Busted Halo
Features
 
facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail
September 16th, 2009
A young minister reflects on her encounters with evangelism

Shawn preaching in the Union Square subway station

Union Square is a historic and lively outdoor space in Manhattan, known for its plethora of restaurants, live entertainment, farmers market, college students and — most infamously — skateboarders. It is a crossroads for all people; a place where the rich and poor, young and old, goth and suits meet for entertainment and leisure. Entrepreneurs, extreme sport enthusiasts and people watchers are not the only ones taking advantage of this unique space; street evangelists are too.

They are part of the two percent of Christians who share their faith, according to statistics released by the evangelistic organization, Crusade For Christ. These street preachers are spreading the love and message of Jesus Christ right in the middle of New York City, and adding religion to the mix at this outdoor Manhattan hotspot.

This sparks some questions. How do they have the guts to do what they do in such a city? Are they simply Jesus freaks who should be categorized with the other “crazies” that roam Manhattan? And, is anybody really listening?

I took several different approaches as I watched these street preachers on my biweekly visits to Union Square. As a Christian, I admired their willingness to spread the message and inquired about their motivation. As a minister, I admired their preaching boldness, analyzed their audiences’ responses, and learned some indirect yet valuable lessons about spreading the Gospel. And at times, while I respected their mission, I had issues with the message they chose to share (particularly in regards to judgment, hell, and dogmatism) and questioned whether the best and most relevant methods were being used to reach their audience.

September 14th, 2009
"The world's largest yard sale"

Nicole talks about the difficulties she’s facing uprooting her four kids and moving to a foreign country.
In video one, Nicole explained how her husband was barred from returning to the United States. Because of this, she is planning on moving with her kids to Mexico.…

September 14th, 2009
How to support a friend or loved one who's grieving

On a recent Friday night a friend of mine called to tell me her husband had died suddenly. He didn’t suffer and she was with him, but he was young and they’d only been married for a little over a year. At first I thought I hadn’t heard correctly. I was expecting the news that she was pregnant, or that there was a new job on the horizon. Even when someone calls to say they have bad news, death is far from my mind.
“I’m so sorry” was all I could keep repeating. The next week I flew out to see her, brought chocolates and sat there as she told me the whole story. I told her again how sorry I was, and wished there was something more I could do.
While I hope this isn’t something that any of you have…

September 11th, 2009
The legendary artist who influenced generations of musicians talks about God and country (music)

One of country music’s great survivors, Charlie Louvin has a career that reads like a Southern gothic novel. He grew up singing sacred harp music — a harmonically complex form of Southern congregational music — with his brother Ira, and the duo would help lay the foundation for the country-rock movement with their close harmonies and stark tales of faith, family, and death. Among their early fans were a young Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash. Both would later open for the brothers, and carry their influence around the world.
The Louvin Brothers’ story was soon shrouded in the same kind of tragedy that hung around the corners of their songs when, after years of alcoholism and erratic behavior, Ira…

September 7th, 2009
Discernment is about uncovering what you already know

I’ve written several columns here with suggestions that are rather directive — get enough sleep, use the downturn to find your calling, meditate regularly… and then there was my column about not saying ‘should’ and ‘have to’.
“Um,” said a reader after the ‘don’t should’ column, “How do I know when to make a change and when to go easy on myself — how do I know when to apply which principle?”
It’s a great point, and I’m grateful to be called out on it. It’s all well and good to say we should live in the now and accept God’s plan as it unfolds, but that doesn’t mean we should be passive. Using…

September 4th, 2009
Challenges for Bible Belt atheists

A red Hyundai with a Darwin fish and an “atheist” license tag eases up to a fast food drive-through window in Huntsville, Alabama. A van pulls up behind it. Five children slip out, line up along one side of the car and chant “God loves you” and “Praise Jesus.” The kids scramble back into the van, congratulated by a high-fiving mother.

Blair Scott — the 38-year-old, cherub-faced man in the red car — still chuckles about it a year later, joking that the kids yelled “god-scenities” at him. The quick-to-laugh Scott shrugs off the negative attention — which also includes 75 hate emails and at least one death threat a week. Scott is the founder of the largest atheist organization in the state, the North Alabama Freethought Association (NAFA) in Huntsville.

In 2004, NAFA had two members; today it has more than 200. Scott says that a decade ago, three atheist organizations in Alabama floundered, but now 10 thrive. “Atheists are on the rise in Alabama. But we may not be what you think,” he beams.

September 2nd, 2009
Video 2

September 2nd, 2009

A bishop is a priest who receives “the fullness of the sacrament of Holy Orders” (CCC, 1557) and is the visible head of a particular local church. Their first task is to be a teacher of the faith, “preaching the gospel to all” (CCC, 888). Bishops are also “sanctifiers,” meaning they are the ones who ordain other men to the priesthood.
Bishops stem from the first Apostles. Christ chose the Apostles to be the people who would spread the gospel to all nations. They acted together as a body or a “college,” but they also spread out to preach the good news to local areas. Bishops have succeeded these original disciples and have a presence as the rulers of the Church in local…

September 1st, 2009
Father Dave has a laugh with Laughter Yogi Vishwa Prakash

The practice of yoga has been popular in the United States for many years, but Fr. Dave Dwyer, CSP from the Busted Halo® Show on Sirius XM Radio recently discovered a twist to this ancient discipline in the form of Laughter Yoga. Laughter Therapist and author Vishwa Prakash is the head of the North American office of Laughter International, an organization of 10,000 active clubs worldwide that promotes spiritual, physical, and psychological well-being through the practice of laughter yoga.  The Laughter Yogi recently invited Fr. Dave to partake in his Laugh Yoga workshop in New York City.
And listen to Father Dave’s extended interview with Laughter Yogi Vishwa Prakash on the Busted Halo® Show.…

August 31st, 2009
Busted Halo examines three popular Catholic internet dating services

Jeff Whitfield shouldn’t need any help meeting women. When he talks in his calm, Kentucky drawl about his past rambunctiousness and the salvation his faith provided him, he sounds charming, self-possessed, and likable — not the kind of guy who would need an online dating service. In fact, he wouldn’t have expected it ether. Jeff’s initial impression of the people who use internet dating sites was characteristically blunt. “They’re losers,” he used to say.
The problem is, the people he kept meeting weren’t exactly winners. Jeff was tired of the bar scene but wasn’t sure where else to go, so he thought he’d give CatholicSingles.com a try. After…

August 31st, 2009
Our readers weigh in on how the economy has affected their love lives

Katie, 27, and her fiancé, Ryan, got engaged in October, 2008, just as the economy was beginning its free-fall. Ryan was graduating from law school and, with a job lined up at a good firm, he planned to start paying off more than $150,000 in student loans. But in February, Ryan’s law firm withdrew their offer, laying off employees and downsizing their operation. Katie’s salary as a Catholic school teacher wasn’t going to be enough to make ends meet and pay off the loans. While Ryan searched, unsuccessfully, for another legal job, the young couple was in a bind. “Should we still get married? How will we live and survive?” Katie remembers asking herself.
A few weeks back, I introduced…

August 27th, 2009
Video 1 - "Since then I’ve always worked hard in school"

Facundo’s family left Argentina to find work in California.…

August 26th, 2009
Are justice and forgiveness mutually exclusive?

“Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”
For many who go to church every Sunday, these words roll off the tongue like a drop of dew on a morning leaf. Most of us don’t even think about the radical forgiveness we are committing ourselves to granting, every time we say the Lord’s Prayer. We acknowledge through the words we speak, however, that the forgiveness we receive from God is tied closely to the forgiveness we grant others. Nothing, I believe, can be tougher yet show more of God’s love than a true act of forgiveness. For that reason, it behooves me to add a slightly different, questioning voice to the debate raging over the recent decision by the Scottish…

August 25th, 2009
How I decided not to become a priest

Around the middle of last February, just as the Lenten spirit of penitence was starting to kick in, an unexpected guest turned up at evening Mass. Tall and lean, graying and bearded, wearing a Dominican habit and an air of stern benevolence, he looked like central casting’s idea of a Grand Inquisitor.
It turned out that wasn’t too far from the mark. He was, in fact, novice master for our province of the Order of Preachers. After the Gospel reading, he took the pulpit and delivered what amounted to a recruiting pitch for the order. To my own surprise, I found myself straining to take in every word. Becoming a Dominican sounded like a capital idea. Between the travel and the scholarship, it reminded me of grad…

August 24th, 2009
The gonzo rabbi talks about his new book, finding growth in adversity and seeing G-d everywhere

Niles Goldstein is famous for taking Judaism back to its roots: tradition, rebellion, mysticism and G-d. His last book, Gonzo Judaism, showed the exciting, provocative and exhilarating parts of being Jewish and living Jewish lives. His new book gets a littler more personal. The Challenge of the Soul… is part memoir, part soul-help, and proves that G-d really does give kudos to the badass.
Goldstein is all about using adversity as opportunity. He’s a black belt in karate and founded the New Shul in Tribeca. In this new book, Goldstein reminds us that spirituality, and G-d, exist everywhere we let them in.  It’s up to us to tap in for strength.
“We must accept that life is, fundamentally, a mystery,” Goldstein

August 23rd, 2009
A Catholic convert calls on his Church to be a positive force in extending health care to all

People of faith are not of one political party or the other — not all conservative or all progressive, all right or all left. But most people of faith believe as a core principle that we should love one another and care for one another — that this is how we express Divine Love.

Can we agree on this: Can we agree that it’s a scandal that tens of millions of Americans live in fear of getting sick, because of the ruin it might bring to their lives? And that many of the rest of us are only a layoff away from the same situation? This is not a statement of rights. This is not an argument for exactly how to extend to those people the security of universal coverage. But can we agree that it is for the Common Good that this be done?

It upsets me how little I’ve heard from religious leaders. Most notably, what I’ve heard from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. While the bishops have gone on record multiple times in favor of universal coverage, their recent focus on attacking the current proposals gives the impression they are hostile towards the whole effort. I know the bishops want universal coverage. I’ve read the urgency of their words on the subject. But that’s not the message that’s reaching politicians or the general public.

August 20th, 2009
Finding the right fit isn't always easy

Often it’s the things that don’t turn out the way we’d planned that teach us the most about ourselves and what’s important. A more philosophical way of putting it—experience is what you get when you don’t get what you want.
Patti started out at small women’s college. She made some great friends right off the bat but found the small college environment a little too… small. Erin was the classic ‘so good at everything’ student. She had to make a choice and dive in so she could find out what was right for her. She ended up finding out what WASN’T right for her.
At some point during freshman year nearly every student asks the question “Is this where I belong?” Sometimes it’s because he or she is simply

August 19th, 2009
Video 1 - "If I go back to my country my daughters will be facing what I am surviving"

A mother of six wants her daughters to avoid female genital mutilation.…

August 18th, 2009
In feeding the media beast am I killing my soul?

I knew I was in trouble the day I wrote a headline about Michael Jackson being a gay crossdresser. He wasn’t even in the ground yet, his dear family was mourning, and here I was exposing an intimate speculation about his life for the whole world and their grandma to read.
This was Michael Jackson. I spent all of 1984 kissing the cover of the Thriller album, and 25 years later here I was throwing him under the bus for… traffic…?
My work as a showbiz reporter for a popular website often leads to a dichotomy of values. My position can be positive or straight-up provocative; exciting or, sometimes, brutal. I hunt like a fox for updates on the Gosselin divorce, but then worry that their children are traumatized. My

August 17th, 2009
Busted Halo talks with the jazz pianist-composer-vocalist about music and faith

var flashvars = {};flashvars.soundFile = “http://www.bustedhalo.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/03%20From%20This%20Place_%20master.mp3″;flashvars.width = “290″;flashvars.height = “24″;flashvars.leftbg = “0×840000″;flashvars.lefticon = “0xffffff”;var params = {};params.menu = “false”; params.wmode = “transparent”; var attributes = {};attributes.id = “myDynamicContent”;attributes.name = “myDynamicContent”;swfobject.embedSWF(“/audio-player/player.swf”, “myContent”, “290″, “24″, “8″,”expressInstall.swf”, flashvars, params, attributes);Click above to play From This Place, the title track from Deanna Witkowski’s new album, or launch the popup player.…

powered by the Paulists