Tag: Religion

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Ave Maria: Venerating the Brave Virgin, and her Consent

 

Warning: Including some crass humor in the description of a Great Christian Mystery is intended to drive home just how extraordinary a woman Mary must have been, as well as the extraordinary — indeed quite odd — nature of the mystery involved.

Ave Maria, gratia plena… Hail Mary, full of grace… These words, whether set to the sumptuous music of Biebl’s much-beloved one-hit wonder, sung to another tune, or simply spoken, will ring out through many a church today, the last Sunday of Advent, the last caravanserai parishioners pause at before reaching Bethlehem itself, and the Word Made Flesh.

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For some Jews, the Passover or Pesach holiday in the Spring is one of the most treasured of all the Jewish holidays. The celebration of G-d’s freeing the Jews from the Egyptians is called “seder,” which means “order.” In part, the name suggests that a particular order is followed for this meal at this auspicious […]

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I am currently reading Jonah Goldberg’s “Suicide of the West” and Patrick Deneen’s “Why Liberalism Failed” for a doctoral class. Finding myself about halfway through the former I had the following review retweeted into my timeline this morning and it held exactly the critique of Goldberg’s thesis that was digging at me. I want to […]

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Once again, a lot of time, effort, and money has been spent trying to resolve an issue which shouldn’t be an issue in the first place: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2018/08/31/todd-starnes-texas-cheerleaders-win-victory-for-freedom-religious-expression-praise-lord.html More

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. I’m Not Catholic – So Why Should It Matter to Me?

 

My personal spiritual journey had more hiccups than a newborn. While my family, with traditional ties to Catholicism, was influential in planting a Christian seed, growing up in the crazy ’60s, ’70s, ’80s made anything traditional not my bag. By the third grade, my dad bought me a little turntable that resembled a red suitcase and several Beatles albums (along with Alvin and the Chipmunks) – my first intro to rock and roll – and then as I got older, cough … all the rest…

I considered myself a “modern” Christian, i.e., more spiritual than religious, and fell down every spiritual rabbit hole there was. I read about Eastern religions, New Age, visited multiple denominational churches, but was never that committed. As I grew older, I realized I didn’t really have a spiritual foundation. In my case, it took a health crisis to realize I had nothing. The “Universe” wasn’t going to save me, nor the Buddha, or any other spiritual “wisdom” I gleaned from all those cool New Age bookstores, with the ear candles, patchouli and rose incense, and sections on whatever spiritual flavor of the day caught your attention.

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One topic that is being talked about often among the intellectual dark web is the relationship between religion and morality. Ben Shapiro argues that non-religious morality can only be developed to a limited extent. Sam Harris argues that we can derive our morality without reference to a deity or a Holy book. The discussion of […]

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What is Oregon Governor Kate Brown talking about here? Most of us probably struggle to convey our religious beliefs but she almost sounds like she has never given it any thought. Giving some rambling response about spirits and yoga when asked about your religious beliefs is…quite Portland. Brown seems, for some reason, unwilling to acknowledge […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Suckers for Jesus! Or, Holy Kitsch!

 

I can’t call it “only in America,” because kitschy and silly, though harmless, religious trinkets seem to be a universal phenomenon. Still, there is something endearingly American about this online Christian storefront, selling Testamints, crucifix-shaped lollies, gourmet Scripture suckers, chocolate tulips (must be for the Calvinists), and little gummy Jesus “footsteps”: show that you walk in His footsteps by eating His feet!

“Take and eat… do this in remembrance of me.” In a religion based on the Eucharist, I suppose it’s not exactly blasphemous to consume Jesus in gummy form, though I doubt my grandmother would have agreed: she would have seen candy shaped like all or any part of Jesus as blasphemously irreverent, even if abstract religious symbols were commonplace in eats where she came from. Part of the wider Christian culture in America is to downplay aesthetic differences: high church or low, contemporary or old-fashioned, why argue adiaphora, huh? At the same time, aesthetics go to the heart of worship: whatever we think “worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness” means, it only seems fitting to give of our best (whatever that is) in acts of reverence. Religious kitsch occupies a funny place, not just strange, but amusing — and not just amusing to snobs who wish to disdain the rubes. The Babylon Bee, a favorite site of many of us here, often pokes fun at Christian kitsch, and it could hardly be said to disdain American Christians: it pokes fun at the kitsch because it’s run by American Christians.

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There is a lot of justifiable concern about Islam in the United Kingdom and other western democracies. Terror attacks, no-go areas and restrictions on speech are concerns of lots of people. Douglas Murray has recently wrote a book (I have not read it at the time of this writing) titled, “The Strange Death of Europe.” […]

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William F. Buckley Jr. was a strong Catholic and probably the most influential conservative of his generation. Recently, Dennis Prager wrote a column titled, Conservatives, too, undergo secular indoctrination. In that column Prager wrote in American terms, the American conservative I most admired, William F. Buckley Jr., the founder and publisher of National Review, was […]

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“We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” ~John Adams – 2nd President of the United States, 1st Vice President, and assisted in drafting […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Deep Dive on the Declaration of Independence and Its Relevance Today

 

In honor of Independence Day, for this week’s Big Ideas with Ben Weingarten podcast I take a deep dive into the Declaration of Independence, discussing:

  • Its unique place in human history and the cause of freedom
  • The link between natural law and natural rights, faith and freedom
  • The Founders’ emphasis on virtue and morality to sustain a free system of limited government
  • Parallels between the charges laid out against King George III in the Declaration and modern America from the administrative state to sanctuary cities
  • The Founders’ views on slavery, Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass and failing to live up to the values and principles of the Declaration
  • The imperative to defend liberty against tyranny
  • And much more

You can find the episode on iTunes, everywhere else podcasts are found or download the episode directly here.

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LeBron James and I have something in common – we are both native Ohioans. We live within 30 minutes of each other. I will always celebrate and thank him for bringing NE OH the 2016 NBA championship, but he’s left us again and is moving to LA. But there is a silver lining to this […]

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Is It Really the Protestant Work Ethic?

 

Why are the United States, England, and northern Europe rich while southern and eastern Europe poor? You will hear many answers, and a popular one cribs from Max Weber — Protestantism. I am a Protestant myself, so one might think that I should like this answer, but as a historian, I believe in studying history to learn from it, not merely have my own biases confirmed. And frankly, I don’t really like this answer.

The argument is that Protestants — by which are normally meant Calvinist lineages, not Lutherans — have several beliefs that encourage hard work, living modestly, and investing. The first is the doctrine of predestination and the elect. At the beginning of the world, God elected who would be saved. One can never know whether is in the elect, but material success was a strong suggestion of it. Thus, financial prudence was encouraged. Second, the iconoclastic tendencies meant that churches did not collect funds from their parishioners for elaborate and ornate decoration, leaving more money in the hands of the people. Going along with that point, virtually every form of wasteful spending — luxurious clothes, food, furniture, entertainments, gambling — was condemned as sinful. Finally, charity to the poor was kept extremely minimal in honor of Paul’s statement that those who will not work will not eat. All this, according to Weber, added up to a society that generated wealth and had nothing to spend it on except more capitalistic investment, and these societal elements continued to encourage wealth creation even as the Calvinist denominations shrunk in favor of Methodists and Baptists who didn’t share the inciting doctrines.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: Savoring the Enemy’s Losses

 

“Grant had captured an army of at least 13,000 men, a record of the North American continent. He showed mercy toward the conquered force, giving them food and letting them keep their side arms. Avoiding any show of celebration, he refused to shame soldiers and vetoed any ceremony in which they marched. ‘Why should we go through with vain forms and mortify and injure the spirit of brave men, who, after all, are our own countrymen,’ he asked.” — from Grant, by Ron Chernow

“If your enemy falls, do not exult; if he trips, let your heart not rejoice, lest the Lord see it and be displeased, and avert his wrath from him.” —Proverbs, 24: 17-18

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While the Left has been pre-occupied with giving rights to just about everyone else, Donald Trump decided to make a move that will finally protect our health care workers’ religious rights. : More than 300 individuals filed a complaint with the Health and Human Services (HHS) Department over the last month, saying that their religious or conscience rights […]

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Another Democrat Senator Questions Trump Nominee’s Religious Views

 

In confirmation hearings for Secretary of State nominee Mike Pompeo, Senator Corey Booker chided the Presbyterian Sunday School teacher for holding to the same view of same-sex marriage that most Americans held just a few years ago. Pompeo, you will be shocked to learn, is against it.

The senator went on to justify his marriage questions by alluding to the persecution of homosexuals in other countries. Here is a part of their exchange, according to The Federalist:

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: Socialism

 

“The old argument about the science of socialism was that it would be more efficient than capitalism and markets. Eliminate all that waste of competition and plan what is to be produced, by whom, where, and we’ll all have more stuff. We’ll be richer in short.

“Then we went and tested the contention to destruction and 1989 showed that it was incorrect.

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After reading @simontemplar‘s post, my hackles are up. I tried not to rend my clothes or pull my hair, but stay rational after reading in his post that George Washington University (note the name) is hosting a forum to combat “Christian Privilege.” I almost bit a hole in my lip. https://ricochet.com/508074/the-assault-on-western-civ-continues-unabated/ More

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