Saturday, December 30, 2006

Saddam Hussein, Capitol Punishment, and Vengeance

There is a lot the consider with the execution of Saddam Hussein, which was conducted this morning. The death penalty, ideas of justice versus revenge, even degree of sin. I was going to have a go at it myself when I discovered this post at Mere Comments, which it is much easier to simply point to. The post seems to me a bit hard on Catholics in general, but it still brings up some insightful points. The coments following it are also(almost always) good to read, especially for those desiring some form of Catholic response.

The topic of capitol punishment came up in a religion course of mine this past semester when we watched the film Dead Man Walking, itself a true story. Can we justify taking one life for another, or others? The Old Testament can, but how is such an idea reconciled to the New Covenant? Is killing always wrong, and then, what of war, what of people, like Saddam, whose atrocities are nearly unnumbered and doubtlessly attributed? Again, there's a lot to ponder, I think.

I also can't help but noting that vengeance is one of the many topics VERY interestingly touched on in the Star Wars: The New Jedi Order series of novels that I have been reading in for some time. The philosophical and quasi-religious questions faced by some of the younger Jedi characters who are striving to 'work out their faith' are some of the main reasons that a handful of these novels have found their way into my library. A deeper look into the questions explored in them may be warranted sometime in the future.

-N

Friday, December 29, 2006

4 Stars for Children of Men

The ChristianityToday.com movie review of the Christmas-day release Children of Men gives the film 4 out of 4 stars... a rarity for CT(in the last four years only 20 films have been ranked so high). Ever since their review of 2005's graphic-novel adaptation A History of Violence--also a 4 star film--I've respected the CT film reviews, as they certainly aren't done by ultra-conservative Christians that will fail you for a cuss word.
I've yet to see CoM myself, but I've been interested in the film since I first saw a trailer a few months back. The review will likely have spoilers, so avoid it if you're concerned about that, but do check the movie itself out.
You can view the trailer here, at the bottom under Universal.

-N

Thursday, December 14, 2006

C. S. Lewis returns

I read this on the 8th in The Business of Heaven, although I believe the original source was Mere Christianity...

If you ask your conscience, you get one result: if you remember that you are dressing up as Christ, you get a different one. There are lots of things which your conscience might not call definitely wrong (especially things in your mind) but which you will see at once you cannot go on doing if you are seriously trying to be like Christ. For you are no longer thinking simply about right and wrong; you are trying to catch the good infection from a Person. It is more like painting a portrait than like obeying a set of rules. And the odd thing is that while in one way it is much harder than keeping rules, in another way it is far easier.

Have a great week!

-N

Sunday, December 10, 2006

On Santa Claus


My brother has just published a post on the history of Saint Nicholas, the poor fellow that we've contorted into Santa Claus. Anyways, it's a brief but interesting history on the Saint who proves that evolution isn't always a step forward.
Here's another link.

-N

Friday, December 01, 2006

Global AIDS Day


December 1st is Global AIDS Day, and the (RED) campaign is in full motion.
(RED), the brainchild of U2 lead Bono, is a campaign to raise money to help the fight against AIDS, be it through AIDS education, supplying for needs of AIDS orphans, or paying for HIV testing or early treatment. Partners in this campaign include some familiar names: American Express, GAP, Motorolla, and Apple amongst them, all of whom are offering means for us(the consumer) to help raise money for the project.
joinred.com features much more information on the campaign, the partners, and, most importantly, how we can be involved in this campaign in the battle against the growing epidemic.
Check out (RED) for more details, and, again, as it is Global AIDS Day, try to remember this atrocity, and to remember that it will take all of our efforts to see the change desperately needed.

-N