Author Archive

Gadgets and Grace

If God attempts to communicate with Americans or other westerners these days, chances are He’ll get a busy signal. Our romance with cell phones, not to mention laptops and tablets, video games, music devices, and other electronic gadgets has passed the point of preoccupation and in some cases has reached obsession. Many of us are […]

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A Christian View Of Self

“That I feed the hungry, that I forgive an insult, that I love my enemy in the name of Christ—all these are undoubtedly great virtues . . . But what if I should discover that the least among them all, the poorest of all the beggars, the most impudent of all the offenders, the very […]

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The Decline Of Thinking

An interesting observation about the prevalence of inconsistencies and contradictions is making the email rounds. “Food for Thought” by someone named or pen-named Junius P. Long is a simple list of eleven examples, including these: Children need a note from parents to bring an aspirin to school but not to get an abortion. We need […]

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Albert Einstein and Socialism

Someone recently sent me an article noting Albert Einstein’s favorable view of Socialism. Knowing that I have been critical of socialist ideas in the past, he asked whether Einstein’s statements changed my mind. It was a fair question. After all, Einstein is widely considered one of the great scientific thinkers of all time, so it […]

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Lessons From Ferguson

The tragic events in Ferguson, Missouri in August 2014 illustrate clearly how belief shapes people’s judgments and reactions. The initial report contained little more than the fact that a white police officer had shot and killed Michael Brown, an 18-year-old black high school graduate soon to enter college. But for many people that was enough […]

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Scandal and Inspiration

Some stories are scandalous, others inspirational, but seldom does the same story merit both adjectives. “The Lavish Homes of American Archbishops,” does. First the scandal. The story notes, with vivid pictures, that 10 out of 34 U.S. Catholic Archbishops live in homes valued at over $1 million. For example: New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan lives […]

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Politics And The Pulpit

The question of whether politics should have a place in the pulpit has been with us for decades. At times dormant, it has arisen again as the 2014 elections draw near, and it poses a dilemma for religious leaders. The IRS rules forbid religious groups from direct or indirect involvement in political campaigns or for […]

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What Happened To Catholicism?

Catholics old enough to remember how different the Church was fifty or so years ago often wonder what happened to change it. The most common answer is the Second Vatican Council happened. But that answer raises more questions: What happened at that Council? What changed as a result? And were those changes theologically and/or philosophically […]

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Catholic Bishops and Immigration

In June, 2014, speaking for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Bishop Mark Seitz testified before the House Judiciary Committee on the undocumented immigration crisis. In published form, that testimony runs 15 pages. Criticizing a document focused on moral theology is risky because the critic can all too easily be dismissed as irreligious, unenlightened, […]

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Christians and Karma

Christians are not noted for learning from people of different faiths. In fact, many Christians seem to believe that even considering a perspective that differs from their own is borderline sinful. That is unfortunate because examining others’ views can often deepen our own. A good example of this is the concept of karma. Karma is […]

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