Sunday, March 27, 2005

The New York Times Magazine ran a story today "The Soul of the New Exurb". They were doing alright until we come to this paragraph, ostensibly explaining the history and particular demonational beliefs of the Assemblies of God (emphasis mine):
McFarland frequently refers to himself as a mail-order pastor. In fact -- and he readily acknowledges this too -- he never finished his pastoral coursework. He can lead Radiant anyway because the denomination to which Radiant belongs, the Assemblies of God, doesn't require its pastors to be ordained. This is not a mere quirk in the bylaws. The Assemblies, a Pentecostal movement that grew out of the preapocalyptic revivalism of the early 20th century and counts John Ashcroft (the son of an Assemblies minister) among its more prominent members, has historically been skeptical of all institutional education, seminaries included. The movement now has its own seminary in Springfield, Mo., but it continues to hew to tenets that most other denominations consider radical. Among other things, the Assemblies treats the Bible as fact and believes in miracles, faith healing and speaking in tongues.

Well, Catholics "hew to" all three of these "radical tenets". Now, some Christians believe speaking-in-tongues ceased in the Apostolic age, others believe it is an infrequently (nowadays) bestowed gift of the Holy Spirit, but no one doesn't believe in it. I don't think there are any denominations that would deny that Jesus "healed the sick" either, which is the essential belief of faith-healing, the difference is whether, how often, how, and in what way it continues to the present day. And no Mr. Fancy New York Writer, it's not just the ignorant hicks who believe the bible is "fact", a locution that could cover everyone from Jerry Falwell to John Dominic Crossan.
There's a fun New Yorker magazine parody blog here.
Urbi et Orbi Message of His Holiness Pope John Paul II:

3. Stay with us, Living Word of the Father,
and teach us words and deeds of peace:
peace for our world consecrated by your blood
and drenched in the blood of so many innocent victims:
peace for the countries of the Middle East and Africa,
where so much blood continues to be shed;
peace for all of humanity,
still threatened by fratricidal wars.
Stay with us, Bread of eternal life,
broken and distributed to those at table:
give also to us the strength to show generous solidarity
towards the multitudes who are even today
suffering and dying from poverty and hunger,
decimated by fatal epidemics
or devastated by immense natural disasters.
By the power of your Resurrection,
may they too become sharers in new life.

4. We, the men and women of the third millennium,
we too need you, Risen Lord!
Stay with us now, and until the end of time.
Grant that the material progress of peoples
may never obscure the spiritual values
which are the soul of their civilization.
Sustain us, we pray, on our journey.
In you do we believe, in you do we hope,
for you alone have the words of eternal life (cf. Jn 6:68).
Mane nobiscum, Domine! Alleluia!

The whole thing is here on the website of the Holy See.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

John Allen of National Catholic Reporter interviewed in Newsweek:

A common criticism of Opus Dei is that it appears to be a cliquey and elitist organization. Is it?

There is some truth to that. Your point of departure has to be that this is a group that has been savagely attacked for decades, so there is a tendency for them to feel comfortable with one another than with outsiders. As far as the elitism goes, again I think there's no corporate policy that they want to be elitist. I went to nine countries for this book [and in] every country I would go to—every one—in addition to seeing top officials, Opus Dei would also get me to see a bus driver, barber or a mechanic because they know there is this perception of elitism and they want you to understand that there are also blue-collar people, which is true. But on the other hand I would say that, again, going back to the sociology, inside the Catholic Church, particularly for young practicing Catholics, it's a little bit like the Marines—you know, "the few, the proud." They tend to attract very driven, idealistic, hard-working, smart people, and therefore there probably is an overrepresentation of what you would consider elites inside Opus Dei which is not their fault, I just think it's the reality of what their market is. And frankly, even the bus drivers and barbers I met, these were damn hardworking bus drivers and barbers.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

One effect of the Schiavo case has been to let loose a torrent of nonsense about living wills. The following from Robert George, interviewed by National Review Online is a useful corrective:
Even if we were to credit Michael Schiavo's account of his conversation with Terri before her injury — which I am not inclined to do — it is a mistake to assume that people can make decisions in advance about whether to have themselves starved to death if they eventually find themselves disabled. That's why living wills have proven to be so often unreliable. One does not know how one will actually feel, or how one will feel about one's life and the prospect of death, or whether one will retain a desire to live despite a mental or physical disability, when one is not actually in that condition and when one is envisaging it from the perspective of more or less robust health.

Consider the case of a beautiful young woman — an actress or fashion model perhaps — who is severely burned in a fire. Prior to actually finding herself in such a condition, she might have supposed — and even said, if the subject had come up in a conversation — that she would rather be dead than live with her face grotesquely disfigured. But no one would be surprised if in the actual event she did not try to kill herself by starvation or some other means, and did not want to die.

George is of course against starving Schiavo to death. The whole interview is here.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Cover story -- Church in Crisis: Mahony, in legal battle, insists church has right to secrecy

Man, how ironic that the liberals' favorite bishop can't get his act together on this. I thought the sex scandals were supposed to be all about a conservative clericalism, ultramontanism, and the exclusion of lay people from church government.

Even if Mahoney wants to resurrect some kind of benefit of clergy, he should know that it was abolished in the common law for "atrocious crimes, murder, poisoning, burglary, highway robbery, and sacrilege" by statute in the reign of Edward III. See the Catholic Encylopedia article on Benefit of Clergy.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Ted: “This is not our country; we’re guests here. . . . There’s a lot of anti-NATO feeling here. . . . Actually here it’s OTAN.”

Fred: “They’re against OTAN? What are they for—Soviet troops racing across Europe, eating all the croissants?”

--Barcelona, Whit Stillman

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

So my current, "Do not confuse these two" isAmy Sullivan and Amy Wellborn.
JIMMY AKIN.ORG: Distance Doctorates?

I have a long comment on this post. I'm not sure how interesting it is.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

In The New York Sun, headline over the review of the new Bruce Willis movie, Hostage:
'Die Hard,' With a Ninja
Bruce Willis was born in Germany according to his IMDB bio.
Songs of Innocence, Introduction
You are 'regularly metric verse'. This can take
many forms, including heroic couplets, blank
verse, and other iambic pentameters, for
example. It has not been used much since the
nineteenth century; modern poets tend to prefer
rhyme without meter, or even poetry with
neither rhyme nor meter.

You appreciate the beautiful things in life--the
joy of music, the color of leaves falling, the
rhythm of a heartbeat. You see life itself as
a series of little poems. The result (or is it
the cause?) is that you are pensive and often
melancholy. You enjoy the company of other
people, but they find you unexcitable and
depressing. Your problem is that regularly
metric verse has been obsolete for a long time.

What obsolete skill are you?
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(via the Saintly Simmerin' Simians.)
Argghh, so that Theology on Tap is actually on one of the last days of my working evenings, so I won't be there.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Well I seem to be my life's own resident idiot today.

Friday, March 11, 2005

An interesting take on the current crisis in Northern Ireland:

From Slate, in an article, "Gerry's Kids: The IRA and Sinn Fein are in trouble. So where does Gerry Adams go from here?":

If Adams really approved the bank raid, it's hard not to ask: What was he thinking? One fascinating theory says the bank robbery might actually be part of Adams' covert strategy to force a recalcitrant IRA to lay down its weapons once and for all. Ed Moloney, an award-winning journalist and author of A Secret History of the IRA, says Adams may have sanctioned the robbery knowing the ensuing outrage would force the hand of the hard-liners in his midst, leaving them with a stark choice: Either go back to war, a political non-starter in the post-9/11 world, or, if republicans are to preserve the credibility they have gained both on the island and in London and Washington, lay down their arms for good. In other words, republicans can run a major political party, or they can be ostracized and lumped in with Osama Bin Laden.

Perhaps I'm a bit prejediced to see this as good news because I've written (in The Irish Rover) that he, unlike the Islam-facists, is someone with whom we can negotiate--limited aims and all that, but he's just so damn cheeky.
This is an odd test and an odd result (via The Tiffster):

You're the Fashion Plate!
You're the Fashion Plate!
Take What sort of Hipster are you? today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.

You know what's "in" and what's "out," and you give those trends the finger! You wear what you want and get damn respect for it. You still own pants you wore in high school. Your hair is five different shades of hip. You make it cool to shop at Goodwill, the Gap, and even Walmart. You hang out in crowded bars and restaurants, but don't care if anyone is even looking at you (though they are). You're swank and friendly and at ease just about anywhere. You're well-liked and talked about. The world wants to be just like you.
Just because it's Friday, doesn't mean you get to slack off, get commenting peons.
Who's in:

WHAT: Theology on Tap – “What Does the Eucharist Mean to the Modern Person?”

WHEN: Tuesday, March 15, 2005

WHERE: Metro 53 Restaurant and Lounge 307 East 53rd Street, between Second and First Avenues (212) 838-0007. E/V Trains to Lexington Avenue stop, 6 Train to 51st Street stop.

TIME: 7pm-whenever

DETAILS: Fr. Benedict Groeschel, CFR, will be giving a lecture on this topic. 7pm begins the Happy Hour, 7:30pm is the lecture, followed by a chat and mingle from 8:30pm on.
So I found a great place to get my hair cut. $10 (plus tip of course) fast and in the old-style. Russian (or other cyrillic-alphabet using) Jews I think, though possibly some of them are Jews and some of them are Russian. Right here in Midtown, basement of 55 W 47th, between 5th and 6th in amongst all the jewelry repairers and such of the Diamond District.

It would be kinda of amusing to engage in some street theater there. Stand outside muttering like the hawkers, "Buy Gold, Buy Diamonds," but mutter different things: "Avacados for sale." "We buy ballet tickets."
Here's a trivia question for you: what is/are the suffragan see(s) of the Archdiocese of Washington?
That's a Monday I think:

New York City Meliora Celebration—Reflections on the University of Rochester
• April 11, 2005
• see times below
• Tavern on the Green

6:30—cocktail reception

7:45—welcoming remarks by Nathan F. Moser '75, CEO of National Envelope Corporation and Chair of the Rochester Regional Leadership Cabinet of Metro New York
President Jackson has led the Univeristy with distinction for 11 years. He leaves his most lasting legacy in undergraduate education. Among his many accomplishments, President Jackson created the College of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering to provide an integrated learning environment; devised the successful and nationally noted Rochester Renaissance Plan; and transformed the undergraduate experience into one built squarely on the ideals of research.

There is no charge for this event, but reservations are required. Please contact the Office of College Advancement at (800) 281.2055 to register. Tavern on the Green is located at Central Park at West 67th Street.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

"Without a Trace" is the most consistently good entertainment program I see on TV (and at work we see at lot of TV). Though it's not, I believe, that realistic.
Sen. Robert "Sheets" Byrd (pace Rush) said tonight on "Hannity & Colmes" that the Sermon on the Mount had persuaded him to leave the KKK. Now, I'm against the KKK and I love the Sermon on the Mount, but wouldn't 1 Corinthians 12:13, Galatians 3:28, or Colossians 3:11 have been more relevant choices (all "neither slave nor free, Jew nor Greek" chapters). I don't know, it just seems a silly attribution to me.
I may be coming down with a cold, which would be lousy.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Three of the five titles in "read regularly" were in Latin so I translated the other two.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

The New York intellectuals who wrote for Partisan Review and Commentary were called "the Family." Unlike Charles Manson's clan, they only killed in print. (Walter Kirn likened them to "literary mobsters but without the actual Mafia's occasional spasms of mercy for its own.")
From the NY Sun:


The Rev. Walter H. Halloran, a priest who took part in an exorcism that spawned the book and move "The exorcist," died Tuesday in Milwaukee. He was age 83.

Halloran was the last living Jesuit who assisted in the exorcism in 1949 at a psychiatric unit in St. Louis. He was a 27-year-old Jesuit scholastic at Saint Louis University when a priest called him to the psychiatric wing at Alexian Brothers Hospital.

The Rev. William S. Bowdern was trying to help a 14-year-old boy who he believed was possessed by a demon, and he needed a strong man to help control the boy.

"The little boy would go into a seizure and get quite violent," Halloran told the St. Louis Post Dispatch in 1988. "So Father Bowdern asked me to hold him. Yes he did break my nose." Halloran said he saw streaks and arrows and words like "hell" on the boy's skin.

A three-paragraph news account of the incident inspired William Peter Blatty to write his 1971 best seller "The Exorcist," which led to the movie a few years latter. Blatty's story featured a 12-year-old girl.

Halloran earned two Bronze Stars for serving as a paratrooper chaplain during the Vietnam War, the oldest airborne chaplain at the time at 48.
The Musketeer
Category IV - The

You have a small, highly edited social group, and
you like it that way.

What Type of Social Entity are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Friday, March 04, 2005

Rich Lowry on National Review Online:
(following emphasis mine)
The Texas case came about because in 2002 a homeless man named Thomas Van Orden — on his way to idling the day away at the State Law Library — noticed the display on the grounds of the Texas state capitol. As it happens, Van Orden has a law degree (is this an over-lawyered country or what?). With nothing else to do with his time, he sued. The display had been up since 1961, and in 40 years, no one in Texas had noticed the state was trying to establish a religion.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

What Video Game Character Are You? I am Kong.I am Kong.

Strong and passionate, I tend to be misunderstood, sometimes even feared. I don't want to fight, I don't want to cause trouble, all I ask is a little love, and a little peace. If I don't get what I want, I get angry, and throw barrels and flaming oil at whatever's stopping me. What Video Game Character Are You?
Book Game
Here are the rules:
1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the next 3 sentences on your blog along with these instructions.
5. Don’t you dare dig for that “cool” or “intellectual” book in your closet! I know you were thinking about it! Just pick up whatever is closest.

This, however, neither interrupted their mirth nor their diversion, nor gave the least truce to the lamentations of Sancho, who prayed and cursed by turns as he flew. Indeed, nothing of this sort, either could or did avail him, until, leaving off, out of pure weariness, they thought fit to wrap him up in his great coat, and set him on his donkey again. The compassionate Maritornes seeing him so much fatigued, thought he would be the better for a drink of water, which, that it might be cooler, she fetched from the well; and Sancho had just put the mug to his lips, when his drink was halted, by the voice of his master, who cried aloud, "Son Sancho, drink not water, drink not that which will be the occasion of thy death, my son; behold this most sacred balsam, (holding up the cruet of potion in his hand) two drops of which will effectually cure thee."

Don Quixote by Miquel de Cervantes, translated by Tobias Smollett

(from JMT)
I believe I've done one of these before, but here it is again.

You're Cambodia!

Life's been really rough, but it's slowly improving.  You know
way too much about the skeletal structure of humans, mostly from being forced to study
it.  This has given you a fear of many things, most especially the color red.
 The future has to be more promising though, and your greatest adversary can now
never come back to hurt you any more.

the Country Quiz at the href="">Blue Pyramid