“How Isis Resembles Yesterday’s Anarchists”

End Italian Immigration Now! Today, revolutionary anarchists seem archaic, almost quaint. But for around 50 years, from the 1880s to the 1930s, anarchists carried out terror attacks all over the world. Buildings blew up; world leaders and random civilians alike were killed.The parallels between then and now, when we face the threat of ISIS and other Islamic extremist groups, are many. During the decades of anarchist terrorism, it seemed like each week we heard of another incident carried … [Read more...]

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The Long Halloween: Some quick movie reviews

The House at the End of Time: Twisty Venezuelan family/haunted-house horror about an older woman coming out of prison and sorting through what happened on the fateful night when her husband died and her son disappeared. A compassionate priest assigned to visit her (she's sort of in house arrest in the haunted house) helps her unravel the mystery--and the final twist about the priest's own history is genuinely moving. This is an emotionally-sincere, spooky film, and its climax is an extended … [Read more...]

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“Distilled Knowledge”: My friend’s book about the science of drinkin’

got a write-up in the Boston Globe! In his senior year at Yale University, Brian D. Hoefling became the go-to guy for friends with questions about alcohol consumption. His expertise was not solely a result of prodigious personal experience, however, but from weeks spent learning about classic drinks, a mission Hoefling took on after a few friends mentioned a fear of graduating without knowing how to “drink like adults.”“Once I start researching something, I have trouble leaving questions una … [Read more...]

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Not Peace But a Sword: “The Birth of a Nation” (2016)

The Birth of a Nation, Nate Parker's searing life of Nat Turner, is a brilliant and iconic piece of Christian moviemaking--right up until Turner's slave rebellion begins.Birth has attracted intense controversy in part because of rape charges against both Parker and his co-writer. I'm not going to get into that, largely because you'll have your own beliefs on whether or how those charges should color your ticket-buying decisions, except to say that the portrayal of sexual violence in the film … [Read more...]

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The Unimaginable Atheist: I review “The Loser Letters”

and tell CUA they made a big mistake:“The Loser Letters,” Mary Eberstadt’s tale of an ex-Christian’s attempt to improve the New Atheism via perky blog posts from rehab, is making its dramatic premiere at the Catholic University of America. The play, adapted from Eberstadt’s novel by Jeffrey Fiske, has three major elements. One of these is brilliant and charming; one is powerful but laced with melodrama; and one so underthought that it’s degrading to the audience. Unfortunately, I’ve named t … [Read more...]

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A Very Short Post on Gay and Women’s Liberation in Christ

In one of the three post-concussion Gay Catholic Whatnot interviews I've done so far, my interlocutor asked me, "So what do you think about... pride?"Me, probably getting a little bit too much Jeeves in the face: "Pride, the mortal sin? Or Pride, the thing where they throw beads?"But no, it's in fact a great question, because it implies an underlying question of what a Christian model of gay (and I think also women's) lib would look like. Pride, the thing where they throw beads, is … [Read more...]

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Book Announcement: Staying Catholic When You’ve Been Hurt in the Church

Hello all. I'm very happy to announce that an anthology I'm editing, with the working title Staying Catholic When You've Been Hurt in the Church, is on its winding way from Wipf & Stock's Cascade Press imprint. The anthology includes theology, poetry, hagiography, and personal essays, and touches on a wide range of harms people can encounter in Catholic institutions, from abuse to theft to gossip to racism. I don't know of any other collection like it. I hope it will help people find common … [Read more...]

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