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  • Links on Christian culture | Catholic Culture
    Church calendar and the development and preservation of a uniquely Christian and Scriptural vocabulary by scholars like St Augustine Cassiodorus and St Isidore of Seville Wilken argues If Christian culture is to be renewed habits are more vital than revivals rituals more edifying than spiritual highs the creed more penetrating than theological insight and the celebration of saints days more uplifting than the observance of Mother s Day At Ethika Politika Rachel Meyer observes that sometimes the much criticized throwaway culture might be perfectly innocuous at least when it comes to throwing away physical objects If my toaster breaks I could either take several hours repairing it myself or I could simply chuck it buy a new one and spend those hours doing something more valuable like playing with my children studying great Russian literature or praying I was pleasantly surprised by this piece which demonstrates a level of economic understanding I don t generally expect from Ethika Politika not of course that the site doesn t have its merits As Meyer points out human time is a valuable resource to be used wisely just as much as material objects are so when we choose to replace something rather than repair it we are conserving what we deem to be the more valuable resource This is why it s important to understand why we do things a certain way before advocating a paradigm shift Chesterton s fence Otherwise we will misuse the word waste not realizing that there is a trade off in every choice This isn t the only thing to consider when discussing the throwaway culture many things if probably not toasters should be considered in terms of more than their use value but it s an important one Human time and labor are not less valuable or less finite than material objects Earlier this year The Paris Review ran a provocative piece by Scott Beauchamp called Sharia Law Goes to the Movies As an infantryman in Iraq in 2009 Beauchamp watched versions of The Wrestler and District 9 which had been edited in accordance with Sharia law and found that he liked the censored versions better I like a point Beauchamp makes about how censorship by focus group is probably more dangerous to art than censorship by governmental or religious decree On the other hand censorship of the movies in America s past at least had the beneficial effect of reigning in self indulgence and encouraging subtlety and ambiguity when you can t show certain things directly you have to work harder Even today TV writers like Louis C K and Vince Gilligan talk about ways in which the content restrictions of cable networks Standards and Practices departments have actually made their work better Three more pieces I enjoyed sans commentary In America Mark Plaiss reflects on the appeal of monasticism to his high school students who find in the monastic life a sense of authenticity that for whatever reason they do not find in their parishes

    Original URL path: http://www.catholicculture.org/commentary/the-city-gates.cfm?id=1209 (2016-02-11)
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  • Burning incense to the false gods of political correctness | Catholic Culture
    by law to bow before idols But it is increasingly common to learn that if you want to win a contract or earn tenure or keep your business open or hold onto your government job or avoid a costly lawsuit you will be expected to assent to propositions that you know to be false Kim Davis went to jail because she refused to certify that two people were married when they could not possibly be married because they were members of the same sex That is she refused to endorse a lie Now in the city of New York virtually anyone who hires employees rents out apartments or sells goods to the public will be required to endorse another lie Under threat of crippling fines New Yorkers are compelled to accept the transgender identity If a man says that he is a woman or a woman says that she is a man or if someone claims membership in a 3rd or 4th or 5th gender the law abiding New Yorker is obligated to assent and to act accordingly even unto the use of the proper made up pronoun If you live in New York can you tolerate this edict If you live anywhere else in America it may be time to ask yourself the same question because barring a shift in the prevailing political winds sooner or later you ll be facing the same sort of challenge to your integrity Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books Founder of Catholic World News he is the news director and lead analyst at CatholicCulture org See full bio Read more from The City Gates Next post Previous post Sound Off CatholicCulture org supporters weigh in All comments

    Original URL path: http://www.catholicculture.org/commentary/the-city-gates.cfm?id=1208 (2016-02-11)
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  • Payback Time: A Christmas Story | Catholic Culture
    ins and place phone calls to lonely widows On a few occasions she even tactfully asked some of the wealthier members of the parish whether they could spare a few dollars for a family that that fallen behind on the mortgage payments Then in the evenings more often than not she would be back at church in the basement this time for a meeting of one of the many parish organizations that she dominated Now if this description makes you think that Edna was a saint you should realize that many even most of the parishioners found her insufferable She certainly did have her faults She could be a bit of a busybody She was better at talking than listening She was undeniably pushy But no one would ever deny that Edna Costello tried her best to be a good Catholic And because she was such a serious active Catholic many people followed her lead Take little Tommy Brown for example The Brown family lived just a few doors down from the little house where Edna lived after her husband s death When he was just 12 years old Tommy became intrigued by the sight of the little woman who marched past his front window every morning at 6 15 in rain or shine If she can go to Mass every day he asked himself why can t I Soon he too was a fixture at the morning Mass Tommy Brown was not alone For every jaded neighbor who laughed up his sleeve when Edna began passing out holy cards there was another more sensitive soul who would take the card and begin to develop a habit of prayer The end approaches Year passed age took its toll and Edna moved to a smaller home in another town Within a matter of months she had become the backbone of a different parish For years she carried out all the same functions in a new location Then at last just before she reached the age of 90 Edna was diagnosed with cancer She learned of the illness during Holy Week and thought that was appropriate She continued her usual activities for as long as she could doing her best to ignore the mounting fatigue and pain But on the day after Christmas she collapsed in church and was rushed to the hospital The doctors were able to revive her and for two days her condition steadily improved But on the third morning she took a sudden turn for the worse and the doctors realized that she had only a matter of hours to live At Edna s insistence the nurses began to look for a priest But there was a complication A huge blizzard had hit the town that morning and traffic was paralyzed The local pastor had rushed out early in the morning hoping to get a few last minute errands done before the snow arrived he had miscalculated and was now stuck in a snowbank several miles away unlikely

    Original URL path: http://www.catholicculture.org/commentary/the-city-gates.cfm?id=1207 (2016-02-11)
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  • With apologies to Lewis Carroll, was today’s news created by the Mad Hatter? | Catholic Culture
    the destruction of marriage and the family According to the Obama administration the reason the US admits so few Christian refugees from Syria is that Christians feel safe in Syria At the same time the official in question also praised the Administration for its success in selling bridges in Brooklyn This headline speaks for itself European Parliament condemns surrogacy calls for safe abortions The ACLU and Planned Parenthood are questioning Walgreens efforts to establish pharmaceutical clinics in Catholic hospitals Here s an extract from the complaint Will Walgreens s pharmacies that house these clinics continue to fill prescriptions for birth control and emergency contraception What end of life health services will be available at the clinics Will a transgender man or woman be able to receive a prescription for hormone therapy at one of these clinics and have that prescription filled at Walgreens Heady stuff this A Massachusetts court ruled that a Catholic school cannot fire an openly gay employee arguing that religious exemptions don t apply to Catholic institutions which do not restrict their services exclusively to Catholics The court also stated that since the employee is not a teacher he is not in a position to dilute the school s message So what if he is known to have a same sex marriage partner with whom he will frequently be seen and that he has made a point of this to keep his job If it doesn t take place in the classroom apparently it isn t a lesson Then there s our story on Mother Teresa s clearance for canonization That s fine But two Italians were also declared to possess heroic virtue One of them was named Heinrich Hahn 1800 1882 I can believe he was a layman But an Italian layman As it turns out

    Original URL path: http://www.catholicculture.org/commentary/the-city-gates.cfm?id=1206 (2016-02-11)
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  • The single most disturbing statistic | Catholic Culture
    who grow up with two married parents enjoy a huge advantage over the children of broken homes Statistically speaking a child born in the ghetto to parents who are unemployed but married has a better chance of success in life than a child born with a silver spoon in his mouth and parents in the divorce courts Children raised by single parents are more likely to suffer ill health more likely to fail in school more likely to have trouble with the law more likely to use illegal drugs more likely to be unemployed more likely to die young And to compound the problem they re also more likely to divorce or to have children out of wedlock so that the problems that afflicted them are passed down to the next generation If this trend continues Islamic extremists don t need to use terrorist tactics They can just watch American society destroy itself Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books Founder of Catholic World News he is the news director and lead analyst at CatholicCulture org See full bio Read more from The City Gates Next post Previous post Sound Off CatholicCulture org supporters weigh in All comments are moderated To lighten our editing burden only current donors are allowed to Sound Off If you are a donor log in to see the comment form otherwise please support our work and Sound Off Show 3 Comments Hidden Hide Comments Posted by rjbennett1294 Dec 19 2015 8 40 AM ET USA I think many individuals agree American society will unfortunately eventually destroy itself Such a thing has happened before in human history and very often Human beings will survive though The Church will survive Our belief

    Original URL path: http://www.catholicculture.org/commentary/the-city-gates.cfm?id=1205 (2016-02-11)
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  • Too bad King Canute wasn't at the Paris summit | Catholic Culture
    world s temperatures may not rise more than 2 I trust Mother Nature has been put on notice The Paris climate change agreement did not include any compliance mechanism Which is just as well because if Divine Providence has plans for an overall warming trend I wonder how the UN leadership proposes to punish He who dost hold all the nations in derision And to think that all these years we ve been singing about wanting a white Christmas I wonder whether Irving Berlin considered the possibility that instead of merely dreaming we could get it done by a citizen petition Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books Founder of Catholic World News he is the news director and lead analyst at CatholicCulture org See full bio Read more from The City Gates Next post Previous post Sound Off CatholicCulture org supporters weigh in All comments are moderated To lighten our editing burden only current donors are allowed to Sound Off If you are a donor log in to see the comment form otherwise please support our work and Sound Off Show 1 Comments Hidden

    Original URL path: http://www.catholicculture.org/commentary/the-city-gates.cfm?id=1204 (2016-02-11)
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  • Cardinal Wuerl and the critic who won't let go | Catholic Culture
    not comment Journalists have a right to ask questions Their subjects have the right not to answer Someone misbehaved Meanwhile Neumayr s increasingly shrill cries for public attention threaten to drown out the questions that he had originally asked Is Cardinal Wuerl really living in opulence Do the personal chef and the Embassy Row apartment bespeak a lifestyle at odds with the pleas of Pope Francis for a Church that is poor and for the poor When a German prelate was removed from office amid charges that he was the Bishop of Bling it s not unreasonable to ask such questions about the cardinal who has emerged as the American prelate most influential in the appointment of new bishops here Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books Founder of Catholic World News he is the news director and lead analyst at CatholicCulture org See full bio Read more from The City Gates Next post Previous post Sound Off CatholicCulture org supporters weigh in All comments are moderated To lighten our editing burden only current donors are allowed to Sound Off If you are a donor log in to see the comment form otherwise please support our work and Sound Off Show 5 Comments Hidden Hide Comments Posted by Don Vicente Dec 19 2015 1 47 PM ET USA Cardinal Wuerl s living quarters and chapel are in the same building as Our Lady Queen of the Americas church The building was formerly Mackin Catholic H S Granted his 3rd floor quarters are on the top floor of the building but that s a pretty low floor to be called a penthouse IMHO I guess that the pastors of the few parishes that actually still have

    Original URL path: http://www.catholicculture.org/commentary/the-city-gates.cfm?id=1203 (2016-02-11)
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  • To chew on: We were undesirables once. | Catholic Culture
    to a foreign power and unassimilatable to American culture and values If only Kudos then to the L A Times which has illuminated a small part of that ugly history for its readership A century ago a popular Missouri newspaper demonized a religious minority Catholics The author surely means to draw a parallel to the demonization of Muslim refugees today though he does not do so explicitly More pointed is an excellent essay in The Paris Review by David Griffith who shows how relevant Flannery O Connor s short story The Displaced Person is for us in the present moral crisis The story is about a Protestant farm owner who reluctantly takes in Catholic refugees from Poland which the O Connors themselves had done when Flannery was a girl It is a rare example of O Connor taking on something topical but no less timeless for that The following passage from the story reveals a thought process that is easy enough to find in the modern Christian right Watching from her vantage point Mrs Shortley had the sudden intuition that the Gobblehooks like rats with typhoid fleas could have carried all those murderous ways over the water with them directly to this place If they had come from where that kind of thing was done to them who was to say they were not the kind that would also do it to others Aside from its continued relevance The Displaced Person is simply one of O Connor s best stories go ahead and read it in full Thomas Van is an administrative assistant and writer at CatholicCulture org A jazz pianist with a music degree he often takes the lead in our commentary on the arts See full bio Read more from The City Gates Next post Previous post Sound

    Original URL path: http://www.catholicculture.org/commentary/the-city-gates.cfm?id=1202 (2016-02-11)
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