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Faith

On The Road Through Nothingness

On The Road Through Nothingness It’s rare to see a positive story about the Catholic Church in the mainstream media, especially in newer online-only publications like Slate, but Harold Fickett, a Godspy contributing editor, managed to publish an essay there recently about the Clear Creek Monastery, a new and growing contemplative Benedictine monastery in Kansas, and the wider story of how Catholic religious communities are attracting young people. It could be that the critical success of the three-hour documentary, Into Great Silence, which had a long run at Manhattan’s Film Forum in 2007, left an impression on the editors. The appeal of that movie is captured in Harold’s ending: “From its rich liturgical rites to the pastoral details of its life as a working farm, as the monks raise sheep, make furniture, tend their orchard, and care for a huge vegetable garden, Clear Creek is what a monastery is meant to be—a sign of paradise. Father Anderson says, ‘We were only a bunch of bums, but by becoming nothing, you can be a part of something great.’" READ MORE >

(3) COMMENTS  |  TOPICS:    clear creek | monasteries | monks

Business

The Fleecing of America

Yes, greed fueled the crisis, but Cohen pinpoints what's unique about our penchant for financial manias: "...the U.S. economy is being socialized to the tune of $700 billion ($2,000 for every man, woman and child in the country) as a result of a giant mortgage-related Ponzi scheme... Let’s be clear: this is an American mess forged by the American genius for new-fangled financial instruments in an era where the mantra has been that government is dumb and the markets are smart and risk is non-existent." READ MORE >


Faith

An interview with Chris Hedges: “I don’t believe in atheists”

"…Not believing in sin is very dangerous. I think both the Christian right and the New Atheists in essence don't believe in their own sin, because they externalize evil. Evil is always something out there that can be eradicated. For the New Atheists, it's the irrational religious hordes. I mean, Sam Harris, at the end of his first book, asks us to consider a nuclear first strike on the Arab world. Both Hitchens and Harris defend the use of torture. Of course, they're great supporters of preemptive war, and I don't think this is accidental…" READ MORE >


Business

How business can save the world

“Can businesspeople really be counted on to foster virtue? It's a shaky proposition when profits are at stake. In a 2005 debate in Reason magazine, Whole Foods founder and CEO John Mackey articulated his vision of virtuous, socially responsible business. ‘Human nature isn't just about self-interest,’ Mackey wrote, paraphrasing Adam Smith. ‘It also includes sympathy, empathy, friendship, love, and the desire for social approval. As motives for human behavior, these are at least as important as self-interest. For many people, they are more important.’" READ MORE >

(0) COMMENTS  |  TOPICS:    business | virtue

Issues

For the Children: David Blankenhorn and Kay S. Hymowitz on marriage

“The material Blankenhorn amasses establishes that far from a private relationship to satisfy adult needs, marriage is a social institution to meet social needs. Against this argument the case for same-sex marriage cannot stand… [A]ccepting same-sex marriage means accepting same-sex parenthood, by whatever means a child is acquired. This will deny the child the very benefit marriage was instituted to confer on him. Blankenhorn characterizes Andrew Sullivan's argument as ‘reeking of narcissism’ and demanding that ‘we worry less about children and more about adults.’" READ MORE >

(0) COMMENTS  |  TOPICS:    children | divorce | marriage | same-sex

Faith

Pope: Why the ‘dual-unity’ of man and woman is important

“[it] is based on the foundation of the dignity of every person, created in the image and likeness of God, who ‘created them male and female’ (Genesis 1:27), as much avoiding an indistinct uniformity and flattened-out and impoverished equality as an abysmal and conflictive difference … This dual-unity carries with it, inscribed in bodies and souls, the relation with the other, love for the other, interpersonal communion that shows that ‘the creation of man is also marked by a certain likeness to the divine communion.’ When, therefore, men or women pretend to be autonomous or totally self-sufficient, they risk being closed up in a self-realization … which in fact reduces them to an oppressive solitude.” READ MORE >

(2) COMMENTS  |  TOPICS:    gender | genesis | man | marriage | sexuality | woman

Issues

Anglican bishops decry the ‘new creed’ of extreme capitalism

A trillion for the Iraq War, almost as much to rescue Wall Street, but basic health care for all is too expensive? Why aren't Christian leaders in the U.S. saying as much? In England it's a different story: "[T]he Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, warned in a magazine article that modern devotion to the free market is a form of idolatry and that Karl Marx was morally right in his analysis of the power of 'unbridled capitalism.' He believes that Marx's economic theories, as implemented by authoritarian state regimes, have proved equally wrong and harmful to unfettered market ideology, but that the protest against a greed-driven system is one that should be taken seriously." READ MORE >


Faith

Benedict’s Discomforting Message

"Benedict directly challenged an assumption so many Americans make about religion: that it is a matter of private devotion with few public implications. Not true, said the pope. 'Any tendency to treat religion as a private matter must be resisted,' he told the country’s Catholic bishops Wednesday. 'Only when their faith permeates every aspect of their lives do Christians become truly open to the transforming power of the Gospel.' That is a demanding and unsettling standard for the right and the left alike... This is the thinking of a communitarian counseling against radical individualism... Perhaps it is the task of the leader of the Roman Catholic Church to bring discomfort to a people so thoroughly shaped by modernity, as we Americans are. If so, Benedict is succeeding." READ MORE >


Science/Tech

Big Brain Theory: Have Cosmologists Lost Theirs?

“It could be the weirdest and most embarrassing prediction in the history of cosmology, if not science… If true, it would mean that you yourself reading this article are more likely to be some momentary fluctuation in a field of matter and energy out in space than a person with a real past born through billions of years of evolution in an orderly star-spangled cosmos… If you are inclined to skepticism this debate might seem like further evidence that cosmologists… have finally lost their minds.” READ MORE >

(0) COMMENTS  |  TOPICS:    big bang | cosmology

Issues

Pat Robertson Endorses Giuliani for President

Pat Robertson puts the “War on Terror” and Christian nationalism ahead of the Gospel and traditional values, and confirms liberal claims that the Christian Right is interested in power, not piety. READ MORE >

(0) COMMENTS  |  TOPICS:    giuliani | politics

Issues

Human Therapeutic Cloning at a Standstill

READ MORE >

(0) COMMENTS  |  TOPICS:    bioethics | cloning | eggs

Culture

What’s Behind Steroids? A Culture of Fear

"We must openly address not only the drug issues plaguing the sports we love, but the culture of fear that shakes our society... We’re scared of failure, aging, vulnerability, leaving too soon, being passed up — and in the quest to conquer these fears, we are inspired by those who do whatever it takes to rise above and beat these odds. We call it 'drive' or 'ambition,' but when doing 'whatever it takes' leads us down the wrong road, it can erode our humanity. The game ends up playing us..." READ MORE >

(0) COMMENTS  |  TOPICS:    baseball | fear | steroids

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