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Christmas pietism, for me, typically peaks mid-December. Usually by now I've seen enough flippant crèches and sappy Nativity reenactments that I'm tempted to just dump the entire Christmas story into the cultural dustbin, where it can rub elbows with Santa, the reindeer, and Bing Crosby. Easier that than salvaging it from a culture that perverts every sacred thing it touches. Besides, having dispensed with the details of the story itself, I'd be free to meditate on the Nativity's true significance, it
On this day in 1863, President Lincoln delivered one of the most significant orations in American history. Today's Writer's Almanac marvels at the economy of Lincoln's prose:
From the Rev. Berthold Von Schenk:
It's frequently said that the opposite of Christianity is not atheism, but idolatry. In his 2006 book Catholic Matters, Richard John Neuhaus (former Lutheran) explicates this dictum's lesser-known corollary, that the opposite of the Roman Catholic Magisterium is not sola scriptura, but Concordia Seminary:
The New York Times reported last month on the unusual new disciplinary tactic of the Bangkok police force: It is the pink armband of shame for wayward police officers, as cute as can be with a Hello Kitty face and a pair of linked hearts.
Advertised in the latest "Communion Resources" catalog (click for full-size):
...you're likely part of the World Council of Churches. Behold their latest brainchild: Evangelical groups have joined efforts spearheaded by Roman Catholic, Orthodox and mainstream Protestant churches to create a common code for religious conversions that would preserve the right of Christians to spread their religion while avoiding conflict among different faiths...
Johannes von Döllinger, a nineteenth-century Bavarian church historian, once announced he could not accept the claims of papal infallibility made by the First Vatican Council since they included historical statements that were demonstrably false. In response, Cardinal Henry Manning of Westminster famously declared, “We must overcome history with dogma.”