Fear of Generosity

If you speak to someone about something controversial, like abortion or war, in intimate and full confidence, you will usually hear a vastly different story from the one we routinely hear and see in public, no matter what the opinion is or what side is taken. This is understandable. There are real liabilities to being open and honest. Anyone who has told the unvarnished truth many times in public has been punished for it.Liabilities aside, there is still a serious problem: in place of sincere, … [Read more...]

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When the Soul Gets Blues, The Blues Get Soul

My socks, underwear, and toiletries are stuffed into two guitar cases and a 1945 tube amp. My pedalboard arrives at the studio tomorrow with my shirts and pants and pedals and cords. My wife and children and I will leave tomorrow morning for the Twin Cities (where they will stay) and from there I'll head to Pittsburgh where Dan Bozek, the studio engineer and producer, will pick me up and take me to Steubenville where I'll be recording my first full-length studio album, Late to Love. I was … [Read more...]

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A Hesitant Defense of Cliven Bundy

I've stayed away from the Bundy story until now. It seemed like the latest bit of 24-hour news sensationalism, and I still think it is. Even as I type these words I'm not exactly interested in the whole story. I don't plan to do my homework and could care less what I've missed or what will show up later.I only became interested in the story after the racial remarks Bundy made that were decried by every ideological color on my spectrum of social media. That was what caught my attention.I read … [Read more...]

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“Musings” on LATE TO LOVE with Iguana

Almost two years ago, my good friend and fellow philosopher of education (at Hofstra University), Eduardo Duarte (a.k.a. "Professor Iguana," his radio deejay name), began "Musings," an experimental community radio project trying to think and talk about about the relationship between philosophy and music or even the idea of philosophy as music and vice versa.I've been the featured guest twice and today we recorded the first of an eventual trio of conversations focused on my forthcoming album, … [Read more...]

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‘God’s Not Dead’ is Sort of Catholic? UPDATED

More here soon, for now read this: Though it is frequently described as a “Christian film” (which it is), the fact is not always mentioned that the two men who penned the screenplay are devout Catholics, Cary Solomon and Chuck Konzelman. Read the interview at the National Catholic Register.I'll post a longer update soon, after I teach class this evening. If you haven't read it yet, I'll be referring to my review of God's Not Dead, here.UPDATE:I don't really feel like typing more effort into … [Read more...]

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#GodsNotDead Soars on Bald Eagle Wings: Or, Postmortem Apologetics

WARNING: Spoilers abound (not that they really matter).(Preface) As a film, a work of art, a motion picture, a combination of acting, light, camerawork, editing, postproduction, color, music and more, as that sort of thing that is interested in beauty for beauty's sake, a story and good writing and all the complexities of directing and the tragicomic, in that respect let me be very clear: God's Not Dead does not qualify to be called a 'movie' in the artistic sense. To judge it alongside the … [Read more...]

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“No Exit Catholicism” at Ethika Politika

I've been considering the role of more indirect and oblique routes in building a sense of personal and social Catholic identity for some time now. The main reason, that I don't share in this essay, is intimate and personal. It was this cultural Catholicism, in my own genealogical ties to the Church the beauty of the Liturgy, that kept me Catholic at a time of immense and serious doubt.It was as if I could not fall away, no matter what I decided or how hard I tried. It was strangely comforting … [Read more...]

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Don’t Miss “The Image of God,” Tomorrow!

Tomorrow, in Portland, OR, two of my great loves — Terrence Malick's masterpiece, The Tree of Life, and Augustine's Confessions — will be combined into a very exciting event, led by  John O'Callaghan, professor of philosophy at the University of Notre Dame.The event is "The Image of God: Malick's Tree of Life and Augustine," tomorrow, March 22nd, from 3 to 7 pm, in Buckley Center Auditorium at the University of Portland.For those of us who are not able to attend, the event is being live-s … [Read more...]

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Pope Francis Against Ideology

A short break in my ongoing attempt to Kickstart my debut album, LATE TO LOVE.*Today at, Ethika Politika, I have an essay — "Francis' Radical Realism: Performance v. Ideology" —  about what I am calling Francis' "radical realism."I trace this idea in three ways: (1) the words and deeds of his own pontificate, (2) the preceding progression of John Paul II and Benedict XVI, and (3) in dialogue with the (surprisingly complimentary) thought of Alasdair MacIntyre and Slavoj Zizek.All o … [Read more...]

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Profane Praise: On Estuary Music

The expression for 'fresh water' in Spanish is agua dulce — sweet water. I always liked that way of putting it. An estuary is a place where sweet and salty water meet and combine into a brackish ecology of life between land and sea.*I grew up in the sweet waters of the charismatic Roman Catholic Church, leading worship where open major chords strummed in 4/4 and unison choruses ended singing acapella, in men's and woman's parts.Over the last decade of my life, I've discovered and fallen in … [Read more...]

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