How to Act Like a Christian

In his work On the Eternal in Man, the philosopher Max Scheler argued that one must make religious acts. The human being is that type of being who is religious, whether he’d like it or not. This is backed up by the historical research of Mircea Eliade. Man will organize time into the sacred and the secular; organize space into holy and profane ground; say strange, liturgical things at the beginning of public ceremonies; look longingly for an ultimate significance to his life. Mankind will wo … [Read more...]

Why Millennials Want to Change the World

The older, business generation criticizes my generation for a vague, object-less idealism. We want to “change the world”, but we have no idea what we would like to change it into. We want to “make a difference” -- we are relatively inarticulate on the difference we would like to make. The criticism fits: we are hankering for some target to aim our rainbow-rays of impact-making sentiment. But the effort to locate the source of this problem in Disney movies and bad parenting misses the point. Wanti … [Read more...]

What Photography Does to Unborn Children

You cannot take a picture of a general “mother” or “child.” You cannot photograph the idea of “pregnancy,” “family,” or “abortion” -- only this pregnancy, this family, and this abortion. A photograph of a child is always of a real, particular child, who stood at a particular place and a particular time and had his photo taken. Photography is always photography of the real.The difficulty for the pro-life movement is that, as it works for the abolition of abortion, it uses pictures of children, … [Read more...]

Towards a Pro-life Iconoclasm

Every image is a selection, and every selection hides. In the case of the pro-life movement, images of beautiful, happy babies exclude images of ugly, crying babies. Images of beautiful, wholesome pregnant women exclude images of ugly, miserable pregnant women. Images of happy, smiling Downs children exclude images of suffering Downs children.It is a cheap shot to argue that these images lie. They don’t lie. There really are happy, beautiful babies. There really are wholesome, crunchy p … [Read more...]

The Illiberal Bathroom Experience

There are those who would argue, with some justification, that LGBTQA movement need not concern itself with the intricacies of a philosophy of gender thanks to the urgency of its political concerns: Equality first, and we’ll work out the details later. But if we are to think before we act, we ought to think before we legislate, and if we are to fight for a cause, it is certainly to helpful to know what we want caused. The celebration over Obama administration’s recent Dear Colleague Letter, whi … [Read more...]

Curb Your Patriotism

Over at Those Catholic Men, I write: Budweiser beer cans are called ‘America’ now. Budweiser, of course, is owned by Anheiser-Busch, which is owned by AB InBev, an international Belgian-Brazilian company that produces Miller, Coors, Corona, Shocktop, Stella-Artois, Fosters -- and most of the other beers you’d recognize. The result being that a corporation with neither place nor responsibility to any community is using our place, and the sentiments of community it invokes, to sell their beer. … [Read more...]

Those Horribly Sappy Saints

Belief in the Saints, properly understood, is a shocked assent to the fact that an ass like Ignatius, a self-abusing romantic like Francis, and a whore like Augustine all died loving God more than themselves. It’s those who don’t believe in the Saints that demand the greatest saintliness of them. This type imagines to have "exposed" the Saint by pointing out some error, hatred, or insanity glossed over by the hagiographers. But it's an odd sort of exposé, and one the Christian tends to enjoy: It' … [Read more...]

Why “Getting Along” Isn’t Working

These violent, extremist, and racist days need to try the discussion of our differences all over again. No dumbass bumper-stickers this time. To tell the Jew that his culture is “worthy of respect” and “as valuable as any other culture” is to insult him in a far worse manner than telling him that the Jews can piss off. Being Jewish is precisely a being set-apart, being a chosen race and a royal priesthood. The recapitulation of the Jew as dwelling within the same, homogeneous value-status as … [Read more...]

An Idiotic Hierarchy

I needed to make restitution for my sins. So I exposed my body to that combox anti-Catholicism that spits out the word "hierarchy" like it's Greek for "storm troopers" or "really bad STDs." I learned two things. First, one really ought to consult a spiritual director before undertaking any extreme forms of penance. Secondly -- hierarchy ain't no dirty word.Its earliest use was religious -- a "system of orders of angels and heavenly beings." In modern usage (devoid, like most of modernity, of … [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...]