The Time to Talk is Now

It is hard to have a conversation when politics are at stake. The news makes fools of us all. I find it nearly impossible to discuss important things in serious ways during election cycles. Besides my close friends, most people suspect that I'm secretly trying to pull a political maneuver. Mistrust abounds.For instance, I've been asked "Why don't you have anything to say about abortion?" several times. I have my reasons. The main reason is that I will not let the sloganeering lexicon rule … [Read more...]

What’s Left of the Left? Did the Grand Old Party Get Old?

The election has passed. Obama won the big one and the list goes on and on from there. Casualties in every direction. 2014 and 16 loom thick and heavy already, as depressing as that seems. What did we learn? I hope someone learned something. Especially the so-called "Left" and the GOP. Now remember: I'm a Catholic mercenary, unbeholden to either party. I have no dogs in this nation-state fight. At least not right in the middle of it. Just howlin' on the fringes, the margin. A Conservative … [Read more...]

Thanking the Candidates, All of Them

Those who read and know me understand that my politics tend toward the cynical. Especially during election season. At Mass today, my wonderful pastor broke through to me in the way that good priests do from time to time. He changed my attitude a little.His voice and demeanor carried a heavy, languished sense of relief. Confusion, too. He's told me about how elections wear on him because he finds the candidates and their parties to be such imperfect options for Catholics. He doesn't … [Read more...]

I Miss My Brother: A Sports Memoir

ESPN is the world's best worst psychic. Always looking ahead to the next story, inventing news before it doesn't happen. Masters of straw-man stories, written in tortured prose. Convenient virtual foils to what transpires in reality. They build their own surprises and punchlines. Sometimes garbage, other times a stretch, and occasionally --- and this is why I read them --- too fun to not play along with. Thoroughly amusing.A few weeks ago they speculated on very speculative speculations that … [Read more...]

Tim Tebow and Camilla Belle: Star-Crossed Lovers?

Three years ago, while writing at Vox Nova, I noted the fierce anti-Catholicism of Tim Tebow's father, Bob Tebow, especially in his mission to the predominantly Roman Catholic Philippines. I concluded that post leaving the question of Tim Tebow's personal sentiments about Catholics open.Today I might have found an answer in the form of Tebow's girlfriend, Camilla Belle: a Brazilian-American actress raised in a devout Catholic home.At the time of my original post, Tebow was a college q … [Read more...]

Abstention is Still a Choice: The Power of Negative Voting

Atheists go nuts when they stand accused of believing in something, despite their unbelief in the existence of God. Theists usually make this accusation in a simplistic, easy, and clumsy way, deserving all the distain that atheists have for it and more.But there is another way into this argument that ought to disturb atheists and theists alike: negative theology. The dark, apophatic path to God.Hold that thought.Alongside this thread, there is another conversation going on. Have you … [Read more...]

I’m Voting for Obama and Romney. So Should You.

As a faithful Catholic in America, I'll take my lead from our great shepherd in New York: Timothy Cardinal Dolan. He prayed at both conventions, so I guess I'll vote for both candidates. More specifically, I'll be voting for both candidates because I like different things about each of them and their respective platforms that intersect with my faith. Here are some of the highlights:I am especially enthusiastic about Obama's anti-war record. He gave that great speech that one time. He won the … [Read more...]

Suffrage as Nihilism: Voting is Dead

VOTE

I've seen and heard an election dogma that can only be described as pure, unadulterated nihilism. A complete void of being. It goes as follows: "it doesn't matter who you vote for, the only important thing is that you vote." Another version plays with words a bit: "the only wrong choice is not to vote."How clever!The implication is clear: who or what gets elected isn't important; the only thing that has importance is that someone, anyone, gets elected. It may not even matter … [Read more...]

Mary in the Moon

Mary in the Moon

An apparition: Egg-shaped moon, Haloed, with soft, cloud-prism edges Dissipate; alone now. Resplendent shining white, Holy lasers lacerate In four, six, twelve directions. Bare fingerlings reach, sprawl Whilst man-laid brick outlines the bottom edges. Hail Holy Queen, Lady of night shadows' sorrows. Pray for us, Mother of God. Mary in the Moon, tonight. … [Read more...]

Dead White Guys at First Things

Today, I'll refer you to as essay that came out today at First Things: Dead White Guys.The essay is autobiographical, sharing some of the perils of the academy and the predicament of late modernity in the West. Here's an excerpt: I learned—primarily from white men—what a wretched thing my newly acquired Western canon was. And how disempowered I had been at the hands of Homer, Augustine, and Dante. Doing the very thing I once thought was the path to socio-political empowerment, I came to fin … [Read more...]


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