The End of the World Starts at the Beginning

Your never delayed, but always on time, weekly apocalypse, in eight points:1. The latest discovery of Jesus's wife has overshadowed the much more serious and credible discovery of the city of Atlantis, unreported by the always-biased media, where a scroll is said to exist proving definitively that Jesus also had a husband along with several pets, among them a camel who had a phobia of passing through small, tight entrances.2. The University of Notre Dame will honor Kevin Miller, a … [Read more...]

An Immigration Manifesto by Artur Rosman and Sam Rocha

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(Cross-posted at Ethika Politika.) Immigration has been reduced to two options: the naïve and ahistorical legal route or the sentimental and anecdotal one. Both approaches and parties argue one side or the other, and the politics and rhetoric generated from that empty strategy are as clueless and predictable as they are terrifying. The terror of the present situation at the border between the United States and Mexico is that it risks becoming institutionalized, branded into the flesh of our col … [Read more...]

“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 … [Read more...]

The Apocalypse Will Flood Your Mind

Your flaky, but always weekly, apocalypse, in seven points: 1. A century after Nietzsche stole the words "Gott ist tot" from Hegel in The Gay Science, the razor sharp wit and ambitious artistic vision of the US Christian imagination has made a definitive rejoinder in the form of the motion picture God's Not Dead. The film is reminiscent of  that classic television series, "Touched by an Angel," and promises to have similar cultural effects. 2. Stephen Colbert has decided to change his s … [Read more...]

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...]

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...]

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 fall … [Read more...]

How to (Not) Destroy Catholic Art

  Catholic art is destroyed at the exact point in which it becomes necessary to have "Catholic" art.*The surging liturgical movement in the Roman Catholic Church over the past decade, often called "traditionalism," is not so much evidence of the strength of Catholic liturgy today but, instead, of its remarkable weakness. We do not see "traditionalists" emerge unless (a) there is no tradition to begin with or (b) until a real tradition is in danger. Otherwise, traditions, real ones, are s … [Read more...]

The Tree of Life: An Overview

   Characters: Father: Brad Pitt. Mother: Jessica Chastain. Adult Eldest Son: Sean Penn. Eldest Son (Jack): darker-haired, big eared, occasionally mean boy. Middle Son: dirty blonde, artist (guitar and painting), gentle boy. Youngest Son: sandy brown hair.   Scenes, in sequential order: The Two Ways: A prism flame in the darkness. Voice: “Brother. Mother. It was they who led me to your door.” The way of grace and the way of nature.Grief: Mother finds out that middle son has bee … [Read more...]

LATE TO LOVE: An Augustinian Soul Album

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For the first fifteen years of my musical life, starting at the age of five, I wrote and played devotional music. I recorded a demo when I was seven or eight, but my sister told me it sounded like I was howling — and not in a good way. So I kept working. I would record cassette tapes and offer them for a free will offering at my father's courses and retreats, where I led worship. I wrote mass parts and played on a few projects by local Christian artists. Then, in college, I began writing love s … [Read more...]


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