Busted Halo
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October 27th, 2006
Love is in the Air

The save-the-date cards are rolling in with a frequency usually reserved for bills (this weekend, I’ll be at the third family wedding of the year). Many of my friends are excitedly hinting at engagements and the rest of them have something to show for their many nights spent out on the “scouting tour.” A priest-friend of mine in the missions just presided at his parish’s first wedding since the early 1930s and, closer to home, BustedHalo’s own Dr. Christine Whelan has hit it big in the States with her new book, Why Smart Men Marry Smart Women.
As the saying goes, love is in the air.
But if that’s true then I must be either hermetically sealed off from it or on an oxygen tank.
Embedded…

October 26th, 2006
A Catholic Ride Through America's Evangelical Landscape: by Peter Feuerherd

Visit Jerusalem in Orlando! Journey into the Sinai Wilderness! Expect to be inspired! These are some of the many exclamations splashed across the Web site for The Holy Land Experience, a Florida theme park advertised as “Orlando’s most inspiring destination.” This Holy Land facsimile, dotted with such sites as “The Dead Sea Qumran Caves,” “Calvary’s Garden Tomb” and the “Jerusalem Street Market,” is the locus, literally and figuratively, for author Peter Feuerherd’s introduction to the growing public influence of two religious groups in America: Catholics and Evangelicals. “This center of evangelical kitsch next to…

October 25th, 2006

In recent weeks, Congressman Mark Foley was forced to resign after reports surfaced about sexually explicit messages he sent to under-age Capitol Hill pages over the internet. How do you feel about the Congressman’s actions and should a person’s public self and private self match up? Do you feel that your own public self is integrated with your private self?…

October 19th, 2006
Some of the Church's very best people did some very bad things. A conversation with author Thomas J. Craughwell.

Many Christians are familiar with the virtues of St. Mary of Egypt, who lived in the desert as a hermit for 47 years, devoting herself to God in prayer and meditation. But even the most devout Catholic might be forgiven for not knowing that, before her conversion, Mary had a wild hare that would make even Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan blush.

Mary was a seductress extraordinaire, who spent 17 years insatiably prowling the streets for sexual conquests. One day, she spotted a crowd of men—pilgrims, it turned out—waiting to board a ship bound for the Holy Land, where they planned to celebrate the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem. Mary knew a party when she saw one, so she joined the voyage,…

October 19th, 2006
Why Smart Men Marry Smart Women: by Christine B. Whelan

Reviewed by Renée LaReau
In a well-known “Sex and the City” episode, Miranda, a high-powered attorney who works 16-hour days, tells a man she meets at a speed dating event that she’s a flight attendant. Why? She’s afraid she’ll intimidate him with the truth, ruining her chances for a real dinner-and-movie date or even a romantic relationship. Despite her professional successes and girl-about-town independence, Miranda has clearly internalized a longstanding social bromide: Men don’t make passes at girls with glasses.
New York Times op-ed columnist Maureen Dowd pulls no punches with her own interpretation: “I’d been noticing a trend…famous…

October 13th, 2006
The Punk Priest

At first, clicking onto Fr. Bob Lubic’s website seems like a relatively conventional Catholic experience in the internet age. The sublime sound of Gregorian chant wafts from the computer and a photo of the Western Pennsylvania priest clad in Mass vestments fills the screen.
But then, out of nowhere, the sound of a scratching record signals that things might not be exactly as they seem. Suddenly, Lubic’s image transforms into that of an Ozzfest concertgoer and the music leaps into a ska-punk version of “Here I Am, Lord” more reminiscent of Goldfinger’s “Here In Your Bedroom” than anything you’d expect to hear on Sunday morning at the local parish.
Rare
To…

October 5th, 2006

Are the Ten Commandments similar to beliefs in other religions? Do you think all religions are basically the same path to get you to the afterlife?…

October 5th, 2006

Do you think the U.S. has the moral high-ground in terms of its foreign policy? Why/Why not?…

September 29th, 2006
Slayer's new album confronts America's religious hypocrisy

In recent years I have found that I do not recognize many names on the Billboard music charts. Perhaps this is a sign I am getting older and less connected with what is “hot” right now but—to borrow a line from This is Spinal Tap—I prefer to think that my musical tastes have gotten a bit more “selective.”
In either case, I was very surprised recently to see a familiar and controversial name at the top of the charts. The thrash metal band Slayer had sold enough units of their new disc, Christ Illusion (over 60,000 in the first week) to break into the top five. The cd, Slayer’s first in five years, was favorably reviewed in numerous national newspapers, including the New York…

September 28th, 2006
Spiritual Soundtrack

As I wasn’t blessed with enough talent to be one, I’ve always kept a special place in my heart for musicians. It’s part envy, of course—a friend lent me his guitar for three years, at the end of which I still couldn’t play “Happy Birthday” —but also great admiration for the way a song can capture the mind and lift the soul in a way words alone can’t.
Since I don’t get to read much for pleasure, I write for a living (i.e. sit in seclusion for most of the day) and need something beside the 13 or so cups of black coffee I drink every day to keep me going. My twin life-savers—my iPod and satellite radio—are, by necessity, never far out of reach. I’ve built…

September 26th, 2006

What is your feeling about the way in which 9/11 is memorialized and remembered? Is it appropriate?…

September 21st, 2006

How does the recent controversy surrounding Pope Benedict’s comments on Islam affect your views on interfaith dialogue?…

September 19th, 2006
A review of Dylan's Modern Times

The year 1976 in the United States might as well have been a million years ago to the average BustedHalo reader. The nation celebrated its bicentennial. Gerald Ford lost the presidency to Jimmy Carter. Rocky ruled the big screen, while “Charlie’s Angels” made its debut on television, as did “The Muppet Show.” And with Desire, Bob Dylan had the final number one album of his career.
Until now.
Don’t look back, because Dylan topped the Billboard charts again last week with Modern Times, his 31st studio album. Dylan has garnered almost universal kudos in the music press for his latest work, and even the one bit of controversy—the discovery that he had borrowed liberally…

September 6th, 2006
From the "Not Afraid to Blow Our Own Horn" Department

We at BustedHalo.com are committed to publishing stories that encourage and enhance the discussion of faith and culture. As our mission statement makes clear, we live in an age filled with seekers who are “desperately trying to find deeper meaning in their lives but whose journey has little to do with traditional religious institutions.” We often highlight the diverse lives and experiences of young adult “spiritual seekers” all over North America and around the world.
But we don’t often take the opportunity to shine a light on one of our own. Which is why today I’d like to direct you somewhere else to read about a young adult we are very proud.
Unless you’ve read our…

August 7th, 2006

Do you think that people should always tell the truth? Are there any exceptions like with the little white lie?…

August 3rd, 2006
The prickly, witty, and often raunchy "Clerks" sequel proves that grace permeates the grunge, grease and grit in the lives of suburban fast food minions.

When I was in high school I had a job selling shoes at the Randhurst Mall in Mount Prospect, Illinois. It was a step up from counterboy at Walgreen’s, but not by much: nametags, minimum wage (then a whopping $3.35) and “Can I help you?” from 5-9 p.m. I lived for the 15 minute breaks.
And for the cash. Like most of my peers, I worked retail because I wanted stuff: comic books, movie tickets, novels and, of course, video games. It was the dawn of the arcade era — I needed quarters for Joust and Defender, and some more serious bank for a ColecoVision.
Even so, for a kid retail work is largely mindless and depressing. You can do it for a while, but you always have one eye focused on breaking out and trying…

August 2nd, 2006

“What do you think sloth is?”…

July 21st, 2006

Do you think there is anything in the world that can’t be forgiven?…

July 6th, 2006
God and Garden State

Last weekend, wending my way through North Jersey for a holiday barbeque at my cousin’s house, I indulged yet again in one of my exceptionally odd habits and pulled up a moment-specific set of music on my iPod.
I know I’m not alone in this. Case in point: the continued obsession with Bon Jovi among people who went through high school in the mid-‘80s. These thirty-somethings have screamed the chorus to “Livin’ on a Prayer” 800,000 times each and will continue to do so—despite how ridiculous it looks—even though the band’s frontman owns an arena-football team and ain’t been livin’ on a prayer for decades.
Music and Memory
The moral of the story,…

July 3rd, 2006

Regarding immigration reform in America, do you think that immigrants should be required to learn English in order to stay in the country?…

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