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...]

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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...]

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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 heard? … [Read more...]

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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...]

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Suffrage as Nihilism: Voting is Dead

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 that anyone or … [Read more...]

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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...]

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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 find ou … [Read more...]

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“Sts. Augustine and Monica, the Head and the Heart,” a lecture.

Yesterday I alluded to the relationship between the head and the heart.Here is a lecture I gave this past summer on the same theme, within Augustine's Confessions, at the Catholic Church of Saint Paul, in Ham Lake, MN.It follows along with this text, below. I. This talk will introduce St. Augustine's Confessions by making a somewhat bold claim: St. Monica is the sine qua non of the book, the character without which there is nothing at all. This claim asks us to imagine Augustine confessing … [Read more...]

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When the Well Goes Dry

In my life, there is always writing to do. Along with teaching, it's my primary craft. It can be executed as well as the imagination and work and skill that bears it out, like anything else. But sometimes I run into a serious problem. The problem is deeper and more profound than a mere handicap of sorts: sometimes the well goes dry.This is not the same as suffering from an empty head. This is not something petty, like "writer's block." Ideas abound, always. The well is in the heart, not the … [Read more...]

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“Don Juan as Moralist,” a talk by David Bentley Hart

Last week's posts (here and here) on the profane, gangstas, and the New Evangelization evoked a little bit of outrage in my inbox. I suspect much of that was the product of misunderstanding and the presumption that my claims were not very serious. If you want to see a substantive, albeit characteristically indulgent, treatment of the matter, watch this talk by DBH, below. It shows, among many other things, the incredibly sterile and unimaginative state of late modernity, clamoring for a profane, … [Read more...]

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