By Their Fruits: A Reply to Rod Dreher

 Rod Dreher's spirited reply to my critical review of his book, The Benedict Option, has run its course. In my first reply, I defended Dreher against certain charges that struck me as being unfair. I continue to stand by them, but in this reply I'd like to move from defence to offence. I won't pretend to be in dialogue with the author, since Dreher has pledged to ignore me from here on out. Before I begin, Rebecca Bratten Weiss has anticipated the main thrust of my argument in her re … [Read more...]

The Benedict Option: A Critical Review

 Rod Dreher positions himself in The Benedict Option in a way that makes this review require a bit of personal introduction. We both seem to agree that testimony is important.I grew during the 80s and 90s in a lay Catholic missionary family that spent a decade as affiliate members and on-site missionaries with a charismatic covenant community founded in Akron, Ohio. That community used a rulebook, A Cultural Approach to Christian Community, published in 1993 by the founder, Richard … [Read more...]

ON PROTEST (AND THOSE WHO PROTEST AGAINST THEM)

I am continually amazed at the conveniently short memory of the vast number of the "political scientists" that post their analysis on social media. The fact is there always have been protests on inauguration day. The scale and degree, of course, varies, but the plain and simple reality is that protest, even destructive protest, is as American as the Boston Tea Party. If there were no protests on inauguration day it would be unamerican and dangerous.Indeed, revolution is one of the few d … [Read more...]

Remember Your Promises: A Note to My Spiritual Elders

You raised me. You taught me. You took my family and gave them a direction. You fed us and sometimes clothed us. You loved me. You promised.The keywords: Orthodoxy, conservative with a small c that started to grow during the Clinton years, fidelity, authority. You swore an oath, and I did too. I still do. Magisterium. Teacher. Rabbi.I loved what you loved, I drank deeply and it was good. God, yes, always Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, but also Rome. You led me there and showed it to me. … [Read more...]

The Tenacious Wit of Shea’s Apologetics

 Mark Shea is a convert to Catholicism who has spent nearly thirty years as an apologist, author, speaker and, in the digital age, blogger and online commentator. We used to call this type of person a public intellectual, and that is what I consider Mark to be. The classic public intellectual is not like today's version that, like me, takes refuge in an academic institution of some kind. A public intellectual lives on the back of their pen and, above all, their wits.Shea is also a p … [Read more...]

My Letter to the Readers of Patheos Catholic

Today I posted an editorial letter at The Font, where I plan to periodically communicate on behalf of the channel.Here is an excerpt: For fans and critics alike: In the near future I will hopefully be able to announce other initiatives taken by Patheos Catholic to enable person-to-person meetings. Whether this interests you or not, we should not let the digital medium replace the analog reality. Surely this is something that can be better observed by all sides, but even when this goes … [Read more...]

When Political Incorrectness Becomes Politically Correct

I've already shown how an ideological critique of "political correctness" can, and in today's GOP indeed has already, become a form of politically correctness. This shows that any political inflection of value on what is correct will always fall into a form of political correctness. But what about the other side of the expression? The correct side?Donald Trump has recently received an enormous amount of criticism for his treatment of the Khizr and Ghazala Khan, parents to an Army captain who … [Read more...]

More on Pope Francis, ISIS, and Muslims at Catholic Mass

 Blogging ought to be a speculative project. If there is anything to add to the common refrain of blog posts against blogging, it is this: those who take the time to blog, ought to also take the time clarify what is often not a completely well thought-out post.Today I wrote about the two-sided problem of, on the one hand, a complete equivocation between the religion of Islam and ISIS and, on the other hand, the complete anti-equivocation of that relationship in the recent words of Fr … [Read more...]

All Mediocre Things Must Come to an End: My Last Blog Post

The digital problem of problems multiplies itself in multiples of seventy-seven daily diminishing returns. Every tweet, like, share, and short-term superlative comment feed a smoky back room appetite for page views, digested by algorithmic marketing muscle acids, and gasoline controversy fumes erupt into a few dollars --- a small price for hurt feelings and cheap thrill therapy.In my case, most of this is self-inflicted. I started blogging in the summer of 2005 and have been through a half do … [Read more...]

Philosophers of Education in Solidarity with Ayotzinapa

Today the Committee on Race and Ethnicity of the Philosophy of Education Society released the following bilingual joint statement with the Latin American Philosophy of Education Society on the 43 missing student-teachers from a rural normal school (the equivalent of a teachers college) in Ayotzinapa, Guerrero, Mexico:PDF VERSION: CORE LAPES AYOTZINAPA STATEMENT For more information on the ongoing situation, VICE News has a very informative video: … [Read more...]