Reeling from the horrors of 9/11 two decades ago, we entered Afghanistan to eliminate terrorist camps and also try to build a better nation for the people who had been caught under the Taliban’s control. Was it hubris or hope to think we could lastingly accomplish either goal? I’ll leave that discussion for another day, but this week has reminded us of how even our greatest powers stumble.
She’s already the greatest gymnast of all time. She could have not come to the Tokyo Olympics at all, and this would be true. The United States was projected to win the team competition by a full point and a half, with Biles at full strength. In a competition normally decided by tenths of a point, this is comically absurd.
Last Friday Pope Francis effectively banned celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass, a kind of worship that is unsurpassed in its solemnity and, at its best, in its splendor. In so doing, he flung down and danced upon one of the signal accomplishments of his predecessor, Benedict XVI, and told millions of devout and pious Catholics around the world that the Church is no longer the place for them.
I make a bold claim, but I think it’s true. Jesus Christ not only came in human flesh to pay humanity’s debt of sin, but in so doing, he elevated human nature. This can and should change how we approach discussions on human rights.
I’m tired of it. I’m tired of every currently running TV show someone tells me to watch being littered with content that might make even the proverbial sailor blush. With so many forms of entertainment now freed from the reach of the FCC’s decency rules, it is now countercultural if dialogue or song lacks a peppering of the coarsest words. Is this really the best we can do?
Last week it fell to me to help assemble a piece of exercise equipment. There was no brand name or country of origin specified, but the enclosed documentation suggested that it was written in a distant land or else by an associate professor of one of the social sciences. In that once put together the thing actually worked, I’ll assume the former.
Palm Sunday was yesterday, marking the beginning of Holy Week. A week when Christians remember Jesus’s path toward crucifixion and His subsequent overcoming of death. While both Palm Sunday and Easter are filled with joy, the joy of Palm Sunday is striking in how the crowd was joyful – at least in part – for the wrong reasons.
We’re in the midst of Lent, the pre-Easter period in which many of us who are Christians are called upon to give up some pleasurable item or practice. I am not a theologian, so don’t risk your immortal soul on this, but my impression is that the sacrifice should have some real meaning, be genuine: It doesn’t count if you forego hitting your head with a hammer or eating liver (unless you love those things, alas).
What is grief, but love persevering? Disney+’s WandaVision is one of the best series I can recall gracing the small screen in decades and that question posed by the Vision (Paul Bettany) captures so much about what allows the show to be profound beyond the strictures of either of its roots: classic sitcoms and Marvel Cinematic Universe.
I read Mr. Butler’s piece with great interest, because he’s a great friend, and I know that he’s a touch more conservative than I am politically. If I’m honest, when Rush Limbaugh died, I thought, “good riddance,” and I caught myself.