Conservatives vs Liberals: Who are the Real Catholics?

Several years ago, I was involved in a frustrating and interminable exchange about Catholic sexual morality over e-mail. At some point in the conversation my interlocutor sent me a copy of the entire chapter of the Catechism that covers the sixth commandment, heavily highlighted to show the errors in my position. I recall reading it [Read More…]

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8 Ways to Tell When Someone Is Playing the Victim

Several years ago I entered into correspondence with someone who, it seemed at the time, really just needed a friend, someone who would offer unconditional love. Since I am generally for friendship and kindness, I was happy to try to offer that person what they needed. Over the course of several months, the relationship seemed [Read More…]

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The Blood-Dimmed Tide is Loosed

Several years ago, I wrote a piece for First Things where I opined that a lot of the fear and anger that the religious right feels about LGBTQ rights and the sexual revolution is basically derived from grief. The world that people knew is gone. The values they grew up with are no longer valued [Read More…]

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Selective Skepticism

Yesterday I read a comment by 3vil5triker on my post Is Heaven for Real? My response ended up being much longer than comment length, so here it is. 3vil5triker writes: How come the original accounts, and the beliefs that derive from them, are not subject to the same kind of skeptical inquiry? Can you really [Read More…]

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Is Heaven for Real?

Colton Burpo, the boy featured in the story Heaven is for Real, is a child who is supposed to have been whisked away on a whirlwind tour of  heaven during surgery when he was three. For over a week now, an older article about his story has been trending on Patheos. While I don’t know what [Read More…]

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Open Wombs, Closed Borders?

There are basically three reasons I know of why a person is likely to be pro-life. The first is a devotion to traditional sexual ethics, and in particular a commitment to the patriarchal nuclear family as the ideal for human society. Within this worldview, abortion is wrong because it takes the life of a child [Read More…]

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Fear and Loathing in 1984: Why Catholics Must Oppose Trump’s Immigration Policy

One of the most frustrating things over the past couple of days has been watching leaders within the pro-life movement offering arguments for why, basically, we can ignore the statements that Pope Francis and the USCCB have made concerning the dangers of immigration policies informed by isolationism, nationalism and religious intolerance. The problem is not [Read More…]

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The Measure of a Life: In Memory of My Sister

Last week was the 10th anniversary of my sister Kristen’s death. I wrote a piece for Aleteia talking about what her death taught me about the value of life. You can read it here. Image credit: Kristen with my infant daughter sleeping on her back. Used with permission of my family. Stay in touch! Like [Read More…]

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The Art of Being Overwhelmed

A lot of you are probably aware of the “spoon theory” of chronic illness. For those who aren’t, the idea is that if you are chronically ill, you have a limited (usually fairly low) number of spoons that you can spend in order to perform actions, and you have to carefully steward which things you [Read More…]

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Scripture Has Nothing New To Say to Me

Recently I was talking to a friend about various difficulties in the spiritual life, and one of the issues that came up is the idea that reading Scripture is infinitely rewarding – that every time you return to it you will find new insights. His basic complaint was that this isn’t necessarily true: especially living [Read More…]

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