March 1, 2012 |
THEOLOGIAN William Hamilton, a member of the Death of God movement of the 1960s that reached its peak with a Time magazine cover story, has died in Portland, Ore. He was 87. Hamilton died Tuesday from complications of congestive heart failure, his family said. Hamilton told the Oregonian newspaper in 2007 that he had questioned the existence of God from when he was a teenager, when two friends - an Episcopalian and a Catholic - died from the explosion of a pipe bomb they were building, and a third - an atheist - escaped without a scratch.
February 27, 2012 |
ANCIENT Chinese gods and goddesses looking 12 feet tall strolled into Chinatown around noon yesterday to the clash of cymbals and the beating of drums as the heavy smoke from incense sticks wafted through the air. The fourth annual Hoyu Folk Culture Festival attracted participants from Philly, New York and Washington, and also hundreds of onlookers who gathered on 10th Street, mostly between Arch and Cherry. Boys and young men in lion costumes jiggled their lion heads as they marched to Chinatown's Friendship Gate.
February 12, 2012
How can giving thanks be wrong? I disagree with Robert Benne that when a player prays or gives public thanks for a victorious deed, he implies that his success is the result of God's benevolent action ("Trouble with 'tebowing,' " Sunday). No, the player is giving thanks that he is successfully using the talent that God gave him. How can giving God thanks be wrong, however we choose to do it? Denver quarterback Tim Tebow is merely doing it both in thought and action. Benne is right that God does not promise athletic victory, and I do not believe he gets involved.
February 5, 2012 |
Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua, who was archbishop of Philadelphia from 1988 until 2003, was a prayerful man. While he visited all his parishes on a regular basis, a practice for which he was praised and loved by everyday Catholics, he seemed to prefer the solitude of meditative communion with God. If his faith is true, he has now met the object of his contemplation face to face, the robes and the miter left behind. He is as one of us, a sinner before the seat of an all-just, all-merciful God. I have always trusted God to do the right thing in these circumstances, and I have likewise always been relieved that he insisted on reserving this judgment entirely to himself.
February 5, 2012 |
There will be lots of praying after successful plays at tonight's Super Bowl. Players will point fingers to the sky, make the sign of the cross, and even "tebow" (bowed head, on one knee) in the end zone - albeit without the actual Tebow. Such prayers have been fairly common for some time in the NFL, but they have been brought to a hot focus by the actions of Tim Tebow, the remarkable quarterback of the Denver Broncos. There is a good deal more to the controversy than just public praying in the end zone.
January 10, 2012 |
Besides sports, I can't think of anything as universally polarizing as religion. Yes, I'm making this observation as a believer. Just look at history. Wars waged because of it. Slavery condoned in its name. Lunatics carrying out unspeakable acts for the glory of God - or so they claim. Even now, religion plays a part in our political and cultural consciousness like never before. Heck, Republicans - and religious conservatives - would have anointed Mitt Romney as their presidential candidate a long time ago if he wasn't so, so Mormon.
December 30, 2011
By Jonathan Gurwitz Charles Barkley may have said it best: "I am not a role model. " Anyone who looks to famous athletes for moral guidance is almost certain to end up disappointed. There have been notable exceptions - athletes whose success in sports was matched by personal and professional integrity and decency. But behind every amazing dunk, every game-winning touchdown, and every spectacular home run is a fallible human being just like the rest of us, prone to make mistakes, break laws, and sin. Few athletic stories are more inspiring than that of Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger, who fulfilled an improbable dream of playing football at Notre Dame with faith and perseverance.
December 19, 2011
CONTINUING a tradition, the annual dialogue between God and Your Favorite Columnist. GOD: How you doing, Sonny? YFC: Not so hot, as you know. GOD: Got the blues, Sonny? YFC: Kind of, and please stop calling me Sonny. GOD: OK, kid. YFC: I don't care for that, either. GOD: People often get mad with God. It's OK. I can take it - and still forgive. YFC: I've got the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary praying for me - they're friends of the Geator and I send them a check because that's all he's ever asked of me - I got a couple of rabbis on my side, plus a Muslim friend or two. GOD: You're quite the ecumenical kid, aren't you?
November 22, 2011 |
G. CHRIS Gleason was no weekend warrior. He was one of those rare, elite, finely tuned athletes who had mastered the world's toughest triathlon, the Ironman. He completed the grueling event three times. To hear the announcer proclaim, " You are an Ironman!" at the finish line, Gleason had to swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles, then run a full 26.2-mile marathon - in succession without a break. Each time, Gleason got faster. He finished his last Ironman in Lake Placid, N.Y., in July in an amazing 10 hours 11 minutes 4 seconds, placing 64th out of 2,902 competitors.
November 10, 2011
IN THE END, Joe Paterno got the word by telephone that Penn State's Board of Trustees was firing him. The irony is self-evident. If he had picked up a telephone in 2002 and called the police when confronted with an eyewitness allegation that former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky was assaulting a young boy in a locker-room shower, none of this might have happened. Children would have been saved from a lifetime of scarring. A football legacy would have been preserved. Instead, the phone rang in the split-level home on McKee Street last night, and that was that.