Sheavings

The Creed, Part 1: Why Creeds?

I became a Christian with the help of a small group of believers on my college dorm floor. As is common in such circles, we believed that “the Bible alone” was sufficient to know Christ’s revelation and live as he wanted us to. We didn’t recite the words “No Creed

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Credulity and Skepticism

The devil, so the saying goes, is the ape of God. And so one of his standard methods for deceiving is to create parodies of good things and send them into the world in pairs. Why parodies? Because he cannot make, he can only mock. So instead of love, he

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Crabs vs. Humans

It is a favorite trope among the dissenters on the Pelvic Left to say, “The Church is larger than the flawed people who run it.  We need to shed these dogmas of a bygone past and blahblahblah.” When people say things like this, I always have a strange vision enter

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Costly Grace

Somehow many people have the strange notion that the Old and New Testaments are opposed and that Jesus supposedly came to get rid of all that Law stuff and preach a gospel where “all we have to do is love each other.” In reality, Christ did not come to abolish

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Corkscrew and the Art of Sloth

My dear Slimemold: I note with pleasure the High Command is proceeding apace in its inducement of profound spiritual torpor in the American humans. The humans themselves, though made for union with the Enemy and therefore always in search of Him, are still half ready to embrace such torpor, especially

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Welcome to Corkscrew’s Religion Chatroom!

My Dear Slimemold: I am gratified at your latest report concerning the spectacle of fratricidal malice among the patients who participate in the Christian email list we are monitoring. I see that Pusfang has got one of the hairless bipeds into that delightful state where it can set out to

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Cooperating with the Creator

If you had collared me before I was Catholic and asked my opinion of Rome’s teaching about artificial contraception, I would have said something like this: “I understand and applaud the Magisterium’s opposition to abortion since abortion kills people. But I’m not comfortable with the Church’s stodgy stand about artificial

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Self-Control: The Unpopular Fruit of the Spirit

St. Paul teaches there are nine fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). Some of those fruits are sweet as peaches in August. After all, who wouldn’t want fruits like love, joy and peace? That’s why they get most of the press and decorate all those baptismal and confirmation cards from Hallmark. But

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Don’t Bind God to Contracts He Never Signed

One of the reasons I so much appreciate the Catholic Church is that its lifeblood is Apostolic Tradition, which ensures against running around after The Latest Thing. However, I am also aware of the long history of Catholics trying to bind God to contracts he has never signed. Many times

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Connecting with Postmodern Culture

One of the things that is most difficult to communicate to the atomized yet highly homogenous Cult of the Imperial Autonomous Self which is America in Third Millenium is the idea that the Catholic Faith is a seamless weave or tapestry which cannot have threads yanked from it without being

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Compensating Cowards

It’s not that our Chattering Classes have no actual opportunities for courage.  It’s that they assiduously avoid them wherever possible (after all, you could get hurt!). Case in point, dig this “No, I’m not making this up” blurb for atheist Sam Harris’ Letter to a Christian Nation: “I can’t sign my

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Comfort and Affliction

God often comforts the afflicted and afflicts the comfortable. For Israel, toiling under Pharaoh’s lash, the revelation to Moses is good news indeed: “I have come down to rescue them from the hands of the Egyptians and lead them out of that land into a good and spacious land, a

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What Dreams May Come

“Then those people are right who say that Heaven and Hell are only states of mind?” “Hush,” said he sternly, “Do not blaspheme. Hell is a state of mind-ye never said a truer word. And every state of mind, left to itself, every shutting up of the creature within the

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Worlds in Collision

One of the more interesting collisions waiting to happen is the coming head-on crash between those who believe in the American dogma of equality and those who believe in pure empiricism and skeptical rationalism. Often, these people occupy the same head, but they do not seem to realize that their

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Co-Creators with Christ

God creates from nothing, we create using the stuff God supplies us. As creatures in his image and likeness, it is our right and proper office to be “sub-creators” as J.R.R. Tolkien called us. Therefore, teaching our children how to cooperate with God in the work of creation is a

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Clericalism

A few years back, Russell Shaw wrote a terrific book called To Hunt, To Shoot, To Entertain: Clericalism and the Catholic Laity. It took its title from an amazing remark by a 19th-century English monsignor who loftily declared, “What is the province of the laity? To hunt, to shoot, to entertain.

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A Neat, Clean Culture of Death

Some years ago I was listening to a radio show that featured a singer from South America. She introduced a song by mentioning that it dealt with certain taboo subjects for Americans. The audience tittered knowingly, like the good apostate Puritans we Americans are. She quickly corrected them. “No, it’s

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Son of Discovering the Classics

Okay, all you happy kulturkampfers, you started down the path to intellectual awareness with “Discovering the Classics“. Remember how, just minutes ago, you ruddy cheeked lads and lasses ran off, eager to organize your book group? Problem is, being quick studies, now you’ve read all the texts I recommended, so

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Discovering the Classics

Some time ago, my friends and I decided to form a Great Books Reading Group to get in touch with what little intellectual activity there was in the world before The Door began publishing. The idea was roughly to get together one Friday a month, pop open a few brewskis, pool

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Light and Darkness

It was, as so many have already said, the Pearl Harbor of our time. It was Dies Irae, the Day of Wrath. It was unbelievable, numbing, sickening, like something out of a movie. It was our worst nightmare, made all the worse by the fact that it had never entered

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Common Knowledge

At 10:55 AM on Ash Wednesday, February 28, 2001, I bolted out of my bedroom in a haste normally reserved for the announcement of lunch when a 6.8 quake sent the biggest seismic shock wave through the Seattle area (and my house) in 50-odd years and (think about this for

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The Glory and Peril of Music

To somebody thinking about postmodern culture, one of the most fascinating passages in the New Testament is Titus 1:12: “One of themselves, a prophet of their own, said, ‘Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” What is fascinating is not the slam on ancient Cretans, but the fact that

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Family, Culture, Holidays

C.S. Lewis once wrote an essay describing a far-off land called “Niatirb” (“Britain” spelled backwards) where two feasts seemed to be held on the same day: “Christmas” and “Xmas”. The distinction between the two feasts seems to hold in the US too. This is reflected in our holiday entertainment fare,

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Of the Glory of Kings and the Killing of Cats

My friend, Dr. James Felak of the University of Washington, notes that life is full of broad proverbs that are both true and commonsensical, yet flatly contradictory and false if we try to make them into an all-encompassing rule of life. That’s why everybody believes “haste makes waste” but also

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