Frog Out of Water

I was preparing to give a short talk on gender dysphoria, and was trying to figure out how to say something meaningful in nine minutes. My audience would be composed almost entirely of Christians who are cisgender (that is, they don’t experience a conflict between their gender identity and their sexual biology.) I needed to somehow quickly address whatever the biggest misunderstandings were. So I asked my husband, “What’s the hardest thing for you to understand about gender dysphoria?” “You… Read more

Too Tired to Pray

One thing that you quickly find if you’re trying to do ministry on the margins is that you encounter a lot of people who are having trouble with prayer. There’s the celibate gay guy who is completely exhausted with being the rope in the middle of a cultural game of tug-of-war. The person who has struggled with mental illness for decades and who is angry with a God who doesn’t seem to care. The survivor for whom the familiar words… Read more

Mommy Wars vs. Culture Wars Fight

There are a large number of people who avoid church for exactly the same reason that I avoid mommy groups. Read more

In the Beginning there were the Waters

In the Beginning there were the waters. Every mythology agrees on this. Before the God of light and fire, of sky and spirit comes to impose order on the world there is the uncreated void. Inanimate matter. Water and stone. Here’s how I think it happened in that time. The world had not yet been made. In the eye of the Creator, the fields were filling with animals and men. The dews of the first waters were washing across the… Read more

The Alpha-Male Heresy

What is it about current right-wing Catholic culture that makes it acceptable for a man to go around calling a member of the clergy a “pansy” and a “beta male”? Read more

Is Diversity Training to Blame for the Rise of the Alt-Right?

Back when I was in school, one of the routine features of our social sciences courses was a unit on Canadian identity. The assignment was always basically the same: you were supposed to do a presentation where you introduced the other students in the class to your cultural background. Multiculturalism, we were told, is the Canadian identity. I always found these units interesting in-so-far as I got to learn about other cultures, and irksome in-so-far as I had basically nothing… Read more

No, Matt Walsh, Parents are Not Making Their Kids Trans

So apparently right-wing Christianity learned its lesson from the complete pastoral debacle of the ex-gay movement. You know, the scapegoating of parents of gay kids, the insistence on treating homosexuality as a mental illness, the belief that same-sex attraction is transmitted like a disease and that you get the gayz through indoctrination. This time they’ve resolved to do better, to look for more responsible narratives, and to reach out in more positive ways to members of the trans community rather… Read more

Poverty Is Not What Austin Ruse Wants You to Think It Is

The poor of America are living large off the public purse: they own plasma TVs and personal computers. They aren’t going hungry: in fact they eat more protein than the middle class. They own homes, and their living space is larger than that of non-poor people in Europe. The War Against Poverty has been an expensive failure, and it always will be because when it comes right down to it poverty is not caused by a lack of financial resources… Read more

Addicted to Patriarchy: Infallibility IV

I mentioned yesterday that I see the relationship between the Catholic laity and the hierarchy as being like a marriage…and that it is this relationship between myself and the Church that is the most conflicted. I’m hardly alone in this. Over the past hundred years or so we’ve seen a massive drop-off in Church attendance in Western countries. Last Sunday, an elderly Priest who used to serve our parish thirty or forty years ago visited and performed the Mass. In… Read more

The Fractal Church: Infallibility Part III

I promised that I would talk about the difference between infallibility and authority, and why I’ve decided to work on rebuilding trust in and with the Church rather than simply abandoning my faith in favour of another (ideally less fraught) relationship. To explain this, I need to begin by explaining how I see humanity and human history. Basically, I conceive of the human world as fundamentally fractal in nature. So if you look at an individual human being, a sub-culture,… Read more

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