Benedict-hearts in the Age of Francis

There's nothing worse than theology. Its affirmations frighten me -- I avoid it like the plague. But I want to articulate why I am so amped, stoked, tickled and pumped about Pope Francis. This thrusts me into theological modes, Bible-based speculations and doctrine-flavored thoughts. Many apologies to the Very Hip Agnostics who frequent these pixels, as to Those Who Actually Do Theology.I think Francis is detested and loved for the same reason. Detested, because his openness to the world … [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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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...]

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Masculine and Feminine Time

I know it's hardly with-it to draw distinctions between men and women. And yes, I know humans are androgynous, non-gendered ghosts suffering the misfortune of being smooshed into bodies with gendery bits that delude everyone into thinking: "Look, there goes a dude." But bear with me, I'm feeling ambitious.Femininity is more cyclical than masculinity. If the female body is dizzying for men, it is only because it is made out of circles. It cannot be encountered in the same way each day, but re … [Read more...]

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A Sudden Encounter With The Collection

Remember when I wrote about The Collection's splendafrickinriffable album The Art of Dying? (Well I don't care. (That's what hyperlinks are for. (Forgetful punks.))) The band were so kind as to add The Harmonium Project​ to their tour last spring -- a non-profit music venue full of world-changing potential that my friends and I run in Steubenville, OH.They murdered the stage. We ate pancakes, Hope (clarinet) stole my copy of Kierkegaard's Fear and Trembling (the address I wrote on the inside … [Read more...]

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Notes on Lust

Every moment of erotic love contains the potential to create a new world -- a mother, a father, children, a home, a place, a community, a lifelong project and the definite content of a life.A lustful age is an age frightened of life, of really being someone, really living somewhere, really doing something -- of being inaugurated, through love, into a new kind of life.Lust is love frightened of family.Lust is love frightened of its own creativity, frightened of being swept into the … [Read more...]

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Let’s Murder the Non-Negotiables!

Every time someone says "non-negotiable moral issues" in the context of a Catholic's voting responsibility, a puppy full of hope, wonder, and plans for the future is thrown off a cliff. By me. And I don't even cry.So let's be absolutely clear. There is not, has never been, and probably never will be a definitive list of non-negotiable political issues that Catholics may not vote in favor of.This myth has been unintentionally promoted by folks like CatholicVote and Catholic Answers, … [Read more...]

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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...]

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Towards a Theology of Indie Rock

Indie-rock [1] musicians have a wonderfully strange fascination with the Church. I don't mean to dunk them all in baptismal water -- their overt flirtation with The Holy Catholic Faith ranges from "strained," to "profound," to "don't sing that in front of my Italian mother, you blaspheming ass." But it's a puzzle worth puzzling over. Take Florence + The Machine.Her new album, How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful, wrestles with terror of freedom after the slavery of an erotic love. She takes t … [Read more...]

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Ayn Rand, Fairy Godmother of Sexual Orientation

When I first purchased Atlas Shrugged with money I begged from a street corner, it was with no other intention than to delight in a world where every problem is the fault of poor people, Communists, and poor Communists. But Ayn Rand gave me so much more than the economic ideology one expects of motorcycle-riding men in Viagra commercials, thinly disguised as John Grisham novel from hell -- though, sweet baby Moses, did she give me that. She also gave me an explanation of human sexuality to rival … [Read more...]

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