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Jihadists Bomb Catholic Church In Nigeria, 5 Killed…

Prayers.

If Christians bomb a mosque the world goes ballistic, Muslims bomb a church and nobody cares. Via Sky News: At least five people have been killed and eight injured in a bomb attack on a Catholic church in a mainly Christian area of Kano, the largest city in Nigeria’s north.
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Sherry Rediscovers Why She Hates Math

She talkin' 'bout praxis.

Oh who cares? I'm eating the whole pie. Which is good because while I know Pi =3.14159265359...I've never once understood why, not even when I learned it. Back in the day, I just memorized and regurgitated, without ever understanding. Perhaps because few math facts ever were digested, it continues to disagree with me. At the very least, we lack tolerance for one another. However this discipline and I have worked out an uneasy truce, born of years of systemic consenting neglect, reinforcing our mutual disdain. But today, I forced myself to reenter the math world, and discovered a whole new reason to hate it.
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Church Weddings in Terrible Decline

This shouldn't come as a shock as the Church and marriage are two of the most attacked institutions in the world.

In 1970, there were roughly 426,000 Catholic weddings, accounting for 20 percent of all marriages in the United States that year. Beginning in 1970, however, Catholic marriages went into decades of steady decline, until the turn of the new century—when that decline started to become precipitous: Between 2000 and 2012, Church weddings dropped by 40 percent, according to new data from the Official Catholic Directory. Given other demographic trends in the denomination, this pattern is question-raising: As of 2012, there were an estimated 76.7 million Catholics in the United States, a number that has been growing for at least four decades.
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NYT's Ross Douthat vs. Cardinal Kaspar

Douthat is skeptical of Cardinal Kaspar's suggestions on marriage.

Back in May, I offered some general comments on the question of communion for divorced and remarried Catholics — which looms over the Synod on the Family scheduled for this autumn in Rome, and may represent one of the defining controversies of Pope Francis’s pontificate — and then wrote what was intended to be the first of two posts addressing Cardinal Walter Kasper’s high-profile case for admitting the remarried to the sacrament. That post offered theological and sociological reasons to be skeptical of Kasper’s broad suggestion, offered in an interview with the editors of Commonweal, that Catholic marriage generally is in a crisis more severe even than divorce statistics would suggest, in which (he argued) possibly as many as half of all Catholic marriages are actually invalid. The second post, which I promised and then didn’t deliver, was supposed to be a detailed response to his specific proposal on communion, which he first presented in remarks to his fellow cardinals in the winter and then elaborated again in the Commonweal interview this spring.
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Don't Kanye Yourself or Your Kids

Excellent piece.

When I left my corporate job in California to enter the convent I had to tell my boss I was planning on leaving at the same time he was handing me an offer for a substantial raise. It was a difficult moment. I felt bad for my boss but I was also keenly aware that I looked insane to everyone around me, including myself sometimes. I remember looking at the offer, the stock options, the job title and thinking to myself, “I might never have this chance again.” It’s hard to let go of money for God.
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The Improbable Triumph Of The Latin Mass

Jeff Ostrowski recounts how those "in the know" said Summorum Pontificum could never happen.

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CBS Airs Song Wishing the Virgin Mary Would've Aborted Jesus

Because the musical artist is an oppressed woman. That's why she's on national television hawking her seventh cd.

In the early hours of Thursday morning, “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson” on CBS featured a guest musical performance with vehemently anti-religious lyrics, including a line wishing the mother of Jesus “would’ve had an abortion.” Kristeen Young was host Craig Ferguson’s guest, performing her song, “Pearl of a Girl,” which takes all three of the world’s major, monotheistic religions to task for allegedly repressing women.
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Muslim Prof Killed for Supporting Christians

Horrible.

Christians and Muslims lived side-by-side for centuries before the ISIS hoards descended upon Mosul. Mahmoud Al ‘Asali, a law professor from the University of Mosul, knew this well, and spoke out against the persecutions of Christians. He paid for his principled stand with his life when ISIS forces killed him.
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Our Nation's Top Colleges are Turning Children Into Zombies

I found this to be a fascinating read.

n the spring of 2008, I did a daylong stint on the Yale admissions committee. We—that is, three admissions staff, a member of the college dean’s office, and me, the faculty representative—were going through submissions from eastern Pennsylvania. The applicants had been assigned a score from one to four, calculated from a string of figures and codes—SATs, GPA, class rank, numerical scores to which the letters of recommendation had been converted, special notations for legacies and diversity cases. The ones had already been admitted, and the threes and fours could get in only under special conditions—if they were a nationally ranked athlete, for instance, or a “DevA,” (an applicant in the highest category of “development” cases, which means a child of very rich donors). Our task for the day was to adjudicate among the twos. Huge bowls of junk food were stationed at the side of the room to keep our energy up. The junior officer in charge, a young man who looked to be about 30, presented each case, rat-a-tat-tat, in a blizzard of admissions jargon that I had to pick up on the fly. “Good rig”: the transcript exhibits a good degree of academic rigor. “Ed level 1”: parents have an educational level no higher than high school, indicating a genuine hardship case. “MUSD”: a musician in the highest category of promise. Kids who had five or six items on their list of extracurriculars—the “brag”—were already in trouble, because that wasn’t nearly enough. We listened, asked questions, dove into a letter or two, then voted up or down.
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Can You Got to Hell for Voting?

You're not voting for choice, you're voting to kill your child.

Living in Milwaukee, a bastion of liberalism, I can’t recall meeting any Catholic in the last two elections, including some daily communicants, who did not vote enthusiastically for Obama. And the post-election data in both cases indicate that the majority of Catholics around the country voted similarly. During these elections, however, we occasionally heard news from other states about priests warning their congregations that voting Democratic would be a mortal sin.
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The Paradox of Crunchy Women and Chemical Birth Control

I like natural lifestyle choices. Unprocessed food keeps the flora and nutrients balanced in your body, natural deodorant steers clear of aluminum toxicity. Glass instead of plastic, essential oils instead of medicine, and grass-fed beef instead of cows that have been pumped with synthetic hormones. The additives that go into processed foods and mainstream brand toiletries can include carcinogens and other toxins that lead to weight gain, high blood pressure, and cancer. The trade-off is … well, inconvenience and cost. I pay more for hormone-free meat, as well as other organic products. I have damp underarms because, well, there is no such thing as “natural” anti-perspirant. The best we can hope for is no funk.
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Tom Petty: Christians Don't Get Christ. But He Does

words of wisdom from the only guy who smokes more pot than Willie Nelson.

Singer Tom Petty has a bone to pick over the way the Catholic Church handled the sex abuse scandal, telling Billboard Magazine that “no one’s got Christ more wrong than the Christians.” Petty, who recently penned a song remembering the victims of the Catholic sex abuse scandal called “Playing Dumb,” will make the track available on the vinyl release of his new album “Hypnotic Eye.”
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Thomas The Tank Engine’ is Kinda' Racist!

Sometimes you just have to laugh at them.

It’s all about race. Everything, that is. Just when you think it’s ok for your child to enjoy an innocent, wholesome cartoon that has been thrilling little tikes for seven decades, you find out that it’s — what else? — RACIST! That is, according to the ridiculous screed of Tracy van Slyke, of The Guardian, which is so stupid it just must be a joke. Right? Wrong! She’s serious. Check out what she said about the evil Thomas the Tank Engine:
For the record, all the “villains” on Thomas and Friends are the dirty diesel engines. I’d like to think there was a good environmental message in there, but when the good engines pump out white smoke and the bad engines pump out black smoke – and they are all pumping out smoke – it’s not hard to make the leap into the race territory.
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The Misadventure of Divorce

My wife left me twenty-four years ago today, and it is hardly an endorsement of the phenomenon to submit that it was one of the best things that ever happened to me -- eventually. That being said ...

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Summorum Pontificum provides equal standing for both Forms

THis is excellent and important.

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After a Father Lost His Newborn, He Asked for Someone to Photoshop His Daughter Without Medical Tubes — the Internet Responded in an ‘Amazing’ Way

Wow.

After his infant daughter passed away, a heartbroken father turned to Reddit recently to make one simple request: photoshop his baby without medical tubes.
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Holy Emojis

I'm against the whole emoji thing. And this confuses me more. I love how we need an emoji for a cross. What happened to a "t." But for those who use emoticons, this might be some long awaited good news. Whew.

In addition to smiley faces, high heels and frogs, Unicode is rolling out a new batch of 250 emojis, among them a set of religious icons. Unicode is the character coding system that gives a unique number for every character, allowing different companies to have access and the support for universal emojis. The new emojis will feature three types of crosses, the dove of peace and the Om symbol, a mystical Sanskrit sound of Hindu origin. They will join an emoji cast that includes an angel and a devil.
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Obama Nominated for Emmy

I think the most surprising thing is that it didn't happen during his first term.

Is this his first nomination? Ace is right that it’s hard to keep track. He’s got at least two Grammys for reading his books into a microphone and a Nobel peace prize for, uh … to this day, no one’s really sure why. But the world certainly has been peaceful lately, hasn’t it? Here’s to you, champ, at the start of a relaxing, star-studded post-presidency.
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Awards We All Win that Nobody Gives

You may very well qualify for the Sherrys. That's what she should call them. It's more prestigious than the Grammys but less dancy than the Tonys.

As a bench warming member of an actual b-team from the days when b-teams were peppered with those not blessed with athletic genes, my kids have it easy. They get awards in team sports for showing up, for eating snack, for coming to practice and kicking the ball, even if it goes into the goal of the other team.
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Punk Rock Jesus

Catholicism counterculture makes a rebel of you and me:

Catholicism is now a subculture, but that can be fun.
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