Friday, December 26, 2003
UK Telegraph: Dad, is Santa more important than God?
We are far too frightened that Christian symbols will upset members of other faiths and we have allowed commerce to take over Christmas. This critique of modern society came from shoppers in the second-floor restaurant at the Debenhams department store in Ipswich, Suffolk, yesterday.
I have to disagree.
This isn't happening in a vacuum. There are anti-Christians and they want to supress Christian symbols. And since some Christians are warped into thinking that it's the Christian thing to do, to suppress Christianity, they go along.
This leads to "Is Santa more important that God?" and children who are 10 and can't tell you whose birthday it is on Christmas. These children have spent 10 years in a world that would kill Christ and his message over again.
I almost can't blame the anti-Christians. At least they have zeal and consistency on their side. It's the Christians who accept the imposition of all other religious symbols as "diversity" and accept the suppression of Christianity as preventing an "offense".
It would be as if the first Jew who shouted back at St. Stephen to Shut up was answered by Stephen with OK and Stephen went home.
It's no longer "Keep Christ in Christmas" -- it's "Take a stand for Christ".
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:23 PM Permalink
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 6:36 PM Permalink
Wednesday, December 24, 2003
Opus Dei: Holy Humbug (via UK Times)
There is something about archaeological quests, ancient religious relics and mystical iconography that can turn the average bombs and bullets story into a real magical mystery tour.
I was curious to see what the Opus Dei itself had posted on the da Vinci code.
I've written some replies into the thread on Amy's blog which is always worth reading, but some of the anti-Brown replies like mine are excellent.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:52 AM Permalink
AP: [Boston] Catholic Archdiocese Asks Parishioners With Cold or Flu to Forgo Communion
The Boston Archdiocese is asking parishioners with cold or flu symptoms to forgo long-standing traditions of Mass - including communion and shaking hands as a symbol of peace - to avoid spreading the illnesses.
If you stopped there you'd think they were talking about the Body of Christ in the appearance of bread (i.e. the host).
The AP is, in fact, referring to the Precious Blood.
By the way (1), I've always thought the "Sign of Peace" a distraction at Mass. I'd be happy to see it removed from the liturgy or moved to a point earlier in the Mass.
By the way (2), isn't it common sense really wash their hands at the time that the liturgy specifies, and that people with any disease that can be communicated by saliva not drink from the cup?
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:32 AM Permalink
New York Times: No Joke! 37 Years After Death Lenny Bruce Receives Pardon
Lenny Bruce, the potty-mouthed wit who turned stand-up comedy into social commentary, was posthumously pardoned yesterday by Gov. George E. Pataki, 39 years after being convicted of obscenity for using bad words in a Greenwich Village nightclub act.
The New York Times never misses the opportunity to add a cheap shot at the Catholic Church.
And speaking of the First Amendment, how free is one to comment on or make poke fun at race, sex, or sexual orientation today on television?
I think there's a longer list today than in the 60's of the things you are not allowed to talk about on television.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:07 AM Permalink
AP: Court Tosses Priest Child-Porn Conviction
An appeals court Tuesday overturned the federal conviction of a defrocked Roman Catholic priest for possessing child pornography, ruling that investigators illegally seized key evidence.
Well, at least he didn't declare himself innocent.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:00 AM Permalink
Tuesday, December 23, 2003
My favorite Christmas Urban Legend
The song "The Twelve Days of Christmas" was created as a coded reference to important articles of the Christian faith.
But there are thousands of Internet references to this as TRUE. Some urban legend investigators identified the origin as Fr. Stockert. He's admitted writing it up but has lost the references to the source documents which he says he read in 1982 and which no one has seen before then or since.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:06 AM Permalink
Rev. Jerry Fawell: The real Saint Nicholas
...However, Christians can utilize this regulation to bring about a positive result. I encourage parents and grandparents to tell children the true story of Saint Nicholas â€“ Santa's namesake â€“ whenever they see a manger scene that includes a portrayal of Santa in the setting.
Rev. Fawell, we've got thousands more Catholic saints. Keep studying them and join us.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:46 AM Permalink
In Dallas, be careful with that Merry Christmas
So before you utter a "How are you spending your Christmas," make sure the person to whom you're directing it celebrates the holiday.or else?
How odd for this attitude to come from a Muslim. In Muslim countries, the religious majority would be amused if you said "make sure the person to whom you're directing it celebrates [something Muslim]". As Malecia El-Amin hints at in his article for a Muslim to reside in a nation which has no culture of Islam, no law of Islam, no public and mandated recognition of Islam, it is an anomaly.
Everyone has a day off on December 25, that's why in polite conversation, there's a curiosity about what you will be doing with the day off. Even the secular culture takes the day off. It's an American celebration.
Another odd thing about Malecia's complaint is that Christ is considered a prophet in Islam and the celebration of his birth, while not a Muslim holy day, it is an expression of the piety of one of the peoples of the Book, the Christians.
The United States is multi-cultural. Lighten-up.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:16 AM Permalink
Monday, December 22, 2003
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:26 PM Permalink
Kantians With Cruise Missiles
With a title like that and peppered with words like Gleichschaltung no brief quote will do it justice.
On this view, the repackaging of longstanding US aspirations toward empire as neo-Kantian, "liberal-democratic" world peace has already slipped a few gears, and the clutch of history is about to burn itself out in conceptual futility.
Tell that to Saddam.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:29 PM Permalink
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:38 PM Permalink
Blogs denounce priests who denounce the Catholic teaching
Saying they can no longer remain silent, a group of Chicago area Catholic pastors denounced what they say is "vile and toxic" language from the Vatican aimed at gays and lesbians.
So why don't they resign and do social work on behalf of an organization other than the Catholic Church -- if they despise the teaching of the Catholic Church?
How can one not see these men as Judas's undermining not only the Catholic teaching on sexual morality but all other aspects of the Catholic Church but they disagree with but lack the gravity of the moment to issue an "open letter" on those other aspects.
Of course, these priests know they are misrepresenting the teaching of the Catholic Church as "violent and abusive".
This kind of letter has lots of secondary effects, especially on parish life -- dividing the parishioners between those who accept the Church's teaching and reject the position of the pastor, and those who reject the Church's teaching and accept the position of the pastor.
A sinnner through their own sin in thought, word, and deed has taken away their own dignity and respect before God. That is the spiritual reality of sin. The mission of Jesus is to reconcile the sinner. These priests appear more concerned with presenting gays and lesbians as righteous before God than their salvation.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:20 AM Permalink