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Bad Catholic's Guide to Good Living: A Loving Look at the Lighter Side of the Catholic Faith, with Recipes for Feasts and Fun

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2005

    Fun with Faith

    Zmirak and Matychowiak have found -- and tickled -- the funny bone in the Body of Christ. Thanks be to GOD. Their wickedly smart book about sacraments, saints, and holy days is grounded in rigorous research, solid scholarship, and clearly a love for Catholicism, oddities and all. Every page includes laugh out loud funny observations about Catholic belief and practice. Church doctrine is poked at with wise irreverence. The illustrations are brilliant. What kind of [adjective] would choose a poodle to illustrate the Hound of Heaven? Too too funny. I love this book as much as my own! Actually, I'm jealous. John? Denise? Is that a sin??

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 17, 2005

    No book like it--fills a niche that until now was empty!

    What if George Burns and George Carlin and St. George of England had collaborated on a book about Catholicism? If they had, it might have come out something like this. This quirky compendium fills a niche that until now was absolutely empty. I don't think a book like this has ever been written, nor will one likely appear again. It makes a supposedly staid institution like Catholicism infinitely interesting, opening up oddities and profundities galore with an offbeat mirth and zest to inform--however arcane or germane the information. For his bawdy humor, alloyed with surprising insights, John Zmirak deserves to be named honorary 'Court Jester of the Catholic Church.' Besides being a romp, this book is also remarkably educational. I can picture it becoming a kind of reference guide to be found in every Catholic household, combining strands from 'The Joy of Cooking,' the 'Lives of the Saints,' and 'Jokes for Every Occasion.' And make no mistake: the recipes it contains are quite usable, and were supplied by a gourmet chef. (For Pentecost, e.g., we have two choices, both seeming delicious: a flaming salad and a flaming cheese). Definitely not a book to read cover-to-cover, but one to consult or browse through. Best of all, the authors do genuinely love their title subject, the Church, and despite all the snickering, stand up for her when they feel the occasion warrants. The discussion entitled 'Contraception, Bulimia, and Frankenfoods' (p.27) was the most illuminating statement I've ever seen on the Church's most controversial teaching, i.e. Humanae Vitae (about contraception).

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