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Blog Archive/April 2008

April 28, 2008

He's All Wright

As Wright took center stage at the Press Club, the haranguing, pontificating, insulting stance of the night before was replaced by a calm, articulate, very nearly brilliant discourse on the history of the black church in America, its proud roots in social and political activism, its caring and nurturing attitude toward humanity as contrasted with our governmentýs destructive and immoral policies. Everything he said made sense. He was so passionately rational, in fact, that I found myself falling under his spell.

Read Mary Beth Crain's The Rev. Wright Stuff.

Posted By John D. Spalding | Email

April 18, 2008

Vatican Dreams

Every time I watch Benedict XVI on TV, I'm--may God forgive me--jealous. He doesn't have to lift a finger to do anything for himself. Attendants hover around him, anticipating his every need. There's always somebody on hand to place the proper hat on his head, give him his scepter, his holy reading, his glasses, and whatever else the situation requires. He has someone to dress him in the morning, help him into his jammies at night, and change him during the day, into the appropriate albs of the hour.

Read Mary Beth Crain's Why I Want to Be Pope.

Posted By John D. Spalding | Email

April 15, 2008

A Rapturous Adventure

Daniel Radosh's "Rapture Ready!" is much more than a witty cultural critic's Christian pop odyssey. It's the best kind of travel narrative, the kind in which the storyteller comes back changed. Without ever losing his sense of humor, Radosh emerges from his adventures a little more familiar with and appreciative of Christian pop culture, and a little estranged from and more critical of its mainstream parallel.

Read Timothy Beal's review, Entering the Kingdom of Kitsch.

Posted By John D. Spalding | Email

April 11, 2008

Postcard from Honduras

The Tegucigalpa airport is legendary for dicey landings. Good thing I didn't know that before I blithely boarded with my 15 year-old daughter, cheerfully on our way for a feel-good spring break service trip. According to an American Airlines pilot who enlightened us on our return layover in Miami, it's the most difficult runway in the Southern hemisphereýonly 1.5 kilometers long and surrounded by mountains. Pilots have to be specially trained and certified to land there, and must fly in every 90 days in order to stay on the Tegucigalpa flight rotation.

Unlike the elite daredevil pilots, I wasn't so sure I'd "like that sort of thing" when I signed up for our church's mission trip to Honduras.

Read Stephanie Hunt's trip report, Missionary Reposition.

Check out footage of a landing at the Tegucigalpa airport:

Posted By John D. Spalding | Email

April 7, 2008

Quote of the Week

"Hearing nuns' confessions is like being stoned to death with popcorn."
--Fulton J. Sheen

Posted By John D. Spalding | Email

April 4, 2008

Blast from the Past: Woody Allen's Interview with Billy Graham

Woody Allen has never concealed his lack of faith, having once famously pronounced that "Not only is there no God, but you try getting a plumber on weekends." Billy Graham, of course, is the most prominent evangelical Christian of the past century.

Yet despite their differences--generational, cultural, religious--the two sat down in the late '60s to discuss on TV topics as wide-ranging as God, sex, the afterlife, their favorite commandments, and Dr. Graham's caffeine habit. Considering how unpleasant debates between prominent theists and atheists have been in recent years, the amicable yet awkward chat between Allen and Graham some 40 years ago is as refreshing as it is surprising. (Another surprise: Just me, or does Billy Graham remind you a lot of Bill Clinton here?)

Part I:


Part II:

Posted By John D. Spalding | Email

 
 
             
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