Busted Halo
Features
 
facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail
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…

July 27th, 2009
Give yourself the gift of time with no goals -- on retreat, on vacation and at home

Our new level of connectedness is a wonderful thing — perhaps the greatest blessing technology has brought us. But it has created a new problem. In this hyper-connected world, time in which you can do nothing is rare.

Despite how highly I value and seek out serenity, I am linked continuously to my workplace and other obligations, so it’s all too easy to feel pressured by the things I could be doing — like Fran in Black Books, cursing under her breath while answering her cell phone as she’s running late for yoga.

The seeds were planted centuries ago with the Puritan work ethic — epitomized by Isaac Watt’s 1700s hymn for children praising the worker bee, which includes the lines:

In works of labour or of skill,
I would be busy too;
For Satan finds some mischief still
For idle hands to do.

July 16th, 2009
Young churchgoers are shopping around for the perfect fit

I’ve done a fair share of shopping in my lifetime. I’ve shopped for shoes, for good restaurants, and for colleges. One thing I’ve never done is shopped for a church.
So begins my part in the latest shopping trend. Just two months out of college and two weeks into a new job in New York City, I’m starting my brand new life as a working woman. I have an apartment, I have a paycheck (albeit miniscule), but I still don’t have a church.
It’s not an easy transition to make. My experiences with Mass at my alma mater, Fordham University, were some of the richest of the past four years. The emphasis on Ignatian spirituality, the incredible community, phenomenal preaching, support and fellowship…

July 15th, 2009
The second of four excerpts from 50 Ways to Help Save the Earth, How You and Your Church Can Make a Difference

Garden

While supporting local farmers, eating organic, and eating lower on the food chain are all healthy and helpful, gardening is the hands-on way to connect with the beautiful biodiversity of God’s good earth. It is the most direct way to make sure food, seeds, and the knowledge of growing food stays in the local community. It is also a way to make sure heirloom plants do not become extinct and that your produce is raised exactly with your standards. When it comes to climate change, small gardens with a variety of plantings may be a good way for local communities to prepare…

July 13th, 2009
The spiritual-but-not-religious generation finds a kindred spirit in Thomas Merton

For those of us of the “spiritual but not religious” generation, it’s a hymn to our ears when a visionary like Michael Franti (of Spearhead) sings, “God is too big for just one religion.” Among my peers, monotheism may not be on the way out but mono-religionism is long gone. We spend less time in churches, but more time embodying spiritual principles through practices like yoga and meditation.
Globalism and discount airfares have bred a whole new level of cross-pollinated, hyphen-empowered seekers. A friend of mine calls himself a Zen-Baptist, while we all know of Sufi-spinning Jews, born-again Hindus, and more mongrel faiths than God likely intended when the Tower of Babel…

July 12th, 2009
Removing should and have to from your vocabulary

I drink my morning coffee with milk. For some reason, I can barely stand drinking it without. One rainy evening I’m at home on the couch and realize I forgot to buy milk, and I groan to myself, “I should go to the store to get some milk.”
I feel nothing but annoyance, at myself for being so stupid that I forgot to get milk on the way home, and at the universe in general for being so unfair. But no one is telling me I have to get it. I want it. And it’s at the store. So, actually, I am choosing to go to the store because I want milk…. I may not want to get up off the couch and go out in the rain, but I am choosing to do this because I am willing to inconvenience myself to satisfy by desire for milk. It’s all free

July 10th, 2009
The Borat star once again pushes the limits of comedy (and comfort)

“What’s up?” you ask. For one thing, the new movie, Brüno.
The swishy, semi-fascist fashionista Brüno is the imaginary Austrian TV personality created by the very real British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen.
In 2006, Baron Cohen broke box office records (and probably a couple of laws) with his movie Borat…, about another foreign fictional reporter’s adventures in America. With their microphones in hand and their cameramen at their heels, both characters give the British comedian the unique ability, in our media-crazed age, to access people and places few “real” people could get close to. The results are hilarious or offensive–sometimes both–depending on your point of view.
As with

July 7th, 2009
The first of four excerpts from 50 Ways to Help Save the Earth, How You and Your Church Can Make a Difference

Many of us grew up being told to turn off the lights when we leave a room or to not hold the refrigerator door open while looking for a snack. While small, these and other suggestions to conserve energy are still important. Those who have taken any of the various online “ecological footprint” quizzes have learned that it would take four to ten Earths if everyone were to consume energy the way a middle-class American does. Knowing that we only have one Earth, and that most of our energy right now comes from nonrenewable, unsustainable sources, it is essential that we learn the most important ways to reduce our personal energy consumption. Small commitments add up…

July 6th, 2009
Memories of my Marriage Encounter childhood

Growing up, I was mortified by my parents’ public displays of religion. I’m still convinced that from the years of 1982 to 1986 my parents were part of a cult; others called it “Marriage Encounter.”
One fateful Friday afternoon in 1980, they packed one suitcase and prepared to leave for the first of many retreat weekends; weekends that would become the bane of my existence; weekends that would become the main reason I fled to therapy at the ripe age of ten.
“We’re not getting divorced,” they asserted repeatedly, often in unison, when I questioned their decision to join such a mysterious organization. Of course, deep down I suspected that was the reason they were going.…

July 5th, 2009
Punk fashionista Heidi Minx transforms anger into action for refugees

Heidi Minx’s tattoo-inspired clothing and styles have been featured by Spencer’s Gifts and peta2, on snowboards, guitars and the bodies of rock musicians worldwide, but lately the New York-based merchandising maven has her designs on matters of the heart. After working with Tibetan refugees in India last year, Minx launched the nonprofit organization, Built on Respect, enlisting grassroots support from bands such as Pennywise, Sick of It All, Channel 3 and the Cro-Mags along the way. When in India, Minx shares her business savvy by working with the Tibet Hope Center, Jamtse in Action, and the Institute of Tibetan Thangka Art; back home her goal is to educate anyone interested and “make…

July 1st, 2009
How motherhood made me rethink the Fourth of July

At 2 years old, my son is already a patriot.
This began around his first birthday, when he developed a massive love for flags. Every time we passed one on our walks, he’d point straight at it, his face lit up. This past Fourth of July, when a local realtor stuck business-card-bearing flags into every lawn on our street, Matthew was in ecstasy. My husband and I joke that in sixteen years he’ll shun any political candidate who doesn’t wear the stars and stripes on a lapel pin.
It’s not that he knows what the flag stands for, of course. I’d guess that his passion is a mix of things: the movement of cloth in the breeze; the bright colors; the fact that he sees something he recognizes. But his unabashed…

June 29th, 2009
Talking with a modern day Irish mystic

What if your closest friends were angels from Heaven? For one Irish mystic, that has been the truth since birth. Lorna Byrne describes a life filled with heavenly beings in the book Angels in My Hair…, which has spent many weeks atop the bestseller lists of the United Kingdom and Ireland.
In her memoir — recently released in America — Byrne lays bare her experiences of modest beginnings in rural Ireland and living in a marriage that she knew would be cut brief by illness. All the while, she believes angels are guiding her and others in her life to live to their full potential. Interestingly, though parts of Byrne’s story are sad, the main message is hope — rather than “Believe me I am telling the truth!”

June 28th, 2009
Reality show rubbernecking

Recently, I’ve been tuning in to Jon & Kate Plus Eight at the gym. I watch on the sly like I’d rubberneck on the highway: The crash is too gory to view directly, but I can’t take my eyes off the drama. Some research suggests viewers watch reality TV because deep down they believe, someday, they too might be a star. I’d argue it’s even more basic than that: Reality television plays on our ugly, but very human, need to take someone else — especially the rich, attractive or famous — down a peg.
Call it the “Can you imagine?” factor: When Playboy… Playmate Kendra hands her soon-to-be parents-in-law a signed copy of her nude centerfold, the at-home viewers can screech

June 24th, 2009
A conversation on faith and his career -- from the Brat Pack movies to The Dead Zone

Anthony Michael Hall got his big break as an actor when he was cast as Rusty in the family road trip movie Vacation, followed closely by three seminal films from the 80s: 16 Candles, The Breakfast Club and Weird Science. He was then the youngest cast member ever on Saturday Night Live. He also bullied Johnny Depp around in Edward Scissorhands and he was part of the Emmy-nominated made-for-TV movie where he played Bill Gates in The Pirates of Silicon Valley. More recently he starred in the sci-fi thriller TV show, The Dead Zone, which he also helped co-produce, and played TV reporter Mike Engel in last summer’s blockbuster The Dark Knight…. The actor stopped by the Busted Halo show on Sirius XM Radio to talk about

June 24th, 2009
Year One and the dawning of a new age in Jewish comedy

Sunday school just got a lot more interesting. The new movie Year One is an Old Testament version of the classic Monty Python comedy The Life of Brian.
Now, for some people, that’s not exactly a ringing endorsement. Not everybody approved of the Pythons’ outrageous spoof of Biblical epics, which featured something to offend everyone. Yet, thus far Year One hasn’t generated anything like the controversy the latter did decades ago. Why not?
The answer may lie in the fact that Year One…‘s irreverence fits in well with the Jewish intellectual tradition of wrestling with higher authorities, and questioning moral and religious issues. This sensibility has been at the core of the Jewish identity

June 23rd, 2009
A skeptical Jesuit finds a holistic connection

When Dr. Hill removed his future son-in-law’s ruptured appendix two weeks before the wedding, it gave me a great line for the homily: “Salim is the only guy in history who is happy to see his father-in-law coming toward him with a knife.” It also gave me confidence in surgery. As I watched Salim and Bridget dance at the reception, I thought, “If Dr. Hill can make somebody that well, that quickly, maybe I should give him a call.”
Had to happen sometime. After passing fifty without ever having gone under the knife… it was time. The hernia on my bellybutton that used to be golf ball-size, was now a baseball. My waiting for it to fix itself didn’t seem to be working.
Dr. Hill looked…

June 21st, 2009
Get outdoors this summer and experience God's wondrous creation

Summer is upon us, and the other day when I read Therese Borchard’s post on Beliefnet about how lack of sun exposure has led to a Vitamin D deficiency crisis across this country, it struck me: Our bodies are designed to need sun. Is that a hint or what? We are built to be outside.

As I write this just before Father’s Day, I am reminded that my atheist dad gave me my first spiritual experiences by sharing his love of natural wonders. Despite growing up in New York City, I saw Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon, Banff and the Redwoods, the Smoky Mountains and the Rockies; flash floods in the Western deserts, a hurricane on Cape Hatteras.

I didn’t know it at the time, and my father wouldn’t have thought about it in these terms, but I was being introduced to the wonder of God. While it’s more important to see that of God in the everyday, it helps to be hit over the head every once in a while with the awesomeness of Creation. [...]

June 20th, 2009
A conversation on fatherhood with anthropology professor Don Conway-Long

Fathers: They’re revered, adored and at times feared — even despised. No matter how you see your dad, you can’t argue with the fact that the way he fathered impacts your idea of family.
Anthropologist Don Conway-Long is fascinated with the shifting role of fathers in an ever-changing world. He teaches courses on gender and critical masculinity studies at Webster University in St. Louis. Conway-Long shares his thoughts on baby boomer and Generation X parenting on this Father’s Day.

Busted Halo: What’s your personal experience with fatherhood?
Don Conway-Long:… I’m a stepfather, grandfather and uncle. I have three, thirtysomething daughters whom I inherited in their early

June 18th, 2009
Busted Halo speaks with the movie's star, director and producer

In the few days since we published our interview with Jim Caviezel, events surrounding the election in Iran have added special resonance to his new film, The Stoning of Soraya M. (opens June 26).  In the movie, based on an actual event that occurred in Iran in 1986, an Iranian woman is the lone voice protesting the stoning of her niece under Sha’ria law.
In the following interviews, the film’s star, Shohreh Aghdashloo, director Cyrus Nowrasteh and producer Stephen McEveety (Braveheart, The Passion of the Christ) discuss what compelled them to make this powerful and disturbing film. As Iranian-Americans, Aghdashloo—who is familiar to American audiences for her Oscar nominated performance in …House

June 16th, 2009
Chemical reactions and Eucharistic reconciliation

A friend once told me, with a girlish smile, that when she receives Communion, she is so moved by the thought that our Lord gave his life for her, “Sometimes, I kiss him.”
I’ll admit: the idea of kissing the Eucharist struck me as a little… weird. Still, I envied my friend her intimacy with the Real Presence of Christ. My own feeling at taking Communion is closer to my feeling toward wave-particle duality theory. I don’t disbelieve; I don’t understand enough to disbelieve. I don’t get it at all.
It’s not as if the Church has ever had any doubts on where she stood. Writing around 150 AD, sainted convert Justin Martyr declared: “For not as common bread nor as common…

powered by the Paulists