Modest is Not Hottest


I'll keep this short.Every time a Christian says "modest is hottest," a puppy jumps off a bridge, dies, and is run over by truck while second graders watch. (Which I really wouldn't care about, except that it gives godawful evolutionary biologists an excuse to pretend that willful suicide is a beneficial evolutionary trait unspecific to the human race.) That a phrase rhymes does not make it a truism -- I can "snooze" and not "lose," "fake it" and never "make it" -- and this is especially … [Read more...]

The Contraception/Abortion Connection: Part 3


In which Scott Alexander and I continue a worthwhile discussion. (Part 1 and Part 2. (Scott is in quotes.)) Thanks once again for a really thoughtful response. And thanks for pointing me to the unintended pregnancy rate data - I was using teen pregnancies as a proxy, but this is much more interesting.So you're right that unintended pregnancies stay pretty constant. On the other hand, this article claims that change in percent unintended pregnancies that end in abortion only explains two po … [Read more...]

Popular Music as a Nauseating, No Good, Very Bad Attempt at Propping Up a False Sense of Eternity (With Goats)


I'm in the habit of taking popular music at its word. That is, I take the thumping stuff as a general indicator of what our culture enjoys hearing, and as a direct result of this habit, I'm awash in an atlantic depression, considering moving off the grid to make moonshine in the company of two goats (as an isolated goat gets lonely and begins to yell for companionship).There is a trend in the basic pop lyric which, if actualized into daily life, will have us all enthusiastically trying to en … [Read more...]

The Contraception/Abortion Connection: Part Two


Scott Alexander's critique of my attempts to show a potential connection between contraception and abortion is very good. Several of the countries I cite to show abortion rates rising alongside contraceptive use don't actually establish causation. Some countries do, however, and for these Alexander quotes Guttmacher's explanation of why increased contraception is often associated with a simultaneous increase in abortion: The advent of modern contraception is associated with a destabilization of … [Read more...]

Getting a Little More Detailed with the Contraception/Abortion Connection

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Scott Alexander recently published a critique of a post of mine. He argues against the idea that there is a positive correlation between contraceptive use and abortion. The man is far more educated in this field than I am -- I can only venture into the soul-sucking scene of statistics if I mutter "you're screwing this up, you're screwing this up," in a self-soothing fashion -- and he certainly cuts my argument down to size. I think he misses a few crucial details, though. I want to address them … [Read more...]

A Primer for Philosophy & Education


Sam Rocha is a phenomenologist teaching at the University of North Dakota, and I have the pleasure of writing for Dear Patheos at his side. This Mexican guitar player is responsible for a revolution in my personal love-affair with philosophy, one that freed me to recognize the limits of argument and the necessity for, well, show-and-tell -- to see art, poetry, music and story-telling as equally valid conduits for truth as essays and syllogisms. (Also, he kicked my ass for relying on etymology to … [Read more...]

No Longer Anonymous: Why I Decided to Come Out as a Gay Priest


Bravely facing the applause of a world in love with labels, and just in time for the release of a second edition of his new book "Hidden Voices, Reflections of a Gay, Catholic Priest," Fr. Gary M. Meier came out today and declared himself openly gay to the notoriously unsympathetic Huffington Post.Bless the man, may the Lord keep him, let His face shine upon him and give him His peace. He'll be attacked by idiotic Catholics, whose quotes will undoubtedly be used in his up-and-coming "This Ha … [Read more...]

Pope Francis!

Sorry, I couldn't resist. I only have a few more days of the "he's a teenager" excuse. So. Let me know if you're excited for the new season! … [Read more...]

Whence Opposition to Birth Control? A Rebuttal.


The wonderful Libby Anne of Love, Joy, Feminism recently critiqued a poorly-designed graphic made by well-meaning Catholics, saying its "very the downfall of this illustration." She's dead right, and I'm thankful that she points it out. Graphics attempting to pixelate the complexities of chastity, marriage, and contraception naturally reduce the intricate, opening themselves to easy criticism.But if the graphic falls short, Libby Anne's critiques fall shorter, due -- I hope - … [Read more...]

Why the Church Would be so Ridiculous as to Oppose IVF


We have a godawful habit of seeing children as things so small, cute and fluffy that we hollow them of that dignity hard as titanium steel -- the dignity of being a human person.The child is not owned by his mother, father, community, or state. He is a unique human subject, a universe unto himself, an unfathomable subjectivity -- a being who finds himself free, existing for his own sake.In the glare of this freedom, it occurs to me that I cannot own a child any more than I can own an ad … [Read more...]