Dec 25 2013
Dec 23 2013
Catholicism, anyway, assuming this MSN News report in the week of Christmas can be believed:
The leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics made his comments in the homily of his morning Mass in his residence, a daily event where he speaks without prepared comments.
He told the story of a Catholic who asked a priest if even atheists had been redeemed by Jesus.
“Even them, everyone,” the pope answered, according to Vatican Radio. “We all have the duty to do good,” he said.
It may seem like a throw-away comment. But his remarks are a startling admission on two counts:
1) You don’t have to believe in God to get your reward — if you even believe in that sort of thing. Be a good person and you’ll be rewarded (though not with heaven, I hope. Seems like an awfully boring place).
Of course, it’s a condescending kind of remark (ie. Even if you don’t think you’re in our Christian club, you are — and you will be redeemed by the Son of God whether you like it or not. You’re welcome to your non-believing delusion, do-gooder atheist person).
2) You don’t have to have faith to do good. Anyone who’s given this a moment’s thought should already know this, but a surprising number of human beings don’t get it. Belief in God doesn’t equal being a good person. Being a good person requires good acts, not prayer. You can help an old lady cross the street, be kind to animals and volunteer at your local hospital without ever giving God or religion a thought. Moral behaviour is a separate thing from religious behaviour.
Well, that’s pretty much the whole ball game. In one fell swoop, the Pope has removed any incentive for anyone Catholic or considering Catholicism to ever spend another second on religion.
Dec 19 2013
One of Tom Waits’ best. Check out these lyrics. Awesome.
Nov 20 2013
OK, that title is probably a bit too big for this blog post. But after months of hemming and hawing, I’ve come to a realization that I just don’t have as much bandwidth as I used to have. Either that, or I have the exact same amount of energy and free time as I’ve always had, but I’ve been stretching myself too thin on too many fronts. Hence, the lack of publishing on this personal site, but not just this one.
Today I published what I expect to be my last bit on The Propagandist, the political site that aimed to serve up content to “mobilize the masses”. Alongside far more erudite and articulate essayists, I helped create a website that was unique: a punchy, satirical blending of essays and op eds promoting freedom and democracy while taking potshots at the tyrants, terrorists and tedious sympathizers who are sadly so thick on the ground these days. We had a good run — I’ll miss doling out my daily dose of political snark.
That said, looking back on that site and others I’ve written for over the years, I’ve come to realize that the online projects I get most excited about were the ones that had a preordained ending. Without an end goal in mind, even the most enthusiastic passion project can evolve (devolve?) into a daily grind. (Re: The Propagandist, I love politics and international relations, but at some point, the love went out of me — and it just ain’t coming back).
I think my reluctance to look at how things end had some eclectic roots. There’s always the association with mortality — when a project ends, you know you’re not coming back to it. It’s one less thing to do before you die, because you’ve done it. But on a much less serious level, it had a pop culture impetus: as a youngster, I grew up with comic books, cartoons and sitcoms, whose storylines only rarely had a real sense of finality (ie. Spider-Man issue #700 and counting, the Simpsons and Seinfeld — yes, that last one did end, but you can pretty well watch the series in just about any order).
Lesson learned. I’m much more choosy about how I spend my time these days. I’ll still be working on a bunch of projects at any one time, but particularly when it comes to online creative writing, I’m going to be considering the end-game right from the start — and also giving some though to how to bring certain ongoing creative projects to a worthy finale.
Jonathon Narvey is a writer, Vancouverite and all around awesome guy. Thanks for reading.
Oct 01 2013