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News > World

Coptic priest Zakaria Botros fights fire with fire

“The very public conversion of high-profile Italian journalist Magdi Allam — who was baptized by Pope Benedict in Rome on Saturday — is only the tip of the iceberg. Indeed, Islamic cleric Ahmad al-Qatani stated on al-Jazeera TV a while back that some six million Muslims convert to Christianity annually, many of them persuaded by Botros’s public ministry… Many Western critics fail to appreciate that, to disempower radical Islam, something theocentric and spiritually satisfying — not secularism, democracy, capitalism, materialism, feminism, etc. — must be offered in its place. The truths of one religion can only be challenged and supplanted by the truths of another. And so Father Zakaria Botros has been fighting fire with fire.” READ MORE >

(1) COMMENT  |  TOPICS:    conversion | islam | zakaria botros

News > Movies

Apocalypse Now?

Apocalypse Now? "On a recent Saturday night, I went to the movies. Walking past the theater showing 'I Am Legend' (plague kills most of humanity), I opted to watch 'Cloverfield' (inexplicably angry alien destroys Manhattan) instead. After sitting through back-to-back previews for 'Hellboy II: The Golden Army' (ancient truce between Hell and Earth is revoked, resulting in mass destruction) and 'Doomsday' (lethal virus ravages England, a disease-ridden cinematic cousin to '28 Days Later' and 'Children of Men'), I found myself disturbed. The End of Days suddenly seemed imminent. Should I cancel my post-movie dinner reservation? What's with all this apocalyptic entertainment, I wondered, and what does it say about those of us who are filling the theater seats?" READ MORE >

(1) COMMENT  |  TOPICS:    apocalpse | god | nihilism

News > Issues

Catholic College Leaders Expect Pope to Deliver Stern Message

"School presidents insist that truth-seeking is part of their institutional purpose. 'Every university is committed to the pursuit of truth,' said Georgetown President John J. DeGioia, 'and we want to ensure that there is the opportunity for both academic freedom and for the free exchange of ideas and opinions across all issues.' But David Gibson, the author of a Benedict biography, said the pope will ask, 'If you're not going to be an authentically Catholic, orthodox institution, why should you exist?'" READ MORE >

(1) COMMENT  |  TOPICS:    education | orthodoxy

News > Politics

Hating Hillary: Getting to the bottom of a cultural trend that has seeped into the church

“…when vigorous political discourse turns into bashing of public figures, it perpetuates a great lie: that they are merely the ideologies and symbols attached to them. When a candidate's ideology is mistaken for his or her personhood, it masks a crucial truth: that each person, no matter their political views, bears God's image and matters deeply to him. While pundits see candidates as punching bags, evangelicals are supposed to see candidates as, well, people. As we ponder how candidates are ‘fearfully and wonderfully made,’ we may haltingly come to realize that the most bold and courageous thing we each could do this election season, no matter who we vote for, is this: Love Hillary.” READ MORE >

(1) COMMENT  |  TOPICS:    hate | hillary clinton

News > Politics

Obama: Is it all about him?

“[According to Michelle Obama,] America’s illness goes far beyond a flawed political process: “Barack knows that at some level there’s a hole in our souls.” But they can be repaired… ‘Barack Obama... is going to demand that you shed your cynicism. That you put down your divisions. That you come out of your isolation, that you move out of your comfort zones. That you push yourselves to be better. And that you engage. Barack will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual, uninvolved, uninformed.' So we don’t have to work to improve our souls. Our broken souls can be fixed — by our voting for Barack Obama.” READ MORE >

(1) COMMENT  |  TOPICS:    barack obama | cynicism | elections

News > Issues

Artist hanged herself after aborting her twins

Her suicide note read: 'I told everyone I didn't want to do it, even at the hospital. I was frightened, now it is too late...' The inquest heard that Sylvia Beck, the victim's mother, wrote to the hospital after her daughter's death, saying: 'I want to know why she was not given the opportunity to see a counsellor. She was only going ahead with the abortion because her boyfriend did not want the twins. I believe this is what led Emma to take her own life - she could not live with what she had done.' The doctor said: 'I discussed Emma's situation with her, and wrote on the form, 'Unsupported, lives alone, ex-partner aware.'" READ MORE >

(1) COMMENT  |  TOPICS:    abortion | post-traumatic | suicide

Reviews > Movies

California Burning

California Burning “A strange and enthralling evocation of frontier capitalism and manifest destiny set at the dawn of the 20th century… There's hardly a dull moment. Digs collapse, gushers burst into flame, God metes out punishment and so does man. Revelations overturn the narrative: The last 20 minutes are as shocking in their way as the plague that rains from the sky in Magnolia's finale. By the time the closing words "There Will Be Blood" appear (with a burst of Brahms) inscribed in heavy gothic letters on the screen, Anderson's movie has come to seem an Old Testament story of cosmic comeuppance and filicidal madness—American history glimpsed through the smoke and fire that the lightning left behind.” READ MORE >


News > Politics

Who will Catholics vote for in November—Obama or McCain?

“Sorry to tell you this, Sen. McCain, but a good number of the Catholics I know are not certain to light candles at the Republican political altar. Some of us who rode McCain's Straight Talk Express before the Republican commitment to a balanced budget put us on track toward a $400 billion deficit appreciate his confessed desire to redeem himself as a faithful conservative. But there are suspicions. After all, hanging out with Joe Lieberman and Russ Feingold comes well within the Latin canon: Similes similibus gaudent. Pares cum paribus facile congregantur—birds of a feather flock together.” READ MORE >

(1) COMMENT  |  TOPICS:    catholic | election | mccain | obama | voters

News > Faith

N.T. Wright says don’t think heaven, think Resurrection

“Our culture is very interested in life after death, but the New Testament is much more interested in what I've called the life after life after death — in the ultimate resurrection into the new heavens and the new Earth... John Polkinghorne, a physicist and a priest, has put it this way: ‘God will download our software onto his hardware until the time he gives us new hardware to run the software again for ourselves.’ That gets to two things nicely: that the period after death is a period when we are in God's presence but not active in our own bodies, and also that the more important transformation will be when we are again embodied and administering Christ's kingdom.” READ MORE >

(1) COMMENT  |  TOPICS:    heaven | resurrection

Opinion > Issues

Former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Dies

Former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Dies Over on his Tumblr, Radar Online Editor Alex Balk takes a moment to note the passing of former secretary of agriculture Earl Butz. First, he lauds fellow blogger Daniel Radosh for being willing to print what the papers won’t, namely, the actual quote that eventually led to Butz’s booting. The NY Times wrote: “he described blacks as ‘coloreds’… READ MORE >


News > Politics

Weird Times, Weirder Election

"In this crazy year, the election may finally come down to how many Democrats — scared that they don’t know enough about Obama, or know too much about the Clintons — will vote for a veteran pro like McCain. Or, on the flip side, how many “true” conservatives will stay home in November to ensure that a liberal wins the White House just to prove their purity." READ MORE >

(1) COMMENT  |  TOPICS:    elections

Opinion > Faith

Fasting: Hunger in the Service of Communion

Lent is traditionally described as a season of “self-denial.” So we find ourselves thinking about what to give up. We may give up chocolate, or beer, and find ourselves lamenting over them before Lent is over. Others object, and speak instead about “doing something positive” for Lent. Rather than giving something up they advocate taking… READ MORE >

(1) COMMENT  |  TOPICS:    fasting | hunger | jesus | lent

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