On theism without religion and atheism with it

"Religion" is typically considered as a "belief system" or a "structure of beliefs and practices concerning the divine." It's a recent development in the meaning of the word, and it would have been foreign to, say, Aquinas, for whom religion was a virtue.A virtue is the perfection of a power of the soul, or, in modern parlance, an excellence of the human person. We see a height of humanity in courageous actions, a greatness we are all capable of. We admire courage, not as something for just … [Read more...]

My Spot on The Vortex

I was featured on Michael Voris' The Vortex yesterday. I'm on at 4:15.Sorry, Michael.I know you didn't ask for a hype man.But I was in a minivan.Full of hope. … [Read more...]

Masculine and Feminine Time

I know it's hardly with-it to draw distinctions between men and women. And yes, I know humans are androgynous, non-gendered ghosts suffering the misfortune of being smooshed into bodies with gendery bits that delude everyone into thinking: "Look, there goes a dude." But bear with me, I'm feeling ambitious.Femininity is more cyclical than masculinity. If the female body is dizzying for men, it is only because it is made out of circles. It cannot be encountered in the same way each day, but re … [Read more...]

A Sudden Encounter With The Collection

Remember when I wrote about The Collection's splendafrickinriffable album The Art of Dying? (Well I don't care. (That's what hyperlinks are for. (Forgetful punks.))) The band were so kind as to add The Harmonium Project​ to their tour last spring -- a non-profit music venue full of world-changing potential that my friends and I run in Steubenville, OH.They murdered the stage. We ate pancakes, Hope (clarinet) stole my copy of Kierkegaard's Fear and Trembling (the address I wrote on the inside … [Read more...]

Let’s Murder the Non-Negotiables!

Every time someone says "non-negotiable moral issues" in the context of a Catholic's voting responsibility, a puppy full of hope, wonder, and plans for the future is thrown off a cliff. By me. And I don't even cry.So let's be absolutely clear. There is not, has never been, and probably never will be a definitive list of non-negotiable political issues that Catholics may not vote in favor of.This myth has been unintentionally promoted by folks like CatholicVote and Catholic Answers, … [Read more...]

17 Things Only Humans Will Understand

Inspired by those nifty BuzzFeed articles (“10 Things Only 90’s Kids Will Understand”) I decided to create a similarly nostalgic, identity-affirming list, but instead of appealing to a particular group, I want to leave everyone with that warm sense of belonging. So without further ado, have 17 cute and hilarious situations that only those who belong to that tribe homo sapien will ever understand.1. That moment when, alone among the great apes, you blush to be seen naked.As if, in a un … [Read more...]

Towards a Theology of Indie Rock

Indie-rock [1] musicians have a wonderfully strange fascination with the Church. I don't mean to dunk them all in baptismal water -- their overt flirtation with The Holy Catholic Faith ranges from "strained," to "profound," to "don't sing that in front of my Italian mother, you blaspheming ass." But it's a puzzle worth puzzling over. Take Florence + The Machine.Her new album, How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful, wrestles with terror of freedom after the slavery of an erotic love. She takes t … [Read more...]

Ayn Rand, Fairy Godmother of Sexual Orientation

When I first purchased Atlas Shrugged with money I begged from a street corner, it was with no other intention than to delight in a world where every problem is the fault of poor people, Communists, and poor Communists. But Ayn Rand gave me so much more than the economic ideology one expects of motorcycle-riding men in Viagra commercials, thinly disguised as John Grisham novel from hell -- though, sweet baby Moses, did she give me that. She also gave me an explanation of human sexuality to rival … [Read more...]

Eucharistic Eyes

Protestants puzzle over how Catholics can see the person of Christ in a piece of bread. But the greater mystery seems to be how Catholics see the person in the face of the Protestant. Both parties live in a world in which the gaze sees, not people, but tools, objects, social classes, races -- a media world full of media types. The idea of seeing a particular person rather than this or that thing, really seeing her as an unrepeatable life, an unfathomable mystery and an infinite value -- it's ab … [Read more...]

Stop Moralizing Shame, It’s Ruining Everyone’s Day

As some criticism on my post on slut-shaming put it, the concept of shame as a protective feeling for the integrity of the entire person is "not even in the ballpark" of what shame really is. Shame is, in fact, "the negative judgment of the conscience directed towards ourselves...[it has] nothing to do with objectification or wholeness of person."Now while this seems to make shame something simple, useful, and necessary to the restoration of a moral world, it actually makes shame a senseless … [Read more...]