Charity, Corapi and the Rule of Two Negroes

In my teens, I was an obsessive reader of Bill James’ Basebal Abstract. Anyone who’s familiar with the book will know that James doesn’t content himself with number-crunching — although he does more of it than any six accountants I know. No, for James, fanboy that he is, no detail relating to the National Pasttime [Read More...]

Cinema’s Worst Father Figure: Fact and Fiction

I’m taking it for granted that most people here had perfect parents. Well, today in Salon, Matt Zoller Seitz praises Hollywood for imagining the unimaginable — bad dads. Some of his picks are perdictable: Darth Vader (duh!); Jack Torrance, from The Shining; and the perverted Paters from Happiness, Chinatown and Natural Born Killers. Only at [Read More...]

To Fr. Corapi: Bupkes; To John Corapi: Concern and Sympathy.

I’ve got to hand it to John Anthony Corapi — once called ”Father,” now, as he announces today, no longer to be involved in public ministry as a priest — he knows how to keep ‘em guessing. In a voiced-over video running just shy of nine minutes, which appears on blacksheepdog.us, apparently his new website, [Read More...]

Sotomayor: Think Like Kids, Coppers

Today in Slate — which, as Elizabeth observed, must owe me money for all the clicks I’ve gotten them — Dahlia Lithwick defends Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s decision in JDB v. North Carolina. At issue in the case was whether a law-enforcement officer, having removed a 13-year-old from a classroom and escorted him to [Read More...]

Adoration Angst: Christ Before My Eyes, Fr. McBrien in My Head

Once, when I was a teenager (right after the Visigoths swept through Rome on spring break), a friend yelled at me for drinking Coca-Cola. It seems Coca-Cola held investments in South Africa, which was still a few years away from ditching Apartheid. At least I think that’s what the problem was. Anyway, loath to be [Read More...]

American Women Religious: Off the Barricades, Into the Boardroom?

A good part of the media played up the Vatican’s recent Apostolic Visitation of American women religious like the sisters’ gallant last stand against overwhelming force. They were the Communards of Paris, the Jews at Masada, General Wainwright’s “battling bastards” at Corregidor. No one came right out and said they were going to go down [Read More...]

Fr. Corapi Announces Announcement

Yesterday evening, on the Deacon’s Bench, the lovely and talented Deacon Greg Kandra announced that Fr. John Corapi’s company announced that Fr. John Corapi himself will soon announce something “very important.” Fr. Corapi was placed on administrative leave in March — on Ash Wednesday, in fact — pending a canonical investigation tnto allegations of sexual [Read More...]

Barack Obama: Bully and Cad?

Remember back when right-wing bloggers were terrifying each other, predicting that President Obama would build America’s first gulag archipelago? (What’s that? Ah. Sorry, Japanese-Americans. Make that America’s second gulag archipelago.) Well, critics are making a case that his administration does, in fact, threaten Americans’ traditional civil liberties. The twist: both the critics and the alleged [Read More...]

How to REALLY Write for First Things

For the past two years, I’ve had a passionate love-hate relationship with First Things. When the Best Spiritual Writing: 2010 anthology came out, I counted no fewer than three First Things imports — one by Amanda Shaw, another by Joseph Bottum, and a third by the man himself, FT founder Fr. Richard John Neuhaus. Possibly [Read More...]

…Then Someone’s Not Being: A Reply to Elizabeth

Today, in First Things, my mentor, gaffer and friend Elizabeth Scalia does a very gutsy thing. She talks about homosexuality in a way that affirms nobody’s orthodoxy: Wondering whether being born gay might constitute a “call to otherness,” she continues: I have a theory that our gay brothers and sisters are, in fact, planned, loved-into-being [Read More...]

Is Sexual Addiction A Feminist Victory?

Hanna Rosin, writing for Slate, thinks it might be, but allows she’s betting against the house: When Tiger Woods checked himself into the Gentle Path sex addiction clinic, many women writers and activists reacted with suspicion and rancor. Lemondrop asked if the treatment is “merely a way for philandering men to pay lip service to [Read More...]

St. Francis, My Father, and Me

I don’t normally write anything heart-warming, but last Thursday, the day my weekly Patheos column was due, I found myself pressed for time. So I wrote about how my devoutly Freudian father became enamored of St. Francis of Assisi, and how that infatuation infected me. Most people venerate St. Francis for his love of the [Read More...]

Why I Think Mormons Are Swell Eggs

Newsweek reports that America is “having a Mormon moment.” Followers of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints are all over the news, but still, it seems, a long shot for the White House: No question the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is “having a moment.” Not only is Romney running again—this [Read More...]

What do Phil Spector and Sarah Palin Have in Common?

They’re both gun lovers who look good in heels? Well, yes, but less obviously, they’ve both found a passionate and eloquent defender in playwright David Mamet. Not only has Mamet written an exculpatory drama on the music producer for HBO, he’s also hawking Secret Knowledge: On the Dismantling of American Culture, an account of his [Read More...]

Gepetto: Helicopter Parent

Slow news day — or at any rate, slow brain day. This McSweeney’s piece by G. Xavier Robillard is a howl. Enjoy. FROM: Geppetto@earthlink.com TO: Sunnydale Elementary Listserv RE: Hello! Hello parents, I’m Geppetto, and I’ll bet I’m as excited as anyone to get the class list for Ms. Hudson’s kindergarten. Can you believe school [Read More...]

The Politics of Penis Shots

So help me, this country needs more sex scandals. Every time a famous man does something untoward, every cultural critic fires back with an article on What Women Really Want. I’ll bet that also happens when a famous woman does something untoward — and, for that matter, whenever the Phoenix Cardinals lose. The mystery of [Read More...]


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