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December 9th, 2007
One young family attempts to navigate the treacherous waters of Greedikah

The Maccabees didn’t stand a chance against the catalogs that began to appear in in mid-November. Our children, Jonah and Maia, began to look through them as a hobby. They each settled on one expensive present that would link their longing with that of a gazillion other children, Jewish and Christian, a terrifying and determined mob, plotting their conquests around the globe. We dreaded the arrival of the catalogs each afternoon. The children could spot them sticking out of our mailbox like eagles spotting a mouse from a great height. They were their Torahs, their holy books.
“I get to see it first!” Jonah, who was six, screamed.
“No, me!” Maia, who was two, shrieked.
Jonah could…

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

December 6th, 2007
Reflections on God from a Spiritual Odd Couple

The Faith Between Us, by Peter Bebergal and Scott Korb, is the story of a failed Jewish mystic and a would-be Catholic priest who meet and become friends while searching for the meaning of God. The book’s range is broad, encompassing rock-and-roll, drug addiction, cancer, sex, veganism, marriage and family, but it always comes back to the same small group of inescapable, maddening questions. What is faith? What is belief? What is holiness? What is love? Bebergal and Korb are a kind of spiritual Odd Couple, separated by religion and life experience but bound together by a thirst for God and a deep trust in one another. The book they have written is funny, heartbreaking, thought-provoking, unsparingly honest…

November 30th, 2007
A selection of Grace before meals gathered from different faith traditions

The prayers listed below were excerpted from: 100 Graces: Mealtime Blessings and represent a cross-section of thanksgiving prayers from a variety of faith traditions.
Happy Thanksgiving to all of our readers from BustedHalo.com…
Native American
Creator, Earth Mother,
we thank you for our lives and
this beautiful day.
Thank You for the bright sun
and the rain we received last night.
Thank You for this circle of friends
and the opportunity to be together.
We want to thank You especially at this time
for the giveaway of their lives made by the
chickens, beets, carrots, grains and lettuce.
We thank them for giving of their lives
so we may continue our lives through this
great blessing. Please help us honor them
through

November 30th, 2007
Mixing song, spirituality and social action

Brad Corrigan (aka Braddigan) certainly understands extremes. Dispatch, the trio he formed with college friends in the 1990s, became an independent music phenomenon. They spent years building an enormous following of rabid fans through the internet and touring only to break up at the height of their popularity (their 2004 farewell concert in Boston drew an estimated 110,000 people). Corrigan then returned to the drawing board and put together a three-piece acoustic, rock and reggae outfit, Braddigan— featuring Reinaldo De Jesus on drums and Tiago Machado on bass—and began dividing his time between playing clubs all over again and devoting energy to the various ministry and justice causes…

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 26th, 2007
The Marriage Myth: Scaring women about their marriage prospects distracts us from truly urgent issues

Major news outlets are once again scaring smart, accomplished women into believing that they’re doomed to be old maids because they intimidate men. This old saw makes great headlines—but it’s dead wrong. It also distracts from the real problems facing the American family: Male or female, those with good educations and big paychecks do well in the marriage market—while those without degrees or career success are increasingly unlucky in love.

In 1970, women married around age 21; 68 women enrolled in college per 100 men—and the more education a woman had, the less likely she was to get married. Academic articles of the time routinely reported that women were more attracted to…

November 20th, 2007
The multi-platinum Canadian band visits the BustedHalo show on Sirius

Fr. Dave Dwyer CSP interviews the multi-platinum band Barenaked Ladies for the BustedHalo… show on Sirius satellite radio.
Canada’s favorite sons discuss their new live DVD/CD, “Talk to the Hand: Live in Michigan” as well as other topics.
Download MP3

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 12th, 2007
The Florists Daughter beautifully captures a "relentlessly modest" life

As young-adults, we’re often used to reading books about ourselves and our own experiences. We’re interested in entertainment, a good story, or some advice about how to live our lives right now. Sometimes, though, it’s useful to read a book about what our future might be like—what issues may lie ahead for us, and how others have coped with the “big questions” of life.
Patricia Hampl’s new memoir, The Florist’s Daughter…, explores life in the middle—a lower-middle class family in the Midwest—and speaks to a generation of American women who struggle with responsibility and regrets as they assume the role as caretakers to their aging parents.

November 8th, 2007
The author of The Year of Living Biblically talks about what it's like to live by "The Book"

Countless believers pride themselves on leading Bible-based lives, but let’s face it: there’s a big difference between donating to the Christian Children’s Fund and downloading Jars of Clay onto your iPod, and diving headlong into the ancient world of Moses and King David—swearing off clothing made of mixed fibers, stoning adulterers, and growing a beard that makes you resemble the Unabomber.
In his latest book, The Year of Living Biblically, Esquire… editor A.J. Jacobs sought the “ultimate ancient-Israelite experience,” devoting 365 days of his life to following the Good Word—as literally as possible. Jacobs set out to obey every rule in the Bible. Thus,

November 6th, 2007
The Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist discusses fathers, sons, a vanishing America and Bridge of Sighs

Some believe him to be the “Bard of Main Street USA.” Throughout the six novels he has published since 1986, Richard Russo has created stories of small town American life worthy of Sherwood Anderson—the twentieth century American author of Winesburg, Ohio to whom Russo is ofen compared.
Six years after winning the Pulitzer Prize for his 2001 novel Empire Falls, Russo returns with Bridge of Sighs, another richly observed rendering of a fictional small town, Thomaston, NY. Like other worlds of Russo’s making both as a novelist and a screenwriter (Nobody’s Fool, Empire Falls…) Thomaston comes alive with the author’s gift for enormously descriptive detail. In true Russo

November 5th, 2007
The author of Oil and Water interprets Islam for a Western audience

Amir Hussain—who describes himself as a Pakistani-born Canadian Muslim and teaches theology at a Jesuit university in Los Angeles—is intent on spreading a message: There is more that unites than divides us. Written for Christians by a Muslim, his new book, Oil and Water: Two Faiths, One God, explores the differences between Christianity and Islam—but more importantly—what these two faiths have in common, paving the way for meaningful dialogue and ultimately, reconciliation.
Hussain is considered a leading specialist on Islam and is currently a Department of Theological Studies assistant professor at Loyola Marymount University. He recently spoke with BustedHalo… about

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?…

November 1st, 2007
Fr. Roderick Vonhogen a new media pioneer from the heart of the Netherlands

As Pope John Paul II lay dying, thousands of pilgrims and other well-wishers gathered outside his window, offering prayers, hoping for a miracle or at least a glimpse of the ailing Pontiff. One of those pilgrims was Fr. Roderick Vonhogen, a Dutch priest from Amersfoort in the Netherlands, who had begun immersing himself in a new form of technology called podcasting, a short-form digital radio show that is easily captured through the internet.
As Fr. Roderick saw people’s reactions during the Pope’s last days, he began to wander around, digital recorder in hand and ask questions of the younger people in St. Peter’s Square. He added some of his own commentary and then posted his podcast on the…

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 26th, 2007
The monks of Myanmar move mountains through faith

To the people, they are courageous political activists. To the government, they are conniving political agitators. They have suffered unspeakable cruelty at the hands of a military regime while refraining from exhibiting similar violence. Slowly though, they are changing the tide, armed with nothing but their faith and perseverance. Many people today are quick to blame religion for being the root of all wars and bloodshed in the history of mankind. Certainly the history books offer plenty of evidence to support that observation. But the Buddhist monks of Burma, through their unprecedented protests and now victimization, show that perhaps religion and faith in general are not always the root of war, but…

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

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