Busted Halo
 
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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

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August 17th, 2009

While Baptism is the first sacrament of initiation, confirmation imparts what the name implies: it “confirms” baptismal promises and calls believers into living a bolder faith. “Confirmation brings an increase and deepening of baptismal grace” (CCC, 1300) and calls upon the Holy Spirit to impart the gifts that the spirit offers.
“Although Confirmation is sometimes called the “sacrament of Christian maturity,” we must not confuse adult faith with the adult age of natural growth (CCC, 1308). God imparts grace on us to make us bolder, despite our age or intellect.
The essential rite… of the sacrament is conferred through anointing with chrism on the forehead and the words: “Be sealed

August 17th, 2009
Catholic, Protestant, Jewish and Muslim leaders discuss the spiritual and religious challenges students face in college

One of the guiding principles behind Busted Halo… has always been that the journey in search of deeper meaning—that countless young adults are already on—is an inherently spiritual one. The transition to college life can be particularly difficult; for many it is the first time living away from home and the lack of structure can shake some students down to their foundation. But it is also a great time for students to ask the “big questions” about their lives and beliefs. Fortunately, most campuses are well equipped with people who can help with this sort of seeking.
We found spiritual leaders representing four different faith traditions from campuses across the country—from Columbus, Ohio and New Orleans,

August 13th, 2009
Inglorious Basterds and the new wave of "tough Jews" in movies

Have you ever wondered what life would be like if you hadn’t taken that job, or gone to that school, or moved to that neighborhood?
In other words: what if you were living in an alternative reality?
Alternative history is a genre with a long pedigree, especially in the realm of science fiction. After all, who can resist wondering, “What if…?”
The epic saga of the Second World War, with its action, tragedy and larger than life heroes, has inspired many “alternative histories,” from the “City on the Edge of Forever” episode of the original Star Trek, to the 1992 novel-turned-miniseries Fatherland…, which depicts a world in which the Nazis defeat the Allies. The

August 12th, 2009
Video 1 - "I got five children; four were born here"

A Jamaican national with several American citizen children wants to stay in the country.…

August 10th, 2009
Avoiding triggers and staying connected to God

Ever want to bite someone’s head off just because they had the misfortune to cross your path when you hadn’t eaten lunch? Or hadn’t gotten enough sleep the night before? Or when you were already angry about something else? Ever sit alone — or worse, in a crowd — and feel lonely and irritated at anyone and everything?
When I was on Father Dave’s radio show in June, we talked a little about HALT. Ever since then, I’ve been wanting to write more about it. Self-help is full of acronyms and aphorisms and a lot of them are more cute than useful, but this one is a keeper. Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired: When you feel irritated or anxious, one — or more — of those four conditions…

August 10th, 2009

Catholics believe that Jesus rose from the dead after being crucified, that this is a real event in history and has been verified by sacred scripture. Later, St. Paul would also write about the Resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:3-4)
However, Resurrection does not mean only the resuscitation of a dead human body back to its previous form, but, rather, as the Catechism tells us:
Christ’s Resurrection is essentially different. In his risen body he passes from the state of death to another life beyond time and space. (CCC 645-46).

In short, this Jesus is the same Jesus, but he looks different to the disciples.  Nobody was a witness to how Jesus came into this new way of real life, so we know not how this happens…

August 9th, 2009
Shrugging my way toward Bethlehem

It’s Thursday night. Work is off my back for the day. Friday is just ahead and the air is crisp and cool as I head to meet my friends at our designated weekly spot for copious calorie consumption: Applebee’s.
Once inside — after our hellos and “Work sucks’” — two things are bound to happen: 1) One of my friends is going to order mozzarella sticks, half-off (cause it’s late); and 2) Somebody’s going to criticize and make fun of me because I’m Catholic. Every single person I hang out with is an atheist, from my best friend to casual acquaintances.
Usually, it starts with a comment from my best friend, “Rich, why are you always… following that BS? It’s

August 9th, 2009
Some surprising answers to a common question

One of the most common (and frequent) questions Busted Halo gets from people is, What exactly does the Catholic Church teach about oral sex? It is an understandable question that is not easily answered with a simple yes or no response. The fact is, the Church’s teachings can’t be compartmentalized into questions on only one form of sexual expression. In order to understand what the church says about oral sex, one must first be aware of the Church’s teachings on the nature and purpose of all sexual expression.
First and foremost, the Church reserves all sex for marriage. This is not simply a way to restrict our natural sexual impulses, but rather to use them for what they were properly intended,…

August 6th, 2009
The last of four excerpts from 50 Ways to Help Save the Earth, How You and Your Church Can Make a Difference

50 Ways to Help Save the Earth: How You and Your Church Can Make a Difference
The green movement has taken root among Christians, with individuals and churches embracing eco-justice as a vital part of discipleship. In this four-part series, we will be excerpting chapters from 50 Ways to Help Save the Earth: How You and Your Church Can Make a Difference… by environmental activist Rebecca Barnes-Davies, who makes a clear connection between caring for the earth and living one’s faith. Taking action is important, but it’s also about “not doing,” says Barnes-Davies. Knowing when to let go of control, doing no harm, resting, celebrating, and trusting that God is doing the work to care for creation,

August 5th, 2009
Video 1 - "I got caught by ICE, and detained for twenty days"

Walter did not know he was undocumented until he was applying for college.…

August 3rd, 2009
How is the economic downturn affecting relationships?

Tim is an unmarried 29-year-old with a master’s in statistics. He’d like to meet a great woman, get married and start a family, but he says the recession has stalled his progress.
“I don’t have the disposable income to go out on a date,” Tim told me recently. Plus, he said, his self-worth is tied to his career. After a few years of underemployment in jobs that haven’t been intellectually stimulating, even if he did have some more cash on hand he wouldn’t really feel up to dating.
“Manliness is rooted in a career, and it is demoralizing to work in positions that require little to no education and have little to no prospect of upward mobility,” said Tim. “All…

August 1st, 2009
Video 1 - "How are you not part of your family?"

A Fijian student, who was applying for residential paperwork, became the only undocumented member of her family.…

July 31st, 2009
Daily giveaways for opening week of the Busted Halo merchandise store

You asked, we ignored. You pleaded, we contemplated. You begged, we acquiesced. The Official Busted Halo Merchandise Store is now open for business! Our store is now home to all types of products to fulfill your burning desire to wear Busted Halo on your chest, coffee cup, child’s bib… the possibilities are endless (almost).
This is a big step for us; it was only a few years ago that our editor in chief had to hand crank the Coleco computer to get the website up and running, interns had to travel over eight miles by foot to send out the mailings and staffers had the cumbersome task of using rotary phones! But now, thanks to the internal combustion engine, fluoridated water and better labor laws, we’re…

July 28th, 2009
The third of four excerpts from 50 Ways to Help Save the Earth, How You and Your Church Can Make a Difference

This is not a suggestion to drink less water. It is, instead, a suggestion to curtail wasteful, personal use of water in our homes and congregations. There are both simple and more complicated things that we can do to reduce our water consumption. While one in six people in the world still lacks access to safe drinking water, most of us in the United States have potable water whenever we want. If we had to walk a few miles for the water we use to drink, clean, and cook, we probably would think a bit more about it and would certainly use less of it. While the world’s population grows, access to clean water is going to become an increasingly serious concern…

July 27th, 2009
An indie writer drops her ironic distance and finds her faith

On a chilly April night, I’m standing on the stone altar of my childhood church, forehead dripping with chrism, when the guy next to me leans over and whispers, “It’s burning!” In spite of the solemnity of the occasion and the fact that we’re standing with a group of fifteen people in front of an audience of hundreds along with three priests and a deacon, I let out a very inappropriate burst of giggles.
How did I get here? How did a thirty-eight-year-old university lecturer, radical aging punk rocker with eight tattoos (and counting), author of a book about indie culture, married to an agnostic, pragmatic intellectual, and critic of all things group think wind up going through the…

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