Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Jump On It

BustedHalo.com has taken me on as a blogger for the next month and a half. I've been affiliated with BustedHalo since, oh, before you were born. It was one of the first websites I ever wrote for, and when I was brought on board during its inception in 2001, I was so very, very new and stupid that when I was accepted to the staff as a freelance writer, I sincerely wanted to know where the health insurance was. Oh... really? Oh.

So I owe them for showing me the rope burns of freelancing. BustedHalo (I've been with them so long I was asked to vote on the name, and... let us just say that I am not to be held responsible for what resulted) is run by the Paulists as a spirituality site for young adults, albeit from a Catholic perspective. I used to write for BH very regularly, and about a year and a half ago, a new editor took over and decided that what the site needed was competent people, who did research, and used facts, which meant of course that I didn't fit in at all.

The site has since drifted farther and farther to the left, and the last time I wrote for it was a year ago when B16 was elected. At the time, I found several opinion pieces discussing how horrid it was that this... this... old conservative white man had been elevated to the Papacy, and I asked the editor if he planned to run a positive article on the poor guy. Pause. Then: "Well, we asked a lot of people, and nobody wanted to write it." Which gives you a pretty good idea of the current consistency of the BustedHalo stable. (To BH's "something for everybody" credit, I was immediately asked to provide some semblance of balance, and you can find a early version of what ultimately ran here.)

And I am completely cool with that, because whenever they need a conservative, they trot me out. They bust open their cell phones and they go to the "Pointy White Hood-Wearing BushHitler Voters" folder in the address book, where I am the only entry. Official Token is an especially useful occupation at this point in my life, because The Univeristy of Airplanes doesn't have any classes for me in the first part of the summer, which I was excited about for the 1.7 seconds it took me to realize that this also means six weeks without income. So every little bit helps (points hopefully at Amazon box at the top of the page.)

I remain quite fond of BustedHalo, and hope you tune in. The blog will run in a debate format from now through June. Another blogger and I will trade posts every other day. I'm "glitterwriter." Shut up. Otherwise, if you'd like to comment, head here. I began with a post on Weir The Ridiculous.

It's only been thirty-six hours, and in the post comments I already have been accused of hatred, non-Christian love, homophobia, and violating small goats. Come on, join the fun!

all in a day's work at: mb@blondechampagne.com


Dantelope said...

I have defended thy honor, fair maiden. I have also instructed my army of mimes to perform the entire Ten Commandments in front of NoisyNorah's home--er, trailer.

Miasys said...

Way to go, girlfriend! I'm guessing this was your internet Weir-war mentioned previously. That necklace-thingy makes me want to hurl, and I'm not exactly a familiar face in church anymore. By dabbling, he diluted, and made the whole thing meaningless. You've got quite a turn of phrase- and a very good point.

Miasys said...

Dantelope, you rock. I just read your smack-down on Norah, and...wow. That was wicked sweet.

MB said...

Oh, my goodness, dantelope AND katie were there! Wow, thanks, guys :) I surely appreciate it.

Dantelope, you may now lose as much weight as you want.

lina the reader said...

Hey! Me too me too me too!

(ok, I just posted a comment about five minutes ago, but I felt like acting like a four-year-old)

Anonymous said...

And so at last a heretofore lurker must comment: I feel very sorry for the innocent readers of bustedhalo.com. Poor Norah's comment is a perfect example of what is to come: MB will write an entertaining, thought-provoking post in her unique style that WE all know and love. Those readers unfamiliar with her style will comment that she is a b*&^% who does not understand the fundamental tenants of Christianity. MB will fire back with a pointed and yet poignant missive that topples her attacker entirely while underscoring her original point. (And then Dantelope will also shout out.) Excellent writing, MB, and thanks for making the internet fun, guys . . .

MB said...

Oh, thank you, anon. I'm so glad you decided to send up a flare.

Totally wish I could hug all of you right now. Yes, even you, commenter who called me fat two months ago.

Jcat2323 said...

I don't think NoisyNora even bothered to read the Weir article. Way to fight back, MB. Anyone without a set religion is not automatically a lost soul. I get the feeling that Weir has a PR agent or something that said, 'You should add something spiritual to your image, people like that'. So he decided try and appeal to everyone by getting one of each. I had to throw down my gauntlet as well, and of course I had to support your most recent comment at the same time. Love your humor, keep it goin'.

MB said...

I just read it, jcat. Thank you so much for taking the time to chime in. You too, lina. I truly appreciate the fact that you even went to READ that, let alone defend what I wrote. Much yay and happiness to you.

mykidzmom said...

Busted Halo reeks of cafeteria Catholicism. Some material specifically rejects Church teachings, tells youth to "follow your conscience" (what about the Truth?), and discussion forums promote unorthodox ideas. WWB16D?

MB said...

Yes, it's very frustrating, MKM. Several times I've been on the verge of leaving the whole shebang so as not to be associated with it, but what keeps me from going over the edge is what I feel was a calling to stand for orthodox Catholicism, even if I'm just one voice screaming into the hurricane.

Plus, for six weeks of blogging, I get $75! Yeah!

red pill junkie said...

Busted Halo... that sounds like a bad sequel of my favorite Xbox game!

Ok I read the blog, read the comments and the only thing I REALLY found surprising me was:

JTP was a "former male cheerleader"?

Which got me thinking that stereotypes are truly instruments of evil, because the first thing that popped through my head was the SNL sketch.

What was your favorite cheer Josh?

Ophelia said...

Speaking of stereotypres, the first thing that came to mind as I read the name BustedHalo was the movie "Saved".
(Not that I'm saying that MB is the equal to 'Hillary-Faith' or anything like that!)
This may seem like a stupid question but isn't there difference between "Christian" and "Catholic"?
I was always under that impression that they were two similar but very different versions of the Big Picture.
I'm probably wrong but I've never really put too much thought into it until now.

MB said...

Not a stupid question at all, ophelia. All Catholics are Christian, but not all Christians are Catholics.

Every Christian who is not a Catholic (Lutheran, Methodist, Anglican, Baptist, etc) is considered Protestant. They are indeed very similar in that we all believe that Christ is the Savior, but Catholics differ from all other Christian denominations on the following issues:

-Presence of Christ in the Eucharist (Catholics are the only ones who believe that He is physically present in the sacrament of communion)
-Role of Mary in our redemption
-Authority of the Pope

Scientologists, of course, are classified under "Whackos, Major." (No drugs OR screaming during childbirth?! Sign me up!)

red pill junkie said...

"Every Christian who is not a Catholic (Lutheran, Methodist, Anglican, Baptist, etc) is considered Protestant"

You forgot orthodox, who do not believe in the Pope's authority.

Ophelia said...

Thanks MB! It makes sense to me now.
Also, R.P.J. - that was an interesting tidbit about Orthodox and the Pope. I didn't know that.

MB said...

No, I didn't forget them-- left it out for simplicity's sake.

The Deuce referred to the Eastern and Western Catholic faiths as "both lungs of the Church." I think that's a pretty apt description.

red pill junkie said...

"The Deuce referred to the Eastern and Western Catholic faiths as "both lungs of the Church." I think that's a pretty apt description"

Ironic, if you consider that the orthodox NEVER allowed JPII to visit Russia, which he thought it was paramount to his ministery. To consecrate Mother Russia to the Immaculate heart of the virgin was his primary mission after his failed attempt to assasinate him. He always mantained that it was the Virgin of Fatima herself who defelcted the bullet... and most of us think the KGB orchestrated the plot.

MB said...

Precisely. Anchoring his greatness was his enormous heart and living Christianity-- the ability to forgive and love purely (i.e. visiting with the man who shot him.)

2xgtld said...

AS an Orthodox (not raised, married into), I am always amazed that I am allowed to fully participate in Catholic mass, but Catholics can't participate in Orthodox liturgy. Orthodox Christians perceive Catholics as that "new fangled" religion (and Protestants as mere babes), since they have kept their liturgies the exact same for over 2000 years now.

It was pretty cool getting married in a ceremony that has been the same since around 300 AD or something like that... When we were blessed, we had the weight of years on us- not to mention feeling truly blessed. We were crowned King and Queen of our own home, but our first steps together were a dance in service to God. Our crowns were linked together and the forever job of our "koumbaros" or Best Man is to keep us connected to each other through communication with the church. Somehow, little old squabbles don't seem to have the impact when you know that you have the wisdom of thousands of years behind you.

And we don't have the Pope, but the Patriarch in Constantinople, which is more of a governing figure, rather than a "over everything" Father figure.

Not a serious Orthodox myself- I was raised Baptist, grew up in a Catholic culture, lived Unitarian, and was chrismated into Orthodoxy so that my family could be united. Love the church services- somehow, when you can't understand it in English, it means so much more.

So- who here plans on seeing the Da Vinci Code? (As I duck and wait for fire and brimstone to come my way...)

lina the reader said...

redpilljunkie, stereotypes might be evil, but you'd be surprised how many cheerleaders buy into it. I was a cheerleader. I saw it happen. It was disturbing. I think JTP can back me up...

Hey 2x, thanks for the insight into Orthodoxy. I've always wanted to know more about it and other religions, but unfortunately a world religions class just doesn't fit into this student's schedule. Yay learning!

Well I'm going to go see The Da Vinci Code. I like Tom Hanks. I'm Catholic but I have enough sense not be swayed by a book that you find in the fiction section of your bookstore. Dan Brown is a very creative writer. Although I must admit I called a few of the plot twists before they happened...reading Harry Potter does that to you, I think.

That's right, Harry Potter. Don't mock me.

hey mb, I just realized I hit your blog today more times than my myspace. Now THAT'S devotion. :)

MB said...


You can't believe the knock-down drag out fight I had with some students this time last year over that *^#& book. I've since learned to avoid it.

lina the reader said...

Haha. I'm not surprised. I've seen things turn ugly when it comes to that book. But I've seen uglier debates between Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter fans. :P

Ophelia said...

OK, I have to weigh in on this; I can't resist.
I will admit that I am looking forward to The DaVinci Code on film. It was an entertaining book that made me think a lot about the Church. Call me a blasphemer, but I have a feeling that although a good portion of the book was fiction, I have a feeling that there might be more truth behind some of the ideas that were addressed. (ducking the fiery brimstone that is being chucked at me)
RPJ Made me think of this: For those that are interested, pick up "The Third Secret" by Steve Berry. Yes, it's another fictional tale about the church and a "dirty secret" but I did learn a few things that I never learned in all those years of Catechism.
The same author also wrote something about the Knights Templar that I'm working on right now. I'll report back on that when I'm done.

red pill junkie said...

thx ophelia, I'll try to get the book, although I have already read a lot about all those weird things: Fatima, the 3 prophecies, Ali Agca... I dig that stuff :-)

And yes, I will go and see the Da Vinci movie. I loved the book, read it in three days or so (even during work time!). I can appreciate it for what it is: a very fast-paced intelectual trhiller based PARTLY on some obscure facts of hystory, and on some alleged papers discovered in France concerning the so called Priory of Sion (there are a number of reasons to believe those papers are a hoax).

So yes, go and see the movie and make a judgment by yourselves guys. I can't stand the people who go screaming "don't read the book or you'll be damned!!". No book contains the absolut truth, NO BOOK. Otherwise the last commandment left by Yeshua wouldn't have been "Love one another..." but instead "Read the teachings written by my followers".
He knew better.

Nicko McDave said...

Actually, Lutherans do believe in the real presence of Christ in the host, or at least we are supposed to. In fact, our weekly Sunday bulletin always describes the communion in a surprisingly Catholic manner, and invites "all those who believe in the real presence of the Lord" to join in. It sounds like our Pastor will give communion to Roman Catholics, based on the wording. But a Catholic, I assume, would not allow him/herself to partake of the host in a Lutheran church.

Further complicating things is the fact that about ten years ago, Lutherans signed a joint communion agreement with Presbyterians and one or two other reformed denominations. Those churches do not teach the real presence, so presumably my pastor would not give communion to a Presbyterian (who would expect to receive it), even though he would to a Catholic (who would not come up for it).


Mark Mossa, SJ said...

Don't forget, BH did run a more positive reaction to the election of B16.


Self-promotion, perhaps (I wrote it). But I had a similar reaction to yours, and offered my two cents.



mand_a_lion said...

Although I didn't comment on Busted Halo, I did want to give you a "Day-um girl!" commendation. I think you have a good point. Weir's story reminded me of The Mummy. Remember the little rat man with his collection of wards?

As for further theological discussion...I wish I could contribute more, but as your sister could probably attest, brain cells rapidly diminish when you're 10 months pregnant. :P

MB said...

Ohligarch, JTP is Lutheran, and we were just having that very discussion this weekend in an attempt to iron everything out. Still working on it.

Mark, I had no clue that article appeared. Did it run after mine? All I remember is Bill's "we couldn't find anyone." But thanks for pointing to yours. Self-whoring is always welcome here. It is the very basis of BlondeChampagne, my friend.

Thanks, mand_a_lion :) We just need a little Brendan Fraser to solve the issue.

MB said...

And-- okay. Here's the thing on The DaVinci Code. I wouldn't have so much of a problem with it if the author was like, "Um, it's fiction. I just wanted to tell a good story." But just becuase it's a good story and raises plausible-sounding possibilities doesn't make it the truth, or even "part of" the truth. And the author seems to believe his own crap, and people are thinking there's fact behind it.

An excellent site, with TONS of information:

mand_a_lion said...

Awww MB, he DOES say it's fiction on his website. (www.danbrown.com) Granted, further down he blurs his initial statements. *shrug* I just love a well-written book and thought his was extremely well-edited and fast-paced. Nothing I hate more than a book that gets stuck and mired in wordiness. (Is that a word?) And I HATE mysteries that I solve before the end. This one kept me guessing. Okay. Enough from me. :P

mand_a_lion said...

Sorry...one more and then I'll shut up.

Ophelia...what's the name of the Steve Berry book you're currently reading? I read his "Amber Room" and enjoyed it thoroughly.

MB said...

Father Mossa,

(I apologize, I missed the S.J. in my haste to reply) I've had a chance to read your article and I do remember it. I think what I perceived as a lack of support for B16 was that in the article, while at times complimentary to the Holy Father (you discussed his intelligence), seemed to defend more of the process than the man himself. My beef was that few on the site seemed to be taking up for him personally.

I'm awfully glad you stopped by and hope you stick around :)

Ophelia said...

mand_a_lion: the book is called "The Templar Legacy" and I guess it just came out in February. So far, it's still setting the scene but I'm hooked. Berry has a way with words that isn't condescending yet informative.

Now, the way that I look at all this fuss over the DaVinci Code. It may be based on more fiction that fact but it has got a lot of people talking and a lot of people are becoming more interested in the history of their religious faith and beliefs. I see that as a good thing.

MB said...

It IS a good thing. But too many people are taking a FICTIONAL story at face value and not doing the homework. That's all I'm askin' :)

Ophelia said...

MB - People take what Rush Limbaugh, Jon Stewart, George Bush and Bill O'Reilly as face value too!

I know better than to take everything I see and hear at face value. I wish more people would exercise that option.

MB said...

You, O, yes :) Sadly, the world is awash in morons.

red pill junkie said...

"It may be based on more fiction that fact but it has got a lot of people talking and a lot of people are becoming more interested in the history of their religious faith and beliefs. I see that as a good thing."

Couldn't agree with you more ophelia ;-)

One good thing I would like to come up from all this, is a change in the way christians view Mary Magdalene as a prostitute, which she was NOT. It would be nice to see people acknowledge her as one of the most important members of Jesus' followers. Don't forget that, while Peter and his gang were hiding like a bunch of sissies, she was the first person to witness Jesus after the resurrection (and that's in the OFFICIAL gospels).

But I have to admit, I'm getting tired of all those Dan Brown COPYCATS and all those books talking about the templars, and the grail, and the catars, and the merovingians, and father Sauniere, and Rennes-le-Ch√Ęteau etc, etc etc... everybody wants a piece of the earnings it seems.

Ophelia said...

RPJ - I agree with you totally but you have to wonder how many of those books on these topics were submitted as manuscripts before Davinci hit it big?
A lot of publishers might have ben wary of putting out books on those topics.
Now it does seem like every that can is cashing in and it makes it much harder to differentiate between the facts and the fiction.
Something my mom said made me think: "If Mary was the heathen that she is portrayed as, why are there so many monuments and churches dedicated to her?" It's a great point to think about.
Also, why is it so hard for people to comprehend the thought of Jesus being married?

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