Romans 3:4

Let God be true, and every man a liar... Romans 3:4

Sunday, July 31, 2011

A Canticle For Leibowitz

It was said that God, in order to test mankind which had become swelled with pride as in the time of Noah, had commanded the wise men of that age, among them the Blessed Leibowitz, to devise great engines of war such as had never before been upon the Earth, weapons of such might that they contained the very fires of Hell, and that God had suffered these magi to place the weapons in the hands of princes, and to say to each prince: "Only because the enemies have such a thing have we devised this for thee, in order that they may know that thou hast it also, and fear to strike. See to it, m'Lord, that thou fearest them as much as they shall now fear thee, that none may unleash this dread thing which we have wrought." But the princes, putting the words of their wise men to naught, thought each to himself: If I but strike quickly enough, and in secret, I shall destroy these others in their sleep, and there will be none to fight back; the earth shall be mine.
Such was the folly of princes, and there followed the Flame Deluge.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Tales of Brave Ullysses, how his naked ears were tortured

Who sees you when you're sleeping
Who knows the thoughts you're keeping
You're reaching out your hand 'cause someone's calling
Don't open your eyes too soon 'cause it might be me

The darkened sidestreets that you've taken
Faces all around say you're forsaken
You see yourself and someone else behind you
Don't open your eyes too soon it might not be m

-Kansas (listen here)

Last month, 32 men were busted in an Internet child sex sting in Leesburg, FL (80 miles north of Tampa). One of them was Brian Weiss who worked selling luxury boxes for the Buccaneers. You can see in this video that he knew his life was over as soon as he saw the cops. How this works is that a police officer (usually some fat 52-year-old grandfather) goes online pretending to be a 14-year-old girl. It doesn't take much effort to get these guys to come over to a house to meet a teen girl home alone.

This incident motivated me to watch some of the old Dateline: To Catch A Predator episodes on Youtube. I looked at them through the prism of addiction and sin, two things of which I am familiar.

The first thing you notice is the universality of sin. These guys are red, yellow, black and white, cancer doctors to the unemployed, married with kids and single, all four branches of the service, Christian pastors, rabbis and good Muslims from Egypt and Turkey. Middle school and high school teachers. Even a guy who was wearing a Sikh headdress. One guy had cerebral palsy. More than a few in law enforcement.

For all the bad press Catholic priests are getting on this issue, not a single one showed up in any of these episodes. And many of these guys seem to be fans of Mike's Hard Lemonade.

The second thing you notice is the power of sin. In later episodes, Dateline was getting guys who had watched previous stings on TV and still came. Some of them even recognized the host, Chris Hanson as soon as they saw him. Registered sex offenders. A guy who got busted in an earlier Dateline sting showed up again. One guy, whose online activity cause the organization hired by Dateline, Perverted Justice to warn him to stay off the web, drove by the house and saw a guy getting arrested in the driveway and still went in!

I am reminded of what Paul said in Romans 7:7-25 about his own struggles with sin. I am thankful not only that the sin that I still struggle with won't cause me to end up in jail, but that “God demonstrates His own love for us in this: that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us”.


New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan recently sent some mixed signals on his blog concerning the institution of marriage. According the the New York Times Dolan "is worried that the next step in the marriage debate will be another redefinition to allow multiple partners and infidelity." On the other hand:

He also apologized to those in the gay community who may have been offended by the church's stance, saying he's honored that so many gays are at home in the Catholic Church and that his goal from the start was "pro-marriage, never anti-gay."

The Archdiocese of New York is the single largest grouping of Catholics in the United States. Archbishop Dolan will likely be promoted to the priestly rank of Cardinal because of his "chair," or position.

Which is it, Your Excellency? Do you support the Church's teaching concerning the institution of marriage or are you ashamed of it? Our President is renowned throughout the world as "The Apologizer-in-Chief." You're doing the same thing, sir.

tampajeff: Not to mention all those good Catholic legislators who voted for this on Saturday and were welcomed to Mass on Sunday.  I think the American Church is turning into the DNC with holidays; they are so wedded to social justice that they will pay lip service to the life issue and marriage but look the other way when liberal Catholic politicians ignore them.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Review of Love Wins

The website Sharper Iron published my review of the popular Love Wins by Rob Bell.