Lisa Fullam is associate professor of moral theology at the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley. She is the author of The Virtue of Humility: A Thomistic Apologetic (Edwin Mellen Press).
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How do we evaluate spiritual practices? (By "spiritual practices" here, I want to start by casting a big net--let's include everything from grace before meals to religious life.)
Easy answer--a spiritual practice in Christian tradition is good for us to the extent that it fosters our growth in ability to respond to Jesus' twofold commandment of loving God and neighbor.
Yeah, but--how do we KNOW we're becoming more loving?
It looks like we’ll hear from SCOTUS on Thursday regarding two important gay rights cases, one concerning DOMA and the other regarding California’s Prop. 8, which bars same-sex marriage in the state. Possible and likely decisions have been amply covered.
As we wait, let’s take a minute to look backward and forward.
Today is the anniversary of the UpStairs Lounge fire in New Orleans, the biggest mass killing of LGBT people in US history. TIME magazine’s Elisabeth Dias and Jim Downs tell the story. This wasn’t (exactly) a hate crime--the likely culprit was a sometime patron of the bar. What’s sad is the community’s response.
This time in Newark, NJ. The bishop is Archbishop John Myers, and the offending priest is Michael Fugee, who admitted groping a 14 year-old boy 12 years ago. (He later recanted his confession, saying that he'd only confessed so he could go home sooner.) He was tried and convicted, but the conviction overturned on appeal based on inappropriate instructions to the jury. The appellate ruling did not question the validity of the confession.
Now that Pope Francis has been said to have approved of same-sex civil unions during his time in Argentina, we begin to see other cautious voices chiming in.
On March 6, the USCCB issued a statement expressing "concerns" about the Violence Against Women Act, saying the in the end, the USCCB could not support it.Why their concern, you might ask? Surely the USCCB opposes violence against women?You guessed it: it's about same-sex marriage. This is from the USCCB press release:
NJ.com reports that a New Jersey man was denied the right to wear a religious head covering for his driver's license photo. Specifically, he wanted to wear the Holy Colander.What? "As a Pastafarian, I believe the universe was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster," Williams said.
Two pieces side by side in today's San Francisco Chronicle:1. A pit bull who mauled a police horse in an unprovoked attack was spared euthanasia. More than 113,000 people signed an on-line petition to spare the dog, and raised an "undisclosed sum" of cash for his defense. The dog, unleashed and uncollared at the time of the attack, also caused the officer riding the horse to be thrown and injured. 2.
So, it's that time again, when we're suddenly accountable for those New Year's resolutions that seemed SO reasonable, so do-able, just yesterday or the day before. Fortunately for all, TechCrunch offers apps to help us keep what Time described (for 2012!) as the top 10 broken New Year's resolutions.
Happy Xmas (War is Over)This lovely version of John Lennon's classic is by Sarah McLachlan and the Sarah McLachlan Music Outreach Children's Choir and Youth Choir.
Timothy Egan at the NY Times opined yesterday about the instant attack that rains down on anyone who dares ask whether more control of certain types of weapons is a good idea for the US. As he puts it, "The gun gag rules." He details the immediate hostile response to sportscaster Bob Costas when he speculated that Kassandra Perkins and/or her murderer, Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher, might be alive if guns were not so readily available.