Busted Halo
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January 5th, 2007
Battling for the heart of Jewish mysticism, Hollywood and the Hasidim offer different paths

One rabbi who studied it grew crazy, one died and another became so bewildered that he lost his faith. According to Jewish tradition, the study of the Kabbalah or Jewish mysticism is not only powerful but also downright dangerous.
“Woe to the person who says that the Torah shares with us plain stories and mundane matters,” says the Zohar (Radiance), the traditional text of the Kabbalah, “…. rather all the matters in the Torah are supernal matters and supernal secrets.”
For centuries the study of the Kabbalah was forbidden, reserved only for Jewish males over 40, who were well-versed in Torah, but since its recent adoption by Hollywood celebrities, there has been a battle raging…

December 30th, 2006
The Only American Woman Invited to Participate at Vatican II

On August 24, in the motherhouse of the Sisters of Loretto, in Nerinx, Kentucky, one of the towering leaders of the Catholic church died. She was 98. Though Mary Luke Tobin, S.L., led a life described by superlatives, she may best be remembered as one of only 15 women, and the only American woman, to be invited to participate in the Second Vatican Council.
In article published in the Nov. 1, 1986 issue of America, the Catholic weekly, Sister Tobin noted that at the close of the second session of Vatican II, Cardinal Leo Jozef Suenens of Belgium pointedly asked his fellow bishops this question: “Why are we even discussing the reality of the church when half the church is not even represented here?”
That query,…

December 30th, 2006
The Secular Prophet of American Cities

When Jane Jacobs, the 20th Century urban activist and pro-city theorist died in May at the age of 89, we lost a secular prophet. Reading Jacobs’ landmark resistance to modern city planning methods, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, was one of the seminal experiences of my college years. It was an academic experience, but also a spiritual one.
Jacobs’ work trumpeted the city not as a problem to be solved but as a life-affirming manifestation of creativity. A city allowed to function properly has a soul, she argued. Her work resonated with me, a bookish suburbanite transformed into an urban studies major at Fordham University in the Bronx. The book put into words that awe the living city ignited…

December 19th, 2006
A Sad Day in Bedrock: From The Bedrock Times Obituary section

BEDROCK, Dec. 19, 2006
Celebrities and dignitaries streamed into the memorial service for JOSEPH BARBERA at Bedrock Memorial Chapel today. Yogi Bear, Booboo, Fred Flintstone and Shaggy offer emotional, stirring eulogies for their creator, mentor and guide…
You’ll have a yabba-dabba-doo time …
My first history lesson as a kid was something about pre-history: Brontosaurus burgers could be ordered at the drive-in way-back-then. My history teacher was Joseph Barbera and, along with my favorite family, The Flintstones, he would prove to be one of the most influential people in my young life—though I didn’t know him.
Joseph Barbera’s name will forever be connected with that of his partner, William

December 14th, 2006

What is something you would like to give or receive this holiday season that does not have a price tag and cannot be bought in any store? What is the greatest gift you have ever received that you would consider priceless?…

December 13th, 2006
Ten Tips for finally Making the Holidays Happy

The catalogs and television commercials are full of smiling families greeting each other with holiday joy- gleeful reunions full of peace and goodwill. What they don’t show is the screaming match that took place in the kitchen just before the guests arrived or the eye rolling during dinner when dad launches into his favorite diatribe. They don’t have any pictures of your drunken uncle passed out on the couch or your backbiting sister-in-law picking fights. If your family is more “Dealing with Difficult People” than “It’s a Wonderful Life” read on. Here are ten tips for keeping your own sanity this holiday season, even if you’re surrounded by nuts.

THEY WON’T…

December 12th, 2006
Aimee Mann's new Christmas album is an exception to the rule

More often than not, when an artist records a Christmas album it is an apocalyptic sign that their career is rapidly spiraling downward and they are looking to capture some semblance of escaping relevance. Aimee Mann is an exception to that rule. Her latest release, One More Drifter in the Snow, is Christmas music for a new generation.
Mann has included plenty of familiar holiday classics like “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” and “White Christmas” but the arrangements re-imagine their emotional core from an angle all her own. In this way, Mann works like a good theologian—wiping the rust off of a relevant core message and re-interpreting…

December 7th, 2006
All I want for Christmas

I don’t really know what I want for Christmas.
Sure, I want to have my Christmas cards done by my traditional (but never-heeded) deadline of December 10th. I’d like to be able to wave my hand and find my bedroom and office— which, as always, look as if they’ve been bomb-struck—looking somewhat sane. And, of course, a bit more security in terms of my professional situation would be nice…
But that’s not what I’m talking about.
They say this time of year is blessed and special but the older we get it becomes harder to see that amidst our frenzied gift-buying, the drama, or the pain of loss or loneliness that the holidays often bring hauntingly back. These days, with…

December 5th, 2006
Rest in Pieces : Rock n Roll's Church of Lost Souls

CBGBs closed for good this year. Despite financial help from its famous friends, the legendary New York nightclub finally lost a long legal battle with its landlord, the Bowery Residents Committee (a non-profit homeless advocacy group).
CBGB spawned the likes of the Ramones, Television, the Talking Heads, Blondie and many others in the 70s, the stage a veritable pulpit for famous and infamous, including Joey Ramone, often called a “prophet from Queens.” Much of my teenage life was spent at the all-ages hardcore matinees of the 80s. My friends and I drove the four hours up from DC many Sundays, where we gathered in the graffiti-and-sticker-covered space to sing at the feet of our saviors—bands whose names…

December 4th, 2006
The Bad News About Unwed Mothers

Keisha Castle-Hughes, the 16-year-old unmarried actress who plays the Virgin Mary in the new movie, The Nativity Story, is pregnant by her 19-year-old boyfriend. Last week CNN could talk about nothing else: Amazing the coincidence, the announcers said, of this woman getting pregnant when she was playing the role of the most famous unmarried mother in history. And would you believe, the commentators crooned, her boyfriend is even a carpenter, just like Joseph.
Listen. It takes a lot of anti-Catholic sentiment to rile me these days, but after two days of hearing about the “miracle” and “wondrous news” of this young actress’s pregnancy while playing the role of the Blessed Virgin;…

November 30th, 2006
It Feels What You Feel (And Not Much Else)

Near the end of The Nativity Story, the manger scene is as still and precisely framed as the crèches children play with under Christmas trees. The crib is illuminated from above by a beam of starlight so tight and focused it should be coming from a nearby klieg light, rather than the North Star. The villain Herod has shown himself to be perhaps the dumbest man alive, wondering where the Messiah is while from a hundred miles away Mary’s parents gaze knowingly on the ultra highbeam light that practically screams out “Jesus the Christ, this way” like roving spotlights advertising an ancient camel dealership. Mary and Joseph have just completed their very own quiet birthing, Scientology-style,…

November 29th, 2006
Fr. Dave Dwyer CSP goes from website to satellite

Howard Stern, Martha Stewart, Eminem and now Father Dave? Beginning on Monday December 4, Paulist Father Dave Dwyer will join Sirius satellite radio’s growing roster of on-air talent when he launches “The Busted Halo Show” on the satellite radio network’s new Catholic Channel. Dwyer, who produced and directed television for MTV and Comedy Central before entering the priesthood, has been the Publisher of BustedHalo.com for over two years and co-founded the BustedHalo podcast with Managing Editor Mike Hayes one year ago today.
The process that led to the creation of the Sirius show began back in May, when the Archdiocese of New York officially announced plans for a 24-hour Catholic…

November 28th, 2006
The Tulip & the Pope by Deborah Larsen (Vintage)

In high school my best friend, Cathy, who went to an all-girl’s Catholic school kept telling me, “The nuns say I have a calling.” We used to crack up laughing. After all, it was Cathy who swiped her father’s cans of beer from the fridge and her mother’s Kools from her pocketbook, and hung out with hoods. “No way am I going to a Catholic college,” she’d insisted, and we made plans to go away to a state school together and be roommates and have love affairs. But, to my shock, Cathy entered a convent after high school and cut herself off from me completely.
That’s why I leaned forward in my chair, gripping the book hard, as I read Deborah Larsen’s spiritual…

November 27th, 2006
Of High Priests and Universal Language

At the time, Rice’s much-anticipated second album was still in production. Ironically, last week, while spending time with high priests of a different sort, Rice’s new album, 9, was released. I got my first impressions of it while heading to a Baltimore hotel to attend the annual November meeting of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops – which, in my world, is something akin to DisneyWorld, Xanadu, Ibiza… or whatever else you’d call “paradise.”
Almighty O
After a hiatus of four years since the debut of the almighty O–a widely acclaimed album whose beautiful, soul-rattling material felt as if it were written with the finger of God—it’s hard…

November 20th, 2006
In the spirit of St. Ignatius, the Super Size Me director takes viewers on a 30-day spiritual reality retreat

Morgan Spurlock gained fame and an Oscar nomination by becoming a human guinea pig in the documentary Super Size Me in which he ate nothing but McDonald’s meals for a full month. His newest project “30 Days,”(which just finished its 2nd season) is a six-part documentary series that takes the conceit of his debut film to a deeper level by launching real people from very different backgrounds into unfamiliar territory and. capturing not only their strange situations, but also some deep and life changing attitude shifts.
In season one (now available on DVD) the seminal episode focused on poverty as Spurlock takes a page from Barbara Ehrenreich’s book, Nickel and Dimed, and subjects himself…

November 17th, 2006

As a nation, do you think we are grateful? Are you grateful?…

November 15th, 2006
Daniel Ellsberg

Most of us can identify certain teachers or mentors who have had a profound impact on our lives. The same can be said for particular books that have shaped our view of the world. With that in mind, BustedHalo asks the question:
“What books have helped you on your spiritual journey?”
Daniel Ellsberg was the source of “The Pentagon Papers,” the leak that exposed the deliberate deception that several presidents had engaged in regarding America’s involvement in Vietnam. Ellsberg’s actions made him a target of Nixon’s “plumbers” whose later arrest for breaking into Democratic headquarters at the Watergate Hotel set President Nixon’s demise…

November 13th, 2006
Sacha Baron Cohen's hilarious new film cuts uncomfortably close to the bone

As the many diehard fans of British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen had hoped, Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan includes sixty minutes of the most amusing comic stylings to hit the big screen this year. Unfortunately, the movie is a half-hour longer than that delightful hour, and at both its entrance and exit stumbles badly. When departing the theater, many viewers will be asking two questions: the expected “Didn’t you think that was hilariously funny?” and the more troublesome “Didn’t you think that was impossibly offensive?” Alas, Borat is both, with the latter failing to contribute to the former in the ways likely intended…

November 7th, 2006

Are you planning on voting this Tuesday? Why or why not? What issues matter to you? How do you feel about criticisms that young people are apathetic when it comes to voting and politics?…

October 30th, 2006

Do you like Halloween? Is there anything you would not dress up as or you consider to just be wrong?…

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