Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Now they tell me

Women Who Drink Wine More Likely to Become Pregnant, Research Shows

Posted: Wednesday, September 24, 2003
By Jacob Gaffney

Women who drink a glass of wine or two per day may find it easier to conceive a child than women who don't drink or who prefer beer or spirits, according to a study published in the September issue of the journal Human Reproduction.

"We found that wine drinkers were almost 30 percent less likely to wait more than a year to become pregnant when compared to women who did not drink wine," said head researcher Mette Juhl, of the Danish Epidemiology Science Center at the Department of Epidemiology Research in Copenhagen.

The research is a follow-up to an earlier study conducted by Juhl and her team. In that report, published two years ago, the scientists found that moderate consumption of alcohol did not appear to harm women's chances of purposefully getting pregnant; in fact, drinkers appeared to conceive more quickly than nondrinkers. However, the researchers did not analyze the results according to the type of alcoholic beverage the women typically consumed.

This time around, the authors wrote, they examined the data from the previous study in more detail to find out if a woman's preference for Chardonnay over lager or whiskey "had no or perhaps even a positive effect on fecundity."

All of the volunteers in the previous study, a total of 29,844 women in Denmark who intentionally got pregnant between October 1997 and March 2000, had been asked what type of alcoholic beverage, if any, they preferred to drink prior to pregnancy. And they reported their consumption levels: nondrinker, 0.5 to 2 drinks per week, 2.5 to 7 drinks per week, or more than 7 drinks a week.

Insert causality joke here.

Monday, September 29, 2003

I had high hopes that today, I would be recommending Island Slipper Hawaii shoes, but they have been dashed. I ordered them and they arrived today, only to find that the label says "Made in China," in spite of the fact that the website says "Made in Hawaii," and I first found out about them through a "Made in US" website. (For the record, I'm not a "Buy American" kind of guy; I'm a "Spend Justly" kind of guy.) I didn't actually *ask* anyone about the country of origin, so it's my fault, but "Made in Hawaii" in your logo kind of implies "not made in a foreign country..."

I had also hoped to recommend Sebago Shoes. Most of what they make is made in Maine, but unfortunately, the one pair of shoes I did order turned out to be made...well, guess.

I think I'm going to have to find a new crusade, because it sure seems like I am one of about 50 people in the whole country who gives a crap that the great bargains we find at WalMart often come at the expense of the lives and liberty of oppressed people far away.
"De fide"

I've been stewing on this, and it occurs to me that Tom has uncharacteristically oversimplified the problem. (Heh heh.)

Faith in the sports page or your fondness for donuts is one thing, and it is true that it is different in degree and kind from faith in Christ.

But most skeptics have faith that is hardly different in kind, and often not even very much in degree. It is one thing to believe "at Waterloo Napoleon did surrender", but another entirely to say that the human body if made up of cells, which contain molecules, which are made up of atoms, which are made of protons, neutrons and electrons, and that no force in the universe can destroy a proton, neutron or electron, but merely convert it from matter to energy and back again. No proof of such things is possible, without first admitting by faith that such things are possible, for the proof of the existence of a molecule depends on tools and techniques and formulae that presuppose their existence.

It is much the same with many proofs of God's existence. Once one allows the probability, many hitherto insoluble problems solve themselves. But the fact of the soluble problem does not, logically speaking, actually prove the event. It merely requires it as a postulate (if I remember the correct term from geometry, which I probably don't).

It is not so much that some of us haven't received the gift of faith, as some of us are very selective about when and how we use it.
I've started reading Hans Kung's Does God Exist? and Charles Williams' War in Heaven. (While listening in the car to the Lord of the Rings, and skipping around in Aristotle for Everyone and A Summa of the Summa. Does anyone have any Ritalin I can use?)

Kung is in preparation for starting the religion debating society in the dorm, in the next few days. But I think I will post a few of Kung's arguments here. CS Lewis and Peter Kreeft seem to set up straw men to knock down when they present counter-arguments for some of the classic proofs, but I want to hear real objections. At the same time, a lot of atheist-ically-oriented blogs and sites are full of the offensive ramblings of insulting and intellectually-challenged zealots who don't recognize their own religious fervour.

On the other hand, I have to wonder if Kung's translator wasn't secretly an atheist. German is a dense language, but there's no need to make the English version quite so.
Sometimes Having Children Is Its Own Reward

Periodically, I will say to the baby, as she roots furiously in my arms, "Sorry, but I don't have those."

Yesterday, I gave her to the Lad, and gave her the binky at the same time, and he said, "Great. Now she's going to think I have those."

Friday, September 26, 2003

Internet Sales Tax May Get Amazon.com's Support (TechNews.com): "The sales tax project has drawn bipartisan support among lawmakers as well, even from traditionally anti-tax Republican lawmakers who say it's not fair that main street stores are required to charge sales taxes while their online competitors are not. "

Umm, possibly "Main Street Stores" need to pay taxes because they use and require lots and lots of services, such as police and fire, and require public parking and sidewalks, and that sort of thing. For the most part, online retailers already collect sales taxes on sales to the states in which they reside. So, for instance, Amazon collects sales tax in Washington State, and LL Bean does very well by the state of Maine.

This, my friends, is the sin of coveting, plain and simple. The government wants this money for its own sake, not because the money goes to pay for things demanded of the community by the retailers. Online commerce creates a great deal of revenue indirectly, by increasing the number of and wages for delivery men, to take one example. Employees of retailers pay income taxes. Goods manufactured and sold within the US via ecommerce are more competitive in many cases than other US made goods, because the distribution costs are paid entirely and directly by the consumer, and so the price-point competitiveness is improved. But over the last few decades government has decided more and more (excepting only 8 years or so in the 1980s) that your money is yours only at the toleration of the government, and only after it has taken what it desires.
"Could this be The Year?" It certainly looked last night like it could.

Thursday, September 25, 2003

Once or twice a year, we hear a story on the news or in the papers about a parent who drives off to work or gets home from someplace and leaves a toddler strapped into the carseat. (Like the one about the Kellys, in Virginia.

I have nothing but pity and sympathy for such people; I live in dread fear of doing the same thing, because I am so tired all the time right now that thinking more than 1 step ahead is impossible, and even that single step is highly challenging. I actually have occasional panic attacks that I have left the baby unsupervised someplace.

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

I'm a thoroughly committed carnivore. (I figure that God and some form of evolution worked very hard to make me an omnivore, and it would be like a Second Fall to challenge it.) But this website, Responsible Shopping, has some good links to non-sweatshop/slave labor kinds of producers.

Monday, September 22, 2003

I am especially mad at Dexter Shoe, which moved most of its production out of the Great State of Maine, and into the "People's Republic" of China, even though they keep a horse-hockey story about themselves printed on the shoe box, meant to make you think that everything is still done in Maine. They made great shoes, that lasted forever, for a reasonable price. But I'd have paid a 20% or 30% premium to keep them doing things the old way. I drove 40 miles out of my way this morning to shop there, and was pretty upset that I found only two pairs of non-China sandals (both Italian) and neither fit at all right, and I realized that I didn't want to reward them with my custom in any case.

With that in mind, I'd like to see more Christians challenging the naked consumerism that says "anything that saves me a buck is alright" even if that savings comes at the expense of an enslaved Christian (or even Buddhist, atheist, pagan, or whatever) in another country. I'd like more people not to buy stuff made in the Lao Gai, and telling the stores that they aren't shopping there today, because of it. And I'd like to be able to buy a FREAKIN PAIR OF SANDALS MADE IN A FREAKIN DEMOCRACY that actually FITS MY FREAKIN FEET.
On the other hand, try speaking to a conservative Christian about the environment being something besides a commodity, and see how far it gets you. Everyone, it seems, is full of shit these days.
If you ever wanted proof that the anti-globalization protestors are full of shit, try shopping for shoes at the stores they shop at. Try buying a pair of sandals or mocs at EMS or REI that are not made in China. I have, and it's not fun.
I don't appear to ahve been clear, because of the lighthearted way in which I presented things. But I am troubled because for the first time in my life I heard a priest actually preach a heresy. Not a hem-and-haw, not something that could be construed as aheretical, not something that just annoyed me. Heresy, pure and simple. And, I might add, the sort of insidious heresy that offers false hope and empty comfort, in the name of making people feel better, rather than helping them GET better. I am at a loss as to how to act.

Sunday, September 21, 2003

One runs a certain amount of risk, attending the student Mass, such as being subjected to (in succession) "On Eagle's Wings" and "Make me a Channel of Your Peace." One ought to be free at elast of the fear of explicit heresy being taught, and I am really uncertain how to proceed. If Fr. Jim happens by, I'd love his advice on how to approach the priest about his unequivocally heretical homily.

Friday, September 19, 2003

I really need to spend more time at Jeff Miller's blog

Cause it's just so darned chock full of funnies, both his own and others'.

The Curt Jester: "The Bil Gates of Hell will not prevail against the Church
From a blog called Father McKenzie is a post called YOU KNOW YOU'VE BEEN ATTENDING A PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH TOO LONG WHEN...
[Link via Zorak]
This line killed me:
6. Every Microsoft Word document you print has the text aligned to the left-hand margin, just so it isn't justified by Works."
Aar, me maties. This be "Talk Like a Pirate Day," which in me own house be more like "Talk like Mr. Krab Day."

Thursday, September 18, 2003

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

JohnDistinction fades between 'legal' and 'illegal' immigrant

I'm in favor of vigorous immigration laws, and of enforcing them. I'm opposed to many of the kinds of steps others advocate, like putting water stations in the desert, because I think people know the risks when they break the law.

But just once, I would like to hear one of these guys who writes op-eds saying "illegals are illegal" acknowledge that illegal immigrants are also people and, in large numbers, ridiculously exploited and frequently cheated. I'd also like to hear an acknowledgement that our economy creates perverse incentives to illegal immigration, and I'd like to know how many Op-Ed writers have ever bothered to find out if the person cleaning out the wastebins in the offices of Right-wing pundits is here legally, and if not, what they have done about it by reporting the cleaning contractors, who derive notorious and immoral profit from the exploitation of illegal immigrants. It always and everywhere seems to be "government policy" that is to blame, not the actions of me, sitting at my desk, hiring the cheapest cleaning company, or the housing contractor with the lowest overhead, or patronizing the fancy restaurant with all the Spanish-speaking bus staff. Nope, it must be government's fault.

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

In my post below, I spoke a little imprecisely at one point. I said "The difference between me and the Right of the Church is" in a way that implies that all Catholics who think "the Church always has (moral) things absolutely correct at every given moment" are necessarily "the Right." There are many people who think that without otherwise being the sort of Catholic I was dismissively referring to as "the Right," but since I don't have time to rewrite the sentence in a way that preserves my meaning while avoiding the imprecision, I append this lengthier (but quicker) clarification.
I'm not sure quite why it is, but there must be certain currents in St. Blog's, invisible to the eye, that nevertheless affect who is writing what at any given moment. For a few days, I have been pondering on the attitude of many American Catholics towards the Church, and the Infallibility different groups attribute to different aspects of it, and the problems such views can cause. Then, last night and this morning, I discover that Tom and Mark have been commenting on this very thing.

One obvious problem with what Tom terms "Papocentrism" (a disease of both Right and Left , Conservative-Traditionalist and Post-Conciliar-Unitarian alike, though the latter would deny it hotly, and the former would simply have me burned at the stake) is that it offers one little solace when confronting popes like this, or this. The disease is particularly pronounced on the Right these days, as the current Pope is a man of obvious holiness, who also happens to loathe communism as much as the Right does. (That he isn't a huge fan of unbridled capitalism often gets overlooked.)

But it's not simply Papocentrism that is at fault. It is the modern cult of the celebrity and of personality. Alongside John Paul II, in the past couple of years, stands Bernard Law and 5 or 10 other bishops. For the Left, these men are the latest proof that Romish worship of false gods is leading us all straight to Hell. The Right, by canonizing the Pope even while he still walks the earth, plays right into this. Both sides miss the point.

Popes and bishops come and go. Some are good, some even exceptionally so. Others are bad, and the spectacularly bad get featured in Op-Eds and cartoons by the Gary Willses and Jack Chicks of the world. Eventually, the temporal good that one pope does gets washed away, along with the temporal evil done by another. But the Church has endured for 2,000 years precisely because, in the end, the personality of one man, or of dozens, or even of hundreds is of no account whatsoever.

The difference between me and the Right of the Church is, I don't think the Church always has (moral) things absolutely correct at every given moment--too much has in fact changed over the course of history for that to be true. The difference between me and the Left is, I do think the Church always does get (moral) things absolutely right eventually.**

But the important point is simply that no one person or group of people, save only Christ Himself, is empowered to be the Church, however big or dominant or holy his pesonality. Sooner or later he will die, and be replaced, and one or more of those replacements will be dissolute vermin, and others will be holier still. But the tedency to raise up a holy man as infallible in ALL things, while tearing down a sinner as fallible in every way, ultimately harms the Church far more than the sins of one pope. For it places the focus squarely on our fallenness, and removes it from the goal of our eventual elevation.

**A few quick words about this, though not a complete answer. First, this may sound radical to some, but since I also believe that we are bound to follow the Church's teachings to the maximum extent possible, I can admit that some moral matters might be resolved differently some years hence, while still acknowledging the obligation of people to behave in the prescribed manner today. So, the practice is more sound than the theory may be, to your way of thinking. Second, remember what St. Paul wrote about St. Peter, on the subject of the "circumcisers": "I opposed him to his face, for he was manifestly wrong." It is difficult to be certain, but it appears that Peter and the other Elders at Jerusalem around 50 had settled the question in favor of the circumcisers, though by the end of the Council, Paul had persuaded them otherwise. Peter was at various times on both sides of the issue, and even lapsed into erroneous practice (as distinct from doctrine) after the doctrine was settled. (It is interesting, too, that many Catholics and other Christians tend to treat Paul as if he were the first Pope, rather than Peter. The cult of celebrity and personality is hardly a modern invention....)

Sunday, September 14, 2003

Please don't misunderstand me: I'm not about to complain, in what I say next. But, for all the supposed joys of parenting (and many, many of them are very real), attending Mass with a 6 year old and a newborn is a lot of hard work, with very little opportunity to participate prayerfully in what is going on. Some days (as today) it is nice to send the wife and the Lad off to Mass by themselves, and stay home with the Lass, and then join the students for their night-time liturgy. The challenges of simply attending, let alone participating, with kids, is enough to drive many people away for the childrearing years, and many don't return. Far better that occasionally we split up, and make sure that everyone participates individually, instead of messing around together.
Somedays, the readings seem to speak to you, personally. Today's Book of Numbers reading spoke to me exactly where I am today, feeling tired and snakebit.

Saturday, September 13, 2003

Alicia posted a link to this, but I decided to cut out the middle man, and reproduce the recipe right here.

Maury Rubin's Grilled Chocolate Sandwich
8 ounces dark (bittersweet) chocolate
1/2 cup heavy cream
12 to 16 slices of plain white bread
Handful of chocolate batons ( 1/2 inch long) or chocolate chips (about 1/3 cup)
3 to 4 tablespoons soft butter.
1. Chop the chocolate fine and set aside in a medium bowl.
2. Heat the cream in a small saucepan until just boiling and pour over the chopped chocolate. Let stand 1 minute, then whisk until smooth. Refrigerate until just slightly solid, about 30 minutes.
3. Spread a layer of the chocolate mixture 1/4-inch thick (approximately 2 to 3 tablespoons) on half the bread sides to within about 1/4 inch of the edges. Press about 2 teaspoons of the chocolate chips (or 5 or 6 pieces of batons) into the center of each filling.
4. Spread a bit of softened butter over one side of the remaining slices. Buttered side up, place the slice over each chocolate-spread slice and press lightly around the edges to seal. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes before putting on a grill or on a press. (If you are using a skillet instead, freeze the sandwich 15 minutes.)
5. Heat a grill or sandwich press (or a large griddle or skillet over medium-high heat), and add the sandwiches. Press on one side only for a minute or two (depending on the particular grill or press you're using) until the bread is nicely browned; the chocolate should be barely melted and not swimming out the side. If you ar"

If anyone wanted to buy me a present, the Panasonic DMR-E80HS DVD RECORDER + 80GB HD would be just the thing.
The Lass and the Lad can now be viewed at this location.

Friday, September 12, 2003

How the Kairos Guy formulates a blog entry

I wish the hippies would all shut the f*** up and DIE.

Now, now, Brian. That’s not very charitable.
Sorry. [ahem] I wish the hippies would all shut up and expire.

Nice try, but you’ll have to do better.

I would be happy if the hippies would pipe down, and leave the rest of us alone.

Well, better, but, keep thinking: what is making this unworthy of a Christian, and your blog.

Ah, got it! [ahem] I wish that people for whom Vietnam forms a touchstone of tremendous consequence could move beyond that. Whatever one thinks of war in general, it is nevertheless important to view each war or prospective war individually. That one war was unjust, or fought unwisely, or both, does not thereby impugn…etc., etc.

That's my boy. Let's try to start further down the process next time, eh?

Thursday, September 11, 2003

I wish it were easier to resist thinking "He/she got what he/she deserved" when some public figure I dislike dies. I wish the little prayer would come first, not the little nod, as though I know for sure that justice will now be served. Such feelings do me no credit at all. None whatsoever.
Thoughts I posted last year, that still seem right to me

Is there a connection between the death of good rhetoric and the emphasizing of emotion in the public sphere? Where is the inspiring oratory? The memorable phrase? "Let's roll" is powerful not for what it says, but the context in which it was spoken. Last night the President's really good line about failed ideologies and lies was replayed, and I thought, "what a good explanation that was," but this morning I still can't recite the line, even approximately.

Perhaps the dearth of Ciceros and Platos, Shuberts and Beethovens is a function of a complacent society, rather than emoting-as-national-pastime, but it is frustrating.

* * *

Please don't wallow today. Go serve meals at a soup kitchen, or make a donation to a charity that provides treatment for the mentally ill. Clean out your closet and give the leftovers to St. Vincent de Paul. Victory over the darkness will not come on the battlefield (however necessary the battle) but in our hearts. "If today you hear the voice of the Lord, harden not your heart" says the Psalmist. Today, please don't wait to hear the voice of the Lord;go be it.

* * *

I suspect this song was sung at many memorial services last fall. It is not a hymn, but it is a fitting way to remember those who gave their lives.

The Parting Glass

Of all the money that e'er I spent
I've spent it in good company
And all the harm that ever I did
Alas it was to none but me
And all I've done for want of wit
To memory now I can't recall
So fill to me the parting glass
Good night and joy be with you all

Oh, all the comrades that e'er I had
They're sorry for my going away
And all the sweethearts that e'er I had
They'd wish me one more day to stay
But since it falls unto my lot
That I should rise and you should not
I'll gently rise and softly call
Good night and joy be with you all

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

For many months, I managed to pray a "perpetual" novena against terrorism, without break. But ever since a week or so before the baby was born, I haven't remembered to do it with any consistency. I am undecided if this is a good thing or not. On the one hand, I ought to pray it all the more, with yet another helpless child in my family, another crusader child to be loathed and murdered if possible. On the other, possibly my not praying it means my focus is returning to the sphere of life where I can do the most positive good in the world, my family. I'm not certain, but I think my indecision stems from an understanding that both things are true: I need to focus more on my family, and less on abstract fears like "terrorism" and even "al Qaeda"; but I nevertheless ought to pray for peace and safety, and let God work out the details.
Today, Sept. 10, marks two years since the broadcast of my appearance as a contestant on "Jeopardy!" It's really not at all hard to remember when I was on.

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Can someone explain to me why so many Christians, and Catholics in particular, are so embarrassed by other Christians who speak clearly and passionately about Christ? I have seen Catholics rise up in anger at some "ignorant creationist" speaking derisively about Darwin, but the same people shrink in horror at the mention of Eternal Truth, which Christians are allegedly possessed of, and whose absence may result in the eternal damnation of the person addressed. It is a strange paradox.

Monday, September 08, 2003

A good commercial

On the other hand, a GOOD commercial would go something like this...

A man, his wife and baby are in a doctor's office waiting room. The nurse comes out, and invites the woman and her baby in, but the man stays behind. He reaches into his backpack, and pulls out some Oreos, and starts to eat them. But he starts to chew a little more deliberately, and then cautiously looks around the room, only to realize that he is surrounded by mothers, waiting their turns and nursing their babies.

"Got milk?" the announcer asks.
Yesterday I learned at the Parish Mass (not the campus one) that Jesus' GREATEST miracle was eating with poor people, and allowing a woman to touch him "without going 'HARRUMPH!!!'" It would seem that the Gospel reading means we are getting it all wrong when we go around talking about miracles, and that Jesus performed them principally to mislead us.

Possibly what Father MEANT to say was that placing all the emphasis on Big Miracles (and little ones, such as the condensation version of the Blessed Mother that is alleged to have appeared at Milton Hospital a few months ago) might cause us to note those things too much, and the "when I was naked, hungry, etc., you cared for me," aspect of the gospel. To THAT I would certainly take no exception.

As it is, however, Father appears to have reopened the "Faith vs. Works" battle we only settled with the Lutherans a few years ago, and he appears to have come down entirely on the side of the Lutheran caricature of the Catholic position. I never thought I would hear a Catholic priest call anything other than the Resurrection and the Eucharist the "greatest" miracles.

Friday, September 05, 2003

Possibly only those of you who live in the northeast will have noticed, but "Freindly's" has been running a lot of new TV ads, and it is striking that Friendly's doesn't seem to think that any black people eat at their restaurants.
One of the things that disturbs me most about college students is their concern with "perception." How I, as recipient, perceive what you, as speaker, are saying is (to the college student's mind) of equal or even greater weight than what you are saying or attempting to say. (Astute readers will recognize the ugliness of deconstructionism here.) It doesn't seem to occur to them to ask first if what I am saying is "true" or "false." It is perhaps the most selfish thing about them, and the thing I will battle most often. It allows students complete freedom from obligation, for if MY perception has the same or greater weight than YOUR speech, then I need not reign in my animal passions and emotions (and hence, may commit the sin of gluttony, a crime against temperance). But the logical conclusion of such thinking is anarchy and chaos, and they don't see it when you try to point it out.
My OTHER problem right now has to do with the typical student preferring to complain instead of dispute. I said something the other night at the all student meeting for my dorm that gave offense to some students, not because it was in any way offensive, but because the students in question don't know that the word "cardinal" in conjunction with "virtues" has nothing whatsoever to do with those men in the bright red, silk pyjamas, and that 5,000ish years ago marks the beginning of recorded civilization, and the Hamurabic code, not simply the birth of Judaism. But only one student, and bless him for it since he is on my dorm's staff, bothered to come speak to me about the concern. The others merely took offense that I was proselytizing, and will no doubt complain about religious harassment at some point. The Dean's office will (if history is any guide) issue me a stern warning without bothering to take interest in the fact that the complaint-lodgers have no legs to stand on, and rest only on lazy asses. But if that happens, I think I can probably get some good coverage in the student newspapers.

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

On the other hand, I'm extremely annoyed at the way in which the residential program is (or really, is not) administered here. I have only now learned that there will be weeks in which I have official, structured obligations as many as 5 nights. Last year, 1 was the norm, and any more than that was extremely rare. I come from a way of thinking that says you communicate with people at the outset, not 1 month into things, about their time commitments. So, today, I am not enthused at all about the job, and really want to go let one of the people in charge know about it. Loudly.

Monday, September 01, 2003

I just heard this expression, and I like it: "Cancel my subscription--I don't need your issues."
I cannot say that the last two days of issuing keys to returning students has improved my opinion of adolescents any, nor of their parents. I *can* say that I need to start a Parish parents' group, to discuss how we might persuade our children that recreational equipment comes from a store, not from your body.

Also, I have to say that, in spite of the "Gather" hymnal, full of Haugen and Haas and Schutte, and all things hideous in modern liturgical music, the Freshman welcome Mass last night (at 10pm, for all love) was less bad than I had feared. Yes, I was instructed to greet my neighbors at the time I should be reflecting (but the congregation was quiet and respectful, not chatty and boisterous as it had been in my day). Yes, I was instructed to hold hands during the singing of the Lord's Prayer (but non-Catholics were invited to join the Communion line with their arms crossed to receive a blessing, not the Eucharist). And even though the hymns mostly suck, the student choir/musical group had not a single guitar to its name, and the arrangements and inclusion of a flute and trumpet were nicely done, and actually improved some of the musical dreck.

I'm still skeptical, however, that the Chaplain is going to follow the new GIRM, and abolish some of the do-it-yourselfiness of the campus liturgy. I hope, genuinely hope, I am shown to have been unduly skeptical, but hope and optimism are not quite synonymous.
Peter Nixon blogged the other day at Sursum Corda "Church Without Borders, a a joint project of the Diocese and the Maryknoll Missionaries." This reminds me of one of the saddest things I have found on campus since returning. The poison of "diversity" has so consumed the campus, that the University Christian Fellowship now must compete with the Asian Christian Fellowship and the African one.

Of course I'm aware that our Romish faith has a history in this country of parishes segregated as well, but in recent years such segregation has largely been of language, not "race." (Though, of course, some language segregations also amount to the latter.)

But it was only 15 years ago when I first arrived here, and at that time, there was only one University Christian Fellowship, and if Catholics were informally excluded, we were excluded based on our perceived Satan-worship, not the color of our skins. Divisions in the Body of Christ based on meaningless things like race make me shake my head in sadness, and my fist in anger.