“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...]

20 No More…

It is 11:25 pm in Grand Forks, North Dakota. My folks are in town. Got here today, from Texas. I turn 30 in just over half an hour. Lame as it may seem to spend that time writing to a few friends and perfects strangers, I am writing to myself, mostly. Most of my writing is a confessional exercise, a form of vain, public therapy posing as public admonition and unpious piety.Everyone is asleep. My Dad and I went to the movies tonight. We both love the theatre and cinema, but there's no time to … [Read more...]

Mormons vs. Catholics: College Football Gets Religious

I played rugby at Franciscan University of Steubenville for four years. At the time, we were competing in the division II Allegheny conference. We played Pittsburgh, West Virginia, and even faced Penn State and Ohio State in tourneys or friendly matches. Since then FUS moved to division III, where it's become the premiere small college rugby football club in the nation.We weren't well-trained in the art of rugby, most of us had never played until college, but we were very well conditioned and … [Read more...]

My Man Luke!

Today is the feast of St. Luke the Evangelist. I've always been most partial to John, but Luke is a very, very close second. Two things stand out. No surprises here, just reflections:1. Infancy Narrative. Luke describes the Incarnation in a very ordinary way. Through story. Whereas John describes it in esoteric mysticism, Luke lays it bare in narrative. And what a narrative it is! The Magnificat alone is worth the price of admission. It is a beautiful story. It's effects stand alone too. … [Read more...]

More Stuff on Gangstas

***A note concerning terminology: there is a difference between 'gangsta' and 'gangster.' The former is an expression of a spirited person, someone who is "cold-blooded," "ice-cold," who doesn't crack under pressure. The latter is a member of the mob or a genre of films like Scarface, starring Al Pacino with machine guns and cocaine. They're not unrelated, but they're most certainly not synonymous. Please, more stuff on gangstas. That’s serious. A real sense of what’s important, and a composure s … [Read more...]

The New Evangelization Needs Profanity

So a Pharisee invites Jesus over to his house for dinner. Check out what transpires, from today's Gospel: The Pharisee was amazed to see that he did not observe the prescribed washing before the meal. The Lord said to him, "Oh you Pharisees! Although you cleanse the outside of the cup and the dish, inside you are filled with plunder and evil. You fools!" Damn. Move over, Kobe Bryant: Jesus is the real OG --- Original Gangsta. Jesus was crazy.In many ways, I think he was crazier than his … [Read more...]

In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Hail Mary. Full of grace. The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women. And blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God. Pray for us sinners. Now and at the hour of our death. Amen. … [Read more...]

Vote Local, Not Loco: Subsidiarity and Voting

Politics makes us crazy. As true as it may be, the statement should be qualified. National politics make us crazy. Sanity is the exception to the insane rule on the national stage. But not on the local one. Partisanship always dissipates, and many times disappears, at the local level. If this is true, then there should be something deeply unsettling about it. It is reminiscent of my ridiculous post on the exploitation of Catholics by the both national parties. While we get black-out drunk --- … [Read more...]

Faith and Food

Happy Year of Faith, everyone!On Monday, I think I raised some eyebrows when I expressed my fear of Latinos becoming "white." For the record: as proud and attached as I am to my Texican Hispanic heritage, I wouldn't mind being any number of other ethnicities --- so long as they're Catholic. (As I've pointed out, until recently, Catholics have been excluded from being considered white.) My fear is not principally racial; it is cultural and religious.Catholic culture is what I treasure and … [Read more...]

We Be, Big Pimpin’ Catholics Down in US of A: The Democrat and Republican Exploitation of Catholics

Certain anti-Catholic Protestants like to claim that the Catholic Church is the "Whore of Babylon," from chapters 17 and 18 of the book of Revelation. Outrageous as it is to think this, there may be some substance to the claim if we substitute the Apocalypse of John with Jay-Z's perverse and misogynistic song, Big Pimpin'. The American Catholic Church is certainly not the Whore of Babylon, but, on the American scene, many of her members have become whores to another Imperial pimp: the American … [Read more...]