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...]

Voting is Immoral

 If one takes the view that morality is more than utilitarian, if you take the word "moral" to mean something beyond the reach of classroom ethics, into the realm of what is soulful and life-giving, if what is moral is opposed to nihilism, philistinism, and technocratic reductions to relativized objectivity, if what is moral is worth anything anymore, if we are not totally demoralized, if there is something more than an exercise in petty logic and economic calculation to morality, then … [Read more...]

What White Privilege Can and Cannot Do: A Clarification

 Yesterday's post on White privilege produced some thoughtful exchanges with readers and a key criticism emerged, accusing me of not knowing or understanding what "White privilege" is. I think it is a bit wrongheaded to talk about the concept of White privilege as a thing or an object, since it is really nothing more than an idea distilled from a short essay by Peggy McIntosh in the late 1980's. How that essay ever became dogmatic is a mystery to me, but I can see how and why it is an i … [Read more...]

Where White Privilege Will Not Go: White Poverty in America

 The questions of race, ethnicity, culture, and more are among the hardest to understand because they are almost impossible to consider with any honest sobriety. They tend to become projections, distorting mirrors, self affirming defences. When the different, but related, questions of racism, genocide, and cultural harm come into play, this is even harder to understand. I hope you will take this short and insufficient post as a way to perhaps think about such ideas as faithfully to … [Read more...]

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What do Simone Biles, Usain Bolt, and Katie Ledecky Have in Common?

What do Simone Biles, Usain Bolt, and Katie Ledecky have in common?They are Catholics competing in Hellenistic games. Poetic stuff. — Sam Rocha (@SamRochadotcom) August 15, 2016 … [Read more...]

Must Trump Say What He Means?

 I've written twice (here and here) on the curious case where "political correctness" has become a politically correct thing to invoke pejoratively on the right. Today I examine a different aspect of Donald Trump. We might call this Trump's Big Mouth Paradox. Here it is: Trump is famous for "telling it like it is" and not being "politically correct" yet he and his supporters continually have to clarify what he says and deny the things he seems to be saying.In other words, for s … [Read more...]

10 Lectures on the Catholic Intellectual Tradition at Breadbox Media

 In July I had the pleasure of teaching a one week seminar on the Catholic Intellectual Tradition at St. Mark's College where I am pastoral-philosopher in residence. Breadbox Media has graciously archived the ten lectures as a free podcast series. The first lecture is posted and each segment will be released in the sequence. I hope you enjoy them! … [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...]


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