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With the Prop 8 trial finishing up today, I’ve been thinking a bit about the issue. Part of me, the part that was dominant for a long time, felt that, much like the previous post on women being ordained as priests, it didn’t really matter because nothing spiritual was actually happening from a Christian perspective.

Gay people can’t get married because, ontologically, marriage is a sacrament that can only happen with the proper matter: a man and a woman. If the words of the sacrament are spoken over two men, they’re not married. They’re two men who have gone through a ceremony that signifies their commitment to each other but does not enter them into any kind of spiritual union.

This has no bearing on whether or not gay people can get a marriage license from the state. They certainly can. It’s happened. Society has not fallen apart. What’s the big deal if we let them have their piece of paper? Read the rest of this entry »

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new_chickenWell, Lent’s almost here. In the Byzantine Church, we ease our way into Lent with Meatfare and Cheesfare Sundays. Two weeks before Lent we give up meat, one week before Lent we give up dairy, then the next week we’re into the full on fast.

So tomorrow being Meatfare Sunday, we decided to have one last meal of a nice piece of meat. We saw this recipe on Cook’s Country by America’s Test Kitchen this morning and decided this would have to be the one.

I’ve tried my hand at fried chicken a few times. I recall last year getting to a recipe that I like, but it wasn’t like really good restaurant quality fried chicken.

This recipe is it. Absolutely. The only thing we changed was using strips of boneless skinless breasts instead of a whole chicken. I would’ve like to do it the whole chicken way, but the wife was in the mood for strips.

This chicken will shift your paradigm.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups buttermilk, divided
  • 2 tablespoons table salt or 4 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 (3 1/2 lb) roasting chickens, cut in 8 pieces
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

Directions

  1. Remove 6 tbsp buttermilk and set aside. To remaining buttermilk, add salt and whisk until dissolved.
  2. Cut chicken in 8 pieces (2 legs, 2 thighs, cut each breast in half). Submerge chicken in buttermilk brine. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  3. In a bowl, whisk together flour, thyme, pepper, garlic powder and baking powder. Add reserved buttermilk and toss with fingertips to form pea-sized crumbs.
  4. Drain chicken and transfer to breading, 2 pieces at a time. Pack breading onto chicken firmly.
  5. Heat 4-5 cups vegetable shortening or peanut oil to 375°F It should be about 3/4″ deep in the pot. Place chicken into hot fat, skin side down. The temperature will drop to about 300°F; maintain the temperature at 310-315°F Cover pot and cook 8-10 minutes; check chicken after 4 minutes to ensure even browning, and move pieces around if needed. After 8-10 minutes, turn pieces over; cook another 6-8 minutes until the second side is also golden brown.
  6. Remove chicken and drain on paper towels. Allow to drain and cool 5-10 minutes before serving.

Mark Driscoll is about to choke a dude for the gospel

Mark Driscoll is about to choke a dude for the gospel

So Mark Driscoll‘s been getting a lot of buzz in the ol’ mainstream media as of late. First in the New York Times, then a piece on Nightline. Given the fact that he’s growing in prominence and that a few of my friends seem to like him a lot, I thought I’d take the opportunity to share my thoughts on the guy.

Out of the gates, let me say, I used to be a fan. Driscoll is an engaging speaker and has tapped into the masculine aspect of Christianity that modern evangelicalism shoves under the rug.

Underneath the amusing stand-up routine, however, lies not only a shallow and sloppy biblical scholar, but a man who is crafting Christ into his own image and leading thousands to believe in his Jesus.

But what is it that draws the secular press to Mars Hill? In the opinion of this humble narrator, three things:

  • Driscoll’s views on men’s and women’s roles
  • Driscoll’s hardcore Calvinism
  • Driscoll’s anti-traditional views on sex and willingness to speak about them in front of God and everyone

It’s going to take a few posts to cover all three. Read the rest of this entry »

neuhausThe most recent issue of First Things has been sitting around my house for nearly a week now. By this time, I would usually have torn through the whole issue, waiting as long as I could to resist the temptation to skip to the back to read Fr. Neuhaus’s The Public Square section, usually the best part of a wholly delightful magazine.

But this time I had to wait. It would be Fr. Neuhaus’s very last and final Public Square. It turns out Fr. Neuhaus had been struggling with cancer for some months. I was totally unaware of his struggle.

The day I found out about it was the day I heard he had died. I was at a staff meeting and all of my colleagues and I were surprised to find that within the last few days, and in some cases minutes, our thoughts had independently been drawn to Fr. Neuhaus.

I won’t spoil it for you if you haven’t read it (if you’re not a subscriber you owe it to yourself to track down this issue), but Fr. Neuhaus approached what he knew might well be his last piece in the journal he founded with incredible tact.

A former Lutheran minister, his long piece focused on recent scholarship concerning the Lutheran view of justification and what still separates us as Catholics from the reformed position.

He then made his first mention of death in giving due notice and honor to the recent passing of Avery Cardinal Dulles, a great champion of orthodox Catholicism and a principle pillar of the First Things roster.

He then proceeded on with a few of his beloved book reviews and cultural criticisms.

Then, in the last few pieces, he returned to death. He spoke of Solzhenitsyn, he remembered Cardinal Dulles again, he thought of Studs Terkel, and he cited some recent scholarship on what very young babies know.

Then, finally, he spoke of his own plight. He talked like St. Paul. Full of the vigor to continue to live and fight for the gospel, but ready to accept his calling home whenever his Savior was ready to make it happen. His grit, determination, tenacity and humility in the face of death should be a shining example to us all.

And so I closed the final page on the last issue of First Things in which I would ever read new thoughts from one of the world’s great cultural critics.

I will miss you greatly, Father Neuhaus, until I finally get to meet you face to face on the other side of the veil.

I’ll leave you all with his final words in the journal he founded:

“Who knew that at this point in my life I would be understanding, as if for the first time, the words of Paul, “When I am weak, then I am strong”? This is not a farewell. Please God, we will be pondering together the follies and splendors of the Church and the world for years to come. But maybe not. In any event, when there is an unidentified agent in your body aggressively attacking the good things you body is intended to do, it does concentrate the mind. The entirety of our prayers is “Your will be done”—not as a note of resignation but of desire beyond expression. To that end, I commend myself to your intercession, and that of all the saints and angels who accompany us each step through time toward home.”

Through the prayers of the Holy Mother of God, may the soul of thy servant rest in peace.

May his memory be eternal.

Lord have mercy.

This is the trailer for the new short film 22 Weeks, the true story of an abortion gone wrong—the baby was born alive—and the clinic staff refused to do anything to help him or the mother.

I had the privilege of attending the premiere, meeting the film maker, the star, and the actual mother from the story at the March for Life in D.C. last week.

This film is of top notch quality and is a gut-wrenching look at the reality of abortion. I’m not sure how anyone could watch it and come away unchanged. Check out the trailer and buy the movie here. It’s only ten bucks for crying out loud.

large_flag_of_chinaA question, bearing in mind, I don’t think it’s time yet. Even our current president-elect has not, in my opinion, given just cause for an uprising.

But…

When will it be time to rise up? Would 90% taxation be cause enough? What about genocide proper, not just the quiet genocide of the unborn that so many Christians are content to live with? What about limiting the number or gender of children? What about forced sterilization? What about forced abortion? What about open government funding of human cloning for the purpose of organ harvesting? What about forced mixing of human and animal genes? What about forced restriction of the preaching of the gospel?

Where, if anywhere, do my dear and few readers feel is the point beyond which you do not?

“Buy the ticket, take the ride.”

— Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

Obama 2008

Yeah, so trying to do the responsible thing, I started a retirement account at work a few months ago.

You’re young, they said, take the risky portfolio, they said. Made sense at the time.

So my nickels and dimes have been hoarded away each month and swept off into who knows what stock to the tune of $600.

What do I have left now? $515. I regularly did better than that playing $2 a hand Spanish 21 at the old-people-casino in Lewiston, ID in college.

Seems to me I just paid some dude to set fire to $85 of my money. Good work if you can get it, I suppose. Needless to say, I’ve cut off contributions to that fund for the time being.

As of Sunday, Chili’s took it’s place on my List of Places I Won’t Eat At On Principle (Unless I Do). This list also includes such purveyors of crap as McDonalds and Subway. Now, I generally try to avoid fast food, but when I have to eat it, I try to make sure it’s not from places on my list if humanly possible.

Well congratulations, Chili’s, you finally sucked hard enough to make the list.

It’s a sad day for me, really. Growing up, all the cool kids at church would go hang out at Chili’s after services on Sunday nights or Wednesday after youth group.

It was a huge rite of passage the first time my parents let me go with. I remember the night clearly. It was the summer before my freshman year in high school. I felt so grown up, hanging out at a sit-down restaurant with my cool high school friends!

Chili’s was where all the cool stuff happened. That’s where all the older kids would go to talk about important high school stuff. That’s where the knowing, worldly-wise kids would make knowing, worldly-wise conversation about topics of which I understood only the mysterious fringe. It was tantalizing, to say the least. Read the rest of this entry »

A project wherein Irish school children in the ’60s are asked to retell Bible stories. Animated. Won tons of awards.

Pay close attention to the bit at about 2:40 where Martha discusses Lazarus’ resurrection with Our Lord. Very interesting insights on the Creeds and on the prophetic arguing with God.

There’s a whole ton more of these on Youtube as well. All worth watching if only for the children’s priceless accents.