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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Tom Holland: The Tyrannosaur vs. the Crucified

excellent metaphor and accurate insight at the heart of this piece from a scholar of antiquity: When I was a boy, my upbringing as a Christian was forever being weathered by the gale force of my enthusiasms. First, there were dinosaurs. I vividly remember my shock when, at Sunday school one day, I opened a children’s Bible and found an illustration on its first page of Adam and Eve with a brachiosaur. Six years old I may have been, but of one thing – to my regret – I was rock-solid certain: no h … [Read more...]

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Concussion Diary: And Then Socrates Collapsed Upon the Couch, Proclaiming, “I Cannot Smell My Feet.”

So a week ago yesterday I fainted and concussed myself. It's all fine, they know now why it happened and it's a truly minor medical condition for which the only lasting treatment is, "Drink more water," but I have manfully restrained the urge to whine on social media and my manfulness is at its end. This is what my week has been.WEDNESDAY I saw a movie called Demon, a Polish joint about a man marrying into a (formerly?) Jewish family, who begins to be stalked by the ghost of a Jewish girl. I … [Read more...]

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All Theology Is Prison Theology: A Couple of Links

A little while ago I used a Michigan case about videoconference sentencing to explore the theology of the body of the defendant. Here Mississippi attempted--and then retracted--some wrongheaded theology of the family of the incarcerated: Family and friends of Mississippi state prisoners were surprised and alarmed by a new policy announced Wednesday that bans all but immediate family members from visiting. According to a memo posted in state facilities, “this excludes ALL friends, pastors g … [Read more...]

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“My story: Catholic, Lesbian, Celibate, & the Journey to Self-Acceptance”: I’m in the Deseret News

doin' my thing! (a much more personal, less Charles Williams-y version of my Charles Williams piece): ...For a long time after my conversion I focused almost exclusively on accepting church teaching. But there is another struggle for acceptance, which for many gay Christians will be even more challenging: the struggle for self-acceptance.The self too is a gift from God. Your life, with all its weirdnesses and inexplicable longings, is a gift that it is your duty to receive with gratitude, … [Read more...]

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