Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Letter to SCOTUS

Dear Supreme Court,

Shorter decisions, more breakdancing.


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

New Feature!

That's right, we here at TribalPundit*, in our ongoing efforts to better serve the community, may be introducing our very own non-traveling blog carnival (although it'll be open to anything found online). We're still working on a witty name. Some possibilities:

Carnival of Meaty Posts (too ironical?)
Spanning My Attention-Span To Bring You a Constant...hey, look at that!
Stuff I Found
Linkin' Logs

I'm also looking to continue the The HokiePundit Guide to Wine, Women, and Song. I'm visiting some wineries this weekend, so there's potential for the first part. As for the other two...I'm not pursuing and relationships until I'm done with my first year of law school and I'm not a very good singer. Nonetheless, I've got opinions, and that's what counts.

*I don't know why, but hyperlinking to myself cracks me up every time I do it.

Out of Curiosity...

When did the whole hand-holding thing become a regular thing at Roman Catholic masses? I mean, it was obviously some point after 1530, and I'm guessing some point after Vatican II, but is this a new thing?

It just looks silly. I've always been a little bit skeptical of the Passing of the Peace; holding hands with an unknown neighbor (especially while singing) is beyond the pale, and I speak as one who has survived being a regular attender at "huggy" services.

Maybe I'm just becoming a crotchety old man fifty years ahead of schedule.

Monday, March 3, 2008

I Just Don't Understand

This website sells "sacramentals," which are apparently things like "blessed salt," "holy relic water," and rosaries "touched to" relics. Reading over the descriptions, all I can think is that the term "voodoo" comes to mind. I had the same feeling when I was in a Catholic bookstore and they were selling brown scapulars with written assurance than anyone wearing one at death would be saved from hell.

Yes, I'm aware of Paul's handkerchief from Acts 19:12. While I don't claim to understand it, I can accept that a person touching a relic could be healed/blessed as a result. Once you go beyond that, though, then what? The relic touches a stand which touches a floor which touches the ground which is part of a country which is part of the world, and my part of the world has ground which my apartment touches which are in turn touched by (at the moment) my bare feet. Am I thus blessed in any way by this relic (other than perhaps abstractly by its existence)?

I can understand how things like rosaries and icons serve as aids to worship, and that the things advertised are meant to be accompanied by prayer. When we get into the realm of "lucky beans," though, I can't help but think that things have gone too far.

(via Mark Shea)


Blasts: After hearing a talk, I spent the next few hours thinking and finally realized that I still had some harsh words for Catholicism, Evangelicalism, and Protestantism (yes, you read that right: I still haven't finished with them; perhaps it's more like I'm working a Gatling gun than "giving them both barrels"). I've got things turning around in my head; I'm just not sure of the order in which I want to write and publish them. I do intend to include "pros" as well as "grows" in these blasts, however, so they won't really be screeds.


All sorts of things have been going on lately...

1. Law School: My brain has been utterly drained for the past month or so. Fortunately, we've just entered Spring Break. Most of my friends hit the beaches or cruises; I'm staying in Williamsburg and just vegging for a while (and maybe doing the readings for next week, too).

2. Sick: I had a really nasty flu that made me miss an entire week of classes. Apparently about half the school came down with it in one form or another; mine was one of the worse cases but I know at least one girl who had it far worse than I did.

3. Reconnection: Found an old friend. Excellent!


I went to a Korean supermarket and ended up buying some sweets. This is always a risky thing for me: sometimes you'll end up with what are basically just oddly-shaped peppermints or melon-flavored gumdrops, and sometimes you'll end up with candied sardines (yes, I bought them that time; no, they weren't very good). This time I bought sweetened bean curd. It comes in little bars and they ones I got were flavored as citrus, green tea, chocolate, and apparently two unflavored varieties (one with bean flecks). It's all a matter of perspective: I was initially hesitant until I realized that coffee is just bean juice: therefore, sweetened bean curd isn't really all that wacky. It turned out that they were pretty good, although I think I'd only ever purchase the citrus ones again.

Sunday, March 2, 2008


I went up to Philadelphia this weekend to visit some friends. While I was there, I went to Church of the Good Shepherd, a Traditional Anglican Communion parish and did two things: I made Confession on Saturday and ended up staying for Mass on Sunday. What novelty! Two different sacraments in as many days! I'd never made Confession before, so I had to cover the past 25 years. I think the priest took pity on me, as this was my first time, and left me with a pretty light penance. I was also able to take Communion for the first time in a very long while, which was also a blessing.

You see, I can't partake of the sacraments as the Roman Catholic parish I attend in Williamsburg, as I'm not a member of the Holy Catholic Church. However, I can't very well take Communion at the Episcopalian or Anglican parishes around, as they don't have a valid priesthood or even the correct view of the sacraments. This leaves me, baptized as an Episcopalian, with the TAC, as they've tried to re-establish their apostolic succession and reunite with Rome. I guess that makes what I did valid but illicit (hopefully; once the Pope makes a decision regarding TAC's petition it may turn out that TAC's priesthood was not successfully reestablished).

I guess I have mixed feelings about it: doing something illicitly isn't a good way to be, but at the same time it doesn't seem right to me to be risking eternal separation from God simply because, as one not baptized Catholic, I couldn't partake of the sacrament of Reconciliation.