Unexamined Ballot, Not Worth Casting

That's the title of my latest entry over at The Catholic Thing. Here's how it begins: During the 2012 political campaigns for a variety of local and state-wide offices, chances are that you will have a candidate ring your doorbell or you will encounter one at a public gathering.He will tell you all about himself, hand you a piece of literature, and then ask if you have any questions. This is your chance to find out what the candidate really thinks.You have to be very careful, however, … [Read more...]

From Evangelical to Catholic in 95 Difficult Steps

I am pleased to announce the publication of a new book by Notre Dame sociologist, Christian Smith.  Professor Smith, a life-long Evangelical, was recently received into the Catholic Church. In How to Go From Being a Good Evangelical to a Committed Catholic in Ninety-Five Difficult Steps (Cascade Books, 2011) Professor Smith takes the reader through just the sort of reasoning and reflection that resulted in his own reception into the Church. Here's how the publisher describes the book: American e … [Read more...]

Paul Cella on Sean Wilentz’s “Bob Dylan in America”

Over at What's Wrong With the World, Paul J. Cella reviews the book Bob Dylan in America, authored by Princeton University historian Sean Wilentz. Here's how the review begins: The fact that Bob Dylan became a Christian is still very much controversial among many of his fans. It is not too much to say that when he began recording directly evangelical, even apocalyptic evangelical albums of rock music, beginning in 1979, he delivered a shock comparable to that delivered to the folk movement in … [Read more...]

Mormonism, Catholicism, and the Romney Candidacy

That's the title of my latest entry over at The Catholic Thing. It begins this way: In a piece recently published in the Catholic and Evangelical portals of the Patheos website, Warren Cole Smith explains why he cannot support Mitt Romney’s candidacy for President of the United States.  “A Vote for Romney is a Vote for the LDS Church” reminded me of the sort of anti-Catholic screeds that were widely published during the presidential candidacy of Senator John F. Kennedy.Catholics conversant wit … [Read more...]

Newsweek’s offensive cover

Imagine it is the summer of 2000 soon after presidential candidate Al Gore chose Senator Joseph Lieberman, an Orthodox Jew, to be his vice-presidential running mate. Newsweek does a cover story on Lieberman's historic selection. Blazed across the cover are the words, "The Jewish Moment," with a photograph of Lieberman, though the image is photoshopped. The face is clearly Lieberman's, but in the image he is bearded in full rabbinic garb sitting at a desk preparing a sermon.  And over his left s … [Read more...]

Bishop Gorman Memory: The Evening I Blocked Willie Hicks’ Dunk

The wife and I just arrived in Las Vegas. We are here because on Sunday, June 5, 2011, I will be giving the commencement address at my alma mater, Bishop Gorman High School (class of 1978). While going through some old scrapbooks in preparation for my address, I came across an article from the sports pages of the Las Vegas Review Journal. Dated January 28, 1978, it includes a brief account of my greatest moment of individual accomplishment as a member of Gorman’s varsity basketball team: I b … [Read more...]


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