Do Christians do good because they fear Hell?

satan drawing

Imagine that I go for a walk in the mountains. Halfway up, I come across a little unexpected stream, with bracing cold water that sparkles over the mossy stones. The sweet smell of the waving weeds intoxicates me, and for one giddy moment, the shadow of a falcon races over my path. There are berries and wildflowers, sweet breezes and a new kind of birdsong, something wild and delightful that I’ve never heard before.So I tell everyone about it. Most people say, “How beautiful! I love the moun … [Read more...]

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What About Behavioral and Spiritual Arguments Against Vaccines?

vaccine

 PIC vaccineAs we can see from Tuesday's post and the response to it, it's not necessarily clear what we mean when we say "science" or "medicine." So let's put science and medicine aside entirely for a moment, and let's focus on two arguments against vaccines that I keep hearing -- arguments which don't appeal to science at all, but which are spiritual and behavioral.Read the rest at the Register.   Note: any snark, condescension, lack of charity, arrogance, self-pity, logical fa … [Read more...]

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Catholics with a Past

"The man who has not suffered, what can he possibly know, anyway?" says Rabbi Abraham Heschel. He may be onto something. When we look for insight and understanding, we go to someone who has been wronged, and who has come out stronger and wiser: survivors of wars, genocide, concentration camps; people who have overcome massive disabilities; people who have been abused and outcast, and who have responded with love, gentleness, generosity, and wisdom. But what about the man who caused his own suf … [Read more...]

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At the Register: Worry, and Other Unappealing Temptations

Snake-eats-itself

 PIC snake eating itself  When we are tempted to fall into chronic worry, free-falling anxiety, brooding, endless guilt, and despair, we are falling for a lie. We are turning our hearts over to a false lover, an abuser who wants to control us and make us whimper, make us pay.There are things to worry about. There are reasons to fear, reasons to dread. These things are true, and there’s no point in telling myself, “There is nothing to be upset about.”  There is plenty to be … [Read more...]

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A beautiful, courageous, somewhat nervous-making idea: naming your victims

her name header

Darren Cools (husband of Anna Cools, the proprietor of Roots Soap Co.) has founded Her Name, a website built to honor women whose dignity was wounded through pornography.It's a simple, anonymous project: If you want to add the name of a girl you have victimized by lust, please click the Add a Name button and enter her first name. If you remember her face but not her name, give her one. The form is completely anonymous and non-trackable. Use first names only. Pornography is a grave affront … [Read more...]

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God is faithful, but we’re not marrying God.

PIC split tree bound back together Every day, I bless a merciful God that there was no internet to speak of when I was younger. This means there are no insanely humiliating photos of me in a crop top and acid wash harem pants. It also means that I never published an article like this one in Catholic Exchange:  Marriage Is Work.In this piece, which I absolutely would have written as a newlywed, the earnest, not-yet-married Emma Smith hears her secular coworkers lamenting the way their … [Read more...]

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At the Register: Speaking of Empty Promises

I don't trust you to save me from sin if you can't even bring yourself to say "sin." … [Read more...]

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