Starting the Conversation: 'The Best of Enemies'

My friend has a strange secret hobby. He really likes watching videos of people punching Nazis, which, apparently, can be found on YouTube. His logic is that everyone should like punching Nazis.

I get the concept. There’s the rush that comes with someone getting a faceful of punching that can’t be matched. Captain America makes it look really cool. In the face of evil, we should - on paper - do anything we can to eradicate such evil. It is the tolerance of evil that makes it spread.

But we can’t punch our way out of the divisions that our country faces. And maybe we shouldn’t. A question must be raised: is fighting evil through non-violent and humanitarian means a form of tolerance, or is it the only hope we have in seeing real, lasting change?

Continue reading

Heaven is the Fulfillment of Earth

Recently I received a letter from a lady in Seattle in which she said that when she dies she will miss all the good things of this life. She said that while she wants to go to heaven, she does not want to go to some sterile place. Heaven might not be as interesting as earth. What follows is an adaptation of my response to her. (She gave me permission to publish it as long as I did not use her name.)

Continue reading

Was Saint Paul a male chauvinist?

The reading from Paul to the Ephesians (5: 21-32) on the relationship between husbands and wives read at Sunday Mass recently probably causes more argument and irritation than any other text in the lectionary.  

I would argue, however, that the problem people have with this passage is a false one, for the reason that it is not actually saying what it appears to say at first hearing. In fact, its real message is almost the opposite to what we imagine it to be.  

Continue reading