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Archive For: Religion

Remembering Chesterton

Chesterton PhotoAn American tourist remembers seeing him standing in the doorway of a pie shop, writing a poem. At 6’2” with a tremendous girth, he most resembled an upright blimp. With his untidy clothes, unruly hair and mustache, he was a familiar figure on London’s Fleet Street, sometimes composing his articles while walking, occasionally leaning against a wall to write, but most often seated in a café.… Read More

 

Pope Francis on the Care of the Earth

Argentine Flag 18479116_sPope Francis’ latest encyclical is titled Laudato Si: On the Care of Our Common Home. In it he follows the lead of his namesake, St. Francis of Assisi, speaking of the Earth as our Sister and Mother and lamenting its being “burdened and laid waste,” much like “the most abandoned and maltreated of our poor.”

As soon as it was published, the encyclical drew praise and criticism from unusual quarters.… Read More

 

The Most Frightening Words in Scripture

Forgiveness,27626284_sThe most frightening words in all of Scripture are the ones most of us repeat every day: “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”

It’s all too easy to rattle off these words without thinking of their implication. And that’s what is frightening. The Lord’s Prayer petitions God to be only as forgiving of us as we are of others. And that is like saying, “Lord, if we don’t forgive others, don’t forgive us.” Our very petition can thus be a self-condemnation.… Read More

 

Why Catholic Numbers Are Declining

Catholic Church_sAccording to the latest Pew research, the American Catholic population has declined by 3 million in the last seven years. Today 41% of people who had been raised Catholic are no longer Catholic. Some have joined other churches, while others have no religious affiliation.

What is causing this decline? The main reason is cultural. Spirituality and morality are now considered a matter of personal taste or preference, which means that formal religion, particularly a dogmatic religion like Catholicism, is regarded as irrelevant.… Read More

 

Obama’s Conflicted Faith

Obama SpeakingIs Barack Obama a Christian? His answer has consistently been, “Yes,” yet his critics continue to doubt his veracity. I believe it is pointless to keep asking the same question again and again. Instead, we should ask the more meaningful question, How can his Christianity best be described?

Suppose a friend claims Coors is his favorite beer but drinks Budweiser. Suppose another extols Fords but buys Chevrolets.Read More

 

Condescension and Religion

Condescension 8568588_sI used to think the mocking expression Nyeah, nyeah children repeat in a lilting chant was an English language phenomenon, until I heard children chanting it in Spanish some years ago in the Mediterranean town of Torremolinos. I learned later that it is common in many other languages, as well.

Nyeah, Nyeah is a childish way of letting others know that we think we are, at least in some respects, superior to them.… Read More

 

“I Am Charlie”? Really?

Protesters, Banner2336148_sAfter the French magazine Charlie Hebdo ran a series of cartoons satirizing Mohammed, the Koran, and Islamic religious leaders, Islamic terrorists attacked their Paris office and killed twelve people while shouting, “We have avenged the prophet Mohammed” and “Allah is great.”

The world was horrified at the news, but a defiant mood quickly arose. “I am Charlie” banners appeared on buildings and in newspapers and magazines to show solidarity with the victims.… Read More

 

The Denigration of Women, Part IV

22796704_sPart I: Having affected the lives of half the members of the human race in innumerable ways for millennia, the denigration of women is clearly the greatest single injustice in human history and continues to be a stain on culture and religion alike. Part II and Part III: The Church has contributed to the denigration of women. The key to correcting this mistake lies in Christ’s commandment to love one’s neighbor.Read More

 

The Denigration of Women in History, Part III

Vatican, St Peters, 16991911_sPart I: Having affected the lives of half the members of the human race in innumerable ways for millennia, the denigration of women is clearly the greatest single injustice in human history and continues to be a stain on culture and religion alike. Part II: The Church can correct its role in this denigration by identifying elements of unloving conduct toward women that exist in its teachings and replacing them with thoughts and behavior more in keeping with Christ’s commandment to love one’s neighbor.
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The Denigration of Women, Part II

St Peters Rome 30202827_sAfter illustrating the historical denigration of women from ancient times in virtually every culture and religion, Part I of this essay ended with this sentence: “Having affected the lives of half the members of the human race in innumerable ways for millennia, the denigration of women is clearly the greatest single injustice in human history and continues to be a stain on culture and religion alike.”

What can be done to correct this historic injustice?… Read More