How Benedict XVI Predicted Brexit

The idea of Europe has fallen into a strange twilight today...Boundaries appear once again in their immovable significance; the antithetical character of nationalism could become stronger than the European fellowship that has scarcely begun to grow. It must be demonstrated anew whether Europe is only an idea or a real power for reconciliation. (Europe - Hopes and Dangers, 1990) Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI predicted the collapse of the European Union. I do not mean that he declared it grandly (or … [Read more...]

The Difference Between a Narrative and an Argument Part 2

Warning: This post is Part 2 of this post.ISIS have busied themselves with new and creative ways to get Christians to reject their moral and religious beliefs. They cut off limbs, dip families in acid, crucify, behead, and generally live out the best practices the perverse marriage of apocalyptic Islam and Grand Theft Auto can birth. They’ve had limited success. In the interest of efficiency, I’d invite them all to take a few notes from the West. Here we understand that, while the fear of pai … [Read more...]

The Difference Between a Narrative and an Argument

There's something fishy about The Way We Talk About Right and Wrong. I get this: Person A: I think prostitution is wrong. Person B: I have 9 objections to your proposition. Person A: Bring it on. I also understand this: Person A: I think prostitution is dandy. Person B: I will hit you with a bat until you admit otherwise. Person A: Bring it on. But the our current dance through the fields of Big Moral Questions goes something like this: Person A: I think prostitution is wrong. Person … [Read more...]

How to Become a Cliche

Peace can show itself in a trillion ways, like beekeeping or re-reading Tintin comics without distraction. Anger, infinitely easier, shows itself in cliches -- the threatening voice, the clenched fist, the malicious gaze. Wisdom is manifested according to unique situation that it confronts -- now it penetrates this mystery, now that; now it offers counsel, now it keeps silence. Folly, by which we are unable to see past the immediate pressures and pleasures of the environment, makes an obvious … [Read more...]

On Good Guilt and Bad Guilt

Dear Rothoof,I see you’ve been reassigned to another human. Officially speaking, I’m looking forward to your new attempts at tempting (no pun there, Rothoof, do contain yourself), and I admire the bureaucratic process that brought you back into active service. I must say, however, I am a little bemused as to why Our Father Below saw it fit to pull you up from the re-education chambers so soon after your last debacle. I don’t bring it up to hurt you (Hell knows, there’s enough of that in the b … [Read more...]

Against Suspicion

You may be wondering why I am writing this from the floor, softly sobbing insane melodies and applying Icy Hot to my tendons. I just wrote and directed a children’s musical.It wasn’t my fault. The script spilled out in an afternoon already flooded with caffeine, enthusiasm, and the hope of impressing a beautiful English major. Her niece and nephew egged me on (“it would be way better if the aliens had a third eyeball”). I held auditions with the same tentative curiosity with which one sticks … [Read more...]

The Radical Reverse Engineering of Pope Francis

"Foolery, sir, does walk about the orb like the sun. It shines everywhere."  Pope Francis writes too damn much. It really doesn't matter how much pastoral wisdom and warmth one emanates, a 300-page document will only be read by those who have a career-interest in reading 300 pages -- bloggers, ideologues, headline-hawkers and conspiracy theorists. Given that, for these careerists, What Anyone Says About Same-Sex Attraction will sell more effectively than What Anyone Says About the Divine I … [Read more...]

The Joy of Love

You ever get that thing where you're asked to review Pope Francis' new exhortation and it's groovy and you like it...but then you remember Pope Benedict......and you're trying to be all, "hey, not every Pope can be a witty, concise, revolutionary theologian" but now all you can think about is Intro to Christianity and Deus Caritas Est and Called to Communion and every essay Ratzinger ever published for Communio......and you've still got 200 pages of Amoris Laetitia to go a … [Read more...]

Virtual Reality Sucks

NSFWThe Internet is weird. It is home, not just to the ability to order a wife, instagram yourself beheading Shia militants, or preach the Gospel, but also to several millions of images of hyper-sexualized childhood cartoon characters, of whom, for no discernible reason, Sonic the Hedgehog reigns supreme.Why? Seriously, why do we add penises to Pokemon and extramarital acts to Mario? Why do we describe (with all the grammatical fluidity of a drunken 13-year-old with dislocated thumbs) … [Read more...]

I experienced something and that something was nothing

I'm not trying to be butt about other people's near-death experiences. When I mangle myself in a car or by insulting a bear, I'm sure I'll regret this. But there's a silliness indulged by the skeptic that makes me counter-skeptical, and seeing as this silliness has been well-expressed in a recent news article, I'm going to give it a swing.When one says there is "nothing" after death, they've usually snuck "something" into their "nothing." A recent and briefly-dead fellow said this rather … [Read more...]