“The Right to Look Your Judge in the Eye”: I’m at AmCon

w/the theology of the body of the defendant: Last month a Michigan appeals court considered the case of a man convicted of methamphetamine possession. Although the man received an unusually harsh sentence (30 to 120 months in prison, based in part on his prior record), the decision of the three appellate judges addresses not only the length of the sentence but also, and at greater length, the way it was delivered: via videoconferencing. The defendant was in the county jail when he was … [Read more...]

A Clarification on My “You Don’t Have to Grok Natural Law” Shtik

(I'll take any excuse to jam both "grok" and "shtik" into the same headline.)Now and then I find myself saying that you can accept Catholic teaching on [whatever, usually about gay stuff somehow] without being persuaded by or caring much about natural law theory. E.g. in the book I say, "This book is not a theological treatise defending the Catholic Church's teaching on sexuality. I admittedly don't always understand that teaching, and I don't think you need to understand every single … [Read more...]

“Does Religion Cause Violence?”

a really excellent essay from William T. Cavanaugh. Excerpt: But what is implied in the conventional wisdom that religion is prone to violence is that Christianity, Islam, and other faiths are more inclined toward violence than ideologies and institutions that are identified as "secular." It is this story that I will challenge here. I will do so in two steps. First, I will show that the division of ideologies and institutions into the categories "religious" and "secular" is an arbitrary and … [Read more...]