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Sherry Handles the Situation Better than Me

How many children is too many?

Adolescence isn't easy, especially when you are trying to carve out your own identity and feel so utterly stamped by your family. I know the instant we show up somewhere, with the big van and the sheer numbers, (not to mention the loudness of some of our children who have not learned to curb their natural enthusiasm to draw less attention to our grant exiting of said vehicle), we've already driven our teens crazy. The older ones cope by appearing to be "responsible adults," grabbing the nearest cutest toddler and becoming their sole custodians for any outing we might take. It's the middle ones who struggle. They do not want the task of caring for a younger sibling, or the association with all the other younger siblings. Being part of a mob of children and unable to escape, my teens struggle to maintain their cool, and to look cool.
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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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Louisiana Supreme Court orders priest to testify about confession

Uh-oh.

Many observers misunderstood the Hobby Lobby dispute and others like it as a First Amendment case, but it wasn’t. It primarily related to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), with an indirect reference to the constitutional freedom of religious expression. A case in Louisiana may be the real McCoy, though. The Louisiana Supreme Court has ruled that a priest must testify in a case about what he heard in a confessional — an order that would result in automatic excommunication and damnation, according to the doctrine and canon law of the Catholic Church:
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Catholic Parade Makes Shocking Route Detour — and It’s an Alleged Slap in the Face for Pope Francis

Adoration of evil?

In apparent defiance of Pope Francis, a church procession detoured from its route through a southern Italian town to honor a convicted mobster under house arrest. Interior Minister Angelino Alfano on Sunday denounced the tribute in Oppido Mamertina — a Calabrian town and a ‘ndrangheta crime syndicate stronghold — as “deplorable and disgusting.” On June 21, Francis, visiting Calabria, condemned the ‘ndrangheta for its “adoration of evil” and said its members were excommunicated.
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The Real Reason I Say No to Electronics

This is wonderful.

Dear Boys, Do you remember the day we went to the drugstore and the lady said, “Wow, you are the first kids I’ve seen all day with nothing in your hands.” Remember how she marveled at how you didn’t need an electronic device to carry through the store? I know how her words made you feel. I know how it reminded you that you are different because your mom limits your electronic usage. I know it was yet another reminder. The same reminder you receive when we are out to eat and you notice all the kids playing their phones and iPads instead of talking to their parents. I know it was a reminder of all the sporting events where you feel you are the only kids whose parents are making them cheer on their siblings rather than burying themselves in a phone. I know it was another reminder to you that you feel different in this electronic age we live in.
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I Couldn't Turn My Abortion Into Art

A Brooklyn woman writes of her traumatic abortion in the New York Times. This is far from a pro-life piece. Hey, it's in the Times, whaddya' expect. But it shows the lie of those who say abortion is easy peasy, like getting a tooth pulled.

I had just turned 22 and I had the self-esteem of a squashed toad. This may explain why I was having an affair with a married 36-year-old sound mixer whom I’d met on a film shoot a couple of months earlier. I’d had only one serious boyfriend by this time and recently had been asked for the first time, “Can I buy you a drink?” by a man. (He was an actor in a film I’d worked on the summer before; he asked everybody that question, but still it felt like progress.) Somehow, by that tender age, I had convinced myself that I should take what I could get. So I took the married sound mixer. And then, a few months later, I rolled out of bed at an unreasonably early hour and vomited.
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Planned Parenthood gives award to Colorado clinic for 'exceeding abortion visits'

Yay them.

A photo of the award was taken by a former employee who saw it posted on a bulletin board in Denver that displays awards earned by satellite clinics. "This Certificate Awarded to Aurora for Exceeding Abortion Visits First Half of FY12 Compared to First Half FY 13," the notice reads. Let's pray together so that people everywhere will make the right decision -- The Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, the second largest Planned Parenthood facility in the United States, gave the award to its Aurora abortion clinic.
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6 Stupid Arguments About Hobby Lobby From Dumb Liberals

Funny. And true.

The Supreme Court’s decision today affirming the right of business owners to run their businesses in accordance with their religious beliefs has caused no small amount of consternation among the anti-science, functionally illiterate Left. The Supreme Court just banned birth control forever. Male justices just imprisoned women across America. If you don’t buy my stuff for me, it means you want to ban that stuff. And so on and so forth.
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New Media Darling & American Hero, Tim Howard, US Men's National Team Goalie, Is (Shhh) a Christian

Seems like a good guy.

I was actually wondering about this. I had been reading about him, and I had gotten that vibe, but the news sources I was reading apparently didn't want to ask about something so weird and alienating. Before we get to that, in case you didn't know, Howard is being celebrated for a heroic performance defending the net during the loss against Belgium. He successfully batted away sixteen shots on goal, a record in the World Cup, apparently (and a bit of indictment of his teammates who permitted Belgium so many shots on goal).
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No Joke: Burger King Unveils Gay Pride Whopper…

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Catholic University Profs Change the World One Supreme Court Decision at a Time

It's pretty amazing what this one Catholic college is making happen.

In recent weeks, law professors at The Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law have played major roles in three victories at the U.S. Supreme Court. Catholic University law school professor Mark Rienzi argued before the Supreme Court in McCullen v. Coakley, a First Amendment case that asked the high court to review the constitutionality of a Massachusetts law that created a space outside abortion clinics within which pro-life sidewalk counselors were prohibited from speaking with those entering the facilities. The restriction was signed into law in 2007 by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, but the Supreme Court unanimously overturned it last week.
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The Saga of the Loose Tooth

Parenting is Funny has the tale:

When one of the children loses a tooth, it is a very big deal. Not because they think, “Yea, I’m becoming a big girl!” or even “Cha-ching! Come on, Tooth Fairy!” But because it means a whole lot less whining going on around here. Initially the loose tooth is an exciting topic of conversation, meriting daily, if not more frequent, updates as in, “My tooth is a little wiggly!… I can move it back and forth!… Now I can move it left to right! See!” (open mouth shoved in face.) “Now I can touch the bottom of it with my tongue!…It’s hanging by a thread!”
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