Whether we like it or not, there’s a certain amount of marketing involved in promoting parties, platforms, and candidates. It’s occurred to me that the Libertarian Party needs a mascot. The Democrats have a donkey. Republicans have an elephant. The Libertarians don’t have a mascot. I propose a snake. Specifically, it’s the eastern diamondback rattlesnake found in the Gadsden flag.
I met my wife three years ago in northern Quebec, and at the time she could barely speak English and I could barely speak French. Now that we are both proficient in each other’s language, one of the great joys of our married life has been to introduce each other to the literature of our respective languages. I will never forget the day she finished “To Kill a Mockingbird.” She fell in love that day with the English language and has explored dozens of authors since, from C.S. Lewis to J.D. Salinger to Margaret Atwood.
Now my wife is thinking of becoming Roman Catholic (she was one of the few Evangelical Baptists in Quebec when I met her). She has asked me for books to read that will give her sense of what the RC religion is all about. This has got me asking myself: what is the “To Kill a Mockingbird” of modern Catholic literature–by which I mean the most gripping, readable book that should be every newcomer’s first introduction to the RC faith? She is presently reading Ste-Therese of Lisieux’s “Story of a Soul,” which, though excellent, is not exactly Catholic 101. She is already a well-read Christian, and has basically exhausted C.S. Lewis.
This poster is awesome. Okay, yeah, Lincoln, Jefferson, and Franklin probably were not thorough atheists, but they certainly had the fortitude to reject religious claims based on their own reasoned analysis. Darwin probably wouldn’t classify as a thorough atheist either, but he recognized the value of skepticism, too.
The lesson to take is that you don’t have to fall lock-step into any religious tradition to be a great person or do great things. Exercise your own mind and never underestimate your own ability to see through the lies of others, even when they tell them forcefully, with great conviction. And watch out, because you might be lying to yourself, too.
“There were practical reasons for the fact that [the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy] was the first [of Vatican II]. Yet looking back, we have to say that this made good sense in terms of the structure of the Council as a whole: worship, adoration, comes first. And thus God does….The Constitution on the Church, which then followed as the Council’s second text, should be seen as being inwardly bracketed together with it. The Church derives from adoration, from the task of glorifying God. Ecclesiology, of its nature, has to do with liturgy. And so it is logical, too, that the third Constitution talks about the Word of God, which calls the Church together and is at all times renewing her. The Fourth Constitution shows how the glory of God presents itself in an ethos, how the light we have received from God is carried out into the world, how only thus can God be fully glorified. In the period following the Council, of course, the Constitution on the Liturgy was understood, no longer on the basis of this fundamental primacy of adoration, but quite simply as a recipe book concerned with what we can do with the liturgy. In the meantime many liturgical experts, rushing into consideration about how we can shape the liturgy in a more attractive way, to communicate better, so as to get more and more people actively involved, have apparently quite lost sight of the fact that the liturgy is actually ‘done’ for God and not for ourselves. The more we do it for ourselves, however, the less it attracts people, because everyone can clearly sense that what is essential is increasingly eluding us.”
If the world is one big high school dance, then Christians, and especially Catholics, tend to be the wallflowers, while the rest of the world dances away in the center of the gym, usually not respecting the two basketball distance which universally defines chastity.Okay, I exaggerate: there have been some Catholics who got their groove on while remaining good Catholics: St. Francis of Assisi comes to mind, and so does St. Philip Neri.(The latter was the guy who put the bucket of water over the slightly opened door so that it spilled on the principal when he made his appearance.It was all in good fun, though.)
The wallflowers sit out dance after dance with good reason, mind you.There is not much going on at half court which can be done in good conscience.The kids whispering by the foul line have mainly foul things to say.So I don’t blame the wallflowers, let’s be clear on that.
The problem is, the wallflowers have received a command from another man along the wall—the one whose crucified image in fact hangs on the wall of this gymnasium and who unfortunately has to watch the scene unfold too—a command ordering them to cut in and get people to dance to a different tune.But there is always the problem of what to say to the guy or gal whose dance you are interrupting…