The Harmonium Project

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The goal is simple. My friends and I are trying to integrate the impoverished downtown of Steubenville, OH with the student body of Franciscan University, for the mutual benefit of both parties. Our first step is to establish a thriving music scene -- giving students a reason to come downtown, to encounter their neighbors and build personal relationships, to patronize local businesses, and to give local business leaders a reason to invest in the downtown area, to open up shop, to bring life, … [Read more...]

Drawing Stuff on the Pope’s Face

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What is really remarkable about Pope Francis is his unremarkable, by-the-books Catholicism -- for his is an odd religion with remarkable books to live by. The world rightly raves about the rumors that their Pope is sneaking out of the Vatican to feed the poor, but to the Catholic with the balls to read what his Church demands, these are acts of radical obedience, not radical discontinuity. The Church sayeth: God blesses those who come to the aid of the poor and rebukes those who turn away from … [Read more...]

The Oh Hello’s

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There's a band I want to assume things of, oversimplify, and generally deliver as something far less than listening to their art would ever do: The Oh Hello's, may they live long enough to change the world and short enough to resist the temptation towards solo projects.But before speaking of them, we will of Walker Percy, that unfailingly dark and usually drunk Catholic novelist who says through his character Binx Bolling, in The Moviegoer, "To become aware of the possibility of the search … [Read more...]

The Auschwitz Conflation

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When I argued that the use of images of aborted people to protest abortion indicates our unintentional relation to these people as things, I received in response an inevitable comparison to the images of Jews who were killed at Auschwitz. I suppose this is worth addressing, given that its the only argument I ever hear in favor of the dead-become-signs, and that on the surface, it seems like a reasonable comparison. Both abortion and concentration camps are moral atrocities that make corpses of … [Read more...]

Unintentional Fetal Depersonalization

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To tell the truth poorly is to make a mockery of it, even if you’re right. - Sam RochaIt is a self-proclaimed aim of the pro-life movement that the world recognize the unborn child as an unique life and a particular personality -- and subsequently not kill him. Simple request, really, this not-killing-people business. Those supporting the conservation of abortion have yet to articulate a successful evasion of our ethical demand, though from what I understand, they're working on it.But K … [Read more...]

Repentance as Time Travel

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Part 3 of a series beginning to see the light of day. Summary of Part 1: If we desire our lives to be meaningful, we must be rid of sin, for sin is that-which-ought-not-be, and no meaning can be riddled with that-which-ought-not-be and remain consistent meaning, as no story can contain absurdities that contradict the entire story while remaining a good story.Summary of Part 2: If our sins were merely concrete moments in an unreachable past, we'd all be screwed. If time was strictly … [Read more...]

The Ethical Necessity of Time Travel

Max Scheler is the doctor.

Part 2 of a series hardly worth talking about. Sin is not religious. It is a theistic-atheistic, equal-opportunity steel-boot to the groin the entirety of humanity is doubled-over and groaning with. To be a sinner is not simply to have offended some brooding moral order which thereafter holds you in cosmic contempt. To be a sinner is to contain within yourself the reality of having done what you ought not have done. There is hardly a human alive -- no matter how hip -- who can coherently … [Read more...]

How to Die a Damn Good Story

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Part 1 of a terribly depressing series. I wish to die a damn good story. I want to carve out for myself a meaningful slice of existence. I want to leave, along with a good-looking corpse, a coherent narrative that says something, not a garble of unconnected life-events fading unresolved into nothingness as the blood dries. I'd like to be a story, and this is more than a daydream of me-as-Sherlock, man-as-protagonist. This is suicide prevention.The desire for life to be a good story makes … [Read more...]

You Are Poor

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I wanted to be a wealthy, self-made man. I tried, but got stuck on the awfully obvious fact that wealth depends on existence. I must first exist in order to own my books, Apple products and college savings. Such an simple truth, but such a prickly problem for a man about the business of being wealthy, that is, of owning much. For do I own my existence?No. Upon extremely little reflection, I have come to understand that my existence is as given as soup ladled into a bowl by an obnoxious youth … [Read more...]

Pope Francis on Synodality

Bet you ten bucks Pope Francis ends the Schism: On June 29, during the ceremony of the blessing and imposition of the pallium on 34 metropolitan archbishops, Pope Francis spoke about “the path of collegiality” as the road that can lead the church to “grow in harmony with the service of primacy.” So I ask: “How can we reconcile in harmony Petrine primacy and collegiality? Which roads are feasible also from an ecumenical perspective?”The pope responds, “We must walk together: the people, the b … [Read more...]


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