Call for Writers: Catholic Mom’s Annual Gospel Reflection Collection

A reader reminded me I wrote something half-decent that ran this past week at CatholicMom.com.  Following some thoughts on the Bread of Life discourse: When I enter a Catholic church, am I aware that I’ve just stepped into the court of the King of the Universe? Do I treat my time in His presence with the solemnity, majesty, and awe that such a visit deserves? Maybe you, too, like to pray over the scriptures and reflect on them.  If so, that can be your name in print for 2016.  CatholicMom.com h … [Read more...]

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Three Bad Arguments You Should Stop Using Right Now

If there's one thing the latest Planned Parenthood sting videos have brought to light, it's just how terrible people are at thinking about things.Lest there be any doubt, I am firmly opposed to the chopping up and selling of any person, regardless of age or residence.   And for that reason, we need to talk about some of the nasty fallacies people have been flinging around the internet. 1. The Evil You Are Exposing Did Not Make My Short List There are several variations on this one, but t … [Read more...]

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Love, Death, and the Communion of Saints: There are Movies for That

My chief occupation this Memorial Day was doing things to prevent my lungs from making interesting squeaky sounds (no, really: the squeaking was fascinating -- and harmless, as it happened, which adds to the appeal), and that means watching movies. These are the ones that are worth your time, and I'm looking at you, Julie Davis. Still Life A decade or so ago I inherited a collection of poetry, one of those mass-market-intellectual anthologies that was so popular back when all we had for the … [Read more...]

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Survey Now Open: Listen To Me, Catholic Mothers Edition

I've lost my patience with church people who just won't listen to the real stories of the Catholics and not-quite-Catholics they are supposed to be serving.  So I'm starting a survey series, and survey #1 is for Catholic mothers.  If you're a mother and you consider yourself Catholic, then you're part of that group, even if you're not a very good Catholic.  (As you'll see, the questions reflect this.)You can find the form here.  The only required question is whether you are willing to have yo … [Read more...]

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So, Jennifer, How Do You, Ahem, Pray?

Over at Tom McDonald's blog today, you can find out all kinds of things about how I pray.Something I mention but don't elaborate on there, because I didn't want to overwhelm a perfectly good blog:The reason writing is so bad for praying is that there's always a story or an argument in my head, and it can absolutely own me.  Arguments aren't too terribly bad, in that you can get away with sort of "bringing them to the Lord," which is part prayerful reflection and part excuse to keep … [Read more...]

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More Bad Arguments: The Good Man Defense

Moving beyond any particular example of terrible writing, I want to address a non-argument I've seen circulating among Catholics of good will lately.  If you're going to be Catholic, set yourself firmly in favor of the truth.  If you're going to set yourself in favor of the truth, you need to know a non-argument when you see it.Again, I'm writing here not to philosophers, but to ordinary internet people like myself. Good Guys Do Bad Things Here's an example of a typical round.  Sam Rocha wr … [Read more...]

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Is There a Rational Argument in Favor of IVF for Church Employees?

In discussing the recent scandal out of Notre Dame's theology department, a question arose: Would it be possible for Joel Baden and Candida Moss to have argued well against the Catholic position on IVF?  That is, is there another way they could have challenged the Catholic position that would have shown them worthy opponents?I think there is, and I'm going to walk you through my thoughts on that. Before we begin, let's go over some preliminaries:1. I don't for a moment question any as … [Read more...]

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