Objectifying Soccer Players Probably Won’t Help Fight Sexism

...Ronaldo, come on, you're embarrassing the Americans.

Amanda Hess' article for Slate, "Why it’s great to objectify World Cup players," is wonderful. In it, she argues that the hyperbolic and often hilarious "sexual gaze" at soccer players from Jezebel-esque journalists is calling out and offering a counter-balance to the over-sexualization of female athletes."These days, clicking through a slideshow of the world’s hottest female soccer players makes you look like a bit of a creep. But admiring the abdominals of male footballers? That just means … [Read more...]

Popes Should Resign More Often


There is an tendency amongst many Catholics to view the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI as a quirk, a historical aberration, something wild and crazy -- now let's get back to a "till death do you part" papacy, thanks. This, at least, was my attitude towards the whole affair for quite some time. But I wasn't listening to Benedict. The man didn't resign for personal reasons that may or not be repeated. He resigned for reasons that created a norm, an example to follow, an expectation -- a … [Read more...]

The Facebook Timeline and the Disintegration of Memory


It's probably the most boring piece of social commentary possible -- "We have more information at our fingertips than ever before!" -- but "available information" is a far cry from information really in-forming us, dwelling within us as a living presence, the memorized poem leaping into the mind, the myth accompanying our experiences and guiding our actions, the anecdotes, psalms, and lessons branded on the heart, acting as our own personal Virgil through this tear-stained purgatory.The … [Read more...]

Oh, for a beautiful memory!


Somewhere at the tail-end of trying to memorize a poem...there lives the dearest freshness deep down things......it strikes me that memory is not, contrary to popular description, "like storing information on a computer." Computer-storage is like whatever memory is.Computers store, but do not memorize, for our memories do not sit discreetly as Microsoft Word files in the corner of some tidied desktop, waiting to be accessed. They leaps into our hearts. They invade our minds, unasked … [Read more...]

Women Swiftly Running Out Of Things That Aren’t Sexy


I expect the world to go about its regular denigration of women -- I just wish members of the Church would stop helping them.Let's start with the basics. Women, and I have this on strict authority, are people. As such, they are sexual beings -- but not merely.The problem with our culture is its tendency to view women as merely sexual beings, a fact made painfully obvious by our nation's general inability to see a breast as anything but an object of sexual arousal.The problem with out … [Read more...]

Notes Regarding Sin, to be Read Sharply and Mockingly to Myself in Times of Desolation

"I cannot pray after so great a sin." And are you too ill to see a doctor? Too thirsty to drink? Too dirty to take a shower?*It is better to risk being seen as a hypocrite by praying after sin than to risk growing cold in God's arms by refusing to.*From the perspective of despair, sin is the end of prayer. From the perspective of hope, sin is the beginning. Christ stands on the side of hope when he describes the just prayer: "God, have mercy on me, a … [Read more...]

Facts, Facts, Facts!


"You can only form the minds of reasoning animals upon Facts: nothing else will ever be of any service to them.”  - Charles Dickens, Hard Times That human beings long to fly tells us far more about humanity than the fact that they walk on two legs. That teenagers daydream about the anarchy of a “zombie apocalypse” is a greater insight into their essential disposition than the fact that they use Facebook. A man is best known, not by what he has, but by what he dreams of having, for what he has is … [Read more...]

The (Usually Ignored) Difference Between Sexual Identity and Sexual Event


NSFW, or children, or anyone, really. Let's just put this one in the grave, alright? Sexual identity cannot be based on the object of our sexual arousal.I know this is how we've been doing it: If you are aroused by members of the opposite sex, you're a heterosexual, the same sex, homosexual, two sexes, bisexual, all sexes, pansexual, the intelligence, sapiosexual, and so on and on and on. But "how we've been doing it" has made us miserable, killed gender theory, and turned the beautiful, … [Read more...]

The Difference Between a Hashtag and a Hail Mary


We are more aware of evil than any generation before us. We receive news-stories of illnesses we've never heard of breaking out in countries whose names we cannot pronounce. We are updated -- between cat-videos -- with terrorist bombings, genocides, hurricanes, shootings, and rapes. We are daily informed of suffering we cannot relieve.Though the mode of the Internet tends to level tragedies into objects of interest -- nestling images of the crucifixion of Christians in Syria alongside … [Read more...]

Why Christians Say “Encounter”


Christians have adopted the term “encounter” to describe a standard run-in with God. We inchworm our way through Scripture in high hopes of “encountering Christ in the Gospels.” We give alms (sometimes) and “encounter Jesus in the poor.” We run retreats, bible-studies, and prayer groups out of an earnest desire to “encounter” God’s love. I want to defend this verb so naturally pinned onto things Almighty. It has a firmness to it, not by some accidental linguistic trend, but because it contains a … [Read more...]