“On the Brink of a ‘Filipino Moment'” in the Catholic Church: Crux

dispatch: ...On any list of the most consequential Catholic nations today, the Philippines would easily finish in the top five, and there’s a good case to be made that it’s #1.It’s the third largest Catholic nation on earth, and unlike its two larger peers, Brazil and Mexico, its levels of faith and practice remain robust. For another, given the swelling Filipino diaspora, in a staggering number of places today, from the Arabian Peninsula to Malaysia, Hong Kong, and beyond, often the most dy … [Read more...]

Sex Ed in the Renaissance Tavern

Over the weekend I drove to a wedding with a bunch of strangers. We got to talking about our memories of middle and high school. One of us went to either a small-town public school or a private religious school (can't remember which), one to a single-sex Catholic school, and two of us to an intensely progressive private school. And none of us had had any kind of sex ed that struck us as even marginally relevant or insightful.So look, if fools didn't rush in, would we even need middle-school … [Read more...]

The Unimaginable Atheist: Aleteia Took Down My “Loser Letters” Review; You Can Read It Here

Late last month Aleteia asked me to review "The Loser Letters" at CUA. I ended up giving it a negative review. They have now pulled that review from the website, which they've explained here. (I should say that I like Elizabeth a lot & realize she is trying to manage many conflicting demands and impulses.) I'm posting it largely because CUA chose to highlight the production and required all or most of their freshman class to attend, and I think that's a serious mistake for reasons I tried to … [Read more...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]