Christianity Lite', so I looked at the big, old, complex Catholic faith. I wasn't turned off immediately by the ways it didn't jive with modern life, lifestyles, and acceptabilities, but gave it a chance to see how IT'S answers worked with life's realities - like how to live and how to die, how to forgive and be forgiven, love and be loved. All Christianities came from it, historically. And everything we love and hope for are there, I am convinced.
I'm not trying to convert you, just telling you what I've found there.
I pray for your Dad every day, and I ask him to pray for us, if he will and can. I look forward to seeing him again.
Best to you, T**, and R****. I keep your Mom and family in my daily prayers.
Monday, August 18, 2008
A bonus: music from Cinema Paradiso as it should have been ...
Oh, and, turn off the TV.
Guided by a Catholic chivalrous spirit and Marian in character, Corpus Christianum members daily pray for the following key points:
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* The renewal, unity, and spread of Christendom
* The Supreme Pontiff and all priests/religious
* The protection of Christians around the world
* The restoration of the family
* The conversion of sinners and the sanctification of all people
Sunday, August 17, 2008
According to the Cambridge History of English and American Literature the theme of Sir Isumbras is that of Christian humility, the story being an adaptation of the legend of Saint Eustace. Sir Isumbras is an over-proud knight who is offered the choice of happiness in his youth or his old age. He chooses the latter, and falls from his high estate by the will of Providence. He is severely stricken; his possessions, his children and, lastly, his wife, are taken away; and he himself becomes a wanderer. After much privation he trains as a blacksmith, learning to forge anew his armour, and he rides into battle against a sultan. Later, he arrives at the court of the sultan's queen, who proves to be his long-lost wife. He attempts to Christianise the Islamic lands over which he now rules, provoking a rebellion which is then defeated when his children miraculously return to turn the tide of battle. (Wikipedia)
You also lament the public foot baths that have been installed at the University of Michigan and elsewhere to accommodate Muslim students. I lived in the Middle East for the first 24 years of my life. Never once did I see any foot-washing basins in airports or public buildings. So why are they pushing them down the throats of Americans?
I can’t get upset if people want to wash their feet before they pray. This is the way they are taking over the West. They are doing it culturally inch by inch. They don’t need to fire one bullet. Look what is happening in Europe. Do we want to become like “Eurabia”?