People have been known to cook myths about science with apples as well (William Adolphe Bouguereau, Temptation, 1880; Source: Wikimedia Commons, PD-Old-100).

Newton’s Apple and Other Myths About Science

The intersection of science and religion is a frequent topic on this blog. The relationship between these regions of human life are both more and less troubling than what we suppose.First, they are much less troubling than what we might suppose because there is an immense space of complex intellectual dialogue between science and religion. Second, they are much more troubling than we might suppose because certain strains of scientific-based belief have their own superstitions such as crazy … [Read More...]

Burn, baby, burn (Ludwig von Langenmantel, Savonarola's Bonfire of the Vanities, 1879; Source: Wikimedia Commons, PD-Old-100).

15 Books I’d Ban for Banned Books Week

Matthew Schmitz came up with a peculiar way of celebrating Banned Books Week. He devised a list of seven books that he thinks should be banned: Free speech is not absolute. Our attempts to deregulate our public culture have only led to new and more bizarre restrictions on speech. Shedding restrictions on obscenity has only led to the more tyrannical notion of “triggering.” Abandoning standards for public decency has hastened the embrace of political correctness—a category even more susceptible t … [Read More...]

I've never seen a painting of Jesus preaching on a ship. This overrode all my other criteria for a cover image to this post (James Tissot, Jesus Preaching on a Ship, c. 1894; Source: Wikimedia Commons, PD-Old-100).

Why is THIS Pope Francis’s Hardest American Saying?

The roundups of the papal visit are making the rounds everywhere. There's much to celebrate, it seems much more to criticize (if you come from some Catholic circles), and too much material to read (most folks will TL;DR punt on this).However the calculus comes out on the final analysis of the visit to America--and I'll let someone else crunch the numbers--I'd like to stick, following Adorno, to the negative, the condemnatory, the judgmental, and harsh.Don't worry, it's all in line with … [Read More...]


A Book to Pick Up, Read, & Survive (Even When You Don’t Thrive)

Justin Tse writes about reading as a survival tactic:Let me finish, then, on a final personal note. Artur Rosman, a writer of no small notoriety in the Catholic blogosphere, is running a lengthy Patheos interview with Pfau on Minding the Modern concurrently with our forum. Although he is my friend, I am not trying to plug his blog here; that would, after all, be a form of utilitarianism that Pfau would condemn. Rosman’s loyal readership will already know of his openness, even of his vulga … [Read More...]

Know when to fold'em (Peter Hooch, Soldiers Playing Cards, 1658; Source: Wikimedia Commons, PD-Old-100).

Pope Francis Inspires Kenny Rogers to Fold’Em Like Boehner

The big news yesterday was the House Speaker resigning after setting up the first ever papal address to the US Congress. He was understandably very emotional about his achievement, and the pope's message.Then lightning struck twice as legendary Kenny Rogers also decided to fold'em. The pope is really shaking up America's icons.I wonder . . . who's next?Maybe Pope Francis could shut down Pharma Bro with his papal message of economic egalitarianism?Maybe the three Catholic j … [Read More...]

Storms will continue to rage (JWM Turner, The Bell Rock Lighthouse, 1819; Source: Wikimedia Commons, PD-Old-100).

Where Will the Spotlight Shine When Pope Francis Leaves?

It's difficult to find the right tone for a post like this. I come as a bearer of bad news. Yet, I am convinced that the good news is that the bad news can see the light of day. When we say the light shines in darkness, are we ready to face the real implications of that saying?As Americans we all secretly hope the Pope Francis wave will sweep everything away in a flood of positivity. Terry Eagleton diagnoses us this disease in his recently released Hope Without Optimism: Nations, like … [Read More...]

The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep (Peter Brueghel the Elder, 1616; Source: Wikimedia Commons, PD-Old-100).

The Pope Shepherds Together What American Politics Sunders

There is great amusement in following the news when the pope is in town.One example of this are (or "is"?) the two stories I shared consecutively on social media. The New York Times led with "Pope Francis, in Washington, Addresses Poverty and Climate," because that's apparently a left of center thing to say. The National Catholic Register led with, "Pope's First Words in English: Defend Religious Liberty, Marriage and Family," because I guess that's a conservative and right of center thing … [Read More...]

Europe and the States are no longer the center of Christianity (Ignazio Danti, Vatican Map Room - Italy, 1583; Source: Wikimedia Commons, Photographer: Jean-Pol Grandmont, PD-Old-100).

2 Maps Show Why Pope Francis is Out of Place in the United States

There is no shortage of commentary about importance of Pope Francis finally visiting the United States in the 78th year of his life. Some think American Catholicism has something special to offer. Others think American capitalism has something even more special to offer. American Evangelicals think that Francis has a lot to offer them as a leader. PBS thinks it's the appropriate time to drag out the sex scandals for a riveting Newshour. Ross Douthat probably has another schism to offer, and so … [Read More...]

(Raphael, Portrait of Julius II, 1511; Source: Wikimedia Commons, PD-Old-100).

13 Incredible Pope Francis Facts the Left, Right, & Pious Media Won’t Tell You!

I can predict the media coverage of #PopeInUS will be as tired as Julius II in the painting above. Get the real news here.The MSM, NSM, MGM, BDSM and the PSM will not cover these things, because . . .  they don't know them.Let's not beat around the Burning Bush:1. The pope might be Protestant after all. If you don't believe see Evangelicals talking about it. Oh sorry, I lost the link.2. Benedict was much more theologically radical.3. Francis knows the Devil.4. Francis mak … [Read More...]


The Bothersome Man’s Search for Meaning

Books are not only bibliography fodder. They are also fodder for life. Sometimes books even give life as the word miraculously becomes flesh.I can think of several times when I've run up against the wall and a book has saved me. Off the top of my head I can think of Czeslaw Milosz's The Land of Ulro, Hans Urs von Balthasar's Mysterium Paschale, Simone Weil's Gravity and Grace, Thomas Mann's The Magic Mountain, Marilynne Robinson's Gilead, Ernest Becker's The Denial of Death, Nietzsche's The … [Read More...]