The Scandalous Abortion of Savita Halappanavar

(WARNING: I'm pissed and I'm not mincing words or emotions here. I'm not reporting, I'm venting. I'll post links to other stories and all that jazz later, once I cool down.)These idiots --- who denied Savita Halappanavar an early induction that would have saved her life --- deserve court and confession, prison and penance.These idiots also happen to be my religious kin. They used the word 'Catholic' and their Irish national identity carries a long, storied relationship to my Church. In … [Read more...]

Bilingual Mass Never Quite Jives For Me: A Note on Translation

Yesterday's Spanish debut was a direct response to posts, on Facebook and Twitter, covering the USCCB's conversation about new media with Catholic bloggers. (Here's a great recap by Leah Libresco, with links to other posts by Patheos bloggers who attended.)I wasn't able to attend, but I gathered that there was some data presented that indicated a disproportionate gap between English and Spanish language Catholic blogs relative to the demographics of the data. My reaction was straightforward: … [Read more...]

Beso, Abrazo y Ternura

(A note to English readers: this begins a series of Spanish-language essays I will post here weekly.)Pregunta: ¿Que puede ofrecer la cultura Hispana a la Iglesia Católica en los Estados Unidos?Respuesta: Cultura.En el sentido biológico, una “cultura” nace de proximidad y tiempo. Lo que nos falta en los Estados Unidos es el prójimo, la persona que se besa, abraza y ama porque la vida siempre se acaba. La persona que aparece en proximidad.Esta intimidad, tan ausente en estos tiempos … [Read more...]

What’s Left of the Left? Did the Grand Old Party Get Old?

The election has passed. Obama won the big one and the list goes on and on from there. Casualties in every direction. 2014 and 16 loom thick and heavy already, as depressing as that seems. What did we learn? I hope someone learned something. Especially the so-called "Left" and the GOP. Now remember: I'm a Catholic mercenary, unbeholden to either party. I have no dogs in this nation-state fight. At least not right in the middle of it. Just howlin' on the fringes, the margin. A Conservative … [Read more...]

Thanking the Candidates, All of Them

Those who read and know me understand that my politics tend toward the cynical. Especially during election season. At Mass today, my wonderful pastor broke through to me in the way that good priests do from time to time. He changed my attitude a little.His voice and demeanor carried a heavy, languished sense of relief. Confusion, too. He's told me about how elections wear on him because he finds the candidates and their parties to be such imperfect options for Catholics. He doesn't … [Read more...]

Abstention is Still a Choice: The Power of Negative Voting

Atheists go nuts when they stand accused of believing in something, despite their unbelief in the existence of God. Theists usually make this accusation in a simplistic, easy, and clumsy way, deserving all the distain that atheists have for it and more.But there is another way into this argument that ought to disturb atheists and theists alike: negative theology. The dark, apophatic path to God.Hold that thought.Alongside this thread, there is another conversation going on. Have you … [Read more...]

I’m Voting for Obama and Romney. So Should You.

As a faithful Catholic in America, I'll take my lead from our great shepherd in New York: Timothy Cardinal Dolan. He prayed at both conventions, so I guess I'll vote for both candidates. More specifically, I'll be voting for both candidates because I like different things about each of them and their respective platforms that intersect with my faith. Here are some of the highlights:I am especially enthusiastic about Obama's anti-war record. He gave that great speech that one time. He won the … [Read more...]

Suffrage as Nihilism: Voting is Dead

VOTE

I've seen and heard an election dogma that can only be described as pure, unadulterated nihilism. A complete void of being. It goes as follows: "it doesn't matter who you vote for, the only important thing is that you vote." Another version plays with words a bit: "the only wrong choice is not to vote."How clever!The implication is clear: who or what gets elected isn't important; the only thing that has importance is that someone, anyone, gets elected. It may not even matter … [Read more...]

When the Well Goes Dry

In my life, there is always writing to do. Along with teaching, it's my primary craft. It can be executed as well as the imagination and work and skill that bears it out, like anything else. But sometimes I run into a serious problem. The problem is deeper and more profound than a mere handicap of sorts: sometimes the well goes dry.This is not the same as suffering from an empty head. This is not something petty, like "writer's block." Ideas abound, always. The well is in the heart, not the … [Read more...]

“Don Juan as Moralist,” a talk by David Bentley Hart

Last week's posts (here and here) on the profane, gangstas, and the New Evangelization evoked a little bit of outrage in my inbox. I suspect much of that was the product of misunderstanding and the presumption that my claims were not very serious. If you want to see a substantive, albeit characteristically indulgent, treatment of the matter, watch this talk by DBH, below. It shows, among many other things, the incredibly sterile and unimaginative state of late modernity, clamoring for a profane, … [Read more...]


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