Turning Politics Inside-Out

Candidates are about to spend billions of dollars carving out the time to tell us how great they are, and there's no one we can assassinate to change the fact. So before it really starts, I want to get a solid Catholic critique of the entire scene: Our basic mode of bettering the world is backwards.Justice is not the state of the city or nation. Justice is a virtue, the interior disposition of a particular person to give each other his due. Charity is not primarily a social activity, a … [Read more...]

The Power of the Priestess

As motherhood is given by the child, as the husband is given by the wife, as the gift always comes from the gift-giver, so the priesthood is always received from another. This is true in individual ordinations, in which the priesthood is conferred through the bishop, and it is true for the priesthood as a whole, instituted by God, not by man. No one can make himself a priest.Neither can anyone earn, deserve, or become worthy of the priesthood. The priest is always unworthy of being a priest, … [Read more...]

State, You’re Just the Worst

The State is unnecessary for the existence of marriage. As that Venerable Badass, Pope Leo XIII, put it in his encyclical Rerum Novarum, “Man is older than the State and he holds the right of providing for the life of his body prior to the formation of any State.” More directly related to marriage, the selfsame Pontifex sayeth: “No human law can abolish the natural and primitive right of marriage, or in anyway limit the chief and principal purpose of marriage, ordained by God’s authority from the … [Read more...]

Okay, There’s Something Indissoluble About Natural Marriage

Dear readers,What started with some degree of confidence has ended as a puzzle.The question is this: Whether indissolubility belongs to marriage by nature or by sacrament?On the one hand, Canon Law is clear:"The essential properties of marriage are unity and indissolubility, which obtain a special firmness or stability in Christian Marriage by reason of it being a sacrament" (1013). That is to say, both natural and sacramental marriage are essentially indissoluble, though … [Read more...]

Ain’t Nothing Indissoluble About Natural Marriage

The indissolubility of marriage is not natural. I could not agree more with Dan Savage when, in the great American tradition of offering unsolicited advice, he told heterosexuals that this till-death-do-us-apart stuff is an impossible expectation. Indissolubility, by his view, cannot be a norm. Perpetuity can only be a preference. If we could "acknowledge the drawbacks of monogamy around boredom, despair, lack of variety, sexual death and being taken for granted,” instead of mindlessly pumping a … [Read more...]

Ain’t Nothing Catholic About Heterosexual Civil Marriage

The naivety with which Christians call gay marriage an attack on the civil institution of marriage has finally induced me to air grievances. Gay marriage attacks civil marriage as auto-tune “attacks” the mainstream music industry -- not by a shocking change or an unspeakable perversion, but by another weary alteration of an already defunct industry.Civil marriage, long before any question of gay marriage, is already a disappointing birthday party, antithetical to anything a rational being cou … [Read more...]

The Art of Dying

There is a difference between Christian music and music flushed with a theological project. The former has arrived at Christianity, and sings about it. The latter is on the way, and singing. The Collection are the latter.North Carolinian, 7+-membered, horn-fattened, string-glazed indie rock. Their newish album: Ars Moriendi. The whole thing rich with that holy-s*%*-I-believe-in-Jesus-what-should-I-do-now-probably-not-just-play-Xbox kind of lyricism. Written as a meditation on the suicide … [Read more...]

No, Christianity’s Not Eurocentric (But You Kind Of Are)

I was recently called eurocentric, in that I am a-okay with Christians hopping over to non-Christian countries and preaching the Really Good News of Jesus Christ. Now while I concede that preaching Christianity could be eurocentric, and that many instances of said-preaching is eurocentric, the diehard association of the missionary Christian with the racist, swaggering, white man is moronic. First, it is no longer true that Europe is the center of world Christianity -- that prize could equally go … [Read more...]

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and LOVE My Smartphone

I was on an anti-technology soapbox for a while. But I realized something today, and I've since been bubbling with a new appreciation for my generation's enthusiastic use of hip and with-it tech: Having a smartphone is like being in love.We are reassured by the physical presence of our beloved, by the fact that we can reach out and touch her. So we are reassured by the solid weight of an iPhone on our thigh -- we reach down and touch our phone, just to know that it is still there.We … [Read more...]

Bettering Your Boring Christian Playlist: Jenny & Tyler

Artists have been coming to Steubenville, OH, getting their hands dirty with The Harmonium Project, playing music in the podunkiest to prettiest of places, all to be a source of community and cultural-economic development in a strange, distributist-y, local-business-y, neighbor-loving kind of way -- and I haven't said a thing about it. This is some kind of sin of omission. The Harmonium Project is the most badass smoosh of indie music and Holy Church since St. Thomas Aquinas released his first … [Read more...]