All This Stuff About Millennials

I Googled 'millennials' and found out, through Wikipedia, that the term is a synonym for "Generation Y," the generation that contains people born between the early 1980s to the early 2000s. The reason I decided to finally look it up was because I was pretty sure that I'm a millennial. Born, 1982. But I wanted to be sure.Double-check.The reason I was checking was because of all kinds of noise and panting I've been hearing, here at Patheos (see this, this, this, and this) and on social media, a … [Read more...]

Shopping Amongst the Episcopate

On Saturday I met the new Bishop of the Diocese of Fargo, Bishop John Thomas Folda, while shopping at Costco with my wife. She spotted him first and talked to him in the cooler section. My attitude toward Bishops --- and authority figures in general --- oscillates from cautious to skeptical, but I'd heard he was a nice guy from a buddy of mine who knew him. I decided to meet him too, and see if I could get a picture to share with all of you. For a while I was thinking about taking a pic of him … [Read more...]

Pope Francis endorsed MY book, too!

For some time now we've all seen how much Pope Francis reiterates the central theme and problem of idolatry treated at length in Elizabeth Scalia's book, Strange Gods. He even "endorsed" it! (I endorse it too, by the way, and hope to give a full review of it here very soon.) Nathaniel Peters agrees in his recent review of Lumen Fidei, at First Things.Much to my surprise and delight, I discovered that Francis took time to endorse my own book, A Primer for Philosophy and Education, too, during … [Read more...]

Airport Affectations

Over the past two months I've become an infrequent blogger.I once resisted that title."Blogger."I'm not sure what snobbery developed my absurd allergy to blogging as an identity.Today I see things differently; I guess I've realized that there is a difference between blogging in the abstract and the concrete reality of this blog, this virtual dwelling place.I've been busy, of course.I write to you from an airport terminal, so on and so forth.You?I've come to realize that, for me, … [Read more...]

Sex Miseducation: Abstinence Doesn’t Make Sense UPDATED

Calah Alexander has written a powerful essay about the psychological and spiritual violence that is often inflicted on women by abstinence-only sex education.Read it.Since I seem to be in a womanist mood these days, I'd like to fully endorse her argument and bolster it with a very simple addition: teaching fertile females and virile males to abstain from having sex is crazy. It is almost as crazy as instructing trees to abstain from growing leaves in the spring.A student once interviewed me … [Read more...]

Housekeeping, Announcements, Gratitude, Spring

Those who know me also know that I don't keep a calendar, although sometimes I do in one form or another. It's a defensive mechanism. The things I do forget, are simply that. The rest gets done at a regular pace without breathing too heavy down my neck.It's been a long, hard winter. Laura Ingalls Wilder comes to mind. There are no words to describe it properly --- what it does to you. North Dakotans tell me that I got to experience a real winter. I should feel proud or or lucky or something. I … [Read more...]

(Un)Fashionable Nostalgia

I grew up wearing second-hand clothes. And hating it. Shopping was always ritual in humiliation. The psychology of used clothing, at least when you’re in high school, is all about branding. If I could buy a brand that was popular enough, Goodwill would always outdo Wal-Mart.When I didn’t find the right brand, when the cool clothes just weren’t there or didn’t fit, I'd go for the obscure names and console myself with the conviction that my obscure threads were actually cooler than cool. I suppos … [Read more...]

Off Topic, Sometimes

It's been a while since I wrote about not writing. I've been trying to break some tics and habits, but this one might be worth holding on to. Periodically I hit something of a wall. For those of you haven't been reading me for very long, you should know that I don't believe in writer's block. I believe in writing when it doesn't feel good, when inspiration is a deadline or a weird sort of fear that, if you don't write, the magic, what little there is, will leave you with nothing.I've been … [Read more...]

An Open Letter to Salon and Molly McCluskey — UPDATED

Dear Salon Editors and Molly (if I may),I read your article, "My Steubenville," with great personal interest. Before I get to that, let me clarify one key term for you.The word 'Steubenville,' in this case, is like the word 'bat.' To bat your eyes at someone is different from swinging a bat or throwing a dead bat at someone. See? The same word actually refers to very different things. I suppose you could bat your eyes while swinging a bat at a bat that someone threw at you, but even then it … [Read more...]

A Hot Mess: Marriage, Derrida, Nabokov, and Whatnot

I don't really understand what the same sex marriage hullabaloo is about. I can understand it at a personal, anecdotal level. I know a great many people who are upset and concerned and animated about this issue. But I do not have a clear grasp of what is really going on.As a Roman Catholic, I understand marriage as a sacrament. I'm not even sure what it means to be "married" outside of the sacrament of marriage. I guess filing taxes is the only place where it makes some concrete sense to … [Read more...]