politics and culture: November 2005 Archives

My 15 seconds of fame

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I was downstairs putting the finishing touches on dinner (meat loaf, winter squash, vege pasta with artichoke pesto, and home made refried beans). John was upstairs finishing reading something on the computer. He called out to me, "Hey, have you been over to Video Meliora today?"
me: "not yet - why?"
him: "You're mentioned in the same sentence as Amy Welborn. And it comes from an article in First Things."

Since I was downstairs, I grabbed the print edition of First Things out of todays mail pile and proceeded to read God on the Internet by Jonathan V. Last. It's an interesting article, and I was somewhat bemused to have been the first blog actually mentioned by name. Blogging midwives are somewhat of an anomaly anyhow (last time I googled it I only found 4 of us) and a Catholic midwife blog is probably hen's teeth.

Mr. Last has some sharp observations, but I think that on some level he sells Catholic bloggers a little short. Here is his closing sentence and summation:

But even at its best, the Internet is a weakening of reality, and with its consumer satisfactions, politicizing impulses, and substitutions for the body, it constantly lures us up into thinner and thinner air. Isn’t religion supposed to enrich the world around us instead? Shut off your computer. Take a deep breath. Go to church.

From what I have seen, the majority of us in St. Blog's have not abandoned our incarnational reality and our physical religion for the thin air of the blogosphere. I read about fellow bloggers who go to daily Mass, who participate in various ministries, whose works show forth their faith. Many of us regularly participate in Eucharistic Adoration, groups such as Cursillo, Knights of Columbus, Faith on Tap, music ranging from Gregorian Chant to LifeTeen masses, and all sorts of other physical manifestations of our Catholicism. I have found the Catholic (and other Christian, for that matter) blogosphere to be an incredible support and challenge to live out my faith and to "work out my salvation in fear and trembling".

The cross-fertilization of ideas is unprecedented. I have learned enormously about Carmelite spirituality from Steven Riddle. (before this, I really didn't understand why Therese was a doctor of the church!) I have learned about the Catholic economic theory of distributism from Caelum et Terra. I have learned about ordering my life as a mother to God's plan from several other Catholic mom-bloggers (too many to list).

And so, I will respectfully disagree with the conclusion reached by Professor Reynolds (quoted in the above mentioned article).

As Professor Reynolds explains: “Kneeling, on a kneeler made of oak, in front of a priest with trembling hands handing you the very Body and Blood of Christ which you taste and touch and smell is different than mouse-clicking your way through reality. . . . Is [the Internet] real fellowship? No, I don’t think so. I view it more as co-laboring.”

Yes, there is a difference between virtual reality and physical reality - we as Catholics take delight in the physical realities with which God had gifted us. But virtual fellowship has a reality that is also of great value. The few occasions that I have been able to physically meet fellow bloggers has born this out for me.

Capitulation or prudence?


Canada's National Shrine Pulls Plug on Location of National Pro-Life Conference Due to Threats

By John-Henry Westen

MONTREAL, November 16, 2005 (LifeSiteNews.com) - One day prior to the opening of the Canadian National Pro-Life Conference the religious priests who are in charge of Canada's national Catholic shrine, St. Joseph's Oratory in Montreal have reneged on the conference location due to threats received from 'pro-choice' and homosexual activists. The decision is not based on police inability to offer adequate protection, according to police officials. Organizers of the conference are scrambling to find another location at such short notice. (complete story)

And asks some good questions about the questions he is being asked to qualify for
Jury Duty

I did 6 months on the county grand jury last year. It was a fascinating and sometimes disturbing glimpse into the criminal justice system in this country.

for those who have missed his wisdom

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a new post from Apologia

I don't do policial posts much, but not because I have no interest! It is just that others do a much better job than I can on some of these issues. For example, Kobayashi Maru. Today he blogs on Europe Under Siege - Van Gogh One Year On
And a couple of days ago, the Paris Riots
I've lived through riots - most recently the Rodney King riots in Los Angeles. The amazing thing is that one can be watching TV and see violence going on just a few miles from home and yet be able to distance oneself from the reality. It is so unreal, that one just dissociates, much like the victim of abuse or torture does during the event. It's a kind of survival mechanism.
In the USA, we used to celebrate 1492 as the date when Columbus opened up the Western Hemisphere to the Old World. In Spain, it was celebrated as the year that the last of the Muslim invaders were forcibly expelled from that end of the European continent. Now, more than 500 years later, the Alhambra has been lost again.

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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the politics and culture category from November 2005.

politics and culture: October 2005 is the previous archive.

politics and culture: December 2005 is the next archive.

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