Is Conservatism Worth Conserving?

Of course it is. Without question.The term 'conservative' can be understood in a variety of ways, but I am not interested in qualifying or justifying that here.The post I cited yesterday only told part of the story, because all stories are, ultimately, parts of a greater whole. What I didn't mention was my extended engagement with a conservatism that went far beyond the scope of Rush and the EIB network.Here is the excerpt on that, to balance the scales: My Conservatism does not come from L … [Read more...]

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CNN Exposes Socialist Catholic Archbishops

CNN's recent story about Catholic Archbishops is purportedly about their lavish homes, but in reality the story is about the sometimes lavish homes they live in, not the ones that they own. This distinction is a fine one, but it demonstrates what most Catholic clergy share in common: by and large they do not live in privately owned property. In many cases they take vows that absolutely disallow the ownership of private property.This exposes a pre-Marxist socialist principle, recalled this past … [Read more...]

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How Being a Poor Lay Catholic Missionary Changed My Politics

CNN just ran a rather unqualified story on the residences of Catholic Archbishops in the US. Joanne McPortland, Deacon Greg, and Jennifer Fitz cover it in rich and fair detail.The story affected me in a personal way. It pricked something in me that may serve to explain some my more deeply felt political intuitions.*I wish we would share how our lived experiences shape and form our politics. Behind every bumper sticker is a story. At least there should be.Being thoughtful and reflective ab … [Read more...]

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Pre-Order Late to Love! UPDATED

Wiseblood Records, my small but mighty music label, sent out the following memo a few days ago: On August 28, 2014, Wiseblood Records will release our inaugural collection of music, Late to Love, by Sam Rocha. Late to Love is musically inspired by the genealogy of soul music that scans the genres of spirituals, folk, gospel, country, R&B, blues, funk, jazz, hip-hop, neo-soul and nu-jazz. T-Bone Walker, Ray Charles, Gil Scott Heron, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Bill Withers, and Curtis Ma … [Read more...]

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Welcome to the Cafeteria: The Catholic Showdown Started Long Ago

Pope Francis has obviously turned up the volume on a number of issues, and this has generated criticism from those who identity themselves as American conservatives.There are religious voices that rival and complicate the voice of First Things in prominence, at places like Ethika Politika and The American Conservative and elsewhere (including here at Patheos). The more traditional alternatives like Commonweal and America seem to be on the ascendancy.It has become somewhat fashionable to giv … [Read more...]

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Images of a Past Still Present: When Children Become Objects

There was a time, not too long ago, when adults heckled children --- protesting the school integration movement.Sometimes these protests became physically violent.But there can be violence in a look.There can be violence in a word. The time of adult violence against children is not over.There was a time, long ago, when --- as Billy Kangas reminds us --- a child named Jesus was an undocumented refugee, too. … [Read more...]

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“The incendiary scene reminded me of Nativist mobs” — Dolan on the Dignity of Immigrants

Yesterday, Timothy Cardinal Dolan posted a brief note at his site where he unambiguously reprimands those treating immigrants with hostility and scorn.A week or so ago, I watched with shame as an angry mob in southern California surrounded buses filled with frightened, hungry, homeless immigrants, shaking fists, and shouting for them to “get out!”It was un-American; it was un-biblical; it was inhumane.  It worked, as the scared drivers turned the buses around and sought sanctuary else … [Read more...]

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A Christian Case Against the Literal Reading of Scripture

If being a Christian is to be a follower of Jesus Christ, then it follows to think that Christians ought to be like Christ.In many cases this might prove difficult. We do not know everything Christ did on Earth in the finest detail. In other cases, when overextended, this would be silly. It would be outrageous to say (as some people sometimes imply) that women cannot be Christians, because Jesus Christ was a man.Here we see that even when trying to be a Christ follower it is crucial not to … [Read more...]

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A House is Not a Home: Domestic Church and the Art of Homemaking

This is part of the Patheos Catholic summer symposium, anticipating the Church's "Synod for the Family" in October.*I write surrounded. By boxes. We are moving into our new place in Vancouver, British Columbia. This is the 14th move of my 31 years of life, excluding small and transitional moves.I have now been a resident in three countries: the USA, Mexico, and Canada.There is a process of thinking and way of being, an attitude and approach about the place where one lives, that becomes … [Read more...]

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One Question Answered (and Raised Again) by SCOTUS

I love reading Supreme Court decisions and dissents. They are without rival in US public discourse. Even though the court is polarized in many ways, even their predictable decisions must come with reasons. Good reasons, bad reasons, odd reasons, but reasons nonetheless. That alone makes these things an all-too-rare treat.The headlines and spectacles of coverage mostly miss the ways that these decisions not only set legal precedents, but also (and many times more importantly) advance public … [Read more...]

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