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...]

True and False Religion: Pope Francis, Fr. Jacques Hamel, and French Muslims at Catholic Mass

 When we talk about a religion, we tend to assume we refer to the some true version of that religion, especially when we identify with it or are at least not hostile to it. This can still be tricky business, especially when the same word is being used at once. For instance, the FLDS (Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) is categorically different from the LDS, despite three identical terms, and we understand that mainstream Mormonism does not, for instance, p … [Read more...]

Subsidiarity, Suffrage and Political Experience

No one writing from a national platform can tell you how to vote. Especially one, like me, writing from Canada. The reason is this: I don't know who is running for your local school board, sheriff, county commissioner, mayor, State house of representatives, governor, and so on.A basic principle of Catholic Social Teaching is subsidiarity. This is basically a social criterion that operates with an imperative like Occam's Razor: entities should not be multiplied without necessity. Subsidiarity … [Read more...]

“Political Correctness” Is Politically Correct, Too!

At last week's Republican National Convention, Arkansas Attorney General, Leslie Rutledge, drew applause for saying, "I'm a Christian, pro-life, gun- carrying, conservative woman." This was the same convention featuring a US Flag bandana collecting no sweat on the brow of one of the characters from Duck Dynasty.Identity politics no longer belong to the left.Political correctness is usually, and for good reason, associated with the left. It is a form of politeness and caution to offend t … [Read more...]