Thursday, March 29, 2007

HOT OFF THE PRESS!: CliffNotes on Liturgy

Cliffnotes on Liturgy are set to be published in conjunction with the Pontifical Office of the Liturgical Police

Pachelbel, He's Everywhere.

Thanks to my roommate for this one.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

John McCain's MySpace Page is Pranked.

Story Here.

Apparently McCain was using images hosted on Mike Davidson's website. In turn every time someone entered McCain's MySpace Page it would download the images from Davidson's site using up valuable bandwidth and running up the bill for Davidson. In sort, McCain was stealing.

Mike Davidson got a little annoyed, so he decided to edit his personal site a little. He changed the picture that McCain was using to read: "Today I announce that I have reversed my position and come out in full support of gay marriage... particularly marriage between two passionate females."

Go Here to read Mike Davidson's account of the prank.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

New Efforts to End Liturgical Abuses

From the Pontifical Office of the Liturgical Police: Father Ron Ronson just recently announced the new seemingly drastic measure the office is taking to prevent Liturgical Abuses. It is being called the "Flyer Campaign" and is designed to speak not to a person's reasoning mind but to persuade and beckon a person's heart to end Liturgical Abuses. In response to early criticism about the on-hand preview of flyers, Father Ron had the following to say: "Harsh. I suppose it could seem that way. What is harsh? What is harsh is abuse. Abuse of any sort is a grave evil. There are people in this world who can't receive valid sacraments because of these abuses. There are people whose souls are being murdered by bad liturgists and priests. Woe to them. So no, I do not think there is anything harsh about the "Flyer Campaign."

Below are samples of the flyers to be handed out and posted in churches.

This flyer is called Bunny Punch. Don't make Beth do something she doesn't want to do.

This flyer has been dubbed Caring Kitten If not for your fellow person, then do it for the kittens.

This final flyer on hand ties into the long held love/hate relationship between France and America. This flyer received the most harsh criticism of all.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Habemus Magnam Papam: We Have a Super Pope

Super Pope Episode 1: Can't keep a bad demon down. Here is a short flash anime which engages the Super Pope with a Demon. It is very much worth a watch.

The Price of Cute

Japan's New Mini-Car
...Sasao knew Alto looked a lot like her Pino and was quite a bit cheaper. Pino starts at about $8,600, while Alto starts at $5,600. But she still was willing to spend more -- and take out a six-year auto loan -- for the Pino because she thought it was so much cuter...
Clearly the price of cute is $3,000. At least for a car.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Local Bishop Flunks Confused Teen: Confirmation Delayed.

The following is an excerpt from a preconfirmation interview between Local Bishop and Confused Teen.

Bishop: As I do with all my confirmation teens in the diocese, I take the option to interview each and see what it is they have learned and why it is they want to get confirmed. Since it is Lent, I think it fitting that the first question be Lent related. So, what was Christ doing for 40 days in the desert?

Confused Teen: I’m not really 100% sure what he was doing in dessert. In fact, I don’t even know how he got there. So I think the better question is not what he was doing in the dessert but how he got into the dessert in the first place. Before he could go into the dessert, he would need to have first the dessert. So I would imagine that he spent time preparing the dessert before he got into it. It would most certainly have been a divine dessert, like maybe angel food cake, but only better. Devil’s food is right out, but clearly it was a temptation for Him while he was in the dessert. We know this because the bible says he was tempted by the Devil in the dessert. That can only mean Devil’s food.

I would also imagine that since it is a divine dessert it would be a large cake. It would seem strange that Jesus to build a cake, but perhaps he was baking a large cake, so that he could jump out and surprise people at the resurrection.

Bishop : I think you misunderstood…

Confused Teen: Hold on Bishop. I’m on a role.

So that brings us back to your question: what was he doing in the dessert for 40 days? Well he wasn’t in the cake the entire 40 days. The bible says he was both out and in the dessert. Clearly it is a reference to the time Christ spent building his cake. But after building the cake he hopped in and sealed himself in the dessert. He need not worry about food, because he could have timed it right that he could eat himself out of the cake. This is proven from what he told the devil that “Man cannot live by bread alone.” Man also needs dessert.

Being in the dessert is not just about having your cake, but eating it too.

Bishop: That is perhaps the most unexpected answer I have ever received. Where do I even begin? First Christ was in the desert and not in dessert – one ‘s’ not two. I do believe that baked goods, other than bread, have little to do with Christ, regardless of heavenly names. However, as you probably learned in your religious education classes is that Christ was in the desert for 40 days because he was entering into a time of preparation before his ministry. Jesus went there to be tested, because part of preparing for a mission involves testing.

Jesus was also in the desert for 40 days because it echoes other events in salvation history where people were prepared for some length of time involving the number 40. First there was Moses who spent 40 days on Mount Sinai receiving God’s law. Then the Israelites wandered in the wilderness for 40 years before crossing over into the Promised Land. Lastly God gave the Ninivites 40 days to repent and turn back to God – those Ninivites, a bunch of fish slappers they were.

But that is why Christ was in the desert for 40 days and that is why we have 40 days of Lent. It is to prepare ourselves for the resurrection. A preparation for the 8th day and the first day in which we now live. It is a new stage of time that we are in that occurred at the resurrection. Just as the Israelites prepared themselves for the Promised Land for 40 years we too must prepare ourselves for Heaven.

I could go on this topic for much longer, but due to time constraints we will move on to the next question.

How does book 7 of Aristotle’s Metaphysics relate back to the Organon and his view of humanity’s teleology as stated in the Ethics? ……..

Priest explains danger of eliminating statute of limitations for abuse suits

Priest argues against an unjust and unfair attack on the Catholic Church in Maryland
(The following is the text of a Feb. 28 letter sent by Msgr. Mark Brennan, pastor of St. Martin of Tours Parish in Gaithersburg, to State Senator Jennie Forehand about a bill being considered by the Maryland Senate that would retroactively eliminate the statute of limitations for civil damage actions relating to child sexual abuse.) ...

I was quite surprised, on reading S.B. 575, to find that it did not repeal the 180-day time period for minors abused in public institutions to file suit nor remove the cap on damages that public institutions might be required to pay. One could either conclude that minors abused in public institutions are of less value than those in non-public institutions or - more correctly, I think - recognize that the state government is looking out for its own legitimate interests: protecting public funds for broad public purposes by limiting damages and imposing a time limit for the filing of suits (a very narrow time limit, it should be noted). If those are good reasons for the government to limit is liability over time and in dollars, why are private institutions not afforded the same consideration?

Harvard Club says yes to Abstinence.

Harvard club promotes abstinence
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Sometime between the founding of a student-run porn magazine and the day the campus health center advertised "Free Lube," Harvard University seniors Sarah Kinsella and Justin Murray decided to fight back against what they see as too much mindless sex at the Ivy League school.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The Great Gobal Warming Swindle

Not sure what to make of this, but it is an interesting response to Al Gore.

Stating the obvious

Nature doesn't care about the emotional well-being of older people. It's about the continuation of the species -- in other words, children.

A nice peice on family and children by the Prairie Home Companionist himself, Garrison Keillor.

Chruch of the Warm Fuzzies

Welcome Friend. Looks like you stumbled upon our promotional site for the Church of the Warm Fuzzies. Maybe you are asking yourself "What is the Church of the Warm Fuzzies?" Well, we are a loosely based biblical believing church located down the road from you -- that's right we have a number of branches through out the world. Although we are a nondenominational church, our church and our followers can be found in every denomination. We do not limit ourselves to Baptists, Methodists, Lutherans, or Catholics. We are a church of all for all. In other words, we are not exclusive, but we are highly inclusive.

Maybe you are curious as to whether or not this church is for you. We will leave that up to you. Here are a few of our tenets:
1. Struggle with sin? No problem. Really it is no problem. Come to us and we will tell you that it is not your fault that you sin. You were made that way. Whatever sin you struggle with is surely not bad. We will gladly tell you that what once was thought to be sin and evil is really a positive good that needs to be embraced. We want you to feel good about yourself.

2. Struggle with guilt? No problem again. Guilt is a by product of those sins that aren't really sins. Don't feel guilty. Fell Glad!

3. Don't like being challenged? No worries. We don't challenge our members in any way shape or form. We accept you for who you are and where you are, and we don't expect you to change.

4. Don't like the a certain Gospel teaching? That's cool too. The Bible is just a list of suggestions. So feel free to pick and choose what every you like.

5. Like to Sing? We have a church for you. Like to kneel and pray and do penance? I'm sure we can work something out.

6. Have a complaint about our church? Feel free to express your opinions. We will surely accommodate your views and wishes. After all it is all about you. (warning: if views expressed are not in line with our inclusive nature, you will be persecuted and branded a bigot or some kind of phobe.)

7. Our motto is "It's all about feeling good on the inside." So if you aren't feeling good on the inside come to us and we will do what ever it takes to make you feel good.

I hope to see you around our church sometime.

Have a feel good day,
Pastor Rule Bitter.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

A Good Glass of Beer: An Imitative Response to George Orwell's "A Nice Cup of Tea."

If you look up “beer” in the dictionary you might find a vague description of what beer is and how it is made. The definition might consist of, “an alcoholic beverage made from barley and hops using a slow fermentation process,” but this definition lands far from the intricacies of beer that all real beer drinkers know and love -- as it gives no guide to what a good beer is.

This is curious because beer has existed since before the pharaohs of Egypt. Festivals throughout the world have been established celebrating this drink of choice. But no guides have been successfully written declaring what a good beer is, which is quite shocking seeing as the mention of the subject can send a civilized individual into a violent fury if you disagree with his or her good beer of choice.

When I look through my own database of good beer, I find nine points of importance. On several of them there would be pretty general agreement, but there are others that standout as highly controversial. Here is my guide to good beer, every point of which I regard as golden:

First of all, America brews few good beers. You can drink American beers, but most were not designed for tasting — only getting drunk. So if your goal is to get drunk and reside half the night in the bathroom, or if looking for an economical beverage then please feel free to drink American. However, every good beer drinker should drink beer from Germany or Ireland (and the occasional Belgium Ale) — specifically, the Irish Stout and the German Ale. Anyone who has used the comforting phrase “a good beer” invariably means Irish or German beers.

Secondly, beer is properly made in small quantities — that is, not mass-produced from Budweiser. Because beers from these places are often water-downed and left tasting the same as every other overly produced beer. If the beer is made in large quantities the carbonization should be allowed to occur naturally through the slow fermentation (a rarity now a days), for any beer that has carbonization injected will surely be left tasteless.

Thirdly, beer should be served in a 19 oz. imperial pint glass. That way one is sure he or she will be receiving the full measurement. The glass can be frosted beforehand, although it is not recommended. This is done best by sticking it in the freezer until a lovely white frost has formed on the glass. Other methods of chilling such as: shoving it in the fridge, packing it with ice, or swirling cold water should not be considered, for they will forever be inferior to the freezer. The only other acceptable drinking visages are a frosted mug or bier stein – unless of course considering the Belgium Ale, which is a completely different beast. Any other visage is either far too sissy or will make your drink warm too quickly. Never drink beer from a paper or plastic cup. This is an insult to the drink, brew masters, and beer lovers.

Fourth, the beer should be strong and full of flavor. In a time of rationing — either financial or other – this is not an idea that can be realized every day of the week, but I maintain that one strong satisfying pint is better than twenty weak ones. All true beer drinkers enjoy their drink strong, which through time becomes naturally sweeter to the old-age pensioner’s pallet.

Fifthly, one should take the self to the beer and not the other way about. The brew should actually be drunk in a bar, pub, or tavern, for the atmosphere adds much to the flavor. Never should beer be drunk from a can or bottle (unless hindered by a lack of pubs or blue laws). Every true brew lover knows that the taste is changed for the worse when bottled or canned. Stick to draught at the pubs and taverns for fresh taste. Avoid clubs and disco techs for good beer: you will find none.

Sixthly, your ale or stout should be served with a good ¾ inch head. If drinking a good stout make sure it is double poured, and allowed to settle before enjoying.

Seventhly, beer is not to be sipped, nursed, or tossed back in a single go. It should be gulped and finished in 3-5 attempts — any more and the beer starts to become warm, any less and you cannot fully taste the flavor and experience the bouquet of the drink.

Eighthly, nothing should ever be added to your beer. If you need to add something to your drink, as is the custom with Mexican brews, than the beer is not naturally flavorful and therefore not worthy to be considered a real drink by true beer lovers and is useful only for making frequent visits to the bathroom. The only thing that should be added to beer is more beer either of the same kind or of another when making a mix.

Lastly, beer is not to be artificially sweet. It is by design to be bitter and not taste like lemon, apple, or raspberry. If it is sweetened, you no longer taste the barely and hops, you are merely tasting the sugar; they make similar sweet carbonated drinks called soft-drinks, sodas, or pop if you are looking for sugar. If you want a sweet alcoholic beverage try one of the 1000s of girly drinks. But still, how can you call yourself a true beer lover if the flavor of your beer has been destroyed by making it sweet? It would be equally reasonable to make it peppery or salty.

Some people would answer that they don’t like beer in itself, that they only drink it in order to get drunk, and they need the sugary taste to take the bitterness away. How insulting is this to the beer-lover. Never would one insult a champagne maker by telling him the only reason to drink champagne is to get drunk. To those misguided people I would say: try drinking a real beer --you probably have never had a real beer before only the water downed cheap American imitation. Try one from Germany or Ireland and it is very likely that you will never want to ruin your beer experience by ordering a low quality or sweet brew again.

These are not the only points to arise in connection with beer drinking, but they are sufficient to show how subtilized the whole business has become. There is also the mysterious social etiquette surrounding the pour (why is it considered vulgar to drink straight out of the tap, for instance?) and much might be written about the subsidiary uses of last few drops and bubbles left in the bottom of your glass, such as telling fortunes, predicting the arrival of visitors, feeding rabbits, healing burns and washing your hair.

Happy St. Paddy's Day

Feel free to read about the glorious saints who have influenced beer drinkers and holy people around the world.

The Beer Saints

Saints: With Beer on Their Sides

When the Saints go Malting In

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Good Friday

I know I'm a little early but here is me being a poet. I'm also out of town, so stay tuned till next week.

Good Friday

At your feet I lay my love.
A head hung in shame
from the site of the old tree.

One of three
pieces, a broken frame
at your feet I lay. My love.

It is a mystery
how I AM came
from the site of the old tree.

To open my eyes and see
at your right a Notre Dame
at your feet. I lay. My Love.

A beloved as if he
wished the same
from the site of the old tree.

Then to die and free
the world of vain.
At your feet I lay. My love
from the site of the old tree.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

A Reflection on the Movie "300"

I saw “300” last night. I was somewhat disappointed and somewhat pleased.

What I was displeased with:
1. The Writing: It lacked in anything of a good script -- as it was more akin to a long recited list of clich├ęs. On top of that every dialogue tried desperately to be intense, epic, and dramatic, which became boring and tedious after a while.

2. Violence: The movie itself was very bloody and consisted of a number of decapitations (think of Braveheart and times it by 2). In other words, it is more violent than any two Mel Gibson movies combined.

3. Random sex scenes: I still can’t figure out why directors and writers feel the need to insert a number of “erotic” and random sex scenes that provide no merit and impact the story line in absolutely no way. Truth be told there was no need for the random sex scenes and removal of said scenes would have taken little from the movie (maybe 10 min of film time); although, removal of the random sex scenes would have surely strengthened the plot. The sad fact is that there are a number of these needless scenes.

4. Voiceover: There was a voiceover, which randomly came and went through the movie. The speaker was supposed to be a Spartan telling the story of the “300” to the audience. However, this voiceover becomes annoying because it starts dictating to the audience what is occurring on screen. There were times when I wanted to reply back to the voice over “Yes I can see that! There is no need to tell me what I can already see! Now be quiet and let me watch the movie!” In other words, the voiceover gets in the way of the on screen action. Either tell me the story or show me the story – there is not a need for both.

5. Slow Motion: It is true that things are cooler in slow motion. However, that is not the case when half of the movie has been filmed in slow motion. Quick shots and random camera angels interwoven with the longer and more focused slow-motion shots does create an interesting effect and feeling, which strengthens and exaggerates the slow motion shots.

What I liked:

1. Cinematography: The Cinematography was great. Zack Snyder does a fantastic job in recreating the graphic novel feel on screen. It was filmed in a sepia tone, which seemed to lack in all things blue.

2. I’ll let you know if I can think of another thing I liked in it.

Overall: It was entertaining. Yet, I would not recommend it unless you have nothing better to do.

Here is what the USCCB says about the film.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Chastity is her mistress: Dawn Eden Comes to Wilmington Theology on Tap

A copy of this week's Dialog. Dawn's Article is on page 6. It is best to just download the PDF and read it on your computer. The issue is the current March 8th -- should be the first one you see upon opening the site.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Mathsiah: Maybe God is a Mathematician.

The Curt Jester Gives us the Mathsiah. "Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division."

From the Pontifical Office of the Liturgical Police: Liturgy Watch

Vatican City -- Straight from the Pontifical Office of the Liturgical Police a new watch program has been introduced on the local parish level. Father Ron Ronson, Director of the Liturgical Police North America Branch is calling it Liturgy Watch. "Liturgy Watch," said Father Ron "is a program modeled after the successful Neighborhood Watch programs. Except in this case we are applying it to the liturgy." Father Ron then added that the goal of the program is to empower the parishioners to expect and get a properly celebrated liturgical experience free of all distractions and inappropriate activities which might occur in a parish on a local level. "We don't want cookie mass or Barney Blessings. We want an authentic liturgy abuse free" said Father Ron.

In the area of Liturgical Dancing he commented that there was no need to have extraordinary dancing. Father Ronson said that "the liturgy itself is a dance. Why do people feel the need to add extraordinary dancers in the Western Rite I am not sure. I have no real issue with Liturgical dancing, if it can be done appropriately, but 90% is done inappropriately and parishioners are often left feeling awkward and passive -- that is why we use the silhouetted dancer in so many of our items."

Also on hand were the vast array of materials that will be in parishes participating in the first preliminary program.

The "WATCH" sign will be displayed in the parking lots and foyers of all churches participating in the program. It is assumed that the priests in these initial parishes are already celebrating a proper liturgy, so the sign will be more for visiting priests who get the urge to "make it up as they go along."

Handy bulletin inserts to encourage parish participation.

Educational Material will be provided free of charge to all parishes participating in the program. Here is the first edition, which will be made available to all parishioners on the book rack, library, and bathrooms of all churches. Next edition will be titled "Extraordinary Ministers: When it's use and when it's abuse."

Also available, pins to express one's distaste towards an array of abuses. Other pins available: No Cookies and No Barney.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Go forth and multiply.

Ever wanted to do something special? Now is your chance!

Help Brittany get into the Convent!

Here is the story. Brittany Harrison is a young college student seeking to enter the novitiate for the Salesian Sisters on August 4th. The only thing stopping her are her Student Loans (everyone boo and hiss at the student loans). She is currently attending college as a full time student and is also working full-time at a local animal shelter/kenel in attempts to raise as much money possible before August 4th in order to pay off her Student Loans (more booing and hissing at the Loans). Brittany has been a Salesian Cooperator for some time now, and as her blog reads:
Some may ask why they should trust me. I suppose that in this world of cyberspace you can never be sure. I have the endorsement of the Salesian Sisters’ vocation director (you can call her directly, if you wish - email me for her personal number) and my spiritual director. I have been a Salesian Cooperator for almost three years now (not including 2 years of formation) and I was the local coordinator of my Salesian Cooperator Unit. A newstory about it (with a terrible picture of me) is on the Salesian website.

I am a published author of a 32 page booklet entitled “All Things to All, The Life of Blessed Artemides Zatti” available from the Salesian Missions (which you can obtain by calling them at 1-888-608-2327), and I have also written articles for the Salesian Bulletin and one of them can be found HERE.
Brittany is a very hard working person and what is quoted is only a fraction of what she has done to help bring forth the Kingdom of Christ. Paying off her student loans (booing and hissing) is a completely feasible task, but only if she has help. This is a feasible task because she does not have $20,000 in Student Loans(even more booing and even more hissing at Student Loans than before). She only has a total of $3,600 in Students Loan (angry fist shaking accompanied with moderate booing and hissing)to pay back before August 4th.

Already people have started responding to her prayerful request. She has raised and saved $950 as of 3/3/07. There is a paypal account and link she has set up to help her reach her goal of repaying her student loans (gnashing of teeth) her blog -- there is also an Amazon Honor System link too.

If you find yourself being a poor student or maybe you just can't donate at the present moment, I am positive she would like a prayer for reaching her goal.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Would you like some Christianity with that Heresy?

I checked out the Discovery Channel site that talks about the upcoming Lost Tomb of Jesus documentary. Off to the right, I noticed a little tab squeezed between the "Filmmakers and Experts" and "Press Conference" tabs that said "Theological Considerations". Of course I am a curious one working on a Masters in Theology, so I clicked on it. For the most part there was nothing too bad untill I came to the part on the Ascension. It Read
Ascension: It is also a matter of Christian faith that after his resurrection, Jesus ascended to heaven. Some Christians believe that this was a spiritual ascension, i.e., his mortal remains were left behind. Other Christians believe that he ascended with his body to heaven. If Jesus’ mortal remains have been found, this would contradict the idea of a physical ascension but not the idea of a spiritual ascension. The latter is consistent with Christian theology.

You would think that after 2000 some heresies would stop showing their ugly faces.

Hmm I guess I'll take them as they come:

1. I know no Christians that believe in a purely "spiritual ascension". If they do believe this, they are not Christ but Gnostic or Dosetic or Nestorian or Arian or any number of heresies that deny the incarnation and do not have a theology of a created good.
2. The Gnostics believed in something similar.
3. So did the Docetics.
4. If Christ only Ascended spiritually it would make the resurrection of the body pointless.
5. If Christ only Ascended spiritually if would make the incarnation and the Hypostatic union needless.
6. If Christ only ascended spiritually and his physical remains were sill here on Earth then why aren't there any first class relics of Christ's body?!?!
7. A purely spiritual ascension is inconsistent with ANY and EVERY orthodox Christian theology; however, it is very consistent with nearly all heresies.

Raiders of the Lost Tomb

Have you head of James Cameron's newest movie project?

All Aboard the USS Cameron

Does anyone else see the irony in Cameron directing a movie about a sinking ship and now he is directing a movie with a sinking theory?

Original Unedited Image Source
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