“Fragile Unions Like the One That Conceived Me”: Matthew Loftus

on the way two recovering alcoholics' troubled marriage is still bearing fruit, decades after they almost split up: I was six months old, and my mother was ready to leave. My dad had been remarking for some time that he did not want to be married anymore, that it just wasn’t working out for him. My mother had tired of saying that that was fine.They couldn’t communicate much beyond that, though she did know how to make things dramatic. Lacking funds for a suitcase, she piled our belongings in … [Read more...]

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Lay Celibacy and Two Kinds of Eschatological Witness

I am all about the clickbait headlines today, people.Anyway, I did a talk recently on "The Radical Challenge of Celibacy." It wasn't esp well-structured and needs a lot of conceptual work, but I did like the ending, where I contrasted two types of eschatological witness.Catholics may be familiar with the idea that celibacy is a witness to our life in Heaven, where there is neither marrying nor giving in marriage. This is often discussed in terms of priestly or monastic celibacy, but it's … [Read more...]

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What Was Going On Inside: I Watch “Goodnight Mommy”

for AmCon: An Austrian television personality comes home to her remote, eerie house to recuperate from extensive plastic surgery. Swathed in bandages, she confronts her twin sons—and they don’t recognize her. She can’t persuade the boys that she’s their real mother, and her inability to remember basic information about her own life doesn’t help. She seems to scapegoat one of the boys as the troublemaker; she sometimes refuses to talk to him or even set a place for him at the table. The boys deci … [Read more...]

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“Married or Not, All Families Deserve Equal Benefits”: WaPo

I would frame this in terms of supporting caregiving--framing things in terms of "equality" just encourages people to judge the depth of others' relationships in the abstract (are boyfriends and husbands really equal?), instead of asking whether caregiving and sacrificial love are really taking place. Still, this makes an important point: Both government and the private sector can do more. Only three states have paid family leave laws, and only California’s law covers care for siblings, gran … [Read more...]

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I Watch “Mistress America,” The New Noah Baumbach/Greta Gerwig Flick About Women’s Friendship

for AmCon: One of the weirder trends in today’s art is the rise of a certain kind of comedy: cynical and even scathing on the surface, but in the end, staunchly moral. These comedies push forgiveness, humility, and love as self-gift; the great enemies are personal ambition, unwillingness to embrace adult responsibility, and concern for one’s own self-image. (The lesser enemy is positive self-talk, which all these comedies go out of their way to satirize.) It’s a sort of comedic burned marsh … [Read more...]

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“Why Survivor’s ‘Broadway Boyfriends’ Will Keep Singing with Hillsong Church”: Jonathan Merritt

reports: The only thing worse than a false story is a partial one.That was the real lesson behind an article published on a conservative Christian website last week claiming that the Hillsong Church was allowing an “openly homosexual couple” to lead worship. The article, about the New York City campus of the Australia-based super-church where tens of thousands worship weekly, drew from a seven-month-old article about two Survivor contestants and Broadway actors, Josh Canfield and Reed Kelly … [Read more...]

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Didn’t Know It Was a Devil Town: I Finally Watch “Friday Night Lights”

For years people told me I had to watch Friday Night Lights. And they all said the same four things: "Coach and Tami Taylor have the best marriage on television. I love how Dillon is its own character, and the show honors those who stay in their nowhere hometown instead of going Somewhere to be somebody. Ugh, skip season two, some dude kills a dude and it's just a soapy mess. Oh and you don't have to care about football, seriously, it's not a show about football."Some of this is true! Here … [Read more...]

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