Tofu Tidbits* 12/3/11

  1. Good news on religious freedom.
  2. A little religious humor.
  3. Ancient religious wall paintings.
  4. Saddleback Satchel Send-Up.
  5. Republican terrorism promoters (and their harems).
  6. Slanted journalism.
  7. Poetry recommendation.

* Temporarily renamed in honor of the Nativity Fast, about which Mystagogy has some more information.


Let’s start with the good news: Catholic University of America has been cleared of the charges, by a showboating jackass from nearby George Washington University, that its return to single-sex dorms was illegal sex discrimination.


Next, a little religious humor from Stephen Colbert: “‘Consubstantial’ is now ‘Istanbul.'”


Third, a guessing game: What religion was practiced in this ancient ruin?

It’s clearly one that had no problem with religious art on walls.

Would you believe the answer is Judaism? The folks who first got our “no graven images” commandment?

That’s right. Gold angels were actually required. But there’s much more going on here. Could the “four bare walls and a sermon” people possibly be wrong, d’ya think?

(HT Jason Rossiter at Google+)


Mindful consumer Rod Dreher’s mouth waters for this nifty satchel from Saddleback Leather.

But I especially like how Saddleback sends up the “sex sells” approach – the appeals that bypass the mind and go straight to the groins of mindless consumers – in coaching you about how to soften up you spouse to buy you one:

Her to Him 

  • You know, I feel frisky just thinking about that leather piece.
  • I would just feel so sexy carrying this on my body.
  • I don’t think I’d need to go shopping for another thing all year after buying something like this.

Him to Her

  • Looking at this case just makes me want to HOLD you.
  • I don’t know why, but owning a hope and a dream like this, makes me want to just sit down on the couch and OPEN UP about the hopes and dreams we share.
  • Think of all of the extra TIME we’d spend TOGETHER on our long walks holding hands and showing off the leather.

Tee hee!


Craig Holland Dixon at the American Conservative notes that the Republicans are on the brink of handing terrorism it’s greatest victory, the National Defense Authorization Act:

The bill’s provisions allow the federal government to “detain… American citizens and it designates the world as the battlefield, including the homeland,” according to Sen. Lindsey Graham, who is strongly in favor of the bill.

If a primary purpose of terrorism is to induce fear, and Americans are willing to give up their most precious freedoms in the name of fighting terrorism, how is this anything less than a monumental victory for our enemies?

Despite past mantras about fighting al-Qaeda “over there” so we would not have to fight them “here at home,” we’re now being told the war has arrived at our doorstep. ”Battlefield: America” would be an exciting video game scenario, but it’s depressing as a new stage in the real-life war on terror.

Just how long could Americans be detained without trial? Indefinitely. Hunter continues:

Most who support this new power for the federal government — and especially Graham — also agree that what we call the “war on terror” is a war that will last forever. In this light, this new legislation poses a particular danger, or as Sen. Paul explains: “During war, there has always been a struggle to preserve constitutional liberties. During the Civil War, the right of habeas corpus was suspended … Fortunately, those actions were reversed after the war.”

Every Senator that voted for this should be tried for treason.”

Have I mentioned this week that I’ve repudiated the GOP? Rod Dreher passes along a:

Great quote from First Baptist Dallas pastor Robert Jeffress, speaking to Dave Weigel:

“I think there’s now an evangelical tri-lemma,” says Jeffress, who still backs Perry but doesn’t have illusions about his current electoral oomph. “Do you vote for a Mormon who’s had one wife, a Catholic who’s had three wives, or an Evangelical who may have had an entire harem?”

Or, come next November, does a conscientious Christian stay home or find a third party?


Unbelievable hatchet job on the new Catholic Mass translation on PBS’s Religion & Ethics Newsweekly just now (as I write, for posting later). Does nobody there have Anthony Esolen in their Rolodexes?

They did a little better with Rob Bell’s “Love Wins,” showing Bell more thoughtful than I feared but also giving voice to a skeptical scholar, not just the usual suspects like Albert Mohler (though they had him, looking very Southern Baptist, too).


Thursday’s poem at Writer’s Almanac, The Bullmoose, grew on me after first reading.

* * * * *

Bon appetit!

Having become tedious even to myself, I’m Tweeting more, blogging less. View this in a browser instead of an RSS feeder to see Tweets at upper right.

I also have some succinct standing advice on recurring themes. Maybe if I link to it, I’ll blog less obsessively about it.