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Is It Beautiful, or “Mean, odious, repulsive, and revolting”?

This is "Christ in the House of His Parents," painted by John Everett Millais in 1849 and one of the landmarks of the -Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood movement. It's a masterpiece of symbolic naturalism. Everything in it has meaning. At the  center of the action is the child Jesus. He's cut his hand on a nail, and some of the blood has dropped to his foot, prefiguring the wounds of the crucifixion.The Blessed Mother holds out a cheek for him to kiss in comfort. Joseph examines the wound with the … [Read More...]

Sorry For the Long Silence

It's been a rough few weeks here. I was sick, and that turned into pneumonia which I just can't shake. Just to break things up and keep them interesting, we had a tornado, which knocked out power for days. I'm supposed to do nothing, which isn't as easy as it should be. Thanks for your patience. God bless.  … [Read More...]

LiveTweet of #LaudatoSi: Part One

Here you go, all Storified and everything. I plan to return to the task tomorrow morning.[View the story "Live-Tweeting @LaudatoSi Part I (ThomasLMcDonald)" on Storify] … [Read More...]

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#LaudatoSii: Hold Your Breath, Make a Wish, Count to Three

Tomorrow I will begin reading Laudato Sii, and I plan to tweet as I go. I'm already seeing the overheated freakouts online and it's a sorry spectacle. Everyone needs to cut the crap, m'kay?It seems like all we do lately is replay the right's reaction to Mater et Magistra and the left's reaction to Humanae Vitae. American Catholics need to be a little less American, and a little more Catholic. In case you hadn't noticed, America hates us. It is the Church that will survive, and we'll need p … [Read More...]

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Emmaus Road Publishing & St. Paul Center Merge

Scott Hahn's St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology has a new publishing arm, and Emmaus Road Publishing has a new lease on life, thanks to their recent merger. To mark the occasion, they're offering a free Scott Hahn book with your first order, deep discounts, and free shipping.The St. Paul Center produces Catholic Bible study lessons, books, and more. Their goal is to teach Catholic to be more scripturally literate as they read the Bible from the heart of tradition. Emmaus Road has an … [Read More...]

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A Lost Papal Bust by Bernini Found

This bust of Pope Paul V by Bernini surfaced two years ago in a private collection after being lost for 100 years. Commissioned by the Pope's nephew Cardinal Scipione Borghese in 1621, it was the first papal work of the 23-year-old artist. It remained in the Borghese family until 1893, when it was misidentified and auctioned off as the work of Alessandro Algardi.It’s been acquired by the Getty Museum and goes on display this week. … [Read More...]

The elusive Miss Tey, one of only a few photos of her.

The Best Novel You’ve Never Heard Of

It's a mystery where the mystery is 500 years old, and everyone already knows the solution. Or at least they think they do.The detective is stuck in a hospital bed for the entire novel.There is no action whatsoever. We never leave the hospital room.Only three characters have any kind of substantial roles, and only a handful of other characters appear at all.It was voted Number One on the list of Top Crime Novels of All Time by the Crime Writer's Association (UK) in … [Read More...]

That girl's so white you could use her to make a fluffer-nutter sandwich.

Is Transracialism The Next Frontier of Identity Politics?

By now everyone has probably heard about the white NAACP leader who lied for years in order to pass herself off as black. No doubt this emerged from a sincere affection for black culture and causes that ultimately took over her life and caused her to alter her identity. I don't doubt she thinks of herself as black, and I have no idea how anyone following the typical modernist logic of identity politics can possibly deny her claims. If a man can become a woman, a white person can become a black … [Read More...]

Wikimedia says this is a drawing of Demon by note hate-monster John Byrne, but really its a picture of his evil soul.

Comics Legend John Byrne Angers Transsexual Activists UPDATED

This just in from the Social Justice Warriors: John Byrne is evil.This very stupid year is already, quite obviously, the Year of the Transsexuals, because the rage-fits of a tiny cadre of deeply troubled people must be part of Our National Dialog all day every day.The latest Enemy of the People is Byrne, one of the giants of the 70s and 80s, best known for his runs on X-Men, Fantastic Four, and, most spectacularly, the reinvention of Superman for Man of Steel (comics not movie).Byrne … [Read More...]

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Tool Helps Companies Identify Slavery in Their Supply Chains

Slavery is a default condition in human society. Only as culture and Christianity advanced were we able to finally make headway against it, but it's far from gone.Americans have a particularly narrow understanding of the issue because of our history with African slavery and the Civil War that ended it. We tend to think all forms of slavery are like ours: brutal and violent, socially-sanctioned, and racially based. Modern slavery is more insidious, blurring the line between wage-slavery and a … [Read More...]

Jesus wins.

Christopher Lee’s Best Movie

I was genuinely saddened to learn that Christopher Lee died last Sunday. For some of us, he wasn't just great talent, but an iconic figure from our childhood. I was a Monster Kid of the 1970s: raised on Saturday matinees, the 4:30 movie, Chiller Theatre on channel 11 (that hand!), and Famous Monsters of Filmland. I didn't do sports and wasn't much of a student. I did Karloff and Chaney and Cushing and Lee.And he was the last. They're all gone now. Lugosi and Chaney, before I was born. … [Read More...]

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Pope To Join “Frasier” Reunion?

Another Papal Visit logo: It reminds me of something...Is it just me?Probably.I kid, I kid. I actually don't mind it that much. It's clean and simple and does the logo thing well enough. … [Read More...]

Art by Ed McGuinness, from Wikimedia Commons.

The Latest From The Perpetually Aggrieved

You won't believe what has the Social Justice Warriors of geekdom riled up this time.DC Comics was tweeting answers to fan questions in a chat about Bizarro, a DC villain who's Superman's opposite. Some SJW asked what they always ask now about everything: will people of color be included? Because nothing's more important to a story about a comic-relief Superman villain than making sure they hit their quota of designated minorities.Bizarro is grey, so I hope you're counting him. (1/2) … [Read More...]

The Strange “Love” of Ayn Rand

Blank on Blank makes animated shorts from interview clips, and now they're treating us to love advice from Ayn Rand. That this repellant woman is the It Girl of the contemporary Republican Party (decades after Buckley and Chambers identified the evil at the heart of her philosophy) is just depressing. … [Read More...]

Gelada baboon, Wikimedia commons

Are Monkeys Domesticating Wolves?

The domestication of the dog was one of the pivotal moments in the development of human civilization.Most likely, wolves gathered by human campfires after a hunt. The humans allowed the wolves to scavenge, which disposed of animal remains and may have served as a deterrent to other predators.Both wolf and human gained from this uneasy peace, and in time the wolf, through selective breeding, became the working dogs we know today. Their ability to protect and control herds and aid man … [Read More...]


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