Singing from the Same Score

WE’RE A MINORITY RELIGION
AND WE MUST BE UNITED

Love WinsOver the last couple of months I had been trying to place an article about the ongoing conflict over liturgical music. As I announced in my last post, the essay was finally picked up by the online journal, ChurchPop.

It appeared Friday, June 26, the day our Supreme Court legalized “gay marriage.” That was also the day Islamist terrorists pulled off a triple-play in their ongoing run of carnage…

  • killing 38 tourists at a seaside resort in Tunisia while wounding 36 others…
  • killing 25 and wounding more than 200 in a bomb attack on a mosque in Kuwait…
  • blowing up an American-owned chemical plant in France (that one perpetrated by a French Muslim of apparent radical sympathies who had worked at the facility and disliked his boss intensely enough to behead him)…

The Islamic State also held its own celebration of the Supreme Court’s ruling by executing four Iraqi men suspected of being homosexuals by tossing them off a tall building, and making ironic use of the #LoveWins hashtag tweeted by the White House.

Compared with such startling events, disagreement about the songs we sing at Mass doesn’t seem like all that urgent a topic. And expectedly, there appears to be a rather low level of interest in my article.

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The Great Catholic Music Debate

POST-VATICAN FOLK
VS. REFORMIST RETRO

Folk Song MassI’ve been involved in Catholic liturgical music since before I was a Catholic. In fact, my participation in playing (and later, writing) music for Mass helped to confirm the call I felt to the Church.

Steeped in Protestant musical traditions, and encountering Catholic worship at a time when the post-Vatican “folk” style was ascendant, my perspective on the role of singing in church is atypical. I don’t share the memories of those worshipers old enough to have experienced the preconcilliar liturgy. Nor do I feel the sense of having been deprived of my tradition which some younger Catholics express.

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Conflicting Identities

BRUCE JENNER AND RACHEL DOLEZAL
RAISE MANY UNANSWERED QUESTIONS

We’ve recently been treated to two very engaging little dramas about personal identity.

The first, of course, was Bruce Jenner’s introduction of “Caitlyn,” the much anticipated expression of his inner “identity” as a woman. Second was the revelation that Rachel Dolezal, president of the Spokane, Washington, chapter of the NAACP, is a white person who, by her own claim, “identifies” as black.

Many observers have drawn parallels between these two individuals who, for whatever deep personal reasons, find themselves in conflict with the physical realities of their being. What can certainly be said of both is that theirs are the faces that launched a thousand jokes.

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Bush Derangement Syndrome

OUR 43RD PRESIDENT IS
STILL VERY MUCH WITH US

It’s amazing to see just how durable is that peculiar political/media psychosis which commentator and psychologist Charles Krauthammer termed Bush Derangement Syndrome.

The ScreamEven after nearly two full terms of Obama-recoveries-that-never-recover and policy-free-Obama-foreign-policies, George Bush still raises people’s blood pressure.

Bush Derangement Syndrome (or BDS) has become positively epidemic as we gear up for the next election cycle. All potential candidates, Democrat and Republican — even W’s own brother — are attempting to distance themselves from what is seen as Bush’s great Iraq mistake (or as it’s expressed more succinctly, “BUSH FAILED!”)

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Malware and Malefactors

RANDOM REFLECTIONS ON
Apple LogoTHE PERILS OF ONLINE LIFE

I am a confirmed Apple user.

Indeed, computers are the one product category in which I am brand loyal to a fault.

When I first met my, then-soon-to-be, son-in-law, who is a Mac technician, I told him that I was much relieved. If his specialty had been Microsoft, we’d have serious religious conflicts.

So devoted am I to Apple products, that I try to turn a blind eye to the company’s whacked-out, lefty political pretensions (they’re pretty much endemic to the whole Silicon Valley culture anyway, so what the heck!)

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Those Darned Millennials

TO HOLD ONTO YOUR FLOCK
YOU HAVE TO FEED THE SHEEP

Last week the Pew Research Center released findings that show an accelerating slide in traditional Christianity. No surprise there. Christianity has been on the slide for a long time — at least by the measure of opinion research.

CNN gave a conventional take on the shrinking numbers of self-identifying Christians from 78.4 percent of the U.S. population in 2007 to the current 70.6, noting that…

“almost every major branch of Christianity in the United States has lost a significant number of members … mainly because millennials are leaving the fold. More than one-third of millennials now say they are unaffiliated with any faith, up 10 percentage points since 2007.”

(My, my, my — those darned millennials. So hip, so detached, so cynical. Seen it all, done it all. No one seems able to please them.)

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Focus on the Terrorists

AN ATTACK IN TEXAS MAKES US
ASK WHAT FREEDOM IS WORTH

The South-Central Michigan Poverty Law Center [that is to say…me] has released its first index of dangerous radical organizations. Heading the list is the Montgomery, Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center, a known extremist group that specializes in slandering individuals and organizations that support traditional Judeo-Christian moral values and laws conforming to constitutional principles.

So, whaddaya say? You like my description of the SPLC? Think I have the kind of credibility that would get it into the lead paragraph of an Associated Press report?

Well, why not? Here’s how AP opened a story about the abortive attack on Pamela Geller’s anti-Islamist gathering in Garland, Texas…

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