Been to Chicago’s Bean?
ANNOUNCEMENT: The Jesus Creed blog will be moving Sept 1 to Patheos. Stay tuned for more information and exact URL. Here is a great example of how Patheos is creating intelligent conversations about issues that matter to those of faith.
Wonderful letter to Anne Rice from Karen.
Chaplain Mike, who works with hospice ministries, speaks up about healthcare debates.
Just before we left Ireland, Patrick Mitchel interviewed me and here’s his post.
And just after we left, Patrick and family came to the USA, and drove down the West coast — and here’s a picture of one of America’s little cuddlies.
David Swanson on the HUP and church planters moving into the City.
Speaking of church, Kevin’s comments about the Church in Ireland.
Meanderings in the News
1. Gary Gutting on the arguments for God’s existence.
2. I hadn’t seen this until I read it on one of my newsfeeds. The Catholic prof at Univ of Illinois got his job back: “Howell’s reinstatement is a great victory for him, his students, and academic freedom, but he could have very easily been “a casualty of campus ‘tolerance,'” as French points out. “It shouldn’t take lawyers, roughly 9,000 Facebook fans, and an avalanche of media coverage to guarantee the most basic academic freedom.”
3. Choice for health insurance restricted in New Mexico? “New Mexico appears to be heading down the second path. Two weeks ago, a panel appointed by New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson recommended that the state establish an exchange that “assumes an active role in driving market reforms and protecting consumers.The panel’s report (.pdf) goes on to explain: “This could include restricting plans from the Exchange that would exceed specified premium growth levels or by requiring cost containment initiatives of plans participating in the Exchange. While some states have developed Exchanges that merely serve as a market organization and distribution center for health care plans, it is recommended that New Mexico develop a strong Exchange that promotes competition between plans based on quality and price in a way that is transparent to consumers.” “Isn’t the idea that the state provides all the information and consumers get to choose?”
4. The Un-Divorced.
annerice.jpg5. Joseph Bottum, at First Things, gives Anne Rice some more things to consider: “A tough row to hoe, logically speaking. The Bible does have a word or two to say about the founding of the Church, as I recall, and the very word Rice chooses, Christ , is a word meaningful in a churchly context. Best, really, to give it all up, if you’re abandoning Christianity–especially if you’re going to denounce all your once-fellow believers as a “deservedly infamous group.” It’s the psychological benefits of the move that make it most attractive, of course. Think of the great sense of superiority donated to the person who gets to claim Christ but rise above all
others who claim Christ. Say that you’re wiser than the rest of them–the fools who don’t see how Christianity has betrayed Christ. Or, in the wonderful pride of humility, say you’re such a sinner that you can see the sinfulness that the congregation misses.  As it happens, there’s not a lot new in this kind of move. But that’s our Anne: a day behind the fair. A beat behind the crowd.

A comment: All those supports for Anne Rice that say “I was there once, too, Anne” or “I’m with you, Anne” just don’t do it for me. You can’t have “Christ” without the Body of Christ, and I don’t lack sympathy for her concerns and the problems she sees. But…. we can’t keep on thinking that we are superior to the millions and millions of Christians who have seen the integral connection of Christ and the Church while seeing the problems and sinfulness of sinners — and all the grace they find. And we can’t keep on thinking that we’ll be part of the Church when the Church gets its act together — because that’s not going to happen. Facts show that the Church isn’t perfect because that’s why the Church connects to Christ: because it is broken, fallen and in need of forgiveness and repair. Maybe Anne Rice now has the best of reasons to participate in the Church. She’s seen through the idealism to the sinful realities of folks who come to the Table of Christ as the Body in order to find grace. At that Table she’ll find folks just like herself.

6. Have your high school, college and young adult students read this one by David Brooks.
7. I can’t imagine this one: “After seven years at sea, the Crafton Five are coming ashore, but slowly. They are in no hurry to shed the awe they feel about what they have accomplished: an 83-month, 30,000-mile circumnavigation of both the globe and the roughest years of their kids’ childhoods.”
8. Great story and a live worth living.
10. Students and plagiarism: “But these cases — typical ones, according to writing tutors and officials responsible for discipline at the three schools who described the plagiarism — suggest that many students simply do not grasp that using words they did not write is a serious misdeed. It is a disconnect that is growing in the Internet age as concepts of intellectual property, copyright and originality are under assault in the unbridled exchange of online information, say educators who study plagiarism.”
Meanderings in Sports
(that’s 26 hits for the Brewers)
(one game)

If the Reds win 50% of their games the rest of the season, to tie the Reds the Cubs will have to win 41 of 55 games.

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