Monty Python

The New Secular Puritan Covenant

Thanksgiving brings back memories for Americans of the Pilgrims and Puritans, carrying out their “errand into the wilderness” to build a “city on a hill,” surviving that first bleak Massachusetts winter of 1620-21. As a kid, I remember that cutting out Puritan hats from black construction paper and taping them to the school windows was [...]

Everyone Expects the Spanish Inquisition

It is almost fifty years since the “Spanish Inquisition” sketch by Monty Python’s Flying Circus was first aired on British television. Today its catchphrase, “Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition,” has an enshrined place in popular culture. It is, however, ironic that the well-known catchphrase contradicts the grim reality of life in our increasingly secular culture. [...]

A Spoonful of Splenda

I often wonder, writing here, what possible expertise I have to offer. I'm not a theologian, so my take on deeper issues is by necessity secondhand. My knowledge of Catholic history is wide-ranging but thin -- and focused disconcertingly on religious orders that brew beer, make wine, or invented distinctive liqueurs. (Surely there's much to [...]

Wire Monkey Mother Nature

  I'm sure it has happened to you: In the course of an argument about some timeless teaching of the Church, your opponent dismisses what you're saying as "medieval." In other words, your position (and the Church's) might have worked well enough when the Black Plague was ravaging Europe, the majority of literate men were [...]

Friday Free-for-All

Time for a few Friday links: Rhode Island Representative Patrick Kennedy has announced that he won't be running for reelection. No word on whether it's because he's tired of tangling with Bishop Tobin. President Obama appears ready to shut down Constellation, NASA's manned space exploration program. Some say that the cost-benefit analysis simply makes sense, [...]

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