Dear brothers and sisters,
And the Lord spoke all these words:
I am the Lord thy God, who brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
Thou shalt not have strange gods before me.
Thou shalt not make to thyself a graven thing, nor the likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or in the earth beneath, nor of those things that are in the waters under the earth. Thou shalt not adore them, nor serve them: I am the Lord thy God, mighty, jealous, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, unto the third and fourth
“Stupidity,” says Jacques Maritain, “is always a vice.” So are bad taste and slovenly work.
Maritain should have been the editor of the New American Bible, copyrighted by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and of the lectionary in use in America – a tenebrous mystery if ever there was one. Please, your excellencies, put these ugly and dispiriting creatures to death.
Sometimes you can benefit the Church just by ceasing to do something stupid. Many of us have known such addition by subtraction. You rip out the dingy plush carpet and the plywood, and you find a beautiful floor of white ash beneath. You strip away the whitewash to reveal again the colorful folk paintings of your ancestors long ago. You convert bad children’s readers to fuel for wood stoves, and you pick up Kipling and Austen and Stevenson again.