As another week comes to an end, this is your chance to top off your glass with a final helping of news, current events, and just plain interesting stuff that may not have made into the mainstream media. A chance to linger for a few more moments before we close the door on the week. Below are some links to articles, blogs, and miscellaneous happenings that caught my eye over the past few days. Sample what you like - I'll serve up more next Friday...
Spiritual but not Religious? - "This just means the person is too lazy to look beyond their adolescent bias. They are too lazy to learn what it means to be truly religious." [AWESOME!!]
God Matters: Ethical Theory and Divine Law - "Contemporary theorists hope that bracketing the question of God’s existence will clear the way for agreement on a conception of the natural world, which they assume will be less controversial than natural theology. But theists and atheists disagree about the existence of God because they already disagree about the nature of the world, including the nature of morality."
The Apple Argument Against Abortion - "I think most people refuse to think or argue about abortion because they see that the only way to remain pro-choice is to abort their reason first." [In #13 of this article you'll find a particularly good critique of the pro-choice position. But do read the whole article.]
Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People? - "...suppose that bad things didn’t happen to good people. Going to church would suddenly be like getting vaccinated. Worshiping God would no longer be about Him but about the person who does not want an illness or an untimely demise. Faith becomes motivated by fear rather than love."
A reader asks about a neighbor's Bible Study - "...what you might do is not only graciously accept the invitation in the spirit of neighborliness, but also (after you have been a couple of times) extend an invitation to these folks to come to Mass with you (it will be an absolutely new experience for them, most likely)." [I generally dislike Mark Shea's writing - style and content - but this piece is pretty good. I'll give credit where credit is due.]
How Ratzinger Reacted to Becoming Pope Benedict - "Yes, the thought of the guillotine occurred to me: Now it falls down and hits you. I had been so sure that this office was not my calling, but that God would now grant me some peace and quiet after strenuous years."
The Other Successors of Peter: The Patriarchs of Antioch - "...This is how it came to be that the Church of Antioch now sports five successors of Peter, although the city in which the disciples were first called Christians is now such a backwater that none of them are actually based there." [Interesting history lesson.]
Is the Historical Chair of St Peter at the Vatican? - "I suppose that there is no way to know for sure, but Tertullian (cf. De præscriptione hæreticorum, 36) and others seem to suggest or assume that a true physical chair kept in Rome had been that of Saint Peter."
Raising Independent Catholic Kids in an Age of Conformity - "I recently took some time to observe dozens of other children in approximately our sons’ age range in a variety of locations and situations in our area. I also stay current about what is happening to young people in general. All I have observed and read is troubling and has prompted a lot of reflection and prayer."
The Twilight of Protestant America? - "In a talk he gave this summer, Cardinal George said that he was much less worried about Protestant America, and much more worried about post-Protestant America. I think we're going to have to start thinking much more seriously about just what this entails, because America's post-Protestantism is descending upon us rapidly."
Pope Benedict creates new science and faith foundation - "The new foundation builds on the work of the STOQ project – Science, Theology and the Ontological Quest – which was created by Pope John Paul II in 2003."
Hawking's Bummer Birthday: No Eternal Universe - "No model of an eternal universe works...'All the evidence we have says that the universe had a beginning.'"
Why the Hobbit Trailer Creeps Me Out - [This is a great read for "Lord of the Rings" fans. Although personally I think the author is way too critical of Peter Jackson's films. I understand some of his complaints, but much of what he says is off-base. I am REALLY looking forward to the Hobbit movies!]
17 Big Companies That Are Intensely Religious - [Interesting...]