Tuesday, September 26, 2006

September 26, 1983: The day WWIII almost began

Thanks to a Soviet military officer who rejected was his computers told him -- that the US had launched half a dozen missiles at his country -- a nuclear holocaust was averted.
"The Mythological Conflict Between Christianity and Science"

An interview with physicist Dr. Stephen Barr at Ignatius Insight.

Check it out.
Do the media want popes to speak out or shut up? Which is it?

Columnist Dennis Prager (who is Jewish, not Catholic) writes a column comparing the reaction of the media to Pope Pius XII's alleged silence in the face on Nazism to their reaction to what Pope Benedict has said of late regarding Islam. He writes:
    If the same people who attack Pope Pius XII for his silence regarding the greatest evil of his time are largely the same people who attack Pope Benedict XVI for confronting the greatest evil of his time, maybe it isn't a pope's confronting evil that concerns Pius's critics, but simply defaming the Church.

    After all, has not Benedict done precisely what Pius's critics argue that Pius, and presumably any pope, should have done -- be a courageous moral voice and condemn the greatest evil and greatest manifestation of anti-Semitism of his time?

Read the whole thing.

HT: Carl Olson.

Who's responsible?

An interesting column at TechCentralStation regarding Pope Benedict's Regensburg address and the aftermath. The author -- Lee Harris -- critiques the critiques, and uses a parallel example to show their true nature.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Robert George on why it's impossible for pro-lifers to support Democrats today

Hint: it's got to do with more than abortion:
    I find no cause for joy in this. I wish that it were possible for pro-life citizens legitimately to support Democratic candidates. I wish that the party of my parents and grandparents had not placed itself on the wrong side of the most profound human rights issue of our contemporary domestic politics. I wish that the killing of embryonic and fetal human beings by abortion and in biomedical research were resolutely opposed by both parties so that we could cast our votes based on our assessments of the candidates’ and parties’ competing positions on taxation, immigration, education, welfare, health-care reform, national security, and foreign policy. It is hardly satisfactory that pro-life citizens—representing a variety of views on the range of issues in economic, social, and foreign policy—find themselves bound to the Republicans because the only viable alternative is a party that has abandoned its commitment to the weakest and most vulnerable members of the human family by embracing abortion and embryo-destructive research.
Read the whole thing here.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Blog Hijack!

This is Chris' wife - hee, hee. Today is Chris' birthday for those who read this on Saturday. He doesn't know this is posted...yet. Happy Birthday!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Too clever by half

Timothy Noah of Slate e-zine thinks he's caught the Vatican modifying Pope Benedict's speech after the fact (see the fourth of Noah's footnotes to the address) in an attempt to "mollify critics".

Um, no.

As Stuart Buck expertly explains, the english translation of Pope Benedict's speech (which is the text Noah annotates) does not reflect the speech as it was delivered. Noah thinks that the english translation he cites is the speech as it was given, but in fact it appears that it was the prepared text, which Benedict deviated from. As anyone who's devoted some closer attention to this pontificate knows, Pope Benedict regularly deviates from the written text and offers extemporaneous remarks, sometimes ditching it completely. Such was the case here, as the German recording demonstrates (see Buck's post): in the speech as delivered, Pope Benedict used stronger language than the speech as it was written.

So Mr. Noah: nice try. Try again. In the meantime, perhaps you might withdraw your claims, somewhat sheepishly, I imagine.

HT: Amy Welborn.

And this is another instance in which I thank God for the Internet.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

You know what the Pope's real motive was?

I'd seen this in a comment at a liberal blog, but today found a link to an op-ed...

Pope Benedict's real motive in inciting Muslim fury (because he really intended to do so, you know) was obvious: he did it to help Bush and the Republicans in the mid-term elections.

The guys at The Onion couldn't come up with stuff like this.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The Journey to Truth is an Experience

That's the title of the Luigi Giussani text which the Schools of Community of the Catholic movement Communion and Liberation will be reading this coming year.

If your Italian is decent, you can read more about the text here; the english translation won't be out until late October or November.
"Local" is the new organic

Interesting article on organic farming and small-scale farms from the Christian review Books & Culture.

Of course, it's nothing of relevance to those who see efficiency and low prices as the only important things in matters economic.
Pope Benedict and Muslims

Those of you who read this blog probably know the places to go online to read excellent commentary and analysis on the outrageous response to Pope Benedict's Regensburg address (which you should read sometime yourself). But for the reader's who aren't familiar with some of these resources, I thought I'd recommend some.

First, Amy Welborn has had a number of excellent posts (with her own comments and links to others) at her blog. I'd recommend this post in particular, as it links and excerpts a number of excellent commentaries.

Another terrific blog is Christopher Blosser's Against the Grain. He's got a number of posts the last few days documenting the reaction to Benedict's comments, as well as a must-read post, "So What Does Pope Benedict XVI Think About Islam?", in which he quotes from the Holy Father's address to Muslims in Cologne during World Youth Day last year.

I also recommend perusing the posts at the First Things blog, and at Ignatius Press' Insight Scoop... there are excellent comments to be found in both places.

Hope that helps.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Yesterday in History

(I missed them, but they're too important to let go...)

9/12/2006 was the 323rd anniversary of the Battle of Vienna, in which the Polish King Jan III Sobieski led the Holy League forces in victory over the Ottoman army, which had beseiged Vienna that July. (The battle actually began on 9/11/1683, a fact which has been noted by numerous commentators in the wake of the events of 9/11/2001.)

It was on yesterday's date in 1933 that Hungarian physicist Leó Szilárd, waiting for a red light in
Bloomsbury, England, conceived of the idea of the nuclear chain reaction.

A couple interesting articles I came across the other day:

How Bacteria Nearly Destroyed All Life

Extinction-Level Event (remember the movie Deep Impact? I liked it more than its contemporary, Armageddon... the latter was a bit more superficial than the former)