Busted Halo
Features : Entertainment & Lifestyle
June 25th, 2006
An interview with Tony Hendra, author of The Messiah of Morris Avenue

It is 2016 and America, led by President Sparrow 3 (the third member of his family to hold the office), is now an established theocracy. The Academy Awards are now faith-based and are broadcast from Grauman’s Christian Theater in the newly christened “Holywood.” The news has been reduced to rumor and gossip and an overwhelming number of Americans are certain that the Second Coming is imminent.
Such is the satiric (and unsettling) backdrop for The Messiah of Morris Avenue the first novel by author/satirist/actor Tony Hendra. In it, Hendra imagines a world in which the Second Coming may in fact be occurring in the person of Jose Francisco Lorcan Kennedy, a 29-year old Hispanic/Irish-American…

June 16th, 2006
A father remembers the day the world busted open

When my son Jonah was born I would look at his pudgy little face with the wisps of brown hair over his head and feel how deeply the world had changed for me. When he cried, I felt his hunger, and when he smiled, I felt his pleasure. To be honest, the experience was little frightening: I wasn’t sure I wanted to be that open to anyone, even my own child. But now that he was here, I didn’t seem to have a choice.
Not long after his birth I was walking down the street when I saw a homeless man rattling a cup. I’d lived my entire life in New York, and stepping around hungry, dirty people was second nature to me, but for some reason I couldn’t pretend that I didn’t see him. Suddenly my mind started to tilt. He’s…

June 15th, 2006
A sit down with the ultimate fan, God

In the beginning, was God. And sports was with God, and sports was God.
Then, out of the muck and mire, God created man, and gave man authority to name all the beasts of the field, the flying things and the creeping things, and it was good.
After God created man, He created the Athlete. Replete with a hefty amount of arrogance and an innate ability to point toward heaven whenever something of significance happened, the athlete flourished throughout the whole earth. The Lord was so impressed He cracked a smile and said to no one in particular “It’s all good.”
But, being God, He wanted more…
So God created ESPN and He saw that it was all good all the time.
So good in fact that God said “Let there…

June 9th, 2006
Remedies for the Church from a 23-year old Whisperer.

He may not be the pope but if chapters 1-3 of “The Gospel According to Rocco” have proven anything it’s that Whispers in the Loggia‘s Rocco Palmo can pontificate with the best of them. So, in light of the fact that BustedHalo is geared toward young adult “spiritual seekers” and The Ratzinger Report (then Cardinal Ratzinger’s book-length interview on the Church) is more than two decades old, we asked Palmo to share his thoughts on the state of the Church today and how well it is reaching out to the next generation.
BustedHalo: You may not be a typical 23 year old but you do have a sense of what people your age are interested in. What do you think the Church could do better?

May 22nd, 2006

“Do you think praying for someone who’s ill makes a difference in his or her recovery?”…

May 17th, 2006

Do unto others as you would have others do unto you……
“Do you think most people in America follow the Golden Rule? Do you follow the Golden Rule in your own life?”

May 17th, 2006

“What do you think of the Vatican’s pending statement that would supposedly ban homosexual men from being ordained priests? Is there a correlation between homosexuality and the abuse crisis?”…

May 17th, 2006

“What are the best and worst things about college? What advice can you give to new students?”…

May 15th, 2006

Do you plan to see the Da Vinci Code movie? Do you think that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were married?…

May 2nd, 2006

“According to a proposed immigration bill in Congress, illegal immigrants found in the United States and any people who help them, including social service and church groups, could be arrested and charged with a felony. What do you think about this? Should illegal immigrants be permitted to stay in the United States? Should agencies and church be allowed to help them?”…

April 28th, 2006
Praiz and the soul of Christian Hip Hop

It all started with a desperate prayer from a desperate man:
Lord deliver me from myself
I’m in trouble, I need your help…
Not too long ago, Vance Watt was caught in a downward spiral of drugs, booze, violence and incarceration and he was bracing for a crash. His desperate plea was also his first step in turning toward God and eventually became the song, “Deliver Me,” a stirring call for redemption from the lifestyle he used to promote. Now, the 29-year-old married, father of three is the voice of the growing Christian hip-hop scene in St. Louis.
St. Louis Sound
Watt walked away from it all just as he was making a name as an up-and-comer in local rap and hip-hop circles, which, at the time, was…

April 28th, 2006
Skunks, semantics and the art of spin

The other day, while toting my inquisitive four-year-old daughter to preschool, our chat about contemporary political corruption was interrupted by a familiar smell. Taking a moment at a red light to peer in front of the bumper of my Subaru, I stole a glance of the culprit: freshly squashed skunk.
After casually directing my kid’s eyes to the poor beast’s mangled remains, the following dialogue ensued:
“Pee yew! What’s that smell?”
“It’s the smell a skunk makes when it leaves this earth, sweetie.”
“Why’s it leaving?”
“Well, its time had come.”
“Its time for what?”
“Uh, its time to move on, sweetie pie.…

April 24th, 2006
A Morality play with Mobster style

Will Vito get whacked for wearing leather? Will Paulie forgive his mother for being his aunt? Will Carmela ever succeed in building that million-dollar spec house out of cardboard and glue?
As the sixth season of The Sopranos passes the half-way mark, we need to momentarily disentangle ourselves from such pressing questions and address an even bigger issue: why is it that we still care?
It’s not because of the menace in Tony Soprano’s eyes when somebody crosses him, or the periodic explosions of violence when wise guys clash over money and respect—as fun as those things are. The answer, I believe, is that The Sopranos is not just wonderful storytelling but that it addresses moral experience…

April 20th, 2006

Do you think there can be good in the midst of suffering? Is God present there?…

April 20th, 2006
A Guide to the new reality show God or the Girl

With its mix of equal parts “The Bachelor” and “Jackass” with a spiritual twist, A&E’s new reality series, “God or the Girl” has people talking. The five-part show follows the lives of four young men who struggle with making a decision to pursue studying for the priesthood instead of staying in a relationship with a significant other.
The four “contestants” offer an accurate reflection of the diversity of young adult faith experiences, ranging from highly pious to the irreverent. While “God or the Girl” makes an attempt to honestly portray how these men struggle with their decision, it sometimes stoops to sprinkling in stupid…

April 6th, 2006

“What do you think Jesus’ message was? Do you think his death was important?”…

March 30th, 2006

Do you think there is a difference between being spiritual and religious? Do you consider yourself spiritual or religious?…

March 21st, 2006

“What do you think of celebrities like Angelina Jolie and musicians like Bono and Chris Martin who are championing for global equality and an end to poverty?”…

March 13th, 2006
The Best American Spiritual Writing 2005

A quick glance at the “inspiration” section in any large bookstore is all one needs to determine that books classified as spiritual writing occupy a large tent. Joseph Cardinal Bernardin’s The Gift of Peace nestles next to Bruce Wilkinson’s The Prayer of Jabez, while Kabbalah for Beginners and books of Sufi poetry fill the shelves immediately below. The poems, confessional essays, journalistic analyses and riffs that fill the pages of Best American Spiritual Writing are of the decidedly literary variety, having been gleaned from mainstream periodicals like The New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly and The New York Times magazine, as well as more specialized journals and literary magazines…

February 21st, 2006

Robert Ellsberg had some explaining to do.
When his book All Saints appeared in 1997, readers celebrated its fresh take on the lives of “365 saints, prophets and witnesses for our time.” But many wanted to know: “Where are all the women?” It was a fair question, given the book’s lopsided male-to-female ratio of four-to-one.
With Blessed Among All Women, Ellsberg returns to address the question head on. In the introduction, he acknowledges the imbalance of All Saints, but is quick to portray it as a symptom of a larger problem. “Among the wide company of official saints,” Ellsberg laments, “women are vastly underrepresented.” Blessed Among All Women…

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