Busted Halo
Features : Entertainment & Lifestyle
December 7th, 2007
Juno has wit, heart and edge

Is there anything funny about a sixteen year old girl getting pregnant? Actually, there’s quite a bit in the new film Juno….
A smart and smart-mouthed Minnesota teen named Juno MacGuff (Ellen Page) finds herself pregnant after her first sexual experience with a shy, nerdy classmate (Michael Cera). Her first inclination is to abort the child and she even goes to a clinic for the procedure. But an encounter with a friend from school—along with the comically bizarre abortion clinic—results in Juno rushing out and soon after deciding to give her baby up for adoption. After searching for prospective parents in the local Penny Saver, she decides on Vanessa and Mark Loring (Jennifer Garner and Jason

November 27th, 2007
Five recommended spiritual reads for Advent and Christmas

This year will be different.
That’s the promise many of us make to ourselves just after Thanksgiving each year. We make silent oaths that we won’t spend too much on Christmas presents. We tell ourselves that we won’t overindulge at holiday fêtes, and that we’ll take some time to really …savor the true meaning of the season.
We kickoff our Christmas preparations with the best of intentions, but often we don’t nurture any part of ourselves other than our latent inner shopper. Yet, the days of Advent and Christmas can be most meaningful when we take time to attend to our spiritual lives.
Fortunately, there are a number of great resources out there to help. A great antidote to the

November 19th, 2007
A review of A Jesuit Off-Broadway

In his latest book, James Martin, SJ explores the work of a contemporary priest and exemplifies the quintessential Jesuit as cultured, literate believer who seeks to “find God in all things, in all peoples and in all environments.”
A Jesuit Off-Broadway recounts the months Martin—author of My Life with the Saints and an editor at America magazine—spends as the theological advisor and unofficial chaplain for the LABryinth Theater Company in New York while they mounted a brand new play The Last Days of Judas Iscariot. When company member Sam Rockwell (The Assassination of Jesse James…) took the role of Judas he sought out Martin for crash courses on New Testament theology, the historical

November 16th, 2007
Redford's Lions for Lambs paints 20-somethings with broad strokes

“Rome is burning, son!”
So says Professor Stephen Malley (Robert Redford) to a disaffected student named Todd in Redford’s new film, Lions for Lambs…. It’s an alarming message, in a movie full of messages: civil rights are in peril, soldiers are dying, and American morale is low. To each of which, Redford asks: what are we going to do about it?
If only the Redford’s plot were as easy to follow as his pontificating. Redford isn’t able to successfully weave together his stories in ninety minutes, so a concise and comprehensible plot summary is nearly impossible. While Malley exhorts the increasingly jaded Todd to get involved, a veteran reporter (Meryl Streep) in distant

November 15th, 2007
BustedHalo's editor-in-chief discusses Springsteen's Magic

Musician and BustedHalo editor-in-chief, Bill McGarvey, discusses Bruce Springsteen’s new album, Magic on a podcast with America… magazine‘s online editor, Tim Reidy.
Listen to America Magazine’s podcast.

November 1st, 2007

Do you usually say a prayer or form of grace before your Thanksgiving meal? If so, what do you want your grace to be for this Thanksgiving?…

October 29th, 2007
DAM brings the Palestinian struggle into the world of rap

In much of the hip hop music world the constant threat of menace and violence is simply a given. Few would argue that a large part of the music’s appeal is deeply tied up with the sense of danger that certain artists evoke and that considerable energy and resources are spent to establish an artist’s “street cred” by promoting their history of poverty, violence and their prison record. Despite the fact that much of that sense of danger may very well be manufactured, it can make a big difference to the bottom line: music and ticket sales.
As an American in my mid-twenties, hip-hop has been a musical cornerstone of my adolescence. Normally, attending a hip-hop concert on a warm summer night wouldn’t…

October 25th, 2007
Earnest but off-key, Bella preaches to the choir

Metanoia films’ mission statement “to make films that matter and have the potential of making a meaningful difference in people’s lives” is both lofty and laudable. To the young company’s credit their first film, Bella has received some attention on the festival circuit—most notably the People’s Choice award at the Toronto film fest—and is about to be released in selected cities over the next few weeks. While Bella… will most likely matter and make a difference to some audiences, its earnest attempts to straddle different worlds has decidedly mixed results.
Much of the story follows the main characters, Nina (Tammy Blanchard, above left) and José

October 18th, 2007

How much do you try to understand faiths outside of your own?…

October 18th, 2007

How do you feel about North Korea having nuclear weapons? Does it make you nervous? What should be done about it?…

October 11th, 2007
Sean Penn's Into the Wild stuns and disappoints

How much of your life do you owe to the ones who love you? What are your obligations to the imperfect people who raise and care for you, as you set out to forge an individual sense of self?
In 1995, the author John Krakauer (Into Thin Air, Under the Banner of Heaven) wrote Into the Wild…, the true story of Christopher McCandless, a young Emory graduate from an affluent Washington DC suburb. Inspired by Tolstoy, Thoreau and Jack London, McCandless gave all his savings to Oxfam, drove to Arizona, left his car, and wandered the western U.S. for two years in an austere search for authenticity and spiritual wisdom. He communed with graying flower-children in California, kayaked through Colorado River rapids, and worked a

September 27th, 2007
The Religious Landscape of People in their 20s and 30s

In many ways, the 18-to-34-year-old crowd is a sought-after demographic. Advertisers continually try to lure young fashionistas, techies and foodies with their cutting-edge wares. Television executives craft sitcoms and reality shows hoping to capture the interest of this population. The Catholic Church, too, seeks their energy, enthusiasm and talents.
But appealing to these young adults in way that leads to lifelong commitment presents a challenge. How can an institution with a 2,000 year history, that’s not typically known for its innovation or it speed, attract and engage young adults, who prize the immediacy of text messaging and Google searches, change careers every two to three years,…

September 26th, 2007

How do you find peace and balance in your life?…

September 25th, 2007
Mother Teresa's life in full

Saints are most commonly seen in two dimensions, as they appear in devotional artwork. Frozen in stained glass or canvas, they serenely eye the heavens as their hands bless and pray, or register the sweet pain of martyrdom. The figures’ piety, untroubled by human temptations, lends them a sort of beatific flatness. They frequently look like caricatures, not real people of flesh and blood.
Consider the recent case of Gonxha Agnes Bojaxhiu, better known as Mother Teresa of Calcutta. While her Missionaries of Charity served among the world’s desperately poor, Teresa’s careworn smile became an icon of sanctity for the television age. As the praise mounted, she took great pains to emphasize…

September 21st, 2007

As the primaries approach, to what degree does a candidate’s faith influence your vote?…

September 14th, 2007
The Religious Landscape of People in their 20s and 30s

The publication of Mike Hayes’ book Googling God is an important first on a number of levels for everyone involved with BustedHalo. Not only does it mark the publication of our managing editor’s first book, it is also the debut of our new publishing imprint, BustedHalo Books, through Paulist Press. Plans are already underway to publish other titles through BustedHalo Books in the near future, including the Freshman Survival Guide and Moral Dilemmas, so stay tuned. But for now we hope you enjoy this brief excerpt from Googling God.

When Paulist Father Brett Hoover and I founded BustedHalo.com… in 2000, our mission was to minister to the “spiritual but not religious crowd” in their 20s

September 12th, 2007

To what degree should religion play a role in government?…

September 6th, 2007
You Can Do It!

So, What Exactly Is Podcasting?
Not Just For iPods
A podcast is like a radio show that you download from the internet and listen to either through your computer’s speakers, or with an iPod or other mp3 player.  A podcast is much like an audio magazine subscription: a subscriber receives regular audio programs delivered via the internet, and she or he can listen to them at her or his leisure.  Despite the name, be assured you do not need an iPod… to listen to podcasts. They are popular for a number of reasons. The content is very niche-oriented, such that subjects that would never be of broad enough interest to warrant an entire show on a radio station may have dozens or even hundreds of podcasts devoted to them. Because

September 6th, 2007
In Four Easy(-ish) Steps

If you would like to print out an overview of this 4-step process in a one-page handout, click here.
STEP ONE: Record Yourself Preaching
Use the “house sound system.”…
You may be able to record yourself by using a sound system already in place in the church or venue in which you’re preaching.  The upside of this method is that you don’t have to buy a voice recorder or microphone, don’t have to wear a second mic, and you might even be able to convince someone in the sound room or sacristy to start and stop recording at the right moment to eliminate the need for editing.  But it’s rare to find a church sound system set up to easily record on digital media (i.e., CD-R or CD-RW or direct

September 6th, 2007
Review: The Jihad Next Door: The Lackawanna Six and Rough Justice in the Age of Terror

When I stopped by a Guantanamo protest outside the UN on New York’s east side last year, someone abruptly shoved a microphone and note card in my hand so I could read aloud the devastating first-person account of one of the many prisoners locked away in Guantanamo with no hope for trial or even release. Another victim of our country’s skewed system of justice post-9/11.

Such personal stories are what drew me into that protest (and the cause more generally), and are also what make The Jihad Next Door: The Lackawanna Six and Rough Justice in the Age of Terror, by Dina Temple-Raston, so compelling. As with her previous book, A Death in Texas…, in which she focused on race relations from the vantage point of a

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