Busted Halo
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Claire Noonan :
10 article(s)

Claire Noonan writes from Chicago.
May 4th, 2004
A Chicago Play Captures Boston Clergy Sex Scandal As Tragedy
The scandal of Catholic clergy sexual abuse of children is, after two years, still on the front pages of the nation’s papers. But playwright Michael Murphy, director David Zak, and the actors of Chicago’s Bailiwick Repertory Theatre have managed to give the story the feel of a classical tragedy. SIN—A Cardinal Deposed is a two act drama distilled from transcripts of (now resigned) Boston archbishop Bernard Cardinal Law’s depositions taken between August 2002 and February 2003 in civil actions against priests of the Archdiocese of Boston. The Cardinal is portrayed (with remarkable fidelity to Law’s real-life mannerisms) by actor Jim Sherman. SIN casts Law as a man of remarkable…
February 7th, 2004
The Working Poor: Invisible in America
In the midst of a contentious election year and on the heels of Barbara Ehrenreich’s acclaimed bestseller Nickel and Dimed comes a new book about real life on the poverty line in America. In David Shipler’s The Working Poor: Invisible in America , the Pulitzer Prize-winning author provides powerful testimony to the realities of poverty in the United States from those who experience it first hand. His subjects discuss their lives with an honesty and frankness that are surprisingly free of harsh denunciations or bitter accusations; rather than indict, their poignant stories move us to examine our own lives and the values of the culture we live in. Putting a face on povertyThe Working Poor is filled…
January 5th, 2004
The difference between who we admire and who we become
A friend of mine who teaches ethics and spirituality to MBA and law students often engages his students in this exercise. List the names of people you really admire. Next, list the names of people who you devote most of your time, energy, and resources trying to be more like. Usually, people like Mother Teresa, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Buddha, St, Francis and Jesus show up on the first list. But for the second list, students likely name the latest CEO with a best seller on leadership, their firm’s biggest rainmaker, the hottest movie star they can think of. erhaps, my friend suggests, this is the reason more of us are not joyful and fulfilled in our lives, because we do not spend our time and energy trying to become…
September 29th, 2003
A Harbor for the Spiritually Alive to Talk about Sex
In an article I read from The Washington Monthly (reprinted in the recent Utne Reader on “Erotic Intelligence” ), author Elizabeth Austin suggests––and you sense she thinks she is making a very bold suggestion––that the “rule” on Third Date Sex be modified. Dating couples might wait a whole “six or eight­­­––maybe even ten—dates to make up our minds” about whether or not to either have sex or stop seeing each other. You’ve come a long way, babyAs I read Austin’s article, the stunning contrast between the lived experience she described and the proclamation of sexual norms from the pulpits of our Catholic churches (“no…
July 17th, 2003
Nickel and Dimed Chronicles the Hard Life of the Working Poor
Could you survive in a strange city on $7 an hour? This is the simple question that social critic and Ph.D. biologist Barbara Ehrenreich set out to answer. The 2001 bestseller Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America chronicles her lived research with biting insight, engaging detail, and a welcome dose of humor. I will survive (but not on Wal-Mart wages)Leaving her home in Key West, Ehrenreich tries on life at the bottom of the wage scale. Working as a waitress, a nursing home aide, a maid, and a Wal-Mart “associate,” she very quickly discovers that full-time work does not keep her out of poverty. In fact, it doesn’t even keep her in an apartment. Some of the information Ehrenreich shares…
June 9th, 2003
The World of Socially Responsible Investment
“More analysts are riding the bull,” read the headline in the Chicago Tribune recently. Despite bad news from other sectors of the economy, the stock market seems to be on the rebound. With tech stocks including EBay, Yahoo, and Amazon hitting 52-week highs last month, the first evidence is in that the burst bubbles of the century’s turn might be behind us. The Down Jones Industrial Average, New York Stock Exchange, and even the wayward NASDAQ are all up for the year. But before you bolster your mutual fund, or fork over more money for your 401(k), you might want to ask yourself, “What’s my money doing anyway?” In the beginning…In the late 1960’s, a group of very creative…
April 5th, 2003
Single vs. Married Envy in the Lives of Women Today
Our mothers and bosses spent their careers intent on proving themselves the equals of men. The focus of their comparison on issues of freedom, autonomy, agency, and compensation was across the gender line. The force of shared vision bound thousands upon thousands of them together in a movement of solidarity. Whither to compare?As a result of their efforts, for us, only one generation their junior, the question of the equality of the sexes is settled. We still have a ways to go with questions like pay equity and ordination. But, largely, we have ceased comparing ourselves to men. Our mothers have shown that biology is not necessarily destiny. Yet, most of us are by choice, habit, or lack of imagination, thinking…
January 9th, 2003
More Than Just Respectable and Nice?
Are you a good Catholic? As we begin 2003, we are surrounded by war and rumors of war. What do you think of the Bush administration’s threats to declare war on Iraq? Last weekend, outgoing Illinois Governor George Ryan granted clemency to all death row inmates. Four of those inmates were convicted on the basis of now-recanted confessions which had been tortured out of them by Chicago police. Those four were pardoned and released from prison. Another 164 people will remain in prison for the rest of their lives, but will not be put to death by the state.…
December 3rd, 2002
Reflections on Overeating in America
Remember the days before “super size”? Remember when the smallest size coffee you could order was—you won’t believe this—a “small”? When was the last time you ate out at a restaurant and felt full only after finishing your meal? Within the lifetime of Busted Halo visitors, it seems American society has actually institutionalized gluttony. Regarded as a sin since the earliest recording of the seven deadly sins 100 years before the birth of Christ, our culture has turned overeating into the norm. Bizarrely, we’ve somehow been able to do this while at the same time depicting the likes of Kate Moss as the pinnacle of beauty. Cheap food, big portions, larger AmericansFood…
September 2nd, 2002
A Young Catholic Looking for Mercy
I’m a good Catholic. I go to Mass every week. I’m involved in my local parish. I oppose both capital punishment and abortion on demand. I’ve attended Catholic schools from kindergarten to graduate school. I’m young—just ten years out of college, and barely into my thirties. I am Catholic. I am young. And I’m divorced. Divorced. GULP. Kind of goes down like a horsepill, doesn’t it? Very much like a pill, in fact. Bitter and chalky, difficult to swallow. Bitter the taste of anger and tears that had passed between my husband and I. Chalky, like the rubble that lay where a vibrant relationship once had stood. And so, so difficult to swallow the fact that I had failed to live out…
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