A Proper Blog Post: Writing, Biology, Political Theory

I've made a full recovery from yesterday's outburst. I clarified a few things in comments and others raised some good and completely irrelevant points too. Darwin Catholic wins for the biggest, line-by-line take down of it. He accuses me of being exploitive. The more I think about it, the more I suspect that he's probably right. Let's not pretend like blogging isn't exploitive. I guess it depends on what exploitation is. I don't know. But don't get me wrong: the story genuinely upset me and I … [Read more...]

The Scandalous Abortion of Savita Halappanavar

(WARNING: I'm pissed and I'm not mincing words or emotions here. I'm not reporting, I'm venting. I'll post links to other stories and all that jazz later, once I cool down.)These idiots --- who denied Savita Halappanavar an early induction that would have saved her life --- deserve court and confession, prison and penance.These idiots also happen to be my religious kin. They used the word 'Catholic' and their Irish national identity carries a long, storied relationship to my Church. In this … [Read more...]

Bilingual Mass Never Quite Jives For Me: A Note on Translation

Yesterday's Spanish debut was a direct response to posts, on Facebook and Twitter, covering the USCCB's conversation about new media with Catholic bloggers. (Here's a great recap by Leah Libresco, with links to other posts by Patheos bloggers who attended.)I wasn't able to attend, but I gathered that there was some data presented that indicated a disproportionate gap between English and Spanish language Catholic blogs relative to the demographics of the data. My reaction was straightforward: I … [Read more...]

Beso, Abrazo y Ternura

(A note to English readers: this begins a series of Spanish-language essays I will post here weekly.)Pregunta: ¿Que puede ofrecer la cultura Hispana a la Iglesia Católica en los Estados Unidos?Respuesta: Cultura.En el sentido biológico, una “cultura” nace de proximidad y tiempo. Lo que nos falta en los Estados Unidos es el prójimo, la persona que se besa, abraza y ama porque la vida siempre se acaba. La persona que aparece en proximidad.Esta intimidad, tan ausente en estos tiempos y lugar … [Read more...]

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 the … [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 understand … [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 heard? … [Read more...]


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