Torture As Ineffective as It is Unethical, New Study Says.


A lot of my fellow Catholic patheosi have been engaging the torture debate in light of the recent report from congress.  I will leave the moral dimensions of the debate to more able hands--it is sufficient for me to know that our faith deems torture an offense against the dignity of the person (c.f., Evangelium Vitae and Splendor of the Truth).  As the Patheos Catholic Channel's resident shrink, I figured I'd limit myself to reporting on some recent research that examined the efficacy of t … [Read more...]

No, She Can’t Play That Game Either

The NYTimes has an article about the effect of the college hook-up culture on young women and their potential for happiness in life and relationships.  It is a poignant and painful look at what happens to a culture when it defines itself by its ability to produce instead of the quality of its character and depth of its relationships.The title of the article is, "Sex on Campus:  She Can Play That Game Too."  The implication, of course, is that men have been having casual sex for centuries and … [Read more...]

The Holy Fool Offers a Contrarian Take on the Modesty Question

I find this "fool's" arguments offer a worthwhile corrective to a lot of confusion on what modesty is and isn't.  Take a look! … [Read more...]

Can You Teach the Theology of the Body to a 10yo? Should you?

Catholic Patheosi, Elizabeth Husted Duffy, posts her suggestions on what a "true" sexual education out to look like.  I like and agree with all of her recommendations and I encourage you to check them out forthwith.One point I thought could benefit from a little more reflection, though, is Elizabeth's initial reaction to a call she received during a recent radio interview.  She says....One mother called into the show wondering about how to present the Theology of the Body to her t … [Read more...]

Dirty Sex, Accidental Heretics, and the Cult of Purity

"But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by everyone, despised by the people"  (Psalm 22:6).In the Catholic Patheos community, we're having a continuing conversation on the nature of healthy vs. unhealthy perspectives on sex ed.  Calah Alexander offers a terrific post contradicting the false notion that sex outside of marriage makes one "dirty."   She writes,"Contemporary American culture, a culture that has so influenced other first-world cultures, is profoundly shaped by the heavily Ca … [Read more...]

What Does a “True” Sex Education Look Like?

Last week, while I was on vacation, several of my Catholic Patheosi colleagues were engaged in vigorous discussions on abstinence education that were precipitated by Elizabeth Smart's negative comments on the, frankly, unhealthy approaches some abstinence programs take to promote their message.The conversation is continuing among Catholic Patheos bloggers, and earlier today, it was proposed that we all reflect a bit on what a "true" sex education would entail giving lists on what we think … [Read more...]

Shame on You

Shame, guilt, embarrasment.  Emotions that are as universally experienced as they are universally unwelcome.Elizabeth Duffy has a great post on shame on her blog.  Personal, poignant, and thought-provoking.   But I thought I would chime in to offer some additional insights from Pope John Paul II.In Love and Responsibility, then Karol Woytyla, wrote a great deal about shame.  He argued that shame is a protective emotion that warns us that we are being treated as an object, not a person.  I … [Read more...]

How to Put this Charitably? “Conrad Black, YOU are the Dumbass of the Day.” (Or, Why The Church Need not Get Jiggy with the Pill)

 Sadly, the National Review has taken leave of the remains its senses and published a rambling essay on the need to overturn Humanae Vitae by Conrad Black, who, besides being Sirius' older, less Catholic, and more sesquipedalian brother, would appear to be leaning on his extensive experience as a biographer of dead presidents (FDR, and Tricky Dick) as evidence of his authority  to lecture the Church on contraception.  Well, why the hell not?  Everybody else is doing it. Why shouldn't an … [Read more...]