Can We Learn From Kids and Their Toys?

Several weeks ago, my three-year-old began lugging around his most prized possessions -- a pair of sunglasses, a toy airplane, and some bits of jewelry, among other things -- everywhere he went. At first, it was all in a pouch that he filled nearly to the point of bursting, and now his "mess" (as he calls it rather accurately) resides in a plastic bin. The boy loves his stuff, and one of his favorite activities is carefully and methodically going through it all, organizing it into nice, neat … [Read more...]

‘Donglegate’ Makes Me Want To Destroy the Internet

As a matter of principle, I tend to think the Internet is a Good Thing. It puts unimaginable amounts of information at the fingertips of people the world over and provides us with a multitude of ways (e.g., personal blogs, Facebook, Twitter) that we can use to communicate and share our lives with each other. It can give a voice to the voiceless, such as dissidents living in oppressive regimes, and can be used to hold the powerful accountable. And on a more personal level, the Internet has given … [Read more...]

Finding Nobility in the Middle of Wartime

Do a search for quotes about war, and you'll find a thousand statements about combat's horror, brutality, and dehumanizing, with many quotes coming from former warriors. For example, there's this poignant bit from Dwight D. Eisenhower: "I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity." And yet, even as war can reveal the worst examples of man's barbaric nature, so to can it also reveal his honorable side.The history of … [Read more...]

Could You Survive Alone With Your Spouse For A Year?

My wife often likes to tell this anecdote about our honeymoon, because it highlights one of the great differences between our personalities, and it reveals our naiveté as newlyweds. We honeymooned in Washington state, and did a lot of driving through its beautiful countryside. My wife likes to talk while driving: about where we're going, what we're going to do, and so forth. I, however, dislike talking while driving. I prefer to simply absorb the passing scenery, preferably while listening to so … [Read more...]

Leave Baby Bear and His Doll Alone

I confess that when I read Owen Strachan’s “The Gospel Is for Baby Bear: On Sesame Street and Gender Confusion” (originally posted on his blog and then reposted on the The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood’s website), my initial reaction was 100 percent snark. I posted a link to it on my Facebook page, along with a couple of “reactions,” such as:“My boys have often played in a toy kitchen set, and sometimes even carry purses. I've clearly failed as a man and a father, and quite possi … [Read more...]

How Should Harlem (And the Rest Of Us) React to the Harlem Shake?

If you've been on Facebook at all in the last week or two, then you've probably seen at least one "Harlem Shake" video. The meme, which has gone viral in recent weeks (with approximately 115,000 videos on YouTube as of this writing), consists of someone (usually wearing a funny helmet) dancing by themselves in a room full of people while Baauer's "Harlem Shake" plays. Then, at about the half-way point, the song announces "Then do the Harlem shake" and everybody else joins in with their own … [Read more...]

Humility Is The First Step To ‘Shalom’ On The Web

Nobody likes to admit they were wrong, that they jumped to conclusions and acted or spoke unfairly. Doing so reveals our foolishness and ignorance, and nobody likes to admit that they're those things. Combine that with the "online disinhibition effect" and the apparent anonymity of the Web, and humility becomes an even rarer quality online. We rarely consider that we might be wrong, that our thoughts, beliefs, and narratives may be skewed or inaccurate, especially if they're regarding a group of … [Read more...]

Brace Yourself, Here Comes the Digital Mob Justice

By now, I'm sure you've heard about the case of the Applebee's server who was fired for posting a photo of a receipt that had some rude comments from a customer. (If you haven't, here's a brief recap.) After news of the firing spread, people took to their computers to voice their disapproval of both Applebee's and the rude customer, protest the server's firing, and threaten Applebee's with boycotts. Applebee's certainly did itself no favors with how it handled the fiasco, but even so, The … [Read more...]

The Persecution Complex of the Modern Introvert

According to some, extraverts have taken over our churches and our culture, marginalizing introverts in the process. But what if there is no grand conspiracy against introverts?  Hello, my name is Jason Morehead and I’m an introvert.That means pretty much what you think it means. If left to my druthers, I will almost always choose solitude over social engagements. Extensive interactions can be very exhausting for me, even if I truly like and appreciate the people with whom I’m inter … [Read more...]

Does the Church Have Room for Science Fiction?

Back in 2011, The Catholic World Report posted a piece titled "The Cross and The Stars" that looked at the possibility for Catholics (or any Christians, presumably) to find value in science fiction (aka, "speculative fiction") literature. It begins by noting the potential challenges that the genre poses for Christians: What do Worlds of If have to do with Jerusalem? Do Catholic writers have a place among the wizards of fantasy and the starships of science fiction? The very pervasiveness of … [Read more...]