Just in case you find yourself with some time that needs wasting today, here’s what caught my fancy this past week, while I was wasting time of my own.
1. It’s official: The Huffington Post should stick to celebrity gossip and lifestyle reporting.
If you had any doubts about the website’s ability to handle serious religion stories, their breathless take on Pope Francis’ most recent Wednesday audience should put those doubts to rest.
On Wednesday afternoon, HuffPo ran a story that proclaimed, “Pope Francis Says Atheists Who Do Good Are Redeemed, Not Just Catholics.”
Now, to Catholics who know their catechism, that statement is about as shocking as “The Pope is Catholic.” But to the Huffington Post, that’s breaking news.
2. Are we a nation of slobs?
Linda Przybyszewki, a Notre Dame Professor who teaches a class on culture and style, says, “Yes.”
I say, “Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.”
Real quick like: Men and women are made in the image and likeness of God, possessing a grandeur and a dignity which surpasses even that of the angels. We really should dress like it. That doesn’t necessarily require resurrecting hats and gloves, but busting out the iron every once in a while wouldn’t kill us.
3. And the award for “Best Headline of the Week” goes to…
The Los Angeles Times: “Big Rig Carrying Fruit Crashes on 210 Freeway; Creates Jam.”
Admittedly, Matt Drudge’s coverage of Anthony Weiner’s mayoral bid gave the Times a run for their money. But we do try to make CatholicVote a family friendly site, you know.
4. Today is the Feast Day of Our Lady of Sheshan.
As such, Pope Francis has asked us to remember, in a special way, the people of China in our prayers.
If you needed another reason besides “The Pope said so,” The New York Times gives us one: The country’s brutal one-child policy.
From the story:
Village family-planning officers vigilantly chart the menstrual cycle and pelvic-exam results of every woman of childbearing age in their area. If a woman gets pregnant without permission and is unable to pay the often exorbitant fine for violating the policy, she risks being subjected to a forced abortion.
Almost every one of the pregnant women I spoke to had suffered a mandatory abortion. One woman told me how, when she was eight months pregnant with an illegal second child and was unable to pay the 20,000 yuan fine (about $3,200), family planning officers dragged her to the local clinic, bound her to a surgical table and injected a lethal drug into her abdomen.
5. New for your bookshelf…
The inestimable Russell Shaw’s latest book, American Church: The Remarkable Rise, Meteoric Fall, and Uncertain Future of Catholicism in America.
The author and title alone should convince you that this is a book worth reading, but if not Steven Koxx’s interview with Shaw here at CatholicVote or the excellent interview done by Catholic World Report ought to do the trick.
6. I want to be Brian Doyle when I grow up.
Then you’ll understand. The man can write.
7. An Apology…of sorts.
Last week, a few of our gentlemen commenters took issue with me choosing to feature a study which concluded that liberal men tend to be physically weaker than conservative men. It’s funny how not a single one of my guy friends found it troublesome. Perhaps that’s because they’re all such strapping, manly man, right-winger types. Nevertheless, feelings were hurt, and as a sort of mea culpa I promised to make fun of my people (redheads) this week. Unfortunately, there were just no good stories about our failings in the news.
So instead, by way of an apology, I offer them and anyone else whose feelings I’ve hurt in recent days, this lovely video from the lovelier still Alanna-Marie Boudreau.
Watch it. Share it. (Then run on over to itunes and download her EP. The girl just graduated last week from Franciscan and needs to eat!)