Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Rev. Wallis/Fr. Martin on Religion & Ethics via Commonweal.

Rev. Wallis identifies himself as "an evangelical convert to Catholic social teachings" and I'd hasten to add that the Catholic hierarchy itself is a convert to Catholic social teachings, well after Wallis's conversion but by the same means, Dorothy Day.

More from Wallis:
We've all got into this culture of greed, the culture extolling greed as a value. In D.C., property values have doubled in four years. So what do they say?

Take your equity value and take a loan against that and buy another house, and then you can rent that and pay for your mortgage and then buy a third house. The prophets say you add house to house to house to house -- the whole thing falls apart
My impression is that people aren't interested in owning their homes these days. It isn't a goal that they have. Despite having a mortgage, they "rent" their homes. In some places, the very dream of paying off a mortgage can be impossible.

Without getting too personal, we bought this place eight years ago after saving for ten years. We put down just over half without tapping the proceeds of the sale of our previous place. We went with a 15 yr. loan for the rest with the expectation of paying it in about 12.

And at every step of the way, people tried to talk us out of this traditional, conservative approach:
"Why tie up your money in your home?"

"You know, you can deduct the interest from your taxes."

"Why did you pay off your previous home if you planned to move one day?"
I got to thinking that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

I just hope Dr. Kaveny has some cash stuffed under her bed along with her Fidelity statements. I stopped opening mail years ago ... and the financial crisis had nothing to do with it!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

This explains a lot ...

Four Out of Five Recent Presidents Are Southpaws, ABC News, 2/22/08:
"George W. Bush is not."
Obama and McCain are.

Lefties For Obama

A Simple Desultory Philippic lyrics: "nearly branded Communist, 'cause I'm left-handed"
I'm preparing a five minute presentation on Zephaniah 2 for this Saturday and set down to work on it yesterday.

I borrowed Adele Berlin's volume from the library and read the Introduction last night. The section "Some Thoughts on the Masoretic Text, the Ancient Versions, and Textual Criticism" is worth referencing especially because my knowledge of the text tradition is so poor, pg. 24:
The MT is privileged not only because it is the only fully preserved Hebrew text, but because it is the textus receptus, the accepted text of the Jewish and Protestant communities. Even the Roman Catholic Church, in which the Latin Vulgate continues to be the official "authentic" edition of the Bible, has come to accept the MT as the basis of study for the protocanonical books of the Old Testament.

So even among Catholics, the MT has canonical status. (The LXX is the accepted text of the Eastern Orthodox Church.)

Textual critics have often assumed that the original Hebrew text of the Bible is retrievable or reconstructible, and they have set the reconstruction of the original text as their goal. But despite the considerable erudition brought to bear by textual critics, their reconstructions of the original Hebrew text remain hypothetical - educated guesses - and must remain so until actual written evidence of earlier stages of the Hebrew Bible is discovered.

For example, in a previous generation, there was a widespread tendency to emend hitqosesu, "gather together" in Zeph 2:1 - most commonly to hitbosesu, "be ashamed of yourselves," or to hitqaddesu, "sanctify yourselves" (as in BHK). More recent commentaries have been less eager to emend, and have sought to interpret the given form (notice that BHS does not propose an emendation). This, and numerous examples of the same type throughout the Bible, suggests that textual criticism is not built on quite so sure a foundation as one might have supposed. It also suggests that regardless of claims about the priority that textual criticism should take over exegesis, the two procedures are not so easily disengageable. Emendations reflect the exegesis of the emender; emendation is the process of rewriting the text to make it say what the exegete thinks it meant to say or should have said.

[F]ewer emendations are made nowadays, largely, I think, as a reaction to the excesses of previous times in which a scholar's reputation was often enhanced by the cleverness of his emendations. In a reversal of the past trend, today's scholars see greater merit in finding an explanation for the words that are present than in substituting others of similar spelling.
There's more I'd like to cite especially on page 27 where she rejects efforts for a critical edition. If Kings and Chronicles haven't yet been used to "correct" the other, why use the MT and Versions in this way?

So, my expectation is that the revised OT of the NAB will have fewer emendations than the previous edition. And this project as well.

Zephaniah - Anchor Bible

Friday, September 26, 2008

Nothing like this in Batavia, NY, I assure you ...

Magnet Meltdown At The Large Hadron Collider - Science Friday, NPR:
Joining me now to tell us about what went on is Dan Hooper.

Dan is the assistant professor at the University of Chicago.

Dr. Hooper is also an associate scientist at Fermi Labs, the national laboratory in Batavia, NY ... and, eh, out ... Batavia, Illinois, outside Chicago.
Is the announcer an SU grad?

Wiki says UB!

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Anglican archbishop comes under fire for homily at Lourdes - Catholic Courier, 9/24/08:
The Rev. Jeremy Brooks, the group's director of ministry, said: "All true Protestants will be appalled that the archbishop of Canterbury has visited Lourdes and preached there.

"Lourdes represents everything about Roman Catholicism that the Protestant Reformation rejected, including apparitions, Mariolatry and the veneration of saints," he said in a Sept. 24 statement. "The archbishop's simple presence there is a wholesale compromise, and his sermon -- which included a reference to Mary as 'the mother of God' -- is a complete denial of Protestant orthodoxy."

He added, "At a time when our country is crying out for clear biblical leadership, it is nothing short of tragic that our supposedly Protestant archbishop is behaving as little more than a papal puppet."
Friend of Jeff's parents ...

Midge Hagen passed away - OACS Alumni, 9/26/08:
She dedicated her life to supporting her children and grandchildren's scholastic endeavors. Her community services included supporting the development of the OACS Sports Boosters as a charter member and director.
How to solve this Palin problem - Kathleen Parker, Dallas Morning News, 9/26/08:
Ms. Palin filibusters. She repeats words, filling space with deadwood. Cut the verbiage, and there's not much content there.
I agree with Parker's assessment of Palin's interviews - Palin's SNR is indicative of someone who is trying to cover up ignorance.

But this smoke screen is stock-in-trade for any professional stretched beyond their abilities. And it's a commonplace in my experience. In fact, it's unusual to come across a professional who actually knows their business.

Despite all this, Palin can't step down. It's too late for that now.

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Monmouth County Republicans were handing out lawn signs at Millstone Day yesterday.

Our neighbor put one in his front yard, facing my house.

People in this neighborhood usually have enough good taste not to wear their political affiliations on their sleeve. I've never seen anything more than a home improvement sign on neighbors' lawns. Besides, it may be safety assumed that everyone is Republican, even blue-collar Catholic women with four young children.

He oriented the sign parallel to the street rather than perpendicular so, really, me and my family are the only ones who see it. I can see it from my laundry room window. And I'm in my laundry room alot. I have to draw down the blind for the next month or so.

He ought to rotate it 90 degrees so drivers passing by can see it. But, he's just a rednecked Republican who doesn't understand geometry much less marketing. If I see him out, I'll suggest reorienting the sign to him ... and that way, I don't have to ever see it again.
"I'm very proud to have hit the first home run in Yankee Stadium. God knows who'll hit the last one."
Now we all know.

Yanks prevail as Stadium goes dark, 9/22/08.

Flickr set

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Your result for The Who Would You Be in 1400 AD Test...

The Prioress

You scored 26% Cardinal, 54% Monk, 56% Lady, and 24% Knight!

You are a moral person and are also highly intellectual. You like your solitude but are also kind and helpful to those around you. Guided by a belief in the goodness of mankind you will likely be christened a saint after your life is over.

You scored high as both the Lady and the Monk. You can try again to get a more precise description of either the Monk or the lady, or you can be happy that you're an individual.

Take The Who Would You Be in 1400 AD Test at HelloQuizzy

via HC

Monday, September 15, 2008

"The pre-Flood Earth was fairly flat."

I had never heard that particular Christian belief before last week.

How widespread is this notion among American Christians? It goes hand-in-hand with a belief that rain didn't fall until the time of the Flood. Land accounted for most of the antediluvian earth's surface.

Psalm 104:8 is said to teach that "present day mountain ranges were formed during and following the Flood." This is the same psalm, in verse 5, that says the sun goes around the earth. I consider it imprudent buttressing a theology with the Psalms, much less Earth Science! (Psalm 104, NAB)

But, I must say, as I read the first chapter of our Isaiah II study, verses of restoration, like this one, make more sense:
"Every valley shall be lifted up,
and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
and the rough places a plain."
Isaiah 40:4
If you remember how the high places were idolatrous snares and that the Valley of Hinnom, a place of child sacrifice, why shouldn't the Bible wish these topographical features away in the end?

Things I don't ask myself. I don't think much about Pre-Fall Adam ... and I don't ponder the Pre-Flood Earth. Or whether there was a Flood at all.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

NFL Standings
Not my kids ...

Dozens of felons driving school buses - Asbury Park Press, 9/14/08.

Even drivers with clean records aren't perfect:
A bus of Millstone students who attend Allentown High School wound up at Peddie School in Hightstown on the first day of classes Sept. 3, according to Superintendent of Schools Dick Fitzpatrick.

Fitzpatrick said administrators could hear the driver reprimanding students for using their cell phones on the bus, but students only resorted to doing so after the driver wouldn't take their directions.
Allentown High School starts with a hitch - Examiner, 9/11/08.

It takes me 90 minutes in the morning and 90 minutes in the afternoon - in each case, just five miles from home - but I'd still rather drive it than put them on a school bus.
Benedict at Lourdes - Fr. Imbelli, Commonweal, 9/14/08.
The pack of extra stuff that Pam hands out at the beginning of each session is so complete - I regret that I don't always make time to read everything that she gives. The pages of cross-references facilitate taking the week's work on the road and that's what I did yesterday: doing the lesson during their tennis practice and at Chuck E. Cheese's. No need to bring along another book for looking up referenced verses.

As I integrated her handouts with the printed Precepts material by lesson, the page on textual criticism caught my eye and I read it. I don't know which study Bible the article is taken from, but I suspect it's from the NIV Archaeological Study Bible because that's one she has and I don't. Anyway, I asked her in email. The first paragraph of the article is quoted verbatim here ("Any book copied by hand ...") without a citation reference.

And, you know, the article's affirmation of the textual integrity of the Bible, its validation of the Bible's reliability isn't something I reject. Just that, if I wasn't already convinced, this article wouldn't do it.

For instance,
"Significantly, while textual errors do exist among the Biblical witnesses, they do not destroy the Bible's credibility or message. Just as an alert reader can understand a book or newspaper article that has typographical errors in it, so too God's Word is able to speak for itself in spite of the minor corruptions that have arisen through scribal transmission.
Taking that popular newspaper analogy too far.

A typo in a book or newspaper is not in the same league as a textual variant in the manuscript tradition of Scripture. In the first place, that typesetter's typo isn't brought forward, partially corrected, joined by new typos, etc. through 1,000's of uniquely-created editions. In the second place, if there is a serious misunderstanding,1 the author or journalist is probably still around to straighten it out.

1 Kathleen Parker at the National Review seems to misquote Pelosi, substituting the more common but incorrect expression "doctrines of the church" for the exclusively Catholic phrase "Doctors of the Church." I'm guessing Parker isn't Catholic.
Did tennis and Chuck E. Cheese's as promised/planned, then, driving through Lakewood talked, as always, about my alma mater there. The boys expressed interest in walking the campus some, so I turned down 9th.

The guard at the entrance asked for an ID and I gave him my driver's license. I told the kids that after 9/11, campus security became very tight. It seems to have gotten even tighter since my time there. I mean, even after graduating, I used their library every once in a while and never had to show ID. Maybe a Saturday afternoon is different than a weekday. Well, especially in Lakewood it is.

And the guard told me not to enter any buildings. I didn't plan on it: we were going to walk to the mansion and back. But, halfway to the mansion, the littlest boy said he had to use the facilities.

I spotted a security jeep outside the chapel and ventured inside. I found the guard almost immediately and explained my promise followed by our need. He was locking up the building but a sister was waiting for a ride, so he had a few minutes for us. I had the other two wait outside but as we exited, the second-littlest boy informed me that he also had to go.

I turned immediately to find the guard again but he was already gone through the card access door. The sister was getting into a car that had arrived. However, there was a restroom just to our right, so we snuck in and he made quick use. I imagined that a motion-sensor alarm had been enabled but, as far as I know, we didn't set anything off leaving. The security guard was driving away as we came out and I'm sure that he saw us.

We walked around the mansion and then headed back to our car. The boys complained of being thirsty and I had put a dollar and some change in my pocket so I could get a can of soda from the machine outside the library. But the machine rejected my paper money, so we entered the nearby canteen. There was a long line of soccer or field hockey players waiting for hamburgers and fries, but I grabbed a soda from the cooler and went in front of them all to pay. I didn't even bother to let the clerk ring it up, I put down extra money and hustled the boys out. "I don't think anyone saw us," I said to them. But a security guard drove past as we were seated on a bench, sharing the bottle.

I probably should return and check the status of my alumni library card. And I want to hear Fr. Martin when he's there November 8th.

The Upper Room Spiritual Center, Neptune, NJ.
You decreed that man should be saved through the wood of the cross.
The tree of man's defeat became his tree of victory;
where life was lost, there life has been restored
through Christ our Lord.
Today's Preface
Spies at church?

They were already there when I arrived during the Gloria. The brother caught my eye first: he stood at the choir loft rail to my left and marked hash-lines in rows on a paper. He threw his sister standing next to him a frustrated look whenever another family below joined a pew he'd already counted. She also counted pew-sitters on her side of the center aisle and jotted down the number on her paper.

I wanted to ask them what they were doing. Whether it was a project for school ... or their church.

As the second reading was announced, I told Kenny that it would be a worthwhile passage for him to memorize. The lector read with such emotion - she seemed to be on the verge of tears - that our guests were intrigued. They listened and seemed moved by the summation:
"that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord ..."
But they caught themselves, especially him, and refused to be swept up. How ironic it would be. They quickly bolted out of the church during the Gospel Alleluias. Consequently they missed the reading from John, including 3:16.

Yes, "gospel in a nutshell" Sunday. What a shame that not everyone is back from summer vacation yet.

Our bulletin doesn't record attendance numbers, 'though it gives collection totals. So, I suppose one could reasonably deduce attendance from collection: one dollar per family per week.

cf. previous post: Tracts in the Church Parking Lot

Saturday, September 13, 2008

150 years? I had no idea.

Was my friend's house where the seminary had been?

There's a picture of the marching band here, just for "Mr. M."

"Bingo under the Tent (School House Manor) to benefit St. Cecilia's Church."

The proposed cross country reunion will not be held Columbus Day weekend because so many came back for this year's Labor Day celebration.

Friday, September 12, 2008

"And I really did have a confusion that Italians were happy Jews."

Jeff said I ought to listen to this Fresh Air program, the "Wild World of Maurice Sendak".

Something about his Brooklyn accent.

And all his father's relatives. And the neighborhood of Sicilians.

Yes, I listened and recommend it.
Picking Kenny up from fencing in the Colts Neck Shopping Plaza earlier today, I held Ella's hand as we walked across the parking lot in the rain. Reaching the sidewalk, I looked down to help her up the curb and saw her bare foot: she'd stepped out of her maryjane's.

I glanced back and saw her shoe exactly halfway between us and our car. A Hummer was driving towards us but stopped just in front of the shoe.

Carrying her in my arms, I moved for the shoe, but the driver started again and ran right over the shoe! It went under his wheels! I could not believe it. I was furious at him for being too in a hurry to really stop ... or not being a good enough driver in that huge vehicle to avoid the shoe.

He looked as if he were wearing a tux, so perhaps he was on his way to a rehearsal dinner. And I just thought, well, thank God my daughter's foot wasn't in the shoe. It could have been much worse. The shoe is fine, of course. And I'm trying to get over it.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Alright, everyone's recycling their 9/11 post, so here's mine, from the fifth anniversary.

And, people are still dying from 9/11.
"Now you couldn't dream up stories like this ..."

I listened to this, NPR's Hear and Now:
KEN FEINBERG - The attorney who was in charge of the September 11 Victim Compensation fund says never again will he value one life more than another.

The 9/11 fund was set up so the families of victims who were making more money than other victims at the times of their deaths were paid more.

That led to some gut-wrenching moments for Feinberg, as he met with the families of the victims.
I recommend that you listen to it.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Almost three years of monthly readership and I just noticed in the "HeadLines" section the inclusion of noteworthy blog items. Maybe it's a new feature.

Or I'm simply drawn to pictures more than words? Renderings of the Temple tend to catch my eye: page 20, if you're following along at home.

Looking over the blog in question, it's this post that's quoted with an illustration taken from the forthcoming ESV Study Bible, available 10/15 - a worthy date to me!

And, so, two things besides the obvious: (1) an ESV Study Bible1 and (2) further affirmation that the Garden Tomb isn't it. Beautiful pictures embedded in the text of the interview - all of Calvary's chapel, no small feat - moreover, deserted!

Let's hope that if enough authorities affirm Holy Sepulcher over against the Garden Tomb, Protestants will abandon their tradition in favor of FACT ... a much older tradition.

Ritmeyer's blog looks to be of interest to Holy Land archaeology buffs ... myself, I just like the pictures.

Previous posts on Golgotha ... ... I don't know why the topic interests me so much ...

1 Yes, a commercial for a Bible. Hard to stomach. Can we combine it with this, please, please?!

tags technorati :

Monday, September 08, 2008

Kenny's musical tastes have developed beyond The Countdown Kids covers, so I offered to update their iPod mini with songs they've requested from my iTunes library.

Now, I can't find the right USB cable, so actual exporting will have to wait until Jeff can help. But I'm building the playlist and thought I would listen to my favorite band while doing that.

And this "Crinsk Dee Night" came up; it's an old favorite ... the radio stations used to play such snippets on their Saturday Morning Beatles programs:

There's a lot of Rush in the playlist; Kenny likes the typical hits: SotR and CttH. He thinks YBYL is filled with tongue-twisters:
Anarchist reactionary running dog revisionist
Hindu muslim catholic creation / evolutionist
Rational romantic mystic cynical idealist
Minimal expressionist post-modern neo-symbolist

Arm chair rocket scientist graffiti existentialist
Deconstruction primitive performance photo realist
Be-bop or a one drop or a hip hop lite pop metallist
Gold adult contemporary urban country capitalist
I tell him I can't sing along even with the lyrics in front of me, 'though I had it all memorized at one time. How do I explain that song to him?

"Like a mother sending her kid off to school for the first time--watchin' the little fella toddling off--in his best bib and tucker--and you sink in the middle--hoping he can stand up to the other kids--won't get his feelings hurt--and--if you could only spare him the knocks he's gotta take--Say--who started this?"

Saunders, Mr. Smith Goes To Washington

Three down, one to go.

He doesn't wear a uniform so green accessories don't clash. We're faced with the matter of "what to wear" each weekday morning.

I was able to import the 250 photos we've taken since Tim's birthday and upload about 20 to Flickr - so have a peek.
Catholic university rescinds appointment of feminist theologian - Catholic News Service, 8/22/08:
The University of San Diego is standing by its decision to revoke the appointment of a nationally known Catholic feminist theologian to its faculty ...

there was a procedural error in offering the theologian, Rosemary Radford Ruether, the Msgr. John R. Portman chair in Roman Catholic theology for the fall 2009 semester and said her seat on the board of directors of an organization that supports legal abortion makes her an inappropriate choice for the position.

"By no means are we demeaning Dr. Ruether's very respected career in theology, but in the case of this chair, she was not an appropriate selection."
Is this guilt by association or does Ruether herself support abortion? I don't know.1 Sometimes you gotta eat with the tax collectors, you know?

Ruether happened to be in Israel, yes, at the same time as we. Ten years ago. She was speaking at a conference in Bethlehem. Some of our group, ardent feminists and former nuns, yes, drove on their own to hear her speak. I had no interest, certainly not.

And, funny thing, ha - not really - at the airport, those ladies got singled out by security for having gone to Bethlehem - controlled by the PA at the time, yes? - without their tour guide, etc., etc.

Oh, Jeff & I started through security with one of them, and as the inspector asked her more and more questions, Jeff and I stepped away from her more and more! We were like, "No! We didn't go to Bethlehem then!!"

1This article makes her sound like a real whack job. Maybe she is. I've only heard the name, I've never read anything by her. Oh, maybe I read one thing in grad school by her ... or maybe I was supposed to read something by her but, if I did read it, I don't remember or didn't understand it. It didn't stick with me, in other words.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

I've been looking for commentaries on the Bk. of Daniel, especially Catholic ones.

Do you know that the Berit Olam Old Testament commentary series from Liturgical Press doesn't have a commentary on Daniel?! And unlike Exodus and the major prophets, there doesn't seem to be one in-the-works, accepting pre-orders?!

I saw a reference to a commentary by Fr. Most but couldn't find the actual work until reading japhy's blog just now ... he's got a post with a link to all Fr. Most's commentaries.

Even though it's a very brief commentary, I haven't read it all yet. But here's a sample of how he treats the first six chapters of Daniel:
The problem becomes acute right away in the opening verse, in regard to the date of the third year of Jehoiakim, which seems at least at first sight to contradict the Babylonian records.

One possible solution is to say that the stories of that part of Daniel, and some others too, are in the edifying narrative genre. In this genre we read stories that are quite interesting, but the relation of the things in them to real history or biography is about the same as the relation of science fiction to science.

For example, there are some early medieval lives of Irish Saints. These Saints did everything by miracles.

Now: would an ancient Irishman even with six good shots of whiskey really take these stories as real history? Of course not. Yet he got a sort of lift out of reading them. It is evident that in such a genre there is no need for precision on dates and some other things.
So, yeah, I'll read it. And, shoot, I ordered a used copy of Anchor commentary, gosh, who did Daniel, ah, yes, Hartman and Di Lella. Good guys. I know the leader favors the NIV series so I'll get that one, even though I'm a fan of neither the series nor the author. And I'll also get the WBC volume.

I'll accept suggestions and recommendations, especially for Catholic commentaries as I seem to be at a loss for such. I've already read Collegeville and NJBC about a million times over for Daniel, so don't mention those two.

UPDATED: Ok, I found Navarre's volume ... Daniel should not be grouped with the major prophets ... oh, that offends my sensibilities ... who would even think to look for it there?! But anyway, I'll get that volume as well, especially since the Isaiah study continues this fall ...
Here's the punchline:

Now go read the whole thing.

I'm gonna send it to all my single friends with one child.

cf. Lynn Johnston's Drawn-Out Adieu to Cartooning - Washington Post, 8/27/08.

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Fits in with today's gospel reading:
Pelosi OKs talk with SF bishop on church teachings

I hope she doesn't think the Doctors of the Church were MDs.

'Though my pastor said this text isn't about kicking folks out. Let's hope not.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Railroaders Weekend at Allaire State Park

After their tennis lesson at the Atlantic Club, I took them to Allaire Village for a train ride. It's been years since I've taken them but Kenny vaguely remembered.

The bad weather kept most of the patrons and exhibitors away but we'll all try again tomorrow. Last year had quite a turnout.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Perrineville Lake the centerpiece of new park - Asbury Park Press, 7/17/08:
With the county recently putting in two formal parking areas — on Agress Road between Witch's Hollow and Perrineville Road and another on Baird Road between Perrineville and Millstone roads — more people are likely to discover the park.

Grbelja said she is glad the parking lots are in. They serve "as an advertisement to the public that the park is open," Grbelja said.
Kenny wants to check out the trails. Just as soon as the weather cools off.

cf. Monmouth County Park System - Perrineville Lake Park, Millstone
BOE tables facility-use fee issue until next year - Examiner, 9/4/08:
During the meeting, the board also discussed "resting" the Millstone Township Elementary School during the 2008-09 school year.

"This would mean that the elementary school would not be used by outside groups in the evenings or on the weekends," Donahue said.
The first group I thought of was GCBC, unless they now meet elsewhere. I'm sure many groups would be affected.
Convention Tunes - Today's Here & Now on NPR.