This book seems like a real non-fiction page turner.

Operation Nemesis: The Assassination Plot that Avenged the Armenian Genocide

I found something truly unusual while doing research for my piece On the Polish Origins of the Concept of Genocide and Its Armenian Roots. There is a book (of course). What it describes seems as outrageous as anything you might see in Tarantino's Inglorious Basterds. The thing is, Operation Nemesis: The Assassination Plot that Avenged the Armenian Genocide, is not fiction: In 1921, a tightly knit band of killers set out to avenge the deaths of almost one million victims of the Armenian … [Read More...]

The previously unpublished autobiography of an immeasurably influential thinker who died totally forgotten.

On the Polish Origins of the Concept of Genocide & Its Armenian Roots

The term genocide seems ancient. It is actually a clumsy Greek-Latin hybrid coined by a Polish Jew  between 1943 and 1944 when Polish gentiles were reporting about the Holocaust to Roosevelt who merely shrugged his shoulders. Genocide's "creator," Raphael Lemkin used the Armenian Genocide as the baseline for describing the Holocaust.The first published instance of the term is probably his book Axis Rule in Occupied Europe. The history of the Armenian Genocide, so important to Lemkin's th … [Read More...]

What has Brooks done for us lately? At least the splashy convert Queen Christina killed off the father of modern philosophy, Descartes. (Sebastien Bourdon, Christina of Sweden, 1653; Source: Wikimedia Commons, PD-Old-100).

Famous Atheists Who Aren’t Atheist: Hold off on Papism David Brooks!

Did you know that Sartre was a Jew, Camus intended to become a Protestant, Warhol was a practicing Byzantine, and Hitchcock was a Papist?You can read all about these famous figures in my "Famous Atheists Who Weren't Atheist" series. Its aim is to out the religious affiliations of famous people erroneously associated in the popular imagination with non-belief or even militant atheism.News trends dictate that this week it's time to turn to David Brooks. I promise it won't be for … [Read More...]

Christ: Fully human therefore divine.

Fr. John Behr: Marriage is a Form of Martyrdom

After dealing with controversial topics such as the sexual orientation of monasticism, the Catholic background of mainstreaming gay marriage, and the malicious historical ignorance of the head of the FBI I'd like to kick back a bit and do something on Orthodox theology rather than history.This is also a way of checking whether my wife actually reads this blog. If she does, I might be sleeping on the couch.Fr. John Behr is dean of St. Vladimir's Seminary and author of Becoming Human, The … [Read More...]

Clear as day.

FBI Head Comey is Maliciously Wrong on Holocaust Facts about Poland

 It's been said the victors write the history books.This should not be equated with the smartest, or most intellectually honest people, writing the history books.There is an penetrating New York Review of Books review of the Benoit Peters tome Derrida: A Biography where we hear the following about American intellectual stupidity, but also, I think, cynicism: But Americans, it’s been said, often got Derrida wrong: deconstruction was never intended as a reproducible methodology, l … [Read More...]


Sexuality is at the Heart of Christianity’s Place in the World

We have gone over some of the lineaments of the difference Christian sexual morality makes in the public square. It left its stamp on the sexual orientation of Catholic asceticism; possibly influenced the movement for gay marriage through Andrew Sullivan's mainstreaming of the notion;  and led to the disappearance of ancient homosocial gym culture (until recent times).Kyle Harper's recent book From Shame to Sin: The Christian Transformation of Sexual Morality in Late Antiquity provides us a c … [Read More...]

Dudes, lots of dudes just hanging out and sweating, are at the center of a new University of Chicago book cover.

Temple of Perfection: Christianity, Homosexuality & America at the Gym

There is an LA Fitness just down the road from our new apartment. It is an impressive temple to bodily perfection.Yesterday our mattress and boxsprings finally got delivered. It was our first day in something like six months of not sleeping on an undersized mattress directly on the floor or on a couch.Needless to say, we cannot afford the price of admission to the temple of perfection even though it is practically in our backyard.But maybe there's something historically Christian … [Read More...]

sullivan here comes the groom

Do You Know Why You Can Blame Catholics for Gay Marriage?

Today I would like to continue in the vein started by my discussion of the profoundly heteronormative orientation of Catholic monasticism.Now, American anti-Catholicism is a reality. Catholics are blamed for some of the following: being illiberal, the "barbaric" crimes of the Inquisition (therefore totalitarianism), stifling science, being bad American patriots, and generally, for not being Protestant.I could continue this litany indefinitely.The one thing Catholics haven't been bla … [Read More...]

St. Bernard's vision is of the Virgin Mary, as Fabrice Hadjadj might predict (Source: Pietro Perugino, Vision of St. Bernard, 1489; Wikimedia Commons, PD-Old-100).

Does Catholic Monasticism Have a Sexual Orientation?

 The answer to the the title question is, surprisingly, "yes." But the reasons for it are even more surprising.You might remember Fabrice Hadjadj from my post on converting the world not being an end in itself, or the post about St. Augustine praying over a man's hemorrhoids (and the problem of radical evil).Here he is giving you the lowdown on the sexual orientation of Catholic monastics in an interview I recently translated: Monika Holvoote: The second important question … [Read More...]

This is only half of it. The other part of the shroud has Christ's back.

Scientifically Examining the Turin Shroud: Resurrection Sunday Deux

There are those who automatically shrilly say their faith doesn't hang upon The Shroud of Turin whenever the object is mentioned.My faith doesn't hang upon it either, but that's beside the point. The scientific wars surrounding this potential relic are really, really fun to follow.However, Larry Chapp says that Catholicism is the most worldly of all religions and so this artefact has a bearing on that.In connection with today being Resurrection Sunday in Orthodox Christendom, I'd … [Read More...]