Tag Archive for culture

Terrifying Tales of the Late Jack Chick

I grew up in the 1980s loving Halloween: carving fantastic faces in pumpkins and toasting the seeds, dressing up in homemade costumes, prowling the neighborhood scaring my friends and collecting candy and treats from our moms and assorted little old ladies. The only hint of Hell was on the news the night before: the annual bout of arson and mayhem in Detroit that had been dubbed Devil’s Night. Beyond that Halloween was, for me, good clean fun. But we kids had heard hints of another side to the sugar-fueled frivolity — of tampered candy and razor-infested apples, of pagan rites and

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‘Aesthetic Witnesses’: Using
Beauty to Build the Kingdom

“Art must make perceptible, and as far as possible attractive, the world of the spirit, of the invisible, of God.” – Pope Saint John Paul II The quote above is taken from Pope John Paul II’s “Letter to Artists,” published on Easter Sunday in 1999. I’ve been reflecting on that letter in terms of the saint’s call, beginning in the late 1970s, for a new evangelization, and also in the context of young Karol Wojtyla’s cultural resistance efforts with the Rhapsodic Theater during the period of Nazi control of Poland. The more I reflect, the more convinced I become that

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Living in a World of Delusion, Part II

While writing my last blog entry, Living in a World of Delusion, I recalled an iconic scene from the classic 1999 science fiction film The Matrix. In the scene Morpheus holds a little capsule in each of his palms and proposes a choice to Neo. “This is your last chance. After this there is no turning back. You take the blue pill-the story ends, you wake up in bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill-you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes. Remember, all I’m offering is the

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Only One Way Out

I had at least four ideas for posts this week, but only energy enough for this one. We live in a country on a downward spiral. The two front-runners in our current presidential race are, I fear, bad people. Not bad like they have bad ideas or  I don’t agree with them — though both of those things are true. Bad as in not good. As a country, we have enough experience and history with the Clintons to guess the sort of people they are: power-hungry, elitist, vindictive, and predatory. And the Donald makes no attempt to hide what he is: opportunistic, unprincipled, selfish, and

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Words Have Meaning

A little while back I ran across this short, clear summary of the reality of gender and gender norms by Theology of the Body scholar and popularizer Christoper West, entitled “A De-Gendered Society Is Bound to De-Generate.” Three things struck me about this piece. First, it explains what’s wrong with idea of gender fluidity, for the lay person, pretty clearly,  in about 600 words. Second, it boggles the mind by introducing a new chart of gender symbols (click to see it full-scale) and explaining, essentially, that Facebook now offers 50 options or so for gender, plus a fill-in-the-blank if you can’t “find yourself”

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Still Time to Write Good Things On the Sky

During a long road trip this past week, I had the opportunity to listen to an audiobook version of The Wise Men Know What Wicked Things Are Written on the Sky, a volume of eleven lectures by Russell Kirk, sponsored by the Heritage Foundation and given delivered in the 1980s. The theme of the lectures was whether, on the heels of President Reagan’s election, our country was conceivably at the beginning of an “augustan age” which would see us reclaim the ideals and virtues of our forefathers and our sense of mission in this world. These lectures were a followup to an earlier series

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“The Bubble” and the Escriva Option

As a Junto, we’ve talked about and around the issue of to what extent we should circle the wagons and protect our beautiful Catholic bubble in the face of a hostile culture, versus answer the call to live, suffer, and possibly die as missionaries, bringing the Gospel to that culture. This past week, author and scholar Brad Birzer shared this thought-provoking article from Crisis Magazine, contrasting what’s been called the “Benedict Option” with  the vision St. Josemaria Escriva. Though my interest in the good saint has not diminished since I began to learn about him a few years back, the article has rekindled

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Kill the Wabbits: The Case for ‘Fecundophobia’

I’m on vacation, but I’ve found an article to share that more than makes up for anything I could have written and didn’t. It’s from The Federalist website: a post called “Fecundophobia: The Growing Fear of Children and Fertile Women,” and it makes a pretty compelling (if unscientific at this point) case that the media, the government, and the culture have moved beyond pro-Choice to pro-Sterility. It even manages to be humorous at times — well worth the read, even if only as a reminder of where we’re headed and why it matters. Not that Scripture matters to these folks,

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Women and Beer: A Pro-Choice Post

Despite my apparent inability to pour a beer without spilling at our last meeting, I do love a good brew and enjoy trying new beers as often as I can find and afford them. As a family man, however, I have avoided certain beers based on the content of their labels. The brewing industry has long used sex to sell its product; I generally steer clear of the more risque, tasteless, or immoral labels. I simply don’t want these labels in the house, and given the volume of new beers being produced, I’m never at a loss to find something else to

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The Rainbow Road

“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many. How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few.”  — Matthew 7:13-14   My heart aches to think how much we’ve lost to gain so small a fiction as “equality.” We were created equal in dignity; beautifully different in all else — each of us a unique image of Christ bearing a unique cross along a unique path to Paradise. But we want sameness. We fear

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