“Accidental Stylites”: Libresco on Making Joyful Piety Easier

more on the discussion she describes later, but I really liked her description of her project: Living a Christian life on your own is something people had to discern and prepare for.  Often, monks needed the permission of a superior if they wanted to go off into the desert alone. Unfortunately, it’s easy for Christian laypeople to wind up as accidental stylites — living their faith alone, without the guidance, affection, rhythms, or shared enthusiasm that would result from living in community.   … [Read more...]

“Tom Stoppard Plays With God”: I’m in AmCon

reviewing a new play: “The Hard Problem” is Tom Stoppard’s first work for the stage since 2006′s fantastic “Rock ‘n’ Roll,” and like “Rock ‘n’ Roll,” it asks whether there’s such a thing as a soul, or whether a human being is just “a pinball machine which thinks it’s in love.”But where the earlier play offered a clash between Marxist materialism and the pagan ecstasy of rock music, “The Hard Problem” is a more blunt and programmatic conflict between evolutionary biology and a sort of heavily … [Read more...]

My Extended Interview with “Owning Our Faith” on Being Gay and Catholic

Not the full interview, but a much longer series of clips:or click here; I stole the "building the plane while flying it" metaphor from A Queer Calling. … [Read more...]

“‘Force is the Best Medicine’: How America Overdosed on Drug Courts”

by Maia Szalavitz:...If doctors were to deviate this far from the standard of care in treating patients, they would face malpractice judgments and, in extreme cases, criminal prosecution. But drug court judges face no such accountability, even though they generally acknowledge that addiction is a disease and make final decisions on which treatments are permitted. “A judge’s decisions cannot be mucked about with unless they’re illegal or a total abuse of discretion,” says Peggy Hora, a retired … [Read more...]

“Gay and Catholic” Book Extra: Two Frameworks for Supporting Weird Vocations

Hey y'all. A couple weeks ago I spoke to the Missio Alliance conference about friendship and celibate vocations, on a panel about "a kingdom vision for intimacy, desire, and sexual practice." And one thing which came up in conversation with Bruxy Cavey was the need for two different approaches to supporting people in what we might call overlooked vocations: paths of love other than marriage, parenting, priesthood and religious life.One approach looks to the church to be family for people who … [Read more...]

“Think Twice Before Calling the Cops on the Mentally Ill”

yeah: A social worker who cares for the mentally ill and developmentally disabled has now contacted me to explain why he prefers that people avoid calling the police if at all possible when it comes to the sorts of disabled people for whom he cares. In fact, the danger of dialing 911 is something he emphasizes in all orientation sessions for new employees at the organization where he works. And when one of his organization’s charges becomes loud or disruptive in a public place, as inevitably h … [Read more...]

Time Considered As a Helix of Grimy Fingernail Clippings: Samuel R. Delany’s Weirdly Prescient “Driftglass”

I just finished reading a collection of Samuel R. Delany's short stories and novellas from the mid- to late-'60s, Driftglass (link is to the copy I bought at BookMarx, with the ultra-cheesy fishman cover), and man, I always forget just how good his best work is. Here's a rundown of what's in this collection."The Star-Pit": The first story is by far the best--worth the price of admission for this alone. It's startlingly contemporary. It's a story about working-class men and their longing for … [Read more...]


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