Monday, October 29

More on academia in the post 9/11 world: I shared a few thoughts on this last week. Today, Stanley Kurtz has an excellent article on the same topic in the National Review Online:

So long as radical professors wrote in incomprehensible jargon and confined themselves to discussions of literature or popular culture, the public was content to ignore them, or to let out an occasional chuckle at their expense. But with a question of supreme national importance on the line, the public is watching the academy as never before, and shows every inclination to judge and find wanting what it sees there.

Oh, this is very funny. David Sedaris is a humorist, known for a couple of collections of essays and his commentary on NPR. He's currently on tour, reading from his latest book. In an interview with the Denver Post, Sedaris commented on the post 9/11 world. He said that he feels very safe flying now, except...

Sedaris is spending more time than ever on planes, but he has never felt more safe. "That's because people look like they want to kill anyone who makes a wrong move," he said. "The only thing making me a little nervous is that pilots are sometimes asking people to introduce themselves to the person next to them, and shake their hands. That's why I'm not a Catholic. That's my worst nightmare."

Of course, he's a humorist - he's openly gay, and probably not up for the whole Andrew Sullivan angst thing, but the point is fascinating for what it reflects. Could it be possible that the ridiculous, totally non-liturgical act of pre-Mass introductions designed to bring about some sense of (in reality) faux community is seeping into the general perception of the definition of Catholicism? And...surprise, surprise...it's a turn-off???

How many Muslims? The question of how many Muslims live in the United States has always been a vexing one, partly because the US Census doesn't ask about religion, and partly because the question of whether or not to include adherants of the Nation of Islam in the count is a knotty one. A few years ago, folks settled on a "guesstimate" of 6 or 7 million Muslims, leading to the often-repeated statement in recent weeks that "there are more Muslims than Episcopalians in the United States."

Maybe not. Daniel Pipes has a helpful column about this in this morning's New York Post.

It's also important to remember that the majority of Arab-Americans are not Muslim - they're Christian.

A massacre in a Catholic Church in Pakistan this past weekend. Those in the church were a group of Protestants worshipping because they have no church building of their own. You have to wonder if this deliberate act, clearly a response to the war by sympathizers to the Taliban, etc. will get as much hand-wringing coverage in the media gives to unintended civilian casualities of the U.S. action. Probably not. Here's a link to one of the more complete articles about the atrocity.
Yesterday was the feast of St. Jude Thaddeus. He is, of course, patron of "lost causes." Maybe I'll ask him to pray that tonight I'll be able to put together a dinner that everyone will like.

Got the whole costume thing done. The pattern worked fine - yesterday afternoon, I made the dress, collar and drape - Katie wore the whole thing to our parish's Halloween party last night. Today, she'll take just the dress part (a tan-colored shift), put a cross made of sticks around her neck and a headband around her head, and - presto- she'll be Kateri Tekakwitha!

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