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Christmas and a World Upside-Down

Biblical scholars generally agree that Luke’s Gospel was written at least a generation later than Paul’s first letter to the Christians at Corinth. Yet whatever the dating, and irrespective of scholarly disputes about whether “Luke,” the author of the eponymous Gospel and the Acts of the . . . . Continue Reading »

From Rudolph to Bethlehem

Even though Rudolph had been around as a story book character well before 1949, Gene Autry’s recording in that year of the musical version of the saga made the red-nosed reindeer a standard member of the Yuletide cast in popular culture. I was a nine-year-old at the time and, having successfully . . . . Continue Reading »

Books for Christmas

It’s been a good reading year and I highly recommend the following to the readers on your Christmas (not “holiday”) shopping list:God or Nothing, by Cardinal Robert Sarah (Ignatius Press): It was the book being discussed at Synod-2015 and with good reason, for this interview-style . . . . Continue Reading »

God Become Baby

The Gospels obviously tell the life story of a human being. Jesus was born. He lived in subjection to his parents, grew up, learned a trade, made friends and enemies, walked the dusty roads of Judea, climbed mountains, and sailed the Sea of Galilee. He wept at the grave of Lazarus, passionately . . . . Continue Reading »

Olivia Pope and the Virgin Mary

It is Christmas Eve, and Olivia Pope, star of the ABC melodrama Scandal is about to get an abortion. In an episode that aired Thursday night, she lays in the operating bed while the music of “Silent Night” plays. We watch her face run through the emotions of anxiety, uncertainty, and pain while . . . . Continue Reading »

Use the Buycott

As the Indiana RFRA episode last spring demonstrated all-too-well, corporate America is no longer non-partisan. When it comes to social issues, it has responded to pressure from social progressives and abandoned social and religious conservative positions.As Patrick Deneen argued in First . . . . Continue Reading »

Unholy Holidays

My commuter railway sent out the warning on a Friday afternoon in late December: No alcoholic beverages would be allowed on the trains this weekend. It was not a new temperance message or Bloombergian attempt to control our vices, just a safety announcement on the eve of SantaCon, an event in New York and many other cities, during which Kris Kringle-disguised revelers drink themselves silly through a weekend before Christmas. Continue Reading »

The Nativity of Our Lord

He was born into the silence of this world. Because there was no room for him in a proper house the night he was born, the Gospel of Luke reports, he was born of his mother with Joseph nearby out there in the stable with the animals. Probably there was no one interested. That was the silence of that night. Who would care, anyway? Just one more peasant child, and who celebrates or notices or marks the birth of yet another peasant arriving in this world? Have you ever heard a prayer of thanks for the children born in a United Nations refugee camp? The children of peasants are always born into silence. Continue Reading »

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