“Zoning Boards Go Nuclear on Too-Traditional Families”: Me at AltFem

from the Gospels to the Golden Girls: The people in 68 Scarborough St., in Hartford, Conn., make an unlikely band of outlaws. The eight adults and three children live in a 6,000-square-foot house in a wealthy residential neighborhood, and pass their time with family talent shows. A photo of the crew in the Hartford Courant shows a dog in a maroon coat and a record player with actual records.The adults in the house are longtime friends who “intentionally came together as a family,” as one of … [Read more...]

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“Gay, Catholic, And Called to Love”: Me and My Oxford Comma Are in the Catholic World Report

interviewin' (bookhawkin'): In her book, Tushnet recounts how during her first week at Yale University, she decided to spend some time “gawking at zoo animals”—i.e., members of a conservative debate society. She reports how she “ended up in a long argument with one of the zoo animals, a Catholic divinity school student.” Through her contact with the debate society and its Catholic members, she came to encounter the Church. Like Pope Francis, those Catholic debaters journeyed to the edges, dialog … [Read more...]

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Honoring Friendship on St Aelred’s Feast Day

...which I totally missed. But there's always next year (if the Messiah tarries):I don’t know how you might choose to mark Aelred’s feast day today, or if you’re even comfortable marking saints’ feast days, but I’d encourage you to try something, be it small or large. I myself am planning to make a simple dinner for my housemates to give thanks for their company tonight. Perhaps you would want to start planning an “anniversary of friendship” trip to celebrate the years you’ve known a particul … [Read more...]

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A Couple Best-Of Lists from Wesley Hill and Helen Andrews

Hill: ...I write often about the consolations of friendship, hospitality, and Christian community, but sometimes I wonder if I’m too sanguine, writing as if these were easily attainable and capable of straightforward engineering. These three books, in very different ways, puncture my naivety. more!Andrews: ...Any culture that bestows fame on fiery young radicals will see some of them punished with remorse in old age, but there are surprisingly few role models for writers who find t … [Read more...]

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Jose Mena vs Me on Christian Friendship

A critique of some elements of my book. Some of this misreads specific phrases (I don't use "ancient" as a pejorative!) but Mena is putting his finger on something which is really in the book. I should say that I'm just not in a position to respond to these arguments; my best friend isn't Christian (nor is my family of course), and that's obviously shaped how I understand the role of shared belief within friendship. ...In Gay and Catholic, Tushnet is primarily concerned with establishing that … [Read more...]

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From the Letters of St Gregory of Nazianzus to St Basil

What I wrote before about our stay in Pontus was in joke, not in earnest; what I write now is very much in earnest. O that one would place me as in the month of those former days, Job 29:2 in which I luxuriated with you in hard living; since voluntary pain is more valuable than involuntary delight. O that one would give me back those psalmodies and vigils and those sojournings with God in prayer, and that immaterial, so to speak, and unbodied life. O for the intimacy and one-souledness of the … [Read more...]

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Hell Is for Children: “Krabat,” A New Entry in the Field of Scary Christmas Movies

For freedom Christ set us free; so stand firm and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery.-Gal 5:1 One of my favorite novels when I was a girl was The Satanic Mill, by Ottfried Preussler. The title is not a metaphor or an allusion; the book is about a mill that is run by a man who has sold his soul to Satan. An orphan child finds his way to the mill and enters its sinister brotherhood, getting to know the other apprentices and journeymen--and, eventually, learning magic alongside … [Read more...]

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