Over the past couple of weeks, there’s been an unusual amount of drama in my particular corner of the social media world and it’s got me thinking about the problem of loving one’s enemies. Christ clearly commands us to do this. He doesn’t say that we have to be friends with everyone, but He does say that we have to love everyone. He models this Himself in a truly astonishing way, praying for the guys who are literally driving nails… Read more

A certain amount of shade gets thrown on conservatives, particularly in the present political climate. Some of it has, admittedly, been thrown on this blog. So I want to pause for a moment to talk about why conservatism is actually really important. The essence of conservatism is a belief that the status quo ought to be preserved precisely because it is the status quo. Essentially, the conservative believes that society is structured the way it is for a reason, and… Read more

Recently, I blogged about the existence of social conditions which make it more difficult for individual couples to practice the Church’s teaching on contraception. I want to expand on that a little more, taking postpartum depression as a particular example of a way in which these social conditions actually manifest in the lives of individual Catholics. I want to begin with Foucault’s idea that mental illness is basically socially constructed. It’s true, but it’s also easily misunderstood so I want… Read more

A couple of weeks ago, I actually got to Mass without kids. I had the weekend off, and I decided to treat myself by going to a liturgy with a full choir and a partially sung Mass. As I sat enjoying the quiet, the beauty of the music and the freedom from having to continually police the behavior of small bodies, I noticed a little girl running up and down the aisle. Specifically, she would run up the aisle, shouting… Read more

If you happen to be neck-deep in the controversy over whether artificial birth control is ever morally permissible, you may be familiar with the argument that the Church has changed her teaching in the past – specifically in the matter of usury. Basically, if you go back to older encyclicals, like Vix Pervenit, you find that usury is condemned in no equivocal terms as a grave sin. Charging interest of any kind has been categorically condemned by multiple Popes and… Read more

Wisconsin gubernatorial candidate Kelda Roys produced an ad in which she can be seen breastfeeding her baby, so of course there is the usual internet noise about public breastfeeding being immodest. The thing about this particular instance is that most of the usual complaints are not available. Generally when a video or image of a breastfeeding mother circulates, the critics will carry on about how there’s too much showing, that the breasts are on display, that “lactivists” are forcing innocent… Read more

  Recently, I’ve been re-reading my book of philosophical dramas, Eros & Thanatos, and it’s got me thinking about the problems of Hell and mortal sin. These are contentious issues, obviously. One of the most common objections to Christianity is that it seems unutterably horrid to think that a good, just and loving God would subject any of His creatures to suffer eternally. The most common contemporary answer to this is that God doesn’t actually damn anyone, that “the gates… Read more

Let’s say it’s over a week since Ash Wednesday and you haven’t given anything up for Lent. So of course you’re feeling kind of bad about it. It’s not that you’re lazy, it’s just that it’s been one hell of a crazy ride recently, and you’re feeling like it’s already been Lent for months. You’re just barely getting by on fumes, and the thought of cutting anything out of your basic creature comforts fills you with dread. I will die,… Read more

I’ve just finished reading Kristy Burmeister’s new book, “Act Normal”. It’s a memoir of her experience of being stalked by a schizophrenic member of her congregation, and of the aftermath of that trauma. Although she does eventually return to Christianity, her church community’s response drives her away, leaving her spiritually homeless for a number of years. Basically, to boil it down, the elders of her church refused to take action to protect her. At first they deny that anything is… Read more

Previously in My Introduction To Geh Sex and Is One Of These Virtues Not Like The Others? I talked about some of the problems with both secular and Christian narratives surrounding sexuality. I want to situate chastity in a completely different way, as just a normal old virtue that you pursue not because you are this fragile, sacred vessel of virginity, but because you want to have your sexuality be determined by an overall vision for your life rather than… Read more

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