Busted Halo

Most dating and relationships books, columns and shows won’t go near issues of faith. Author, professor and speaker Dr. Christine B. Whelan assumes faith has some role, and tackles even the toughest questions.

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June 4th, 2007
The National Catholic Singles Conference

In just a few weeks, more than 500 Catholic singles will head to San Diego, California for a weekend of panel discussions, socializing and prayer about the vocation of singles and the search for a perfect match.
The National Catholic Singles Conference was founded in 2005 by Anastasia Northrop. There have been conferences in Denver, Chicago and now San Diego, and because of its popularity, there are plans for east, west and central U.S. conferences in coming years.
What happens at a single’s conference and why is it so popular? According to one of this year’s conference organizers, Michele Fleming, director of the Office for Young Adult Ministry for the Diocese of San Diego, it’s an opportunity…

June 1st, 2007
When did Amnesty become a dirty word?

“Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”
The words inscribed on the base of the Statue of Liberty have become just that…words. No longer do they represent America’s stand for moral compassion. Immigration policy has gone through a dramatic shift towards restriction in years past and, as evidenced by last week’s events, still remains in flux.
As if it were in hibernation for the past year, the immigration issue has reemerged into the sunlight of public debate. The marches that brought millions of people to the streets…

May 31st, 2007
Seattle's Interfaith Creation Festival connects spirituality and concern for the earth

Seattle has never been known as the epicenter of faith, religion or spirituality in the U.S., but for four days from May 31 to June 3 faith and spirituality will be at the center of the Emerald City as Seattle-based Earth Ministry will host its first annual Interfaith Creation Festival.
The festival will also mark Earth Ministry’s 15th anniversary since its founding in 1991 by Carla Pryne, an Episcopalian priest and a Presbyterian minister Jim Mulligan and his wife Ruth, who is the chair of the festival’s steering committee.
“It speaks to their commitment and vision to still be involved 15 years later,” says LeeAnne Beres, executive director of Earth Ministry. “There was a need…

May 30th, 2007
A funny thing happened in the middle of making a living

There’s an old Yiddish saying: “If you want to hear God laugh, just tell Him your plans.”
As far as my own life’s concerned, these days, I’m sure, He’s in stitches.
On Saturday, May the 19th, I completed a five-year odyssey and was ordained a Permanent Deacon for the Diocese of Brooklyn. Suffice it to say: this isn’t exactly what I’d planned for my life. It’s not exactly what my wife had in mind when she married me 21 years ago, either. But as John Lennon (British, not Yiddish) put it: life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.

The plans I’d made included a successful career in broadcasting, a nice home, a comfortable life, a happy…

May 24th, 2007
The man behind PBS' "Religion and Ethics NewsWeekly" discusses The Life of Meaning

After spending more than four decades covering world events for NBC news— including a stint in Moscow between 1989-1994 where he reported on the end of the Cold War—Bob Abernethy set his sights on covering a different kind of story. Raised in a family of devout Northern Baptists, Abernethy was aware that a serious discussion surrounding issues of faith was missing from the national media landscape and developed PBS’ Religion and Ethics NewsWeekly to fill that gap. A decade later the show he created has helped add nuance and depth to the frequently one-dimensional and shallow discussion of faith and spirituality in the United States. In his new book The Life of Meaning: Reflections on Faith,…

May 22nd, 2007
The popular expert on the connection between mind, body and spirit visits the BustedHalo show on Sirius Satellite radio

Deepak Chopra is one of the world’s greatest leaders in the field of mind, body and medicine. The author of more than 50 books, Chopra is regarded as the pre-eminent authority of Eastern philosophy in the Western world. He has been a best selling author for decades whose writings have been translated into 35 languages. What many do not know is that Dr. Chopra was also the chief of staff at the Boston Medical Center and has long been revolutionizing common wisdom about the crucial connection between body, mind, spirit and healing. In his new book, The Buddha. A Story of Enlightenment…. Dr. Chopra shows how the iconic journey of the prince who became the Buddha has changed the world forever and how the lessons he

May 18th, 2007
A death in the family

Amid news of the Rev. Jerry Falwell’s death earlier this week, the coverage was predictable. Conservatives who benefited from the pioneering televangelist’s forays into politics praised his stances and lamented his departure from the stage, while liberals took it upon themselves to assume the same role of unrelenting judge that they found so abhorrent when Falwell, himself, played it.
But beyond the noise of the polarizing political reactions what is often missed is the intensely personal and human dimension to Reverend Falwell’s death; that is what I experienced.
While I normally play the role of the Vatican scribe covering the colossus of all things Catholic, I don’t often…

May 16th, 2007
Reflections from a former fundamentalist

The Rev. Jerry Falwell—founder of the Moral Majority and the leader of the religious right in the ’80s—died Tuesday after he was discovered unconscious in his office. We at BustedHalo… offer our prayers for Falwell’s family, friends, and flock. Our prayers also go out to Falwell himself.
Now that the evangelist has finally met his maker, we pray for his sake that God is an amiable old white guy with a long grey beard, and is not, say, a big purple Teletubby with a triangle above his head and a magic bag dangling from his arm. Tinky Winky as Divine Judge might have a beef with Falwell. Having outed Tink as gay, Falwell denounced the beloved children’s TV character as “damaging to

May 14th, 2007
How one 20-something turned a brief service trip into his life's mission

Each year hundreds of college students visit developing countries to volunteer on humanitarian projects, learn about another culture and foster solidarity with people whose poverty and trauma are shaped by the geopolitical actions of wealthy nations. While the lessons of the service trip continue to inform students’ actions, as time passes their intensity generally fades.
Not so Matthew Nespoli, a Villanova University alumnus and founder of Water for Waslala, a micro-development initiative that brings safe drinking water to isolated communities in the mountainous Waslala region of Nicaragua. Nespoli’s brief trip abroad in the summer of 2002 has determined the course of his life since.…

May 9th, 2007
You can't spell love without evolve

For most of my adult life, I was what you might call, a casual evolutionist. You know, the type of person who could handle your run-of-the-mill, cocktail-party conversation on Darwinism. All the obvious stuff just seemed to make sense, like how giraffes with longer necks had a better shot than their shorter cousins. Or that stronger lions killed more zebras than the weak ones. Or how Donald Trump is still able to date fashion models because…
OK, well, perhaps Darwin’s theory had its limits.
But during my recent breakup with my girlfriend, Linda—somewhere between the “I swear this is the last 3 am phone call” and the restraining order—I had an epiphany. With all the extra…

May 8th, 2007
Why Latinos are increasingly converting to Islam

As a girl in Catholic school, Khadijah Rivera dreamed of becoming a nun despite the fact she feared Jesus. She was frightened by her church’s bloodied statue of Christ nailed to the cross and was plagued with fear when receiving communion. “When I used to put the host in my mouth,” she says, “I never bit it. I let it melt because I was afraid to bite the body and blood of Christ.” Years later, as an adult, she says she has now gotten over these fears and learned to love Jesus more. The reason for her change of heart? Rivera converted to Islam.
According to Rivera, who founded PIEDAD, a Latino Muslim organization based in Tampa, Florida, with over 300 members nationwide, Latino Muslims are…

April 30th, 2007
A young nun's struggle

When Sr. Luma Khudher, O.P. speaks of her life and her countrymen in Iraq, she does not discuss politics, ideologies or even Saddam Hussein.
Instead, the 30-year-old Dominican nun talks about her friends and family, and her concern that they have food, water, and electricity. But even those basic issues are trumped by her biggest worry: Are her friends and family even alive?
Living and studying in Chicago, Illinois, Sr. Luma is far from the violence that grips Iraq, but while her physical self is sheltered her mind is constantly focused on people back home. She starts each day by visiting a type of small town newspaper website to check and see if friends or family have died during the night. “I don’t want…

April 27th, 2007
Busted Halo talks conversion, pride, and holistic faith with the leader of indie rock's would-be revolutionaries.

Hang around the Christian music festival circuit for very long, and you’ll invariably hear about mewithoutYou‘s Aaron Weiss. Everyone has a story. Some have seen him walking around the festival grounds, picking half-eaten sandwiches out of the garbage and finishing them. Others talk about how he and his friends live in a commune in Philadelphia, sharing their possessions and profits from the band to live a life similar to those in the early church. Most who’ve met him say you haven’t felt a real hug until you’ve experienced his bone-cracking embrace. Everyone swears there’s something different about him, something beyond guitar riffs and record sales.
But standing…

April 25th, 2007
Reflections on Virginia Tech and the importance of campus ministry

Ever since the Columbine high school massacre in 1999 and the Washington, DC Beltway sniper attacks of 2002, “lockdown” is a word that’s been lifted out of the penitentiary lexicon and dropped into student handbooks across the nation. When shots are heard, go immediately into a protective lockdown mode and await further instructions from authorities.
But how do you lock down a sprawling campus? How do you make hundreds of campus buildings, replete with entrances and exits, safe from armed attackers or hidden bombs? Is there any defense against malice and, if there is, how can you tell if and when it’s coming?
Wondering Why?
It is malice, by the way, that was operative in the Beltway snipings,…

April 24th, 2007
Helping people doesn't make me feel better

Despite my apparently wholesome life, I have a deep, dark secret, one so shameful that I must shroud my name in the mists of a pseudonym. I’m embarrassed to admit it, but volunteering, and otherwise helping my fellow man, doesn’t make me feel all that good.
At any given time and across the country, pastors, advice columnists and moms are repeating an old chestnut: if you think you have problems, lend a hand to someone else. Volunteering will take you outside yourself, focus your energies, and cause a warm fuzzy glow to pierce the dark clouds of your bleak, crabby mood.
Natural High
Indeed, volunteering is recommended for victims of much more than a sour mood. A cancer support website encourages sufferers…

April 18th, 2007
our readers and listeners respond

When faced with a horrible tragedy like the one that occured at Virginia Tech, we are immediately tempted to want to analyze and search for answers in an attempt to make sense out of utterly senseless acts.
While the search for understanding must continue, we believe that the best use of our space at this time is to offer our thoughts and prayers to the entire Virginia Tech community, especially the victims and their families who need it most.
We ask our readers at BustedHalo.com and our listeners from the BustedHalo show on Sirius satellite radio to send their prayers and expressions of sympathy to prayer@bustedhalo.com.
We will forward your emails to the Campus Ministers at Virginia Tech and publish them here.…

April 17th, 2007
The country music legend opines on God, politics and Bob Dylan

He’s a born again Christian who made his name in the 1970s with a song about the devil. He’s also a “Long Haired Country Boy” who is fiercely patriotic. Charlie Daniels’ 40-plus year career has never been short on contradictions so it came as no surprise that the Grammy-winning perfomer also wasn’t short on opinions either.
Daniels recently sat down for an interview with Fr. Dave Dwyer during Fr. Dave’s daily “BustedHalo Show” on Sirius Satellite radio.
BustedHalo: Now I know the tradition you were raised in was not Catholic, but you’ve got an experience of Catholicism.
Charlie Daniels: Yes, I do and it was a very special experience, and it was…

April 16th, 2007
A short course in Grey’s Anatomy

What is it about Grey’s Anatomy that transformed it from a sleeper, mid-season replacement show into a primetime phenomenon? Of course some will point to the well-written scripts or the diverse age and ethnicity of the cast that draw in large audiences. Or maybe it’s as simple as McDreamy’s hair. While all of the above certainly apply, the show’s characters are what young people across the country can relate to because, like them, they too have problems—big ones.
When, writer Shonda Rhimes created the series she claims her goal was to craft characters that an audience would want to hang-out with week after week. With approximately 23.5 million viewers stopping by every Thursday…

April 12th, 2007
Some highlights from the first 99 episodes

Fr. Dave Dwyer and Mike Hayes’ entrance into the world of podcasting in December 2005 marked a new chapter in the Paulist Fathers’ great tradition of preaching “old truths in new forms.” Their initial inspiration to create a program that would discuss questions of faith and spiritual seeking for people in their 20s and 30s has grown and changed in ways no one could have predicted. Barely a year into the experiment the success of the podcast has been spun off into the BustedHalo Show with Fr. Dave Dwyer a daily program on Sirius satellite radio. The podcast has also spawned additional programs including one devoted to Fr. Dave’s homilies and another that collects the best bits from…

April 11th, 2007
A former staff member wonders if the joke's on us

The door to WFAN’s studio opened wide catching my eye and as I looked up I was greeted with the words “What the f*** are you looking at?” from none other than the legendary shock jock, Don Imus.
I had no idea how to react. Was Imus serious or joking around? There was no time to react but I stalled with a stuttering, “Excuse me?”
Again the words bellowed at least 20 times louder, “What the f*** are you looking at?”
I decided that I needed to play ball and go toe to toe with the acid tongued, leathery skinned morning man and replied sternly, “You, ya ugly bastard!”
Imus smiled and said, “Well stop looking at me, there’s no need to be looking at me unless…

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