Tuesday, August 31, 2010

On religious freedom

A great speech from Archbishop Chaput. An excerpt:

[The modern secular worldview] presumes a frankly "post-Christian" world ruled by rationality, technology and good social engineering. Religion has a place in this worldview, but only as an individual lifestyle accessory. People are free to worship and believe whatever they want, so long as they keep their beliefs to themselves and do not presume to intrude their religious idiosyncrasies on the workings of government, the economy, or culture.

Now, at first hearing, this might sound like a reasonable way to organize a modern society that includes a wide range of ethnic, religious and cultural traditions, different philosophies of life and approaches to living.

But we’re immediately struck by two unpleasant details.

First, “freedom of worship” is not at all the same thing as “freedom of religion.” Religious freedom includes the right to preach, teach, assemble, organize, and to engage society and its issues publicly, both as individuals and joined together as communities of faith. This is the classic understanding of a citizen’s right to the “free exercise” of his or her religion in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It’s also clearly implied in Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In contrast, freedom of worship is a much smaller and more restrictive idea.

Second, how does the rhetoric of enlightened, secular tolerance square with the actual experience of faithful Catholics in Europe and North America in recent years?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

"I feel like I offend people simply by breathing"

A fascinating post from Abigail about how being a Christian deacon at notoriously secular Smith College did not put her on the receiving end of nearly as much scorn as being a Catholic housewife.

Thoughts on "love the sinner, hate the sin"

Some great points from Melinda Selmys, a Catholic writer who was once in a homosexual relationship herself.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The most well known top secret project

What's most interesting to me about this article is its commentary on modern information flow: most of what we know about this project is simply due to amateur skywatchers putting their heads together and sharing data.

Micro Air Vehicles

Spy equipment that looks like birds and bugs.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

"Independence is obnoxious"

An interesting post from Betty Duffy. An excerpt:

My aunt is fond of saying that "independence is obnoxious." Having dependence on others or living in community is how people rightly find their place and vocation in life. In community we serve others. In community we must discipline ourselves. In community we learn to forgive others’ faults so we can move on to brighter horizons like card games with friends.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Summer "games" for kids

A hilarious list of games to help kids get their chores done, such as:
Town Cryer

Players are assigned a task that involves them working at a slight distance from parent, anywhere from the next room over to the backyard. Players take turns shouting at the top of their lungs, “So-and-so, why aren’t you HELPING?” “So-and-so, GET UP and HELP!” Game is won if parent shows up and spanks So-and-so. Game is lost if parent shows up and spanks everyone. (Town Cryer can be played in conjunction with Unfreeze Tag for double the fun.)

Friday, August 6, 2010

Rock stars then and now


Humility vs. passivity

Another great post from Steve Pressfield. Though he is not Christian, I find his thoughts on creativity and spirituality to be very inspiring.