On February 11,comedian Stephen Colbert asked historian Garry Wills if he was in favor of the next pope being not John Paul III or Benedict XVII but “Nobody the First.” Wills smiled and said, “Ah, very good idea.”
For some Catholics, this idea is more than a joke.
In the evangelical subculture of my youth, there were three categories of pop music. There was secular music, the avoidance of which was, as with alcohol, a nonessential of the faith. (My parents’ approach was more tight regulation than outright ban.) There was Christian music, the Nashville-industry pop records that we heard on Christian radio during our school carpool and then saved our allowances up to buy. And then there was worship music, which we sang at church.
In a recent editorial calling for same-sex marriage to be legal, the Century editors noted that if and when legalization happens at the national level, the First Amendment will protect religious groups that have their own position on the question. The government won’t, for example, be able to force a church or minister to perform a same-sex wedding against their will.
Yet as Mark Silk notes, a range of religious liberty questions will likely have to be addressed—and probably litigated.
This week’s sensual anointing text is one of those biblical texts that has a personal story permanently attached to it. Late one night, sitting in the ER, I wiped blood away from a dying member’s hands and experienced death’s sting along with his family. I knew the power of being present in Christ’s name when there are no words to speak.
So, Sen. Paul filibustered and received brief assurances that at least there are some limits to the Obama adminstration's policy of targeted assassination. Alex Kane—in a Short Imagined Monologue, one of my favorite features at McSweeney's humor site—spells out some others. I for one would be reassured if the White House actually said this.
Feeling the need for inspiration as a good Christian woman, I logged onto Today’s Christian Woman. And sure enough, the first image to appear was one that spoke to me, a real heart-to-heart moment. A woman with a shopping bag slung over her shoulder was looking back as if to say, “Come on! Let’s run to the mall for a quick shopping spree.”