Friday, January 30, 2009

We don't like censorship

NBC has banned this from their Superbowl commercials, yet are airing a sexually-charged PETA commercial. See for yourself what they won't broadcast.

From Catholic

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Book Review: The Know-It-All

Subtitled One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World, the book chronicles A.J. Jacob's quest to read the entire Encyclopedia Britannica, from a-ak to zywiec. The book is filled with the fascinating tidbits of information he discovers, for example that John Heisman of football trophy fame was a Shakespearean actor during the the off-season. Mr. Jacobs then wonders, "Why aren't there any Shakespearean football coaches nowadays?"

Mr. Jacobs also explores why he began this quest. The answer is not as straightforward as the entries. He is concerned that his time as editor of Entertainment Weekly has caused him to lose much of the knowledge he gained while at Brown. As a boy, he fancied himself the smartest boy in the world--a self-concept that was severely shaken as he grew up. And then there's the competition: his father, who has a truly amazing list of degrees and who has authored 24 or 25 serious, scholarly books on points of law, had also attempted this feat. Dad, however, dropped the project around the B's. Could the son accomplish what his father couldn't?

The project takes him about a year. There is a chapter for each letter of the alphabet, except for X, Y, and Z, which are combined. But how can Mr. Jacobs be sure he actually is becoming smarter?

Thus he investigates the nature of knowledge and "smartness." He joins Mensa, interviews a gentleman with an acknowledged stratospheric IQ, interviews Alex Trebek of Jeopardy!, and participates in the game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? He looks for others who have read the entire encyclopedia. His search even leads him to Chicago and the headquarters of Britannica itself.

And, oh by the way, Mr. Jacobs is married and he and Mrs. Jacobs would like to have a baby.

I have a lot of natural sympathy for Mr. Jacobs. I, too, love arcane facts and get side-tracked easily while looking up words in dictionaries or checking facts in encyclopedias. (Internet databases have not helped. I only become side-tracked more quickly and more deeply.) Some of the facts Mr. Jacobs shares are interesting, some are odd, some are downright funny. His sense of humor is much like my own: wry, a little dark, self-deprecating, and fascinated by the world around him. (He is a pessimist, however, while I tend to be an optimist.) In fact, this book was a Christmas present to me from DD#1 who saw the title and knew I'd enjoy it. (She knows me too well!)

What keeps this book from being a classic, however, is that Mr. Jacobs is truly a product of his environment: a secular Jewish liberal, born and raised in New York City (Manhattan, in fact), educated in elite private schools. Everyone around him is a liberal. His parents have an apartment in Manhattan and a country home in East Hampton. His friends get married in Italy, so Mr. Jacobs and his wife fly over, spending time in Venice before attending the wedding.

So of course he takes potshots at President Bush, with kind of a knowing wink because everyone feels this way. It's obvious. One or two cheap shots I could overlook. But there are several. They were unnecessary. It's almost as if Mr. Jacobs couldn't resist. So what could have been a classic book instead becomes more limited.

Okay, it was interesting as an anthropological study of a certain segment of Manhattan's socio-economic-cultural strata. A society I will certainly never fit into even if I do read the entire Britannica myself.

On the March Hare scale: 4 out of 5 Golden Bookmarks

crossposted at The Mad Tea Party

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Movie Review: Marley & Me

Ostensibly, Marley & Me is about the world's worst dog. In reality, it's about family and love.

John (Owen Wilson) and Jen (Jennifer Aniston) Grogan are newlyweds. Jen has their life together all planned: moved somewhere warm, get jobs, buy a house. When a houseplant dies, Jen complains, "How am I supposed to take care of a kid when I can't take care of a stupid plant?", John realizes what Jen's next "step" is. He discusses this with his bachelor friend and colleague, Sebastian, who recommends getting a puppy. So John takes Jen off to a breeder where they get a "Clearance Sale" puppy--Marley.

Marley turns out to have a few quirks. He eats anything and everything. He's afraid of thunderstorms. He has nearly unlimited energy and an unconquerable will. He is untrainable. And he loves John and Jen unconditionally.

And they love Marley, despite all the chaos he brings to their lives.

John is offered a chance to write a twice weekly column. Initially, he's reluctant to accept it because he sees himself as a reporter. But the offer includes a raise, so he takes the assignment. His first column is about Marley. His editor (Alan Arkin) reads it and, perfectly deadpan, says, "This is hilarious. I'm laughing my ass off here."

Eventually, John and Jen decide to have a baby. Jen announces she's pregnant at the same time John's colleague, Sebastian, is offered a chance to go to the Middle East--and he wants to bring John along. John has to make a real choice here: career versus family.

And then Jen has a miscarriage.

John doesn't know what to do. But Marley does.

The Grogans do have children eventually and Jen has choices to make as well. Although Marley doesn't treat the children as chew toys, he's still pretty incorrigible and Jen becomes overwhelmed with it all. John is feeling the stress as well: he's the sole breadwinner and his column is now running five days a week. A decision--a serious one--has to be made about Marley and his place in the family. John and Jen also have to make a decision about their future as well.

Because the movie is based on the real-life experiences of the actual John Grogan, many of the scenes hit home for Hubs and me. The conversations John and Jen had were conversations that we've had, albeit with wittier lines. Their relationship with their kids, as well as the relationship of the kids with Marley, rang true. Despite the comedy, this movie does not sugar-coat the sacrifices each partner makes so that marriage and family life works.

The ending is predictable but not overly sentimental. The parents acted like adults, not hiding the facts of life from their children but helping them cope with the inevitable.

Bring tissues.

This movie is rated PG but I wouldn't bring young children (although there were some in the audience), mostly because the emotional undertones might be overwhelming. There is some swearing, a couple of implied sex scenes between John and Jen (hey--they're married, right?), one implied nude scene (again, it's John and Jen in the privacy of their own backyard). DD#2 (who is 15) enjoyed the movie, although she didn't always laugh at the same parts Hubs and I did. On the way home we talked about the dogs in our family, especially our current dog who broke through a closed window as a puppy--twice--and was notorious for chewing stuffed toys and underwear. (Fortunately, old age has mellowed her. She is currently sleeping on the couch next to me.)

The casting, by the way, is superb. Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston play off each other well. They look like real people who have lived real lives. They're sweet and goofy and serious when they should be. Alan Arkin plays John's unsentimental editor who pushes him to grow into adulthood. Kathleen Turner has a great cameo as the obedience school trainer. Eric Dane is Sebastian, the eternal bachelor and the life John Grogan could have had. Sebastian could be a sleaze, but he's not. The actors who play the Grogan kids are not precocious or overly adorable.

Kudos also to the animal trainers and handlers as well as the dogs who played Marley at different ages. Having a dog misbehave on cue is no small feat!

On the March Hare scale: 5 out of 5 Golden Tickets. An especially good "date night" movie for us old married couples who have raised a dog and a kid or two.

crossposted at The Mad Tea Party

Monday, January 26, 2009

Fireproof Review ... The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

This movie was viewed from a review DVD provided by the distributor.

The plot:
At home with his wife of seven years, fireman Caleb Holt shows little of the bravery he displays on the job, and has a failing marriage as a result. Fighting over every little thing, Caleb and his wife, Catherine (Erin Bethea), are on the verge of signing divorce papers when Caleb's father and coworkers urge him to approach his marriage in the same way he fights vicious flames. When Caleb's father gives him the "Love Dare," a 40-day guide to religiously motivated marriage help, Caleb begins a difficult journey to reclaim his wife, and in the process, his faith in God.

With several action-packed scenes, FIREPROOF uses fire metaphors in its exploration of marriage. The film offers an alternative to the common romantic comedy and, some might argue, a more multidimensional view of romance. The film examines both the ups and inevitable downs of married life, offering faith as a prescription for saving what may at first glance appear to have already failed. Likely to please its target audience, the film offers a fresh perspective on marriage and inspiring relationship tips viewers may want to try regardless of their faith.
The intended audience: Christians and married couples

Will they like it?: Yes.

Will everyone else like it?: Doubtful.

This is a typical "Christian movie" and to make sure we get the point, they hit us over the head with it like a hammer on a nail. There is little "art" or "story" in this movie and that leaves those uninterested in Christian themes or marriage in the cold.

As someone who has helped present several marriage retreats as well as gone on one of my own that we repeat annually, I can testify that the movie hits on crucial points for a successful marriage. What they are telling us are key points in how to serve our spouse willingly and lovingly as Jesus set the example for us.

I did like the fact that the husband takes truly heroic measures in changing his behavior and that it must be sincere before it begins to change him and, therefore, become something that his wife will accept as real. I also like that the husband's parents spring to his aid with the 40 Days book and also with constant prayer. That felt very real to me. The other thing that felt very real was the affirmation Caleb receives toward the end.

I also liked very much the father's bravery in speaking the truth about his faith to Caleb who makes it clear, in very realistic terms, that he has no interest in anything Christian. The story falls somewhat short in what revelation prompts Caleb to make a life changing decision but does a very good job, on the other hand, with showing a revelation develop in the wife's understanding.

Although I am critical of the story, they still managed to surprise us in a couple of spots with their twists which helped even out some rough spots from elsewhere.

Some of the actors are locals from where the film was shot (or so I believe from the publicity info). If so, someone should sign those nurses up for contracts. They were a delight, fully believable, and our favorite characters. I also especially enjoyed Ken Bevel's best friend role. He was believable and engaged our sympathies as the friend who has been down the hard road of recovering his marriage from trouble.

Before I go into this, let me be clear. I don't have a problem with movies created for a specific audience. The Passion of the Christ was made for Christians and I found it to be a devotional experience. Mel Gibson had the advantage of Hollywood clout and was able to produce a piece that was beautiful, sounded beautiful, and had a lot of money invested to do so. Many small movies do not have this luxury. That is fine. Movies are all about the story. If a story is well thought out and engaging then the trappings do not matter so much. Even subpar acting can be forgiven because we are so engaged in the story.

This movie was shot on a shoe-string budget in thirty days. I do not mind that. I have seen many indie movies with low production values (The Castle and Eagle vs Shark both come to mind) and enjoyed them thoroughly. That would because there was a fully realized story that had fully realized characters.

Unfortunately, Fireproof forgot to give us a story along the way. That is not really true, actually. It is extremely focused on a bad marriage and plunges us into it with little else as the main focus. There were clear attempts to give a well-rounded story by including the nurses at the hospital and the hijinks at the fire station, as well as the firefighters performing daring rescues from precarious situations. Some of these worked while others were predictable. However, when one is dealing with a subpar story then the acting needs to be fantastic to carry it off. This was largely not true in this movie.

This movie was fortunate in having a wide distribution and earning a good profit. I see that the director and a relative wrote the story. I hope in the future they will use a good chunk of that money to hire a screenwriter to flesh out and polish the story.

They gave us an extremely one-sided story in which the husband is the bad guy and the wife is the victim. Regardless of the fact that we see the wife do several things which she should not if she is truly blameless, this is all implied as a result of the husband's neglect. Never do we see her take part of the blame.

As well, the wife is hampered from getting any advice about her marriage because her mother is incapacitated from a stroke and cannot talk. Why does the wife not turn to her father? Presumably he might have something to say about marriage. The gaggle of friends piling on the husband-bashing advice could have included at least one person with a tad of understanding.

The men and women were very divided throughout the movie, to the point of having the husband very angry at his mother the whole time. We were rooting for his dad to give him a whap upside the head for his complete disrespect of her.

It felt as if people who hated men wrote the script, which is ironic because it was men who wrote it. Perhaps a woman should have helped polish it.

IN THE END ... I still recommend it if you are in the target audience.
I know it sounds as if I hated this movie. I did not. As I say it is very good for the intended audience. I recommend it to Christians and married couples, with the reservations above. If you are expecting a "Christian movie" then you will not be disappointed.

I just wish it could have been something that would have spoken past those boundaries to those who fall outside the specific audience.

These movies do not have marriage ostensibly as their main point but as our family reflected on Fireproof, these are the ones that we felt brought up very good points as well as being good movies overall.
  • Regarding Henry
  • Shall We Dance (Japanese version)
  • The Paper
  • Parenthood
  • The Castle
  • World Trade Center
  • Firefly
More about "Christian Movies and Art"
To be blunt, if a film purports to be a “Christian film” it supposedly is done for the glory of God. You don’t glorify God by making lousy movies.

We need great movies.
Read Scott Nehring's article Less Christian Art - More Christian Artists.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Book Review: Dark Night of the Soul

I have heard about the "dark night of the soul," when one feels abandoned by God. But I had never read the famous book of that name by St. John of the Cross. The book is primarily aimed at spiritual directors, but it's also a good background on the concept and what to expect.

The idea has its roots, really, in the story of Job, who is alternately rewarded and punished by God. In Dark Night, St. John compares the dark night to gold being refined by fire. The process is painful, but necessary for the ore to become something beautiful, pure, and precious. All the dross is melted away as the soul becomes more like its Creator, the better to become one with Him: "Souls begin to enter the dark night when God is drawing them out of the state of beginners, which is that of those who meditate on the spiritual road, and is leading them into that of proficients, the state of contemplatives, that, having passed through it, they may arrive at the state of the perfect, which is that of the divine union with God." (Ch. 1)

There are two stages: the Night of the Sense and the Night of the Spirit. The Night of the Sense is the first stage and, frequently, many who begin the journey go no further. Many beginners fall into the sin of pride--much like the Publican in the parable, they are proud of their devotion, their sacrifice, their good works. But as they grow, they become humble, looking at others as better, "regard(ing) them with a holy envy in their anxiety to serve God as they do." (Ch. 1)

St. John goes on to list and explain other spiritual sins that beginners make. These mostly have to do with our human need to feel (both physically and emotionally), to see, to hear, to taste. Our bodies distract our souls from the perfect contemplation of God and Satan uses these weaknesses to his advantage. During the first night, "God is now changing that light into darkness, and sealing up the door of the fountain of the sweet spiritual waters, which they tasted in God as often and as long as they wished." (Ch. 8) No comfort is found in things of God, nor in "created things." St. John then goes on to explain how those who have entered this first night are to behave and the necessary role of a spiritual guide.

Once this stage is completed, a person may stop there or may experience only a respite for the much more rigorous dark night of the spirit. This stage requires much more from the spiritual director because those going through it feel completely abandoned by God. They must continue on their journey with complete and utter faith in Him. The length of time required for this dark night may be months or years. There may be periods were God shows His Face and His Love is directly and powerfully felt, but then withdrawn, forcing the seeker to trust and believe. And to pray--always prayer.

The end is complete union with God. St. John intimates that for most of us, Purgatory will be our Dark Night of the Soul; very few reach the state of perfection while here on Earth. (This is probably as good an explanation for Purgatory as any I've heard.)

This edition, translated by David Lewis and published by Saint Benedict Press Classics, is 189 pages, heavily footnoted, with short chapters. But the text is really dense. I found I could only read a chapter or so at a time because the prose is a bit clunky. And it can be repetitive, in the manner of a teacher who says, "Have you got this yet?" I haven't read any of St. John's other works which might have helped. A study guide, either a person or a booklet, probably would have helped as well. But Dark Night of the Soul did shed some understanding of what Blessed Mother Teresa experienced and wrote about.

When Mother Teresa's spiritual trials were revealed, I read comments by some Christians that were rather disparaging, mostly from those who hold to sola scriptura. The "dark night" might be a peculiarly Catholic tradition--although I wouldn't be surprised if this is also understood in the Orthodox religions as well, since they have a monastic tradition.

Biographical background about St. John of the Cross can be found in Wikipedia. I was kind of surprised by the list of those influenced by his thoughts, which included Dorothy Day and Pope John Paul II.

This isn't Catholic-lite. And it's not a book that I understood at first reading. It deserves more study than I'm prepared to give at this point, but I would like to return to it and to St. John's other works, as well as those of St. Teresa of Avila.

This review was written as part of The Catholic Company product reviewer program. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on Dark Night of the Soul.

crossposted at The Mad Tea Party

Friday, January 16, 2009

Conservavtives in Hollywood? Who knew?

According to Focus on the Family's Citizen Link there is:

"Good News: Web Site Aims to Unite Hollywood Conservatives"

A new Web site aims to bring together conservatives in Hollywood, including Stephen Baldwin, Kelsey Grammer, Patricia Heaton and Jon Voight.
“There are major people who are conservative, and what they want is a bridge to another creative place where they can express themselves," said Andrew Breitbart, founder of and its Big Hollywood branch.
Breitbart said his goal is to create a safe place to reveal a conservative bent.
Bob Waliszewski, director of Focus on the Family's
Plugged In Web site, said time will tell if Breitbart is on to something.
"I applaud him for making a difference," he said, "and at least trying to make it (conservatism) acceptable.”
— Roger Greer"

Friday, January 9, 2009

Book Review: The Shack ... from The Paragraph Farmer

However parochial it sounds, that omission and the aforementioned criticisms keep "The Shack" from ascending to the heights of spiritual classics like Teresa of Avila's "Interior Castle." Yet it is also important to concede that highlighting the ironies wasted on Young and some of his critics pays diminishing returns over time: in the end it is more charitable and more accurate to say that both have performed a public service.

The novel cannot be called lectio divina, but it is inspiring. Despite its flaws, "The Shack" has thought-provoking things to say about forgiveness, freedom, evil, and love.
The Paragraph Farmer does a wonderful job acknowledging the many flaws in The Shack while still pointing out its inspirational value. This is the answer to the question I put out when doing my own review as I felt there were many problematic areas but knew I was not picking up on them. I must say that when I saw the above mention of the Interior Castle in the same sentence with The Shack I completely cracked up. Such a comparison would never have occurred to me. Ever. Hilarious and telling.

Be sure to read this review if you are interested in The Shack.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Catholic Media Review blogger on TV

If you are considering attending the March for Life to greet our new President this year, watch to my first TV interview and get motivated.

Friday, January 2, 2009

The Best for Catholics in 2008

Would you please add your comments below to complete a poll on the following?
You'll be hearing our take on this poll shortly, but we want to hear from you first.

1. The 10 best books for Catholics in 2008

2. The 10 best books for Catholic Children 2008

3. The 10 best movies for Catholics in 2008

4. The 10 best albums for Catholics in 2008

Movie Review: Bedtime Stories

The movie opens with a voice-over: Marty Bronson (Jonathan Pryce, who played Elizabeth Swan's father in Pirates of the Caribbean) explains how he started the Sunny Vista motel and the reactions of his two children, Wendy and Skeeter. Wendy is a serious and solemn girl. Skeeter has a wonderful imagination and a sense of adventure. Skeeter loves living in the motel and can imagine nothing better than to run it when he grows up.

Alas, Marty Bronson is no businessman and is forced to sell his motel to his rival, Barry Nottingham (Richard Griffiths). However, he does make Mr. Nottingham promise that his children can live in the motel as long as they want and that Skeeter will have a chance to run it some day. Mr. Nottingham promises and Mr. Bronson signs the contract.

Cut to the present. The modest motel is now an upscale hotel and Skeeter (Adam Sandler) is the maintenance man. He's a good maintenance man, but is clearly not seen as hotel management material. The head concierge is Aspen (Lucy Lawless) who treats Skeeter with disdain. However, he is not intimidated by her and answers her tit-for-tat.

Skeeter has another rival: Kendall (Guy Pearce) who is named as the "Manager Apparent" for Mr. Nottingham's new mega-hotel. Kendall is also dating Mr. Nottingham's daughter, who loves to party and is often photographed coming out of the hottest clubs.

Meanwhile Wendy (Courteney Cox) is going through a bitter divorce. She is the principal of a local school, which is slated to be closed. She has an interview in Arizona and asks Skeeter to watch her two children, splitting the duties with her best friend, Jill. Jill will take the "day shift"--getting the kids to school. Skeeter has them at night, along with their guinea pig, Bugsy.

His first night with them, he realizes he has to do something to entertain them, as Wendy does not have a television and the kids' books are all of the crunchy organic/progressive kind. Skeeter decides to make up a bedtime story, much as his dad with him and Wendy.

The story is a barely concealed sketch of Skeeter's life at the hotel, illustrating all his frustrations. The kids, Bobbi and Patrick, start to get into it and add their own scenes to the story. The story ends with Patrick exclaiming, "And then it rains gumballs!"

Skeeter brushes it off as a bit of childhood whimsy and gets them to bed. However, the next day events follow the narrative of the story pretty closely. It even "rains" gumballs! Skeeter tries to explain this to Jill (Keri Russell), who thinks it is merely coincidence. However, Skeeter tries to take the story in a new direction, one more positive for him. But the kids interrupt, adding their own twists.

The next day, events happen that mimic the story, but only the parts of the story the kids have added.

Meanwhile, Mr. Nottingham has announced a competition between Kendall and Skeeter: whoever comes up with the best theme for the new hotel will become the manager.

And then there's the fate of the school where Wendy is Principal, Jill is a teacher, and the kids are students. Can it be saved?

There is some clever wordplay, reminding me of the Amelia Bedelia stories, where confusion reigns because the same word often has several meanings--especially between a six-year-old and a thirty-something-year-old.

This is a Disney movie, so there's no nudity, no bad language. Several archetypical stories are represented. Discussions of divorce and the impact it has on a child's emotions (the absent dad is mentioned but never seen). I did find it rather odd that Wendy would have to go to Arizona for a teaching job when the Los Angeles Unified School District is the largest in the state. And Principals are covered by California Teachers' Union seniority rules. The only Sandler regular who appears is Rob Schneider and even his character is restrained.

Hubs, DD#1 (who is 22), and DD#2 (who is 15) saw it with me. Our verdict: it's a cute movie, especially suited for grandparents to take the kids during the holidays. I'm not sure, though, which age level/s Disney was aiming for. Bobbi and Patrick appear to be five and six, but I don't think kids that young would get the story. Tweens (11 and 12-year-olds) would probably be bored, especially if they were expecting more typical Sandler craziness. DD#2 didn't like it right off the bat, but thought it was "pretty good" after she thought about it.

Bedtime Stories is not a typical Sandler movie--he's much more restrained, although there are plenty of snarky comments between him and the other adult cast members. I thought there were clever and funny, but then verbal "zingers" are an honored tradition in my family.

We saw this at a matinee--I wouldn't pay full price to see this one. Bedtime Stories might do better in the rental market, either on DVD or cable.

On the March Hare scale: 3.5 out of 5 Golden Bookmarks.

crossposted at The Mad Tea Party

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy First Anniversary Catholic Media Review

Here is the article which started it all.
It's the reason why last year i just HAD to start this blog; to create reliably Catholic film reviews.
Now, one year later the reviewers at the USCCB Office for Film and Broadcasting have given thumbs up to another pro-homosexual movie, "Milk". Either the USCCB is deaf to the complaints of the faithful laypeople and outspoken bishops like Archbishops Chaput and Burke (see Life Site News article) or they agree with their views, which are out of step with Catholic teaching.
Whichever it is, Catholic Media Review more often than not, beats the USCCB Office in Google searches where 'Catholic review ' is added to the film's title, even though we aren't on the USCCB's payroll, we are certainly performing a service to the Catholic community.
Several of our reviews have been re-posted on secular media outlets like IMBD, Reuters,
USA Today, The Chicago Sun-Times. We have been asked to post our reviews on Catholic Online, Catholic Exchange, and; three of Catholicism's top websites. A blurb from my review of Kent Gilges' book, "A Grace Given" was listed on the back cover, between that of George Weigel and Donald Wildmon of the American Family Asociation. Comments from Jeff Miller and I were used on Ascension Press' advertisements of the book "Heaven's Song; Sexual Love as it was Meant to Be" by Christopher West, surrounding the remarks of Archbishop Chaput. We are profoundly humbled by our remarks having such auspcious company.
I have been sent numerous books, DVDs, film clips, screening invitations, and press junket invitations to obtain our reviews on upcoming productions. I have a stack of good Catholic books on my nightstand thanks to word getting out that we do high-quality, reliably Catholic media reviews.
This photograph of the church in front of the Hollywood sign was taken by Wiliam Moseley who portrays Peter Pevensie in the Chronicles of Narnia; Prince Caspian during an interview I did last December (I will be publishing it shortly). We remarked on this extraordinary view from the hotel room we were in. Peter, an engaging young man, whom I like immediately, had been explaining how he was taking a photography course, so I asked him if he wouldn't mind taking the photo. He was gracious enough to be flattered when I told him I was going to use it for this blog.
Catholic Media Review is becoming one of the respected voices in the new media, by both Catholic and secular media.
Please God, may we accept this success and any further honors with humility, and never forget Whom we serve; our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, His Immaculate Mother and Holy Mother Church. And our readers, who count on us to tell the truth with flair and clarity.
If we do forget, will you, our readers, promise to take us down a peg?