“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...]

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 … [Read more...]

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 … [Read more...]

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...]

Against Best Practices and Unintentional Philistinism

PEG has penned another fine rejoinder to my last, rather tedious, reply. I appreciate his patience and willingness to add details and nuance that, in many cases, have convinced me that my initial critique was, in some ways, unwarranted or aimed at the wrong side of the argument.For instance, I am no longer concerned about PEG’s insistence on method. He has swayed me with his appeal to holism. I would only add the following: holism as a method is not what many methodologists means by the term … [Read more...]

Tupac Shakur, the Real C.S. Lewis, and My Dad: A Review of “Something Other Than God”

"I folded my hands, leaned my head forward, and poured out the most sincere prayer I had ever said, for the soul of Tupac Shakur."This final line of chapter 21, marries the searching and often broken spirituality of hip-hop, in the tragic life of perhaps its greatest and most tortured genius, Tupac Shakur, with the soteriology of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.This is not a slick book of cultural theory, bringing together wild combinations for shock and awe. No. This is a spiritual … [Read more...]

Two Catholic Pragmatists Walk Into Bar: Illich vs. Montessori

My latest and longest reply to my esteemed Patheos colleague, Pascal Emanuel Gobry.My doctoral adviser and I finally realized, after years of careful but polarizing arguments, that perhaps there was more to our collegial quarrel than the arguments presented. His Mormonism and my Roman Catholicism were, in certain respects, irreconcilable—or at least would prove much more difficult to unravel. I suspect, to a far lesser extent, that some of this might influence the very rich discussion PEG a … [Read more...]

Against Methods: The Arts of the Ordinary

This is another reply to Pascal Emanuel Gobry, in particular to his recent reply to me regarding the radical uniqueness of the Montessori curriculum. * I've recently posted a few sketched-out ideas about the absence of generosity, rooted in fear, that grips the public conversation, especially online. There is so much of it and, tragically, I often find myself in the middle of it. Outrage is a fickle and easy chemistry, one click away from explosion. This is one reason why this exchange with … [Read more...]

What Can Go Wrong With Classical, Great Books, and Montessori?

I've written this post in reply to my esteemed Patheos colleague, Pascal Emmanuel Gobry, inspired by his post today at Forbes and elsewhere.*One reason why I write so little about education here is because I don't want to bore you. Education requires, as Pope Francis recently put it, pinzas (tweezers). This is very frustrating to most people, especially the ones who are concerned about it, but it is this very frustration that often prevents serious understanding.Cheap opinions and … [Read more...]

“Moronic Manhood” at Ethika Politika

My essay on manhood at Ethika Politika is something I've wanted to write for many, many years. In it, I try to expose what I find to be a rather clumsy and insulting (but sometimes hilarious) caricature of manhood that is very popular in some of the Catholic circles I run in.Here's an excerpt: Yes, I want to become a better father, son, husband, and friend, to man and woman alike, as the man that I am, but I’m not sure that I need to watch Braveheart on repeat to do it or keep up with the la … [Read more...]


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