Somebody Talkin Bout Jesus

From First Thoughts

Chanticleer, one of America’s finest choral groups, has introduced me to Christmas spirituals and gospel music. Here’s my discovery for this year: “Somebody Talkin Bout Jesus.” [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tiyUt1SNaU?rel=0&w=500&h=281] . . . . Continue Reading »

On Chivalry

From First Thoughts

Should we scrap chivalry as sexist? At the Atlantic , Emily Esfahani Smith writes that we should instead reground it in its original roots : Historically, the chivalry ideal and the practices that it gave rise to were never about putting women down, as Connelly and other feminists argue. . . . . Continue Reading »

The Virtues of the Speakeasy

From Web Exclusives

If you go down St. Mark’s Place, between First and Avenue A, you’ll find a hotdog place“Crif Dogs, to be exact. If you go into Crif, you’ll see a counter at the end serving hotdogs. Two old arcade machines sit on the right. On your left there’s a phone booth, unremarkable since payphones were last used when those arcade machines were brand new… . Continue Reading »

The Bees Are Back

From First Thoughts

This year, the bees are back in the Exsultet . The Church’s prayer of rejoicing before the Paschal Candle never ceased to mention them in the Latin text, but the English translation omitted them for no good reason. Since the new translation of the Mass is more careful in rendering the Latin . . . . Continue Reading »

The Catholic Case for Protestant Hymns

From Web Exclusives

Should Catholics sing hymns at Mass? Given the state of Catholic liturgical music, it’s a fair question. In the last century, Catholics exchanged their musical solid food for milk”usually skim and on the edge of going sour. Hymns at Mass are a recent addition to the liturgy… . Continue Reading »

Should Christians Be Wary of Conscience Talk?

From Web Exclusives

Does freedom of conscience lead to a naked public square? When religious people try to protect their own rights of conscience, does this undermine their ability to advance their convictions publicly? In responding to the recent HHS mandate for religious employers to provide contraception and abortifacients, religious groups and individuals have argued that their rights of conscience trump any potential desire of their employees for these medications. Their private religious convictions about contraception and abortion prevent them from taking these actions, and under the First Amendment they cannot be coerced to violate those convictions… . Continue Reading »