Busted Halo
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June 14th, 2007
God Machine or Tech Temptation?

June 29th marks the feast day dedicated to the founders of the church of Rome: Saints Peter and Paul. The observance is an ancient one, but this year it coincides with a religious festival of a more modern sort. For the believers of this other faith, it’s the day of deliverance they have long awaited, the moment when they’ll finally be able to grasp the Holy Grail which they’ve long lusted and defended against all nay-sayers, sight unseen.
I’m talking, of course, about the release of Apple’s iPhone. And to say that the thought of nabbing one makes my brain water would be putting it lightly.
To be sure, I’m a new convert. But as with many others, the living encounter with the Mac…

June 11th, 2007

It is now graduation season with many students going through a major life transition. How do you handle life’s major transitions?…

June 6th, 2007
Why it would be a sin not to include dinosaurs in illustrated children’s Bibles.

The other night I was reading Zondervan’s Beginner’s Bible: Timeless Children’s Stories to my four-year-old twins when I came to a disturbing realization. Though the children’s Bible includes hundreds of illustrations depicting all sorts of animals—snakes, camels, sheep, fish, doves, lions, donkeys, whales—I couldn’t find a single dinosaur anywhere. I hoped to spot at least a brachiosaurus grazing on treetops in the Garden of Eden, or perhaps a ravenous velociraptor chasing a shepherd across the Judean wilderness. But no.
Until recently, I was unaware that the biblical world was full of dinosaurs. Last Monday, the $27 million Creation Museum opened in Petersburg, Kentucky,…

May 30th, 2007
A funny thing happened in the middle of making a living

There’s an old Yiddish saying: “If you want to hear God laugh, just tell Him your plans.”
As far as my own life’s concerned, these days, I’m sure, He’s in stitches.
On Saturday, May the 19th, I completed a five-year odyssey and was ordained a Permanent Deacon for the Diocese of Brooklyn. Suffice it to say: this isn’t exactly what I’d planned for my life. It’s not exactly what my wife had in mind when she married me 21 years ago, either. But as John Lennon (British, not Yiddish) put it: life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.

The plans I’d made included a successful career in broadcasting, a nice home, a comfortable life, a happy…

May 18th, 2007
A death in the family

Amid news of the Rev. Jerry Falwell’s death earlier this week, the coverage was predictable. Conservatives who benefited from the pioneering televangelist’s forays into politics praised his stances and lamented his departure from the stage, while liberals took it upon themselves to assume the same role of unrelenting judge that they found so abhorrent when Falwell, himself, played it.
But beyond the noise of the polarizing political reactions what is often missed is the intensely personal and human dimension to Reverend Falwell’s death; that is what I experienced.
While I normally play the role of the Vatican scribe covering the colossus of all things Catholic, I don’t often…

May 16th, 2007
Reflections from a former fundamentalist

The Rev. Jerry Falwell—founder of the Moral Majority and the leader of the religious right in the ’80s—died Tuesday after he was discovered unconscious in his office. We at BustedHalo… offer our prayers for Falwell’s family, friends, and flock. Our prayers also go out to Falwell himself.
Now that the evangelist has finally met his maker, we pray for his sake that God is an amiable old white guy with a long grey beard, and is not, say, a big purple Teletubby with a triangle above his head and a magic bag dangling from his arm. Tinky Winky as Divine Judge might have a beef with Falwell. Having outed Tink as gay, Falwell denounced the beloved children’s TV character as “damaging to

May 15th, 2007
A review of One Perfect Day: The Selling of the American Wedding

Planning an expensive and elaborate wedding has become part of the modern quest for happiness, and an ever-growing battalion of wedding professions is to blame for our misguided approach to marital satisfaction, Rebecca Mead argues in One Perfect Day: The Selling of the American Wedding.
In the last three decades, simple family nuptials have been transformed into a $161 billion consumer bonanza. And the blushing bride has become Bridezilla— obsessed with the idea that the candy-coating on the dessert almonds must match the color of the menu cards.
One Perfect Day charts this evolution with chapters on wedding planners, bridal registries, destination weddings, gown sales and a separate section with…

May 9th, 2007
You can't spell love without evolve

For most of my adult life, I was what you might call, a casual evolutionist. You know, the type of person who could handle your run-of-the-mill, cocktail-party conversation on Darwinism. All the obvious stuff just seemed to make sense, like how giraffes with longer necks had a better shot than their shorter cousins. Or that stronger lions killed more zebras than the weak ones. Or how Donald Trump is still able to date fashion models because…
OK, well, perhaps Darwin’s theory had its limits.
But during my recent breakup with my girlfriend, Linda—somewhere between the “I swear this is the last 3 am phone call” and the restraining order—I had an epiphany. With all the extra…

May 7th, 2007
Do you lie about what you do on a first date?

Nina, a 27-year-old anesthesiology resident in New York City, met a man at a bar recently. After some flirtatious small-talk, he asked her what she did for work. “I told him I was a health professional, and he assumed I was a nurse. It’s so smooth when I tell guys that I’m a nurse. They smile and that’s the end of it,” she said. “And when I tell them I’m doing anesthesiology, they say, ‘Why aren’t you in pediatrics? Don’t you like kids?’”
Mark, a 32-year-old investment banker, said he is hesitant to tell women he first meets about his job. “I feel like they light up with dollar-signs in their eyes. I want to know that they are interested…

May 4th, 2007
Spider-Man 3 spins out of control

Until the advent of serviceable computer-generated imagery, fans of the Spider-Man comics were spared the disappointment of seeing their beloved hero bastardized on film. But that didn’t stop them from wanting a movie version anyway—especially after seeing Hollywood and even some critics bow down to Tim Burton’s Batman and Richard Donner’s Superman. Of course, capturing the likes of Batman’s caped crusades or even Superman’s up-up-and-aways was one thing. Filming Spider-Man’s balletic swinging, flipping, and twisting through Manhattan’s scraped sky posed a serious filmmaking challenge. Luckily for fans, the movie was stalled for fifteen years before Sony snatched up the rights…

May 3rd, 2007

What keeps you in the Catholic Church? Why do you stay?…

April 26th, 2007
Seeing Planet Earth for the first time

The ocean was placid and calm as a group of ten of us held our breath for what was about to come. Suddenly, with awe-inspiring grace and fury, the surface of the water broke and a giant great white shark rose to a height of nearly fifteen feet, completely suspended in mid-air as its teeth clamped around the neck of an arctic seal. We sat slack-jawed in amazement before some of us started shouting, “go back, let’s see it again!”
Move over “American Idol,” you too “24,” there is a new show that packs more drama, more breathtaking beauty, more moments of utter disbelief than anything else currently on television. “Planet Earth” represents the next era of television.…

April 20th, 2007
The Sopranos, it's All in the "Family"

Earlier this week, the Paulist Fathers —you know, the people who run this fine website—were the beneficiaries one of the more unusual product placements in recent memory when the Paulist-founded Humanitas Prize, was showcased on The Sopranos…right before it was used to bash someone’s head in.
To quote its network’s old slogan, “It’s not TV. It’s HBO.” As the legendary series makes its way through its final season, its impact on pop culture is secure.
Two hours into the last call for “Bada-Bing” and Baccalas, there haven’t been any major on-screen “whackings.” At least not yet. But it still feels like we’re…

April 18th, 2007
our readers and listeners respond

When faced with a horrible tragedy like the one that occured at Virginia Tech, we are immediately tempted to want to analyze and search for answers in an attempt to make sense out of utterly senseless acts.
While the search for understanding must continue, we believe that the best use of our space at this time is to offer our thoughts and prayers to the entire Virginia Tech community, especially the victims and their families who need it most.
We ask our readers at BustedHalo.com and our listeners from the BustedHalo show on Sirius satellite radio to send their prayers and expressions of sympathy to prayer@bustedhalo.com.
We will forward your emails to the Campus Ministers at Virginia Tech and publish them here.…

April 16th, 2007
A short course in Grey’s Anatomy

What is it about Grey’s Anatomy that transformed it from a sleeper, mid-season replacement show into a primetime phenomenon? Of course some will point to the well-written scripts or the diverse age and ethnicity of the cast that draw in large audiences. Or maybe it’s as simple as McDreamy’s hair. While all of the above certainly apply, the show’s characters are what young people across the country can relate to because, like them, they too have problems—big ones.
When, writer Shonda Rhimes created the series she claims her goal was to craft characters that an audience would want to hang-out with week after week. With approximately 23.5 million viewers stopping by every Thursday…

April 12th, 2007
Some highlights from the first 99 episodes

Fr. Dave Dwyer and Mike Hayes’ entrance into the world of podcasting in December 2005 marked a new chapter in the Paulist Fathers’ great tradition of preaching “old truths in new forms.” Their initial inspiration to create a program that would discuss questions of faith and spiritual seeking for people in their 20s and 30s has grown and changed in ways no one could have predicted. Barely a year into the experiment the success of the podcast has been spun off into the BustedHalo Show with Fr. Dave Dwyer a daily program on Sirius satellite radio. The podcast has also spawned additional programs including one devoted to Fr. Dave’s homilies and another that collects the best bits from…

April 11th, 2007
A former staff member wonders if the joke's on us

The door to WFAN’s studio opened wide catching my eye and as I looked up I was greeted with the words “What the f*** are you looking at?” from none other than the legendary shock jock, Don Imus.
I had no idea how to react. Was Imus serious or joking around? There was no time to react but I stalled with a stuttering, “Excuse me?”
Again the words bellowed at least 20 times louder, “What the f*** are you looking at?”
I decided that I needed to play ball and go toe to toe with the acid tongued, leathery skinned morning man and replied sternly, “You, ya ugly bastard!”
Imus smiled and said, “Well stop looking at me, there’s no need to be looking at me unless…

April 4th, 2007
Holy Week in Haiti

So look, if the divine made flesh really did roll into town to adulating crowds only to be betrayed, tortured, killed and then, holy god, rise from the dead, shouldn’t we be dancing in the streets?
Easter. The birthday of the church. The most holy Catholic festival. A day for really dressing up.
But if we’re taking it seriously, if we’re really taking to heart this utterly insane story of a savior executed and miraculously raised from the dead, doesn’t it call for something more than a dry-cleaned spring dress and a rack of lamb?
Shake It
Last Palm Sunday I was in Haiti, part of a group of Americans visiting the Caribbean nation to learn about grassroots efforts at environmental preservation…

March 30th, 2007
Beyond words and Into Great Silence

At the beginning of March, Philip Groning’s film Into Great Silence—a two-hour and forty-minute meditation on life in the Grande Chartreuse Carthusian monastery in southeastern France—opened at a theatre in New York City for a two-week run. But when each of the three daily showings continued to sell out, the theatre owners put a “Held Over” sign on the marquee after the film’s title. Now, at month’s end, it’s still playing to a full house. Patrons are buying their tickets on-line the day before in order to ensure they get a seat.
All this for a film in which, for the first two hours, the loudest sounds are of rain falling, birds chirping, an axe splitting wood,…

March 28th, 2007

Who is one person that you find most inspiring in your life and why?
Compiled by Marc Adams reporting from the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress.…

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