Ben Butera

Darkness as a Kind of Light

There is certainly no shortage of metaphorical darkness so far in 2020. Why does God allow a thing like COVID-19? Seems no explanation can suffice at times. And so we wonder…but like any mystery, “darkness” can be a kind of

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Ben Butera

COVID-19: Now It’s Personal

Yesterday, we learned that a colleague of mine out of our office in Hanover Park, IL (NW suburb of Chicago) contracted the virus. Today we were informed of his death. We were last in the building together on March 19

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Ben Butera

Above My Paygrade

Since I’m not working as much or as hard these days, I thought I’d apply some of the problem solving & decision making concepts we use where I work on the Coronavirus situation. At work, a crisis would be when

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Ben Butera

A Quick Guide for Lent

Here are some basic reminders for Lent. I like to think I know my faith fairly well, but after seeing this I realized I had the age requirements for fasting vs. abstinence confused. Remember, the seasons of the Church are

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Ben Butera

How Can We Know What’s True?

After teaching Religious Education to eighth grade confirmation students for nine years at our local parish, I’ve made a transition to teaching adults in our RCIA program. I found a notable difference between teaching teens that would mostly rather not

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Ben Butera

The Antithesis

The word “antithesis” is a noun meaning a person or thing that is the direct opposite of someone or something else. The prefix “anti” is used as part of an adjective to describe something in a negative light, and it

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Ben Butera

On Climate Change…Again

I may be out of touch, but I confess that the first time I ever heard the name Greta Thunberg was during a recent homily at our local parish. Our weekend associate pastor used the Gospel for September 29th about

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Ben Butera

Unreasonable Doubt

Recently, I had the unpleasant duty of serving as a juror in a criminal trial — a DUI case. The prosecution presented what I counted as nine pieces of evidence that the defendant was driving under the influence of alcohol.

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Ben Butera

Proof From Desire

The argument from desire is one of my favorite proofs for the existence of God because it doesn’t require a lot of philosophy, metaphysics or other mental gymnastics like other proofs do; it’s also very relatable to our everyday life.

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Ben Butera

I’ve Been Saying This For Years…

Here is a news article about abortion being “out of line” with both science and common sense; nice to see this in the mainstream media for a change. I’ve always found that when abortion is debated, pro-abortionists must dismiss one

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Ben Butera

Beware the Proof Police

I recently joined the RCIA team at our local parish. Each Sunday we meet with the candidates and catechumens to discuss a specific topic on The Faith and review the Sunday readings. The Gospel after Easter was about doubting Thomas

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Ben Butera

There is no God…enjoy life?

I attend a parish in the northwest suburbs of Chicago and our Pastor told us that he was recently in the city of Chicago and saw a billboard that said “There is no God…enjoy life!” Then he asked the congregation,

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Ben Butera

What Caused the Cause?

“What caused the cause?” is a common question asked by problem solvers and there is a relating concept in problem solving theory known as Toyota’s Five Whys. The “five” in the name represents how far one may need to dig

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Ben Butera

On Fame

I recently stumbled upon a documentary about the life and death of actor/comedian Robin Williams. I was unaware of his serious problems with drugs, alcohol, fornication and adultery, but at the same time was not overly surprised, given how things

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Ben Butera

Taking the Girl Out of Girl Scouts

Don McClarey’s recent post about the Boy Scouts reminded me of something I wrote about the Girl Scouts and a policy they introduced in 2015. Seems appropriate to share it again on The American Catholic… There are several ways in

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Ben Butera

Holy Day of Choice?

So tomorrow is All Saint’s Day…a holy day of obligation. Our parish calls it “a holy day of appreciation”. If memory serves, last year it was called “a holy day of opportunity”. Is this a trend at your parish also?

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Ben Butera

Who is St. Floop?

I had the pleasure of working in the Boston area this past week as the Red Sox and Dodgers squared off for the World Series. Since our client was having trouble with some equipment we needed up and running, there

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Ben Butera

Kavanaugh: Where Does the Logic Lead?

This may be more of a thought experiment than anything else, but I have a habit of always stepping back and looking at the big picture. Let’s suppose for one moment that what Judge Kavanaugh is accused of doing is

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Ben Butera

Tough Times for Faith & Reason

A one-two punch in boxing might be a good analogy for what Catholic apologists are going through these days. The McCarrick scandal, and other diocesan abuse cases, combined with a sudden and historic revision to the Catechism of the Catholic

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Ben Butera

This May Help…a Little

Are you shell-shocked? Don’t know about you, but I’m getting tired of “bombshells”; from new headlines in the abuse scandal to sudden and historic changes to the Catechism of the Catholic Church. This may help (a little). I recently had

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Ben Butera

Why Attend Mass?

With a holy day of obligation coming up on Wednesday for the Feast of the Assumption, the topic of why Catholics are obliged to attend Mass may come up. In fact, the whole subject of why attend Mass at all

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Ben Butera

Gender Confusion and Car Insurance

Here is a news story about a Canadian man who legally changed his gender to female in order to reduce his car insurance rate. Apparently, he saved nearly $1,100 Canadian Dollars and all he had to do was legally change his

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Ben Butera

Eat, Pray, Love, Sin

I recently viewed a 2010 film called Eat, Pray, Love based on the book with the same title. Julia Roberts plays Liz Gilbert,  a modern young woman that has what many young woman dream of – a handsome husband, a

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Ben Butera

The LGBT Logic Pit

Here is an article that warns how accepting LGBT logic can lead to accepting polygamy, incest and even pedophilia. Of course, this is just a slippery slope argument and I was once told that slippery slope arguments are automatically invalid.

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Ben Butera

Nostra Hominum Vita

There has been and will likely continue to be a fair amount of “digital ink” spilled over the 50th anniversary of Humane Vitae and its impact on modern culture; or should I say the impact of its rejection. Humanae Vitae

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Ben Butera

The Obesity Code

I wanted to take a moment and share information on a new book I just finished called The Obesity Code by Dr. Jason Fung. It was recommended to me not because I struggle with my weight, but because I deal

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Ben Butera

Government as Teacher

We like to think we’re all independent thinkers, and we are to a point, but I’m afraid our thinking is influenced by outside powers and principalities whether we like it or not; whether we know it or not. The government

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Ben Butera

On Smelling Death

Like many, I often ponder the evil of mass shootings and other killings. Mass murder is mass murder in a sense, but something like an Islamic terrorist attack has a specific religious/political motivation. Other types of mass murder and suicide

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Ben Butera

Green Fields of Ireland Stained Blood Red

The amount of metaphorical ink spilled over the Ireland abortion referendum will likely be less than the amount of actual abortion blood. I don’t know a lot of detail about the history of Irish abortion laws or this particular referendum;

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Ben Butera

Bishop Barron on “Judging”

I just finished reading “Seeds of the Word” by Bishop Robert Barron. It’s a 275 page book that contains 84 chapters. Well, they’re not really chapters; they’re more like a soup of essays; somewhat like reading 84 blog posts broken

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Ben Butera

Two Space Aliens and a Sex Study

The title of this post was a spoof on the title of my old blog called Two Catholic Men and a Blog, and was born of my amazement that any educated human being would accept same-sex marriage as something even

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Ben Butera

My Problem With Expanding Pro-life Definitions

Expanding the definition of “Pro-life” by new pro-life/whole-life movements reminds me of trying to expand the definition of marriage. I’ve heard it said that marriage should mean anything we want it to mean, which of course, makes it mean nothing.

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Ben Butera

3 Habits of Faith & Problem Solving

If you’re familiar with my posts and/or book, you know that I’m intrigued whenever I find a link between faith, reason and problem solving. It was about eight years ago that I was chosen to become the program leader for

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