RFRA Tempts Kristallnacht but Sane Voices Arising?

The day after Kristallnacht, Public Domain, WIkimedia Commons

Well, America -- pitching between lunacy and sorrow -- seems to be reaching a tipping point.The Indiana RFRA story has inspired hypocritical businessmen to declare they won't sell their wares to the Midwestern rubes who won't settle down and think right.It has lured dependable establishment shills into bravely expressing the exact moral outrage guaranteed to get a cheer from the audience.It has assured some in the press that cutting off the microphone of a guest who will not buckle … [Read more...]

How is the RFRA Issue Like the Rape Culture Issue?

Photo by Justin Eagan via WikimediaCommons

Been working on a project and late to the headlines, but something occurred to me after reading this and this and this and this and all of these, and watching this and this.There is a staggering amount of hysteria and outrage being spewed about Indiana's RFRA by many of the same people who -- just mere weeks ago -- were spewing in hysterical outrage about the nation's growing so-called "rape culture", and this despite disputed claims that 1 in 5 women are raped on college campuses, and a … [Read more...]

Indiana’s RFRA: Questions for Christians & Those Crying “Bigotry!”

Image by bikeriderlondon, courtesy of shutterstock.com

The other day Melinda Selmys guest-posted here about Indiana SB101 and made some people happy and a lot of people annoyed. I'm going to take a brief break from my project to touch on it, as well. Unlike Melinda, I believe I will annoy a lot of people, and please almost no one, but that seems to be how I roll, lately.At First Things, I already detailed my position on legal compulsion and whether Jesus would bake the wedding cake, and my feelings haven't changed.In light of this new law, … [Read more...]

Resurrection: Eden’s Book Makes Great Easter Reading!

thrill of the chaste

If you take a look at Dawn Eden's excellent book, The Thrill of the Chaste: Finding Fulfillment While Keeping Your Clothes On, you'll see a little blurb from me that says:"Dawn Eden's book helped me to understand that virtue is about much more than our sexuality; its pursuit is a positive action applicable to our work, our relationships, our prayer, our play, our daily bread--indeed, it is applicable to every aspect of our lives. So is this book."I meant all of that. Having spent … [Read more...]

Empty Tomb: The Improbable First

Mordechai Meiri, courtesy of Shutterstock.com

As part of Patheos' Easter coverage, some of us are pondering what that morning would have been like for the witnesses of the Resurrection. Imagining the soldiers has been my contribution. For more 'accounts' and other resources for Holy Week, visit the Patheos Engaging Easter page.Empty Tomb: The Improbable First What the soldiers saw by Elizabeth ScaliaHe was not afraid. Of course he was not.Only, he could not seem to open his eyes.The air was soft, light on his skin. In … [Read more...]

What Did Mary Get From Visiting Elizabeth?

Gifts of the Visitation

I have been so busy working on my project that I have nearly forgotten to point you over toward the Patheos Book Club, where they are looking at Denise Bossert's lovely little book, Gifts of the Visitation: Nine Spiritual Encounters with Mary and ElizabethI had the pleasure of meeting Denise during my sadly truncated visit to Israel, and she is one of those people who possesses such a natural depth of beauty and understanding that even casual conversations end up lodged in your memory, … [Read more...]

What Nuns Do on the Annunciation Feast

The Annunciation, Henry Ossawa Tanner/PublicDomain via Wikimediacommons

Our friends, the Dominican Nuns of Summit, NJ have a lovely tradition on the vigil of the Feast of the Annunciation: they process together to the Solemn Chapter for the Solemnity of the Annunciation, and then have the youngest sister-in-religion give a homily, addressing the community for the feast.This year, the honor went to a very-young-in-religion postulant:Mary is the great contemplative, the model for all contemplatives. What God asks of us is also beyond any ability we have, and … [Read more...]

“…and these Thy gifts,” comes to Patheos


As noted in the post below, I am offline until the end of the month on what we might call a mini "book sabbatical" (pray for me!) but it just occurred to me that in my rush to tie up loose ends, I had forgotten to announce a new addition to our immense line-up of great writers. Please make welcome the very patient Stef as she delivers unto us a blog full of -- among other things -- recipes and homeschooling advice.Interestingly, Stef first came to our notice back when the Holy Father was … [Read more...]

For Credibility of the Church, Should Francis Reconsider Barros Appointment?

Juan Barros Madrid via WikimediaCommons/Gabriel12

I never write about these stories because they make me physically ill, so I leave it to others. But it seems like this story is dying on the vine, and I'm not sure it should. And it's Lent, when we're supposed to do difficult things, so here goes.Pope Francis has appointed Juan de la Cruz Barros Madrid to a Bishopric in Southern Chile, and Barros is set to be installed there tomorrow, March 21.This may be a problematic appointment, one that blows up in the Holy Father's face, because it … [Read more...]

The Unwitting Compliment Paid to Cordileone and the Church


Hot Air's Ed Morrissey is once again guest-hosting the Drew Mariani Show on Relevant Radio, and this afternoon, around 3PM Eastern, I will be joining him to talk about many things, including Lent, and yesterday's piece on the Archdiocese of San Francisco and what Frank Weathers calls a sort of Catholic Watergate.I wonder, while we are on the subject, what sort of practical solutions might be available -- and not available -- in such a litigious age. Could a Cathedral supply a kind of tent or … [Read more...]