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October 19, 2015

Years ago, when I was carefree and broke and needed the money, I used to write a column for a local “alternative” newspaper. My assignment was to cover public lectures, discussions, and demonstrations and to illustrate the illogic of the participants simply by quoting them.

Editorializing was forbidden by the editor, but there was no need for it, since the easiest way to make certain people look foolish is to report their words accurately.

Most of the assignments I no longer...

October 12, 2015

Bishop Musonius of Neocaesarea died in 368, and St. Basil sent a consolatory letter to the Christians of that city. He praised the deceased as “a bulwark of his native land, an ornament of the churches, a pillar and foundation of the truth, a firm support of the faith of Christ, a steadfast helper for his friends, a most formidable foe for his enemies, a guardian of the ordinances of the Fathers, an enemy of innovation.”

This seems a fine eulogy, except that the final sentiment is...

October 5, 2015

Meet the Celebes crested macaque known as the star of the “monkey selfies.” She achieved notoriety in 2014 when photographer David Slater went to the Sulawesi peninsula of Indonesia (one of only two places this species of monkey exists, the other being a nearby island).

Slater carefully set up his camera equipment, using a tripod, and waited for a macaque to approach it, push a button on the remote control, and take its own photo. He ended up with several photos, this becoming the...

September 28, 2015

The most overlooked part of the Bible, apologetically speaking, is the table of contents. It does more than just tell us the pages on which the constituent books begin. It tells us that the Bible is a collection of books, and that implies a Collector. The identity of the Collector is what chiefly distinguishes the Protestant from the Catholic.

Douglas Wilson knows this. Writing in Credenda Agenda, a periodical espousing the Reformed faith, he notes that “the problem with...

September 21, 2015

I was glad I was sitting down when I read about the priest in a small town in Wisconsin. His parish just finished purchasing extensive land on which to construct a new church and other buildings. The congregation had been in a celebratory mood. In the Sunday bulletin he reported that “we truly ‘christened’ our new property . . . when we carried the Blessed Sacrament in procession there. As I broke up particles of the Sacred Host and scattered them over our 37 acres . . .”

Whoa, Nellie...