“What do NFL protesters want, anyway?” Cultivating the Virtue of Curiousity

I spend a lot of time with Google. When I was a child, arguments between siblings about matters of fact frequently ended with my parents sending us to the encyclopedia to look up an answer. We had a full set of Funk and Wagnalls, and an even more well-loved science encyclopedia (plus yearly update edition) from Grolier. Even when the encyclopedia didn’t contain an answer to our specific dispute, the search for an answer frequently turned a combative pride-fueled verbal skirmish… Read more

Weeding the Garden of Good and Evil

I must thank Simcha for saying so well what I have tried to say elsewhere.  In her Catholic Weekly column, Simcha writes: Catholics, take note. We are quick to condemn sin, but slower to identify why sin is forbidden. More and more, I see that using people — treating them as things, behaving as if they are there to help us get what we want — is at the heart of nearly every sin we can commit against each other. This… Read more

Bunny in a Dark Labyrinth: Trauma and Choice in a Playboy World (Guest Post)

It’s an incredibly complicated thing when your personhood has been crushed through sexual exploitation. Read more

#TakeAKnee Has Made America Great Again

There are things more important than patriotism. America is greatest and most deserving of patriotism when she recognizes just that. Read more

A Literary Feast

One of the pleasures of poetry is rolling a particularly juicy turn of phrase over your tongue, like savoring a tidbit of something delicious. So it was maybe inevitable that my friends and I should wind up comparing our favourite (and not-so-favourite) poets to different kinds of cuisine. It started with a friend’s joking comparison of TS Eliot and Robert Frost to “steak” vs “rice crackers.” Ever the contrarian, I replied that I prefer Frost, because TS Eliot is like the cook who compulsively… Read more

“The leaves are different from the trees”

Recently, at the end of a busy, stressful day, a friend’s Facebook post started me on a binge of YouTube videos of colorblind people trying out corrective glasses and seeing a full range of colors for the first time. That description doesn’t come close to capturing the engaging, joyful nature of these videos. I’ll wait here while you watch one. Or twenty.   I have a vivid memory of putting glasses on for the first time, at 10 years old,… Read more

The consistent ethic of abolitionist William Wilberforce

This is the second part of a three part series on single-issue activism and social justice. The first part is here.  The third part, Salt and Light, is posted on The Personalist Project. William Wilberforce was an 18th century politician and activist. He was the abolitionist who eventually succeeded in getting the Slave Trade Act of 1807 passed. He continued to campaign against slavery the rest of his life, finally seeing the Slavery Abolition Act passed in 1833.  Nobody could call Wilberforce’s… Read more

LifeSiteNews gets it wrong about abolition–and everything else

This is the first part of a three-part essay on single-issue activism and social justice.  The recent LifeSiteNews hit-piece* on fellow Patheosi Rebecca Bratten Weiss is riddled with errors, misrepresentations, and fallacies, most of which is such tabloid-level gossip as to not merit a response. That said, I would like to address a rather tone-deaf comparison the author, Doug Grane, makes near the beginning of the piece. The comparison is made during the portion of his article is intended as a… Read more

The Peace of Wild Things

After waving my youngest off to school on the bus yesterday morning, I found my feet continuing on past the turning back to the house, my office, and the work waiting for me, on along the walking path that runs past the housing development, down along the waterside loop of the trail. My mind had been unsettled and restless all the previous night. A lot of my friends seem to be suffering right now, the news has been filled with… Read more

Not sure which door to take? Look toward love.

When I was a student, we called young men and women who waffled for years over the choice between religious life and the vocation of marriage the Brothers (and Sisters) of Perpetual Discernment. These earnest young men and women were well-meant and sincere, but their lengthy state of discernment and hesitant attempts to test one path without giving up the option of the other led to more than one broken heart or frustrated vocations director. It turns out that a… Read more

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