From the Outside Looking In: The Resignation of Pope Benedict XVI

As everyone will know by now Pope Benedict XVI resigned from office yesterday. This move in itself was unprecedented and broke a 600 year long taboo.  I had always understood that to be “called” to the highest office in the Roman Catholic Church was a job for life and that one could not just throw in the towel when one had enough.  So, in some ways, I applaud the man for his sense of realism and for recognising that he was no longer equipped for the job.  I know there are many Catholics out there who are having a hard time understanding his decision – it is like some of the fabric of their lives has been destroyed forever.

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Lust in the Age of Facebook: Where Have All the Moral People Gone?

In our ongoing, national, economic convalescence, I wonder if the result of such monetary heartsickness is a de-evolution of our moral presence into unsacred totems.  I ask this in the recovering wake of the tepid immorality of Rev. Cedric Miller — who urged his flock to give up Facebook because it was a “portal to infidelity” — only to be proven to be a sinner himself.

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Will Anne Rice Become the Antichrist?

When I was growing up, my father told me that there were three things that one should not discuss in mixed company: religion, politics, and sex. Perhaps Anne Rice’s parents did not tell her such a thing, because she is back in the media’s attention talking about how she feels about religion.

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Can The Arts Create Moral Consequence?

If the Church mandates morality, and if the state fixes our appropriate behavior with laws, ethics, rules and values, what then, is the role of The Arts in the lives of the everyday citizen and must we require the state and the Church to not only support The Arts but to practice them as well?

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Moral Indoctrination and the Church

The Greeks made a bold move and removed the question of morality from the secular world and replaced that mandate with the universal ideal of ethical behavior governed by laws.  We became a people of rules and laws and ethics in the state — making us completely unique in the world — because no other competing species for our time and space is able to cognitively think, make value judgments and create a standard, equitable, criteria for living as citizens that requires we help each other instead of trying to kill each other.  We are ruled by our minds and not our emotional instincts.  We have patterns of written expectation we agree to adhere to in order to get along with each other — and the role of the historic Church in antiquity was to mediate the meticulous, and sometimes tenuous, dyad between a people and their state — and to help regulate an effervescent values system and to negotiate a context for living a moral life in a shapeshifting world.

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