It’s Columbus Day, so cue the celebrations – and reconsiderations.
Can I sign up for one PC cause? I think American Catholics need to dump the Christopher Columbus heroizing.
— Michael B Dougherty (@michaelbd) October 13, 2013
Is Columbus really a Catholic hero — or an Italian hero? Was he even Italian? Did he even “discover” America? I’d point you to an interesting book published last year by Carol Delaney titled “Columbus and the Quest for Jerusalem,” which argues that Columbus sought a western route to the Orient not only for the gold but because of what it could buy: a new crusade to take Jerusalem from the Muslims before the end of the world.
Didn’t quite work out that way, and here we are. How about making it Bartholomé de las Casas Day instead? Who? Check it out.
Speaking of Muslims, young Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani girl who was shot in the head by the Taliban, is the toast of the town, but our own Omid Safi has five points to try and put her back in perspective, if that’s possible.
No. 2: Malala is remarkable. She is not, however, exceptional.
Then there’s this: a book about the early life of the Prophet Muhammad written for a multi-generational audience by a Buddhist. Tracy Simmons has the story.
Back to Catholics: The title of Timothy Egan’s interesting post at the New York Times has a pithy summary of the stance many are taking toward Pope Francis: “Lapsed, but Listening”
The bishop of Limburg, Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst, apparently wasn’t listening, at least not to Francis – the bishop is a German tabloid sensation for spending nearly $4 million renovating his own apartment and office. But he’ll have his chance: Tom Heneghen at Reuters reports that Tebartz-van Elst has flown to Rome to meet Vatican officials and possibly Pope Francis to decide his fate.
Meanwhile, Germany’s Bild newspaper has a breakdown of the pricey renovations of his own apartment including more than $400,000 for built-in-wardrobes, almost $1 million on a garden, and $20,000 on a bathtub.
The 53-year-old defends himself saying: “Those who know me, know that I don’t need any kind of grandiose lifestyle.”
Need or want?
BTW, I can’t show you this Lego riff on the Limburg bishop – copyright issues – but this link pretty much sums up the whole story if the numbers are confusing.
This does not bode well for the German bishop, by the way: at Mass this morning in the Vatican, Pope Francis warned of “an attitude of perfect piety” which looks at the doctrine of salvation but does not care for the “poor people.”
And here’s another priest who apparently wasn’t listening to the pope or anyone else:
CLEVELAND, Ohio — The Rev. James McGonegal, pastor of a West Side Cleveland Catholic church, was charged today with soliciting sex while being HIV-positive.
On the other end of the spectrum, Greg Kandra points to the sad story of a young priest ordained in June who committed suicide. The account by Fr. Kevin Kayda’s seminary classmate is honest and poignant.
And John F. Kennedy’s rosary beads are up for auction this month, shortly before the 50th anniversary of his assassination.
Sports fans in Boston are true believers after both the Patriots and Red Sox staged miraculous comebacks on Sunday. But how about those Fordham Rams? 7-0 for the first time in 83 years. And the first Jesuit pope ever. That’s the Big Mo.
So Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, who engineered the government shutdown fiasco, has few friends among leaders of his own party. But Christian conservatives love him, and gave him 42 percent of their votes at the Values Voters Summit on Saturday night – more than three times as many as the next runner up. Could that give him a head start on the 2016 nomination battle?
Cruz booster David Brody of CBN has more details of the voting.
Rod Dreher is not one of those conservative Christians. At all.
And this: White evangelicals are having some trouble with Asian stereotypes, and their Asian-American coreligionists are trying to educate them.
Looking to get married? Try attending a Christian college. Seriously:
“There’s a Lutheran boy for every Lutheran girl,” said Jeff Schone, vice president for student life at Martin Luther College in New Ulm, Minn. “I’m being lighthearted when I say that. But it seems to be true.”
Russell Moore, my eight-year-old is green with envy:
I am here a few feet away from Taylor Swift, knowing that @Jonathan_Howe hates me now forever.
— Russell Moore (@drmoore) October 13, 2013
Russell Moore, my eight-year-old could have predicted that:
Taylor Swift just won the songwriter/artist of the year here at the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame dinner.
— Russell Moore (@drmoore) October 13, 2013
Terrible story of nearly 100 killed in a stampede of Hindu pilgrims on a bridge in India. It’s far too common, as the New York Times report notes:
Mass deaths occur often at pilgrimages in India, when vast crowds put heavy burdens on transportation and safety infrastructure. In August, an express train was unable to stop and plowed into pilgrims crossing train tracks in Bihar State, killing more than 30 people. A similar number were trampled rushing to a train platform in February, marring the 55-day Kumbh Mela festival, whose crowds were estimated at 80 million.
Question of the Day comes from Scott Adams, creator of the “Dilbert” comic strip and a big thinker:
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