The Difference Between a Pilgrim and a Tourist


It is a trend for white people fed up with the banality of existence to run to exotic locations and there write best-selling books about finding themselves. And while I admit to a certain romance in spending thousands learning to eat, pray, love, and afterwards become rich selling the simplicity of foreign cultures back to our own, I can't help but wonder whether the "self" is really "found" in such amazing, caucasian explorations. I wonder -- because I'm cynical -- if the self hasn't been … [Read more...]

If God is Real, Why Won’t He Show Himself?


The Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard said that "just as important as the truth, and of the two the even more important one, is the mode in which the truth is accepted, and it is of slight help if one gets millions to accept the truth if by the very mode of their acceptance they are transposed into untruth."God hides himself so we will come to him in the right mode. He is not an object. He is not an old man in the sky, available to our observation, nor a slight grease on the surface of … [Read more...]

What Happens to Women Who Are Denied Abortions?


The New York Times article What Happens to Women Who Are Denied Abortion? is an interesting read. The conclusions drawn from it have been -- so far -- pretty awful.This is because, by and large, culture-warriors don't read. We subsume everything into a pre-ordained, pre-packaged worldview, and use even the most incomplete, unhelpful sociological data as a weapon and a trump card. This particular article, judging by its postings on Facebook, went into the "See, abortion is good for women!" … [Read more...]

Ritual or Death

Hello everyone! I'm writing for the Steubenville conferences.When a man first begins to work out, he usually does so in a burst of enthusiasm. He envisions his ideal weight and future health. He buys new shoes and a barrel of protein-powder with a man who looks like a Transformer grimacing on its label. In short, he gets pumped. But if his enthusiasm isn’t followed by ritual — by a well-kept routine of stretching, running, and lifting — he’ll cease working out.Similarly, upon first fallin … [Read more...]

Why I Can’t Conceive of De-conversion


An atheist once told me I was only a Christian because I couldn't conceive of not being a Christian. I answered that I could conceive of not being a Christian, and that most days, in fact, I felt far more the atheist than the believer. The issue, I said, was that each and every one of the Catholic claims struck me as true, and so I believed.He left disappointed, but I imagine if he spoke to me today, he would be far happier, for the answer I gave him no longer makes sense. There is a point o … [Read more...]

Modesty Sets Fire

Far Side Stimulus Response

What Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI said is true, and damn true: "The Catechism was not written to please you. It will not make life easy for you, because it demands of you a new life." Its teaching on modesty is so explosive that, would we believe and actualize it, we would convert. But I suspect we prefer monotony to metanoia, commentary to action, and porn to everything else. We'll enthusiastically "note" the demands of the universal Church as "interesting," and immediately -- go back to sleep. (W … [Read more...]

Modesty is Honesty


You, dear reader, are the only person in existence who knows you are a subject, an I, an unique consciousness, and an individual perspective in the Cosmos. I do not know you are a subject, for to know that would be to experience your subjectivity, that is, to be you.Indeed, forgive me, how rarely I can even muster up the faith necessary to believe you are a subject! When I see you in the crowd, the car, the mall, the hall -- I see you as an object amongst many, not as a unique person. When I … [Read more...]

Things Modesty Hasn’t a Damn Thing to Do With


Our sexless, sterile, intolerably flaccid, bored, addicted, all-but-objectified, whored-out, frigid, entirely depersonalized, anti-erotic culture wouldn't know modesty if she took her shirt off and flashed us in an episode of Girls With Low Self-Esteem. (Not that she would, being modest.) This seems apparent in our inability to articulate a definition or criticism of modesty that isn't immediately suspect.Mainstream feminists stumble through their obligatory vocabulary to tell an uncaring uni … [Read more...]

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...]