Why Catholics Oppose the Death Penalty

Catholics Death

Early this year Henry McCollum, North Carolina’s longest serving death row inmate, walked out of prison a free man. He has spent the majority of his life—30 years—behind bars for a crime he did not commit. Thanks to DNA evidence, we now know that the confession extracted by police in the early 1980s was in all likelihood the result of a scared kid who was looking for a way to go home, rather than a piece of real evidence. This is a sobering story. The assumptions of a few law enforcement office … [Read more...]

Quiz: The 5 Dimensional Political Compass


I ran into this quiz today and thought it was fun. It attempts to track your political affiliation using five different categories. After writing my article on the flaws of a binary political system earlier this week I thought this was particularly interesting. I have included the quiz below for you to take. If anyone is interested in my results. The quiz is flawed in a lot of ways, but there is a part of me that loves convoluted labeling schemes. Call it a guilty pleasure. Apparently I'm a "So … [Read more...]

Does the way Jesus died matter?

How did Jesus Die

Jesus’ death matters.I think very few Christians would disagree with that statement. For nearly all believers, the death of Jesus is one the primary points upon which their theology turns. How one understands the death of Jesus underscores how we view God, salvation, human destiny, love and Christ himself.This has certainly been true in my own life. In fact one of the primary reasons I became catholic is because of my own struggles answering the question, “why did Jesus die … [Read more...]

How to Vote for the Perfect Candidate, Every Time


A few years ago I was at my friend’s home near election Day. We were talking about who we were going to be voting for, and I mentioned that I planned on writing in a non-candidate for a particular office. This was something I often did, but he found it to be abhorrent.From his perspective a failure to vote for the candidate you are more inclined to vote for is, de facto, a vote for his opponent. I should also mention that he believed that the only candidate that someone should vote for is t … [Read more...]

Raphael’s Transfiguration: The Kingdom of God as both NOW and NOT YET.


One of the challenges in reading the biblical account of the Transfiguration is determining what is going on, and how it fits in with the rest of the gospel. It’s a story that explicitly occurs in all three of the Synoptic accounts, as well as in 2 Peter 1:16-18.Perhaps the most famous depiction in the west of this story comes from Raphael, who was commissioned by Cardinal Giulio de Medici to pant the image for the cathedral of Narbonne in 1516. The painting proved to be a masterpiece, and n … [Read more...]

Does Santa Exist?


I recently had a chance to chat with veteran comedy writer Eric Kaplin - @ericlinuskaplan - about his new book about reason, mysticism, comedy, beauty, and how we know what we know.  He's written some great comedy for some great TV shows like the Big Bang Theory and Futurama. This has given him a unique platform to write, what essentially boils down to a popular level book about theology, epistemology and ontology. I was truly delighted to read his book, and our conversation was a true treat. I h … [Read more...]

The in-breaking of the Everyday: Jacopo Bassano’s Miraculous Draught of Fishes


Jacopo Bassano’s painting, The Miraculous Draught of Fishes, offers a fascinating interpretation about what it means to be a disciple. In it we see Christ at the moment of the miracle’s occurrence. Peter and Andrew are turning to him, recognizing him as holy and are beginning to orient their bodies and their lives toward Christ. In the boat next to them we see James, John and their father Zebedee. This composition seems to mirror the tapestry cartoon of Raphael on the same subject.One of the … [Read more...]

Obedience to a Good Church, with Bad Leaders


Being a Catholic comes with many challenges. We are called to lay down our lives for other; love our neighbor as ourselves; give of our abundance to those who are in need; strive for holiness; care for the spiritual and temporal needs of those around us; fast and pray; and in all things grow to image God's love to everyone. These are all hard enough in themselves, I certainly fail at all of these things on a daily basis; but one thing that makes being a Catholic incredibly difficult is the fact … [Read more...]

This TED talk by a Catholic Priest will change the way you look at people around you


There are few examples of the Kingdom of God that are more creative and inspiring than the work of Homeboy Industries. Beginning in the 1980s out of the ministry of the Dolores Mission Parish in Los Angeles, they have grown into a network of services helping to equip former gang member to become people of hope. I was inspired by this TEDx talk given by their founder Fr. Greg Boyle on compassion and kinship. I hope you can take a listen, and consider getting involved with the movement they are hel … [Read more...]