Liberal Theologian’s Lenient Easter Sermon Makes a Mockery of Lent

Remember when Easter sermons used to demand discipline of us? Yeah, me neither.Pope Francis has encouraged preachers of the Church to be merciful above all as if there wasn't anything more to Christianity.Many say he's taken it overboard. Where is the clarity and discipline of a Benedict XVI and John Paul II? Will the Catholic Church go the way of mainline Protestantism as so many professional prognosticators are prophetically predicting?When I read sermons like the one below from a … [Read more...]

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Why Yes, The Vatican Museums Are Actually Taking Donations of Blood Money

The blood shed on Good Friday today coagulates into the passivity of Holy Saturday.Western Civilization's fascination with blood goes down deep. We are surrounded by blood metaphors even behind our bloodless laptops, because the metaphor touches the source of our lives.For example, take Good Friday's Office of Readings from St. John Chrysostom: Now Christ has come, as the high priest of all the blessings which were to come. He has passed through the greater, the more perfect tent, which … [Read more...]

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It’s a Good Friday to Leave Calypso’s Island

The specter of death haunts Western civilization at its roots like any other civilization. Greek and Roman popular religions saw death as ultimately defining what it means to be human. Mortality was so essential to being human for the ancients that Odysseus rejected the rare offer of immortality (essentially, to stop being human) by leaving Calypso's island to return to Penelope in Ithaca.This gesture is incomprehensible to us, because posthumanist aspirations to overcome death define our pos … [Read more...]

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What is the History of the Coptic Christian Victims of the Egyptian Terrorist Bombings?

The rich diversity of rites has always been a hallmark of Christianity since long before Constantine. Constantine is frequently accused of homogenizing Christianity, but a book I translated, Socrates and Other Saints, proves the opposite is true. Constantine's approach to Christianity helped to secure the rich diversity of his adopted religion.Constantine's influence upon Christianity is also not as monolithic as we are frequently told. After all, there were plenty of other Christianities … [Read more...]

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Syrian Catholic Bishops Unequivocally Condemn American Bombing of Syria

Americans bombing Syria. Wow, that escalated quickly.It all started earlier in the week with Trump scapegoating Obama for the chemical attacks in Syria: President Trump on Tuesday blamed his predecessor, Barack Obama, for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's suspected use of chemical weapons in an attack that left dozens, including women and children, dead this week.In a written statement, Trump called the attack “heinous” but blamed it on the Obama administration's failure to impose conse … [Read more...]

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Prayer Isn’t About God

Prayer, modern people think it's about God. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯Praying is difficult to understand, because we are accustomed to using the wrong frames of mind to understand it. This is why critiques of modernity are so important in helping us gain access to realities, such as prayer, that have their roots in the premodern. Otherwise, what we do, and how we understand it, ends up looking like somebody trying to play American football using the rules of soccer (what the rest of the world calls "fo … [Read more...]

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Wendell Berry and the Given Life

 It's been a very long and anxious couple of weeks. I thought I'd give you a running report of what's going on here.Right now I'm trying to find insurance that is actually affordable, but that doesn't seem possible under Obamacare. I've spent about three weeks looking through the alternative to figure out what would be most cost effective for Type-1 Diabetes. I haven't gotten any answers, because transparency was never something the insurance companies strove for. That didn't change … [Read more...]

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The Myth of Secularization

Secularization theory attempted to expose religion as a myth, but the tables have turned.Nietzsche, Marx, and Freud--collectively called the Masters of Suspicion--supposedly wreaked havoc on Christian belief during the early and mid-20th century. This left theologians such as Hans Kung (the man who only writes books with question marks in the title) scrambling to appropriate their supposedly secular insights about metaphysics (Nietzsche), collective life (Marx), and the individual (Freud) in … [Read more...]

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Famous Atheists Who Aren’t Atheist: Facebook Creator Mark Zuckerberg and Desecularization

Exposing the secret religious lives of famous personalities such as Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, Alfred Hitchcock, Luce Irigaray, and Martin Heidegger--frequently perceived as atheists--used to be a favorite pastime of mine. I'd like to get back into this habit a little bit. I think it's important to document these lives, because it is one of the things that undermines the secularization thesis. This post also picks up on the thread I started while discussing the difference Catholic sexuality … [Read more...]

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2017: The Year Your Sperm Stopped Swimming and Started Drowning

Nobody heard him, the dead man, But still he lay moaning: I was much further out than you thought And not waving but drowning.Poor chap, he always loved larking And now he’s dead It must have been too cold for him his heart gave way, They said.Oh, no no no, it was too cold always (Still the dead one lay moaning) I was much too far out all my life And not waving but drowning. --Stevie Smith, "Not Waving but Drowning," in Collected Poems I don't usually quote Nicholas Kristof, b … [Read more...]

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