Lent in the Age of the Smartphone

I have been listening to NPR segments on the coming revolution in Smart technology. This usually involves an ecstatic announcer begging me to consider the benefits of texting my coffee-machine from bed, or having eggs delivered by drone when my smart-refrigerator registers a deficit in the egg-tray. If only we could give our mundane lives to machines, the logic goes, we’d have time for really living.It's baloney, and of the floppiest sort. Our use of smart-technology is not some neutral s … [Read more...]

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Faking It in the Age of Identity

In his article, "The Year We Obsessed About Identity", Wesley Morris predicted that our bright, Trump-infested future will be ever more concerned with “defining ourselves.” Christianity Today agreed, and hoped that the faith would benefit from “this cultural importance of finding your “authentic self,” having others validate it, and fully living into it.”In my article about identity, I practice using only legally-sourced stock photos like my boss told me -- so you tell me who you're gonna rea … [Read more...]

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A Small Argument Against Sexual Idolatry

In his essay, “The Church Effeminate,” the late John W. Robbins (who linked all evils to effeminacy, all effeminacy to Rome, and Rome, in turn, to Satan) revives the tract-tradition that titillated Protestants with stories of de Sade style nunneries that would, given a foothold, inevitably crush the American public school system.He recoils with horror that “in effeminate medieval Romanist devotions, Jesus is referred to as Mother. In the Eucharist Jesus nurses his children.” These he desc … [Read more...]

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Rethinking Celibacy in the LGBTQQIP2SAA Age (Part 2)

In my previous post, I tried to show that our age seems to affirm every possible expression of sexuality -- except celibacy.In a way, this contradiction has an obvious root, though it seems mean-spirited to mention. Our sexual ethics shy away from sexuality considered as an act of the person and instead consider sexuality as an identity. In older theories of virtue, who I am is a result of what I do. If I perform acts of courage, I will build within myself the habit of courage, and will the … [Read more...]

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Rethinking Celibacy in the LGBTQQIP2SAA Age (Part 1)

Maybe it was the movie Spotlight. Maybe it was the recent news that the real scandal of “Billy Doe” was when he conned the Archdioceses of Philly out of a cool 5-million. Either way, the question of celibacy is back in the air.It doesn’t matter, statistically speaking, that there is no correlation between the celibate life and sexual abuse. It doesn't matter that, as a 2004 study of the issue showed, children are some 100 times more likely to be sexually abused by a teacher than a priest. It … [Read more...]

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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...]

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Worms, foul-smelling liquids, and filthy shreds of cloth

The Christian is hooked on either side and stretched between two disparate statements about his death: "Remember that you are dust" -- muttered by Catholic priests as they draw a cross of ashes on the believing brow -- and "Remember, O Christian, your dignity" -- the mighty words of Pope Saint Leo the Great, extolling us to marvel over the fact that we are destined to live forever, sharing "in God’s own nature.""...and to dust you shall return," the priests finish, pushing us into the deep da … [Read more...]

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Writing

Son: Why bother with the boring reading, the difficult thinking, the never-ending study and the tortuous editing -- why bother with work when a cup of coffee, a little luck and the right mood produces the best writing I've written?Father: Work is compost. It cannot make you great. It can only make you ready. It stinks, but in its stinking you'll become fertile soil for the seeds of inspiration contained in your coffee, your good mood and your rare moments of luck. … [Read more...]

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Popes Should Resign More Often

There is an tendency amongst many Catholics to view the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI as a quirk, a historical aberration, something wild and crazy -- now let's get back to a "till death do you part" papacy, thanks. This, at least, was my attitude towards the whole affair for quite some time. But I wasn't listening to Benedict. The man didn't resign for personal reasons that may or not be repeated. He resigned for reasons that created a norm, an example to follow, an expectation -- a … [Read more...]

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Notes Regarding Sin, to be Read Sharply and Mockingly to Myself in Times of Desolation

"I cannot pray after so great a sin." And are you too ill to see a doctor? Too thirsty to drink? Too dirty to take a shower?*It is better to risk being seen as a hypocrite by praying after sin than to risk growing cold in God's arms by refusing to.*From the perspective of despair, sin is the end of prayer. From the perspective of hope, sin is the beginning. Christ stands on the side of hope when he describes the just prayer: "God, have mercy on me, a … [Read more...]

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