As I’m sure many of you have heard, there’s now a brand new Confession App on the market for Roman Catholics — available for iPhone and iPod Touch for a very reasonable $1.99! Appararently it’s gotten the imprimatur from at least one Catholic Bishop, and I was surprised to learn that it was developed in conversation with Catholic theologian Thomas Weinandy.
What are the theological implications of this? I submit that it falsifies, in pretty much every way, John Milbank’s thesis about there being a Catholic “alternative” to modernity.
“Many people participate in left-leaning politics, practice political correctness and endorse the radical critique of Western culture in the name of race, class and gender without understanding that they are aiding and abetting Marxist revolutionaries whose goal is to turn the whole world into a Soviet Union.”
According to one study, it looks like over the last thousand years or so our artistic representations of the Last Supper have seen the food portions get bigger and bigger:
Has even the Last Supper been supersized?
The food in famous paintings of the meal has grown by biblical proportions over the last millennium, researchers report in a medical journal Tuesday.
Using a computer, they compared the size of the food to the size of the heads in 52 paintings of Jesus Christ and his disciples at their final meal before his death.
If art imitates life, we’re in trouble, the researchers conclude. The size of the main dish grew 69 percent; the size of the plate, 66 percent, and the bread, 23 percent, between the years 1000 and 2000.
Probably doesn’t mean all that much. Still a bit odd and amusing though.
Homosexuality is not natural, much like eyeglasses, polyester, and birth control.
Heterosexual marriages are valid because they produce children. Infertile couples and old people can’t legally get married because the world needs more children.
Obviously, gay parents will raise gay children, since straight parents only raise straight children.
Straight marriage will be less meaningful if gay marriage is allowed, since Britney Spears’ 55-hour just-for-fun marriage was meaningful.
Heterosexual marriage has been around a long time and hasn’t changed at all; women are property, blacks can’t marry whites, and divorce is illegal.
Gay marriage should be decided by people, not the courts, because the majority-elected legislatures, not courts, have historically protected the rights of the minorities.
Gay marriage is not supported by religion. In a theocracy like ours, the values of one religion are imposed on the entire country. That’s why we have only one religion in America.
Gay marriage will encourage people to be gay, in the same way that hanging around tall people will make you tall.
Legalizing gay marriage will open the door to all kinds of crazy behavior. People may even wish to marry their pets because a dog has legal standing and can sign a marriage contract.
Children can never succeed without a male and a female role model at home. That’s why single parents are forbidden to raise children.
Gay marriage will change the foundation of society. Heterosexual marriage has been around for a long time, and we could never adapt to new social norms because we haven’t adapted to things like cars or longer life-spans.
Civil unions, providing most of the same benefits as marriage with a different name are better, because a “separate but equal” institution is always constitutional. Separate schools for African-Americans worked just as well as separate marriages for gays and lesbians will.
One of the foremost reasons I ever hear for why Christians don’t give to beggars is the claim that said beggars will undoubtedly use the money for buying alcohol. Thus any act of monetary giving is not only unnecessary (despite Matt 5:42 which seems pretty friggin clear), but possibly morally wrong. Well, like I always wonder, what does the Good Book say about this line of thinking?
Give strong drink to one who is perishing, and wine to those in bitter distress; let them drink and forget their poverty, and remember their misery no more. (Prov 31:6-7)
Now obviously proverbs are proverbs. But let me just say a couple things. First, most Christians I know who don’t like giving to beggars on the basis of the logic mentioned above tend to love the book of Proverbs. All the stuff about being wise, taking care of yourself, disciplining children with rods, etc. So if that stuff is wise guidance, clearly we can’t just throw this out, right? (Note also that this passage comes right before the eternal evangelical favorite passage about “the virtuous woman” which is always considered the unadulterated voice of God.)
Second, regardless of the particulars of how we approach wisdom literature, doesn’t it matter that the only verse in the Bible that directly speaks to this issue tells us that helping the distressed forget their troubles over some booze is a good thing? I mean, it seems like that would tilt the scales a little, right? Since that’s the only direct reference in Scripture that we have and all . . .
So, be biblical! Give to beggars and don’t try to weasel out of it by blowing smoke about how you don’t want them buying alcohol with it. And if you want to be even more biblical, you could just go ahead and buy them the beer yourself.