Highlights from Around the Web: March 16-23, 2014

10 Wilderness Survival Lessons From Hatchet, by Brett McKay | Art of Manliness

. . . while Hatchet is a work of fiction and wasn’t written as a how-to survival guide, we can learn a lot from Brian Robeson on how to stay alive in the wilderness. Gary Paulsen tested everything he had Brian do himself, to make sure the story was authentic.

Even as an Eagle Scout-Trailman, I still love reading articles like this to remind me of the importance of knowing how to take care of yourself in the outdoors.  I think when one can recognize the danger of the outdoors, in addition to its beauty, one has a much healthier respect for God’s creation.


“If The President Can Change Some Laws, Can He Change All Laws?” by Steve Skojec | Catholic Vote

On Wednesday, the House of Representatives passed the “Enforce the Law” act, a piece of legislation that Rep. Gowdy wrote. The legislation specifically targets President Obama’s tendency to disregard the Constitutional powers of the Legislative Branch. It has become increasingly clear that this “Constitutional scholar” has no respect for the separation of powers intended by the Founding Fathers. Or, for that matter, the rule of law. These transgressions by the president against the intended operation of the American government have become increasingly public, and defiant.


Worth the Fight: The 5 Secrets to Staying Pure, by Brian Kissinger | Lifeteen

In a culture that normalizes pre-marital sexual activity, it’s always good to have reminders like this one every so often.


CD Celebrates God’s Plan for Love, by Barb Enster | National Catholic Register

This particular article was written about the album Love Come Alive, which was a collaborative effort by a number of Catholic artists:

Co-produced by Jimmy Mitchell, founder of Mysterium Records and member of the group Marian Grace, the CD is a collection of 12 songs performed at the festival by singer/songwriters from around the country who want their music to reflect the mysteries of their faith and a deeper meaning in life than what is found in mainstream music.

“All of the artists on the CD are young, faithful and dynamic Catholics who have a talent for writing about life, love and what it means to be human, particularly in light of the Gospel,” said Mitchell.

The album is absolutely brilliant, and I highly recommend listening to it.


Pope Francis: “Stop Using Church as Sexual Abuse Scapegoat”, by Dr. William Oddie | Crisis Magazine

Pope Francis has now once again (though to judge by the so far sparse coverage, you’d think he’d never said or done anything before) expressed his abhorrence of clerical sex abuse. Previous popes—indeed most senior clergy—are normally too reticent, however, to do what he has now done as well, that is to say, he has defended the Catholic Church’s record on tackling the sexual abuse of children by priests, by declaring what is now the simple truth: that “no one else has done more” than the Church to root out pedophilia.

The Catholic Church, he said in an interview with Corriere della Sera published March 5, “is perhaps the only public institution to have acted with transparency and responsibility. No one else has done more. Yet the Church is the only one to have been attacked. The statistics on the phenomenon of violence against children are shocking, but they also clearly show that the great majority of abuses are carried out in family or neighborhood environments.”

Seriously, people love to hate on the Catholic Church. Guess what, child abuse is not a crime that is unique to people of faith; it’s a societal and cultural problem, not a strictly Catholic problem.


The Most Dangerous Idol of the Next Generation, by Tyler McKenzie | Cross-Shaped Stuff

This commentary on relativism (although I don’t recall seeing that actual word anywhere in the post) is excellent.  A friend posted it on her wall, and I thought it was a pretty great read.


 31 INFJ Problems | Buzzfeed

As an INFJ, things like this amuse me.


The Silence of the Lambs, by Joseph Pearce | The Imaginative Conservative

Research clearly demonstrates that children growing up with two continuously married parents are less likely than other children to experience a wide range of cognitive, emotional, and social problems, not only during childhood, but also in adulthood. Although it is not possible to demonstrate that family structure is the cause of these differences, studies that have used a variety of sophisticated statistical methods, including controls for genetic factors, suggest that this is the case. This distinction is even stronger if we focus on children growing up with two happily married biological parents.


The Best Argument for Marriage I’ve Ever Heard, by Natalie Plumb | Encourage & Teach – Catholic Diocese of Arlington

Testifying before the Indiana House Judiciary Committee on Jan. 13, Ryan T. Anderson, the William E. Simon Fellow at The Heritage Foundation, argued to a room full of policymakers:

“If the biggest social problem we face right now in the United States is absentee dads,” he paused, “How will we insist that dads are essential when the law redefines marriage to make fathers optional?”

Anderson’s argument — both available in video format and fully transcribed below — is single-handedly the best defense for marriage I have ever heard.


Pope Francis’ Central Message, by Dan Burke | National Catholic Register

One reason that Pope Francis rattles the cages of many faithful Catholics is that the emphasis of his message is prying at our disordered attachments. It is not that he is seeking to strip us of our commitments to critical social causes like the abolition of abortion or pornography, but that he wants us to move these important things to their proper place.

To illustrate this, we can imagine a target with concentric circles and a center bull’s-eye.  The bull’s-eye would contain the single most important thing, and each ring out from the center would reflect things that are in degrees of descending importance.


What He Heard, by C.M. Schott | Dappled Things

Dappled Things has an excellent set of fictional works by a variety of authors. I particularly liked this one.