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March 22nd, 2007
How the history of Chile can help us

Imagine being tortured and raped, and then being forced to watch as the ‘evil-doers’ rape your daughter. All the while you know you do not have the information they want. You simply do not know where your son is, and these security forces want to find him.
No, this is not some plot out of a Stephen King novel. This atrocity actually happened in Chile in the early 1980s when the U.S supported, brutal Pinochet dictatorship was in power. As part of my formation as a Jesuit priest, I served in Chile from 1981-1984. Everyone was aware of the practice of torture in the country. The protest group Sebastian Acevedo regularly, and at great risk to themselves, publicly denounced the use of torture. The group was named…

March 20th, 2007
Madonna and feminist theology live on stage!

As we move deeper into Lent and Good Friday approaches, Christians devote special time to reflect on the Passion. We contemplate the meaning of Jesus, Christ crucified, perhaps even taking an afternoon to pray the Stations of the Cross.
I remember kneeling before the giant crucifix in the church from my childhood during Holy Week. As my mother prayed next to me, I would stare at this massive wooden Jesus, his face tilted downward and contorted with pain, the nails through his hands and feet so gruesome that the image is forever burned in my brain. While I knew to be sad for this man, he felt so other to me, an utter stranger to my world. Somewhere in my young mind I also knew he was God. As I grew older, this broken, unfamiliar…

March 17th, 2007

The excerpt below is from an article written by BustedHalo editor-in-chief, Bill McGarvey for the March 17 edition of The Tablet a venerable London-based magazine of “progressive, but responsible Catholic thinking.”
“Judas!” the voice cried out from somewhere in the darkened seating area of Free Trade Hall in Manchester. It was 17 May, 1966, and on stage, Bob Dylan was coming to the end of another concert on a turbulent tour. Audiences that had hailed him as a genius just a year earlier now chastised him for daring to go “electric” with a full band, and for moving beyond the topical protest songs that had made him the great young hope of the folk scene. It had been this way throughout…

March 16th, 2007
… and 12 completely unnecessary facts about the day celebrated in his honor

The Man……

March 17th marks St. Patrick’s Day, the Catholic feast day for the patron saint of Ireland, who died on that day in the 5th century.

Patrick was not Irish but was born in Wales in about AD 385 and for much of his youth did not practice the Catholic faith. He considered himself a pagan until the age of 16 when he was sold into slavery by a group of Irish marauders that raided his village and brought to Ireland. During his 6 year captivity, he became closer to God.

He did not remain in Ireland but instead escaped to Gaul (France) where he studied for the priesthood. In a dream he saw “all the children of Ireland from their mothers’ wombs stretching out their hands” to him. He understood

March 14th, 2007
Robert Siegel's All Will Be Revealed

Robert Anthony Siegel’s new novel All Will Be Revealed combines an engrossing plot with intricately drawn characters and a rich historical setting to create a book that is both entertaining and artistic in a way that literary novels so rarely are.
The book tells the story of Augustus Auerbach, a successful, wheelchair-bound pornographer living in late nineteenth century New York City and Verena Swann, a renowned spiritual medium and the widow of adventurer Captain Theodore Swann. The two meet when one of Auerbach’s models forces him to attend a séance at Swann’s home. At first skeptical, Auerbach becomes entranced by Swann who is able to summon her failing powers to channel Auerbach’s…

March 13th, 2007
Catholics in the Blogosphere

Saint Joseph’s University’s Office of Mission & Identity present the next installment in their Catholic Intellectual Series
Ecclesia Virtualis: Catholics in the Blogosphere
For the First Time Anywhere…
Join us for a panel discussion on how the internet and blogs affect both the discourse on and the practice of Catholicism in America. Our panel features some of the leading voices on the Catholic Church in the blogosphere:
Amy Welborn
Author of the blog “Open Book“
Rocco Palmo
Author of the blog “Whispers in the Loggia“
Grant Gallicho
Associate Editor, Commonweal

Panel Host:
Bill McGarvey
of BustedHalo.com
*While we are not yet certain if the event will…

March 13th, 2007

In this secular society, what place does religion have in our public education system?
Compiled by Marc Adams reporting from the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress …

March 6th, 2007
An exclusive excerpt from the soon-to-be-released novel, ALL WILL BE REVEALED, by a BustedHalo contributing editor

Verena Swann sat in her carriage, peeking through the curtain at the crowd of mourners filling the avenue. Derbies, bonnets, slick black umbrellas, here and there a pale, wet face like a camellia—pointed straight at her. They were waiting for her to open the door and get out, to become theirs—waiting for a woman who loved her husband so much she would not let him go, even in death.

Leopold, her brother-in-law, peered over her shoulder. “Look at this,” he whispered. “Thousands standing in the rain, for you.”

“For him,” she corrected. It was uncomfortable hearing the thought aloud. This was Theodore’s funeral, after all. They were here to honor him, to…

February 26th, 2007
A different kind of minority

The St. Vincent De Paul Catholic School elementary girls’ basketball team was winning.
Again.
The Nashville school was almost all black, and they were playing a mostly white Catholic school. The white girls showed frowns of frustration—even anger—as did their parents in the bleachers. After the buzzer sounded, the girls started leaving the court when a couple of white girls from the losing squad called the St. Vincent team “niggers.”
The event wasn’t a bad memory from the civil rights era, Crystal Shelton, 20, is now an African American basketball player at Christian Brothers University in Memphis, recalled the incident from her elementary school days as she tried…

February 23rd, 2007
The star and director of Amazing Grace discuss religion, politics and the life of William Wilberforce

Though less-renowned in the United States than in Great Britain, William Wilberforce (1759-1833) was a member of Parliament who fought an epic battle for two decades to end the slave trade in the British Empire. While he is remembered primarily as legendary social reformer, Wilberforce’s tireless commitment to justice was animated by his deeply held Christian faith. His convictions were nurtured under the mentorship of John Newton, the former slave ship captain who renounced his work and devoted the rest of his life to Christian ministry (he also composed numerous hymns including the timeless “Amazing Grace”).
In the newly released film, Amazing Grace, Wilberforce’s life is…

February 22nd, 2007

Does the fact that there is a Black History month say something about the way in which Black history is covered in the American Education System? If so what and why?…

February 21st, 2007
A brief checklist to make sure your resolutions make sense

As a child, Lent represented a springtime of denial leading up to the chocolate-filled celebration of Easter, but as an adult I now understand a bit more why Christians have traditionally embraced the threefold Lenten discipline of prayer, fasting and almsgiving. Simply put, we are creatures of habit and Lent gives us a reason each year to look at our habits and to see which ones draw us closer to God and which ones drive us further away from Him.
Having had too many New Year’s resolutions derailed by trying to fix everything at once, I’ve developed a brief discernment process regarding Lenten resolutions that has borne fruit for me in years past. Typically, I start thinking about the whole topic in the…

February 20th, 2007
The spiritual death of Anna Nicole Smith

“Like My Body?” she slurs, lacing her fingers up her voluptuous figure and then throwing them up in the air. Introducing Kanye West at the 2004 American Music Awards, Anna Nicole Smith, high on drugs, spreads her arms saying, “If ever I make an album, I want this guy to make my make me beautiful duet!” As she lowers her head and claps, the crowd roars its approval.
But the scene is eerie, the sound of her voice alluding to the TrimSpa ad campaign for which she was the spokeswoman is almost haunting after her death. Her tottering appearance drew much publicity and comic fodder throughout the rest of the program, and her representatives, of course, scrambled to cover it up saying Anna’s…

February 16th, 2007
Our readers sound off on the defense of The Vagina Monologues

…Sr. Mary Eve responds…
The reader response to Sr. Mary Eve’s article on The Vagina Monologues has been nothing short of overwhelming. In one 24-hour period, more than 10,000 people read it—an all-time high for a single feature on BustedHalo.com—thanks in a part to the piece being picked up by a number of other web outlets like AndrewSullivan.com, New Oxford Review, spiritdaily and Whispers in the Loggia.
Below is a selection of letters that Sr. Mary Eve responds directly to. On subsequent pages we’ve published some of the emails we’ve received from readers.
Sr. Mary Eve responds
Virgin Birth
Among the responses generated by my article, the majority of them defended…

February 15th, 2007

Have you ever been to a protest or political rally? If so, what was that like? What issues would cause you to protest?…

February 14th, 2007
Cupid takes aim for later marriage

When I was 16, I memorized the sheet music to Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” and gave my crush a Valentine’s Day concert. At 23, I baked heart-shaped brownies for my man of the moment—which he enjoyed, but asked why they were shaped funny.
Otherwise, I’ve spent most Feb. 14s by myself. It doesn’t feel terrific. And I know on that score, I am not alone.
But those of you who are moping around this Valentine’s Day, jealously eyeing happy couples, should relax. The sappy pink-and-red hearts in all the drug store windows may make you lose hope that you’ll ever find a partner, but the facts tell a different story: Cupid is still alive and well, no matter…

February 12th, 2007
Happy Valentine's Day! Is Love Dead?

You can feel it in the air—the mad rush on Tiffany’s, restaurants booked-up for prix fixe dinners, store shelves cleared of teddy bears, chocolate and flowers. (And if you’re waiting until now to pick up any of these, good luck.)
Valentine’s Day—”Lovers’ Day,” as it’s called in the Romance languages—is right around the corner. It’s been celebrated for centuries, but these days, for my generation, I can’t help but wonder sometimes what February 14th means to us… and what it doesn’t.
Not-So-Inner
My inner amateur sociologist has long maintained a particular curiosity about relationships, partly because mine…

February 7th, 2007
The painfully amusing genius of HBO's "Extras"

Andy Millman is the patron saint of resentment. The perpetually put-upon actor has love handles but no love life, recently landed a role in a sitcom that has been generously described as a “sh*tcom,” and retains the professional services of the worst talent agent in the United Kingdom. Yet in the hands of Ricky Gervais, the star and co-creator of the HBO series “Extras,” (Sunday nights on HBO at 10pm) Andy Millman’s unending misery is comic delight.
“Extras,” which centers on the awful travails of Millman’s bizarre career, is the funniest and cleverest show on TV. Now in its second season, it is yet another reason to buy a subscription to HBO. (In addition to…

February 6th, 2007

Do you like talking with people of different religious or political beliefs than you have? Have you ever had a conversation with someone of different views in which your own view changed as a result?…

February 5th, 2007
When the one you love doesn't feel the same

It’s the subject of great literature from Don Quixote to The Great Gatsby. It’s the emotions behind ballads from the Eagles to Coldplay. Unrequited love is a love that isn’t reciprocated—and it’s something that most of us have experienced.
According to a recent BustedHalo online poll, more than 90% of respondents said that they have either had romantic feelings that have gone unreciprocated, or that they have had a friend who has had feelings for them that they did not share. It’s a torturous emotion: You just can’t get the object of your affection and desire to see you in the same way, or you feel deeply guilty about not wanting to be romantically involved with someone…

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