Friday, May 26, 2006

LCMS "vs" ELCA Confessional Lutherans re: Catholicism

In my personal experience as well as my theological research, I've generally found that among confessional Lutherans (i.e. those who accept the Book of Concord), LCMSers tend (there are plenty of exceptions, of course) to be more aggressive toward (Roman) Catholicism, and I'm really not sure why that is. It's not that they're anymore "really Lutheran", because as I noted, there are ELCAers who confess the BOC just as fervently. The latter tend to be more interested in figuring out exactly why we Catholics do and believe the things we do, while the former seem to prefer the polemical style of judging from afar (again, these are general tendencies, not across the board stereotypes). This is in no way to question the theological acumen of either camp, nor their good will... it's simply something I've observed.

So what's the deal, guys?

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Al Gore's global-warming movie

A nice primer here.
Why Fred loves Hans Urs von Balthasar

He expresses sentiments I heartily echo.
Katrina and an Inept Press

We've heard plenty about the ineptitude of the feds with regard to Katrina, but who's watching the watchers? Some one is, and it looks like it's a good thing.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Opus Dei spokesman dissects Ron Howard's hysterics

If you have any interest in the Catholic Church, Opus Dei, and The Da Vinci Code, you've got to read this tour-de-force of a response to Ron Howard from the international spokesman for Opus Dei.

In responding to the "it's just fiction" canard, he states the following:

    Imagine a film that says that Sony was behind the attacks on the Twin Towers, which it promoted because it wanted to destabilize the United States. Or a novel that reveals that Sony paid the gunman who shot the Pope in St. Peter's Square in 1981, because it was opposed to the Holy Father's moral leadership. They are only invented stories. I imagine that Sony, a respectable and serious company, would not be happy to see itself portrayed in this way on the screens, and that it would not be satisfied with an answer such as "Don't worry, it's only fiction, it mustn't be taken too seriously, freedom of expression is sacred."
He goes on to comment,
    those who have taken part in the film's project have no reason to be concerned. Christians will not react with hatred and violence, but with respect and charity, without insults or threats. They can continue to calculate tranquilly the money they will make on the film, because the freedom of financial profit seems to be in fact the only sacred freedom, the only one exempt from all responsibility. They will probably make a lot of money, but they are paying a high price by deteriorating their prestige and reputation.

Friday, May 12, 2006

The latest NSA contoversy

Should we be concerned that the NSA has obtained phone records about calls made in this country by millions of innocent Americans? I'm not sure... it doesn't bother me, but I understand why others are.

However, it does seem clear that what the NSA did was not illegal, that it violated neither FISA nor the Fourth Amendment (see this article). So the usual suspects who are throwing fits of hysteria need to chill a bit.