“It is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God”

I've been reading Ron Chernow's remarkable George Washington: A Life, which makes a case that was once obvious: even with his flaws, George Washington was the greatest and most important man in our history.He was more than a great man, however: he was a good man, and a man of deep Christian faith who was also remarkably tolerant, and clearly saw that America was a pluralistic nation that demanded new approaches to belief and tolerance.Given the tenor of his times, Washington's routine … [Read More...]


How I Pray: Jimmy Akin

Every Monday in How I Pray, I ask various Catholics about their prayer routines, their prayer lives, and their experience of prayer. This week I'm joined by the great apologist Jimmy Akin, whose clear and irenic explanations of Catholic teaching are always a welcome oasis in the often-fractious world of online Catholicism. Who are you? Ooo. One of the classic questions! You can keep asking it, over and over, peeling off layer after layer to get to the core of a person's sense of self--and … [Read More...]

Prayer Requests

Please remember the following in your prayers:For A-, a child who was badly burned this week, that he may be given comfort from his pain and complete healing; and for his family, that they may be consoled in this difficult time. For M-, that her doctors may find the cause of, and proper treatment for, a heart defect, and that she may get relief from her physical problems. For J- and R-, as they each face a health crisis in their families, provide complete healing, strength, and freedom f … [Read More...]

Actual Satanist

Church of Satan Angry That Satanist Murderers Are Called Satanists

 The Church [sic] of Satan [sic] is sad and angry that a couple of Satanic murderers are being called Satanists.They're not real Satanist like us, they say. They're "devil worshipers," which is a different thing!Why? Because!Follow this one if you can. The Church of Satan, founded by a comical fraud named Howard Levey ("Anton LaVey") in the 1960s, is the"true" Satanism because they say so.Now, it doesn't actually believe in Satan. In fact, it's just bog-standard … [Read More...]

Wolf with the head of St. Edmund

The Feast of St. Edmund

I only discovered A Clerk of Oxford this month, but it's quickly become one of my favorite blogs. The blogger is a medievalist who writes long, fascinating posts highlighted by her excellent translations from Old English.Today, for the Feast of St. Edmund, she offers generous selections from Ælfric's Life of Edmund (10th Century), both in the original, so you get the sense of its beautiful alliteration, and then in modern English.Here's just a taste to whet your appetite. It has all the e … [Read More...]

Mark Shea and I On The Radio: Tonight at 6pm EST

The Mighty Shea has a new radio show on Radio Maria, and he's yakking with me tonight (November 19th) at 6:00 because all the best guests were busy or something.We'll be talking about death and ghosts in the Church, maybe some tech talk and some tarot debunking, and possibly recount that crazy summer we toured with Elvis as the guys who gave him his scarves and water while Charlie Hodge was on vacation. … [Read More...]


Gee, Thanks Oswald: On Distractions In Prayer

This inane quote from Oswald Chambers showed up in my Twitter feed: Don’t say, "Oh, Lord, I suffer from wandering thoughts." Don't suffer from wandering thoughts. Which is just so ... useless. All I could think of was this:Chambers rails against our "individual natural lives." But these lives, flaws and all, are what we're given to work with. We put them in God's hands and offer them up, but to reject them or suggest they can merely be pushed aside like a bowl of cold oatmeal is absur … [Read More...]


How I Pray: Jeff Miller, The Curt Jester

The Curt Jester was one of the first Catholic blogs I read, and I've always enjoyed Jeff Miller's humor and his common sense take on the faith. I'm glad to have made his acquaintance via Facebook, where we're able to talk about apps and make bad puns at each other. Jeff is a fellow techie, and I laughed out loud when I got his answers and they were already meticulously HTML coded and hyperlinked in Markdown. You can read about Jeff's conversion from atheism here. I'm glad to have him answer some … [Read More...]


Five Catholic Things to Listen to on Spotify

Spotify has a pretty deep archive, but its poor tagging and search features make it difficult to burrow into the more obscure corners and find the weird stuff hidden below pop songs and other junk. Here are five things that may be of interest to Catholics.Pope John Paul II: Mass in English is not a whole mass, but the Liturgy of the Eucharist, with oddly mislabeled tracks suggesting this is side two and side one is missing.Alec Guinness Reads Spiritual and Religious Poetry and … [Read More...]

Verbum 6 is Here

Verbum Bible Software (the Catholic version of Logos Bible Software) is the backbone of my research and writing on religion. It allows me to drill into massive amounts of data with ease. Scripture, original language resources, church documents, history, papal writings, theology, philosophy, commentaries, and, most important of all, a huge amount of patristic material is all part of my Verbum library. I can highlight, annotated, clip, export, compare, and do almost anything I need to do with … [Read More...]

not_this_crap_again (3)

Debunking the Latest “Married Jesus” Hoax

When these stories start to burble up in my RSS feeds, I always swear I'm going to ignore them and wait for them to go away. Just paying attention to them makes people dumber.This one was an easy call, because the articles had the "tell" of pure BS right inside: the name "Simcha Jacobovici," mostly famous for outlandish claims like the Talpiot Tomb theory, the forged James Ossuary, finding proof of the Exodus, and similar cringe-worthy nonsense. He's about as credible as that guy who keep cla … [Read More...]


All I Could Think When I Saw This Picture Was …

"Do you like your quasi-futuristic clothes, Mr. Powers?" There's nothing in the diplomatic protocol that says you have to dress like a Bond villain. … [Read More...]


How I Pray

Lifehacker has a series called "How I work" in which they put a set of questions to various tech leaders and business people to learn their techniques and tools for getting things done.  I decided to shamelessly rip off the format for a series called "How I pray."Two things I've noticed: people tend to be dissatisfied with their own prayer lives, and fascinated with the prayer lives of others, as though someone might have some secret key to unlock the mystery of prayer.I've found it's … [Read More...]


Please Don’t Reply To Stupid Facebook Memes

Let's try this again.Everything I asked people not to do in the initial post, they did when the post was shared on social media, which is just so much fail I don't know where to start.So, I've deleted the text of the original post and the picture, and now I'm just telling you:There are Facebook memes that ask you to combine two things like "What was the name of your childhood pet?" and  "What is your favorite food?" to get your hooker name or porn star name or superhero name or wh … [Read More...]


Amazon Echo Will Not Open the Pod Bay Doors

Because we all need a non-portable Siri in our lives?I liked this better when it was called Furby.More on Amazon Echo. … [Read More...]