How to Have a Religious Experience

If you belong to any religion besides Judaism or Christianity, having a religious experience is simple stuff. You obtain it. If you're a Buddhist, simply get better and better at meditation and complete separation from earthly desires, and you'll obtain a supernatural experience of peace. If you're a Muslim, keep on the Straight Way, look "in the heavens and the earth [for the] signs for those who believe" (Qur'an 45:3-5) and you'll find them. If you're a Wiccan, draw the circle, light the … [Read more...]

How To Love Your Neighbor

Our culture is drunk with a compassion for humanity. This would be fine and dandy but for the fact that we haven't a drop left for actual human beings. We simultaneously want cooperations that behave generously, philanthropically and kindly to the poor, and anti-begging laws to keep the poor away from us. We somewhat vaguely want to make the lives of women to be easier, and we are willing to kill the unborn human for it. We believe that all of humanity deserves free medical treatment, which is … [Read more...]

How Descartes Ruined Sex

This is a fantastic moment to be a teenage boy. Briefly recalling your freshman year of college, your inability to attract women, and that awkward moment when you realized you had no talents the world would pay you for, you may do well to ask: Why? Because you can be on your parent's health care coverage until you're 26? Because the world is ending, and in a moment of dire emergency a man and a woman are given leave to confirm the sacrament of marriage upon each other, with the hope that a … [Read more...]

How (And Why) To Smoke a Pipe

I hated tobacco. I could have almost lent my support to any institution that had for its object the putting of tobacco smokers to death...I now feel that smoking in moderation is a comfortable and laudable practice, and is productive of good. There is no more harm in a pipe than in a cup of tea. You may poison yourself by drinking too much green tea, and kill yourself by eating too many beefsteaks. For my part, I consider that tobacco, in moderation, is a sweetener and equalizer of the temper. - … [Read more...]

How To Win an Argument With a Catholic

In the delightfully crunchy world of debate, it seems apparent to me that the closer you are to the tactics of the Westboro Baptist Church, the closer you are to being entirely stupid, and -- as a shockingly direct result -- entirely wrong. This is a concept towards which I have no doubt the new-atheist-hipsters-who-get-groovy-on-the-internet will nod in earnest. After all, the level of intellectual destruction it takes to reduce one's entire theology to the slogan "God Hates Fags" … [Read more...]

How To Convert

The common view of religious conversion seems to be this: There are many ways one can stumble towards the gentleman we call God. And on the surface, I agree. After all, rainbows and relationships have lead men to faith, as have Holocausts and heartaches. Collins converted at the sight of beauty; Walker Percy at the sight of a Jew in New York City. Dorothy Day became a Catholic by a series of small and slow steps; St. Paul by one big fall, simultaneously off and onto his ass.But it is … [Read more...]

How To Report On the Catholic Church

Now between the Pope not approving the use of condoms, the Bishops not saying that gay marriage is cool, World Youth Day and everything else, I've been reading a good deal of media coverage on the Catholic Church. Being an intuitive human being, I couldn't help but notice some patterns in this coverage. Thus, in an effort to help the new journalist about to concoct his first article about the Church, I have developed a template for the perfect article to report on any Catholic event. It's … [Read more...]

How To Be Free

"I dare say that when I get out of this bed I shall do some deed of an almost terrible virtue." - GKC There's a simple way to look at a Catholic. It's to take the rosaries, the scapulars, the devotions to obscure Saints, the novenas, the ashes, the fasting and the abstinence; to see all these practices and say, "Legalism. These poor/stupid people are bound to medieval practices. They are not free." It is this view that causes our Fundamentalist brothers and sisters to inform us that we … [Read more...]

How To Be Good

(Disclaimers: stream-of-consciousness, potentially loaded with projections of personal problems as absolutes, too wordy, might be limited to those who feel inclined to evil, if that ain't allayuh, too long.)I agree firmly with whoever Sean Connery was pretending to be in whatever that one movie was called, in which he informed a pupil that one must begin writing before they can write, even if it is merely copying some other work before personal work comes forth. Some day I will show you what … [Read more...]

How To Read Blogs

Rule Number One: Use your eyeballs.Sorry I haven't p-p-p-posted in like chika-chika-4 days. I have been white-water rafting in the grand canyon, killing bald eagles, and dressing in their skin. Actually I was at Franciscan University, which really amounts to the same thing, meeting new people, (including some fellow bloggers, like the ever wonderful Michelle who writes at Catholic Unveiled, and deserves your attention, AND support, for she is heading off to Mexico to live the Catholic … [Read more...]