Thursday, June 17, 2010

“Freethinkers argue that beliefs should be based on rationality….”

WGN Radio reports on their website a new phenomenon beginning in Chicago. (Click here). Secular organizations around the country are organizing the promotion of “freethinkers” who “argue that beliefs should be based on rationality, not on religious tradition or dogma.” The co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Annie Laurie Gaylor, comments in an article quote, “We have to reach them [atheists], provide an alternative to religion and let them know we're here. Many of us reject the idea of blind faith.” They accomplish this through ads with slogans like “Sleep in on Sundays” or “In the beginning, man created God” and other multimedia ads, programs, and organized movements.

The article and those in the movement anticipate strong religious right outcry. My outcry comes from different reasons than they foresaw. I am more sad than angry that they are promoting and rallying the atheist secular cause. What really makes me angry is their complete lack of engagement with the religious right. If they wanted to engage productively in the public sphere, I would have expected them to do their homework which includes delving into 2,000 years of Christian (specifically Catholic) scholarship. Reason has always been at the forefront of Catholicism enlightened by Faith. Until they are ready and willing to engage on an equal playing field, there is no debate and no possible way to engage with them in their emotional and moral relativistic arguments. Until they engage with religious reason instead of rejecting it outright because of faith they are as close minded and as bigoted as they claim their opponents to be. The Church is ready and willing to engage in dialogue. Join in the relentless pursuit of Truth. “You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” (John 8:32)

Pope Benedict XVI spoke on faith and reason in his General Wednesday Audience on 16 June 2010:

Friday, June 11, 2010


Perhaps I'm making up for the fact that I barely saw any of the Winter Olympics 2010 in Vancouver. Could be. I filled out a bracket online with less care than when I did the NCAA Tournament bracket and picked PORTUGAL. Let's see how this turns out.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Each Chapter Affects Another

Suddenly, I find myself stateside.

My four months in Rome have drawn to a close. They were the fastest four months of my life. I am continually praising God for each blessing and grace I received while abroad and I look forward to how God plans to use these graces.

Thank you for reading my writings over the course of the semester. I didn't have time to fit all I wanted to say, and I probably never will, but I intend to continue posting throughout the summer not only recollections from Rome but whatever tickles my fancy while the summer rolls along.

The end was very bittersweet. I knew it was time to come home but the whole experience was something very special...nothing like it will happen again, even at Bernardi. Thank you to the chaplaincy; my teachers, mentors, and professors; the students of Bernardi and the Angelicum and all my new and old friends; and anyone who worked and contributed to the semester from the States or Italy. In one of my graces of the semester, I saw how everything we learned fit together; from art to social justice, theology to everyday concerns, everything fits together through the Catholic Church. I couldn't study one subject without referencing another. This grace also extended to my own life as I piece together my goals for sacred music within the Church and how God is calling me to serve Him. As one chapter comes to a close the rollercoaster peaks at another apex ready to turn and fly careening down another mountain. Let's go, Lord. What do you have in store this time?