Month: March 2006

Muslims vs. Mother T.

Probably doesn’t need any comment from me. From a March 29th Reuters news report:

Muslims in Shkoder, in northern Albania, are opposing plans to erect a statue to the Roman Catholic nun Mother Teresa, an ethnic Albanian who is in line for elevation to sainthood by the Vatican.

The dispute is unusual for Albania, where religion was banned for 27 years under the dictator Enver Hoxha and where religious harmony and mixed marriages are the norm.

Seventy percent of the population are liberal Muslims, and the rest are Christian Orthodox and Catholic.

But Muslim groups in Shkoder rejected the local council’s plan for a statue of Teresa, saying it “would offend the feelings of Muslims.”

“We do not want this statue to be erected in a public place because we see her as a religious figure,” said Bashkim Bajraktari, Shkoder’s mufti, or Muslim religious leader. “If there must be a statue, let it be in a Catholic space.”

Several residents said they felt that there was an underground effort to treat Shkoder as a Catholic town, ignoring its majority Muslim community. Shkoder’s Muslims recently protested against placement of crosses on prominent hilltops

Read the rest

It’s a commitment, isn’t it?

Hello, I’m David Scott. You should accept no substitutes for Eric Scheske, but unfortunately, for the next few days you’re going to have to. Here’s something to get us started. At least it got my brain working a little on this Friday morning at the end of March, which, by the way is my wife’s birthday. Say a prayer for my bride, Sarah, if you will today.

What do penguins, the shortages of priests and nurses, the always declining success rates for marriages, and the chronic job-hopping of the younger generations have in common? Carolyn Moynihan over at, thinks it’s all about fidelity and commitment. She might be on to something:

“The chief suspect is individualism, that dynamic in post-modern society that makes the world seem to revolve around personal choice. People have to be free to choose, of course, but today’s freedom of choice tends to be freedom from commitment rather than for it.

Once, embarking on adult life was a matter of finding a place in society—in the workforce and in other social institutions, making their ethos and rules one’s own. Now it is a question of selecting from society the elements of a unique personal lifestyle, or “life shopping” as British researcher Kate Fox calls it. And this can be a complex and lengthy process.

Fox, the director of the Oxford University Social Issues Research Centre, has studied the generation born between 1978 and 1994, the so-called Generation Y, noted their tendency to flit from one career or relationship to another in pursuit of an elusive ideal, and concluded that Y stands for young experimenting perfection seeker. Unlike the yuppies of the 1980s who were after money and status, “Yeppies are often not quite sure they want, some vague notion of fulfillment, usually, and even

Read the rest


Well, it’s been a heckuva run. I started daily blogging in February 2005, and I haven’t missed a day. If I’m not at day 400, I’m daggone close.

But starting tomorrow, I’m taking a week off.

Don’t worry. The blog will roll on. I have solicited a friend to take over the blog for a week. Many of you have probably heard of him: David Scott, the former editor of Our Sunday Visitor and author of A Revolution of Love: The Meaning of Mother Teresa and other books. You can learn more about David at his website.

I don’t know what he has planned, but he tells me he’s been thinking about potential posts. I suspect you’ll see plenty of good stuff. Dave is a good Catholic, a fine writer, and very well-read.

Until next week,

Eric… Read the rest

The All-Fat, All-the-Time Culture is Coming

In a story that I suspect is closely linked to the last one, for reasons that I don’t have time to explore:

A Las Vegas company is putting a new extra-large ambulance into service to handle extra-large patients. . . .

A company official said that in the last six months, AMR has handled 75 calls involving patients that weighed more than 600 pounds.


The unvirtuous (criminals, drunks, people who can’t control their anger) cause problems for society at all levels. This is just a little snapshot of it. … Read the rest

Am I Boring You?

I welcome this:

Scientists are developing an “emotion sensor” to show if someone is finding your conversation interesting or not.

I don’t know what it is, but forty-somethings seem to have a large percentage of people (usually men) that ramble and ramble, repeating the same thing over and over, and turning 15-second points into four-minute monodrools.

There sems to be something about these forty-somethings’ mentality that invites this, almost as if they’re so convinced of their own brilliance that everything that pours from their mouths is worth saying, no matter how inane or redundant.

In a different context, I considered this phenomenon and came up with the following explanation:

It seems that men at the beginning years of middle age (mid-thirties to mid forties) have strong positions on everything. It doesn’t matter what it is, they’re dogmatic about it. I’m not sure I’ve encountered such adamancy—especially such weakly-considered adamancy—in any other age group. This group never stops to consider that the topics they’re addressing are layered and that they haven’t even scratched the surface of them. But they’re latched onto a position.

I think I know why this happens. As young students (high school or college) the person is constantly confronted with people who know more—teachers and professors—and is kept in his place. As a young man, he is unsure of himself: constantly confronted with the possibility of failure and/or lots of bosses and/or no job experience to make himself marketable. Uncertainty is his lot.

But by the time he’s hitting middle age, he has a lot going for him: job experience, a growing 401k, a nestegg of investments, a widdled-down home mortgage, respect in the community.

And he’s getting cocky.

I don’t know if I’m right about this, but the prevalance of bombastic and tiresome forty-somethings has put … Read the rest

Maybe She Can Pray to L. Ron

You bedded the man, Katie, now enjoy it:

Tom Cruise has given Katie Holmes an iPod with calming tunes to help her stay silent during childbirth.

The gift came after The Sun revealed the couple had put up 6ft posters in their Beverly Hills mansion reminding her not to make a noise and keep her movements slow. . . .

Tom, 43, and Katie, 26, follow the Scientology cult which claims it is traumatic for babies to hear their mother scream during childbirth.

Mums are also banned from taking painkillers.

Link.… Read the rest

Historical Miniature

On pretty Eva Braun. Excerpt:

Eva twice tried to kill herself: in November 1932, she shot herself in the throat, but missed the jugular. Then, in 1935, she tried again, this time with sleeping pills. Her reason, both times, was Hitler’s neglect. Although he expected her to give up her career and all hope of marriage or children, he might see her only every three or four weeks. While away, he often didn’t write or phone. Just before her second suicide attempt, she wrote: “If only I had never set eyes on him!” Yet however unhappy she was, her devotion was a fact of life. When they finally married, she seems to have considered her life fulfilled for the 36 hours during which she was addressed as “Mrs Hitler” — though her husband still referred to her as “Miss Braun”.

Read the rest