8 Things Catholics can “Do” to “Fix” Things

Image/Public Domain

I really appreciated this piece by Father Robert Barron, which looks at past challenges of the church, in light of the Obergefell decision legalizing gay marriage.His piece, along with many other headlines and blogposts I'll link to below, got me thinking, and -- as Father Barron would say -- "here's the thing...":My email is full of people wringing their hands and fretting -- really fretting -- "how do we fix this? What to do, what to do, what to do?"What do people mean, when they … [Read more...]

Fr. Robert Barron on Gay Marriage: “We’re still standing…”

shutterstock gay marriage graffiti vatican

I know many are feeling rather knocked about by recent events, most particularly by the Supreme Court's unsurprising decision in favor of gay marriage. Here is Father Robert Barron's take:Just last week, I had the privilege of spending four hours in the Sistine Chapel with my Word on Fire team. Toward the end of our filming, the director of the Vatican Museums, who had accompanied us throughout the process, asked whether I wanted to see the “Room of Tears.” This is the little antechamber, jus … [Read more...]

A Nation of Suckers: Jenner, Kardashians and a Commodity of Gossip

call me caitlyn

Over the past few days, I have wondered if I was the only person in America completely disinterested in the Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner story, or -- correct that -- if I was the only contrarian refusing to become interested, simply because the voracious Jenner-Kardashian Machine, and their compliant media, so desperately wanted me to be interested, and so insistently needed me to approve, as well.These ghastly modern Pavlovs ring their outsized bell, and the world obediently begins to bark and yip … [Read more...]

The Art of the Painless Coup

Distracting Ourselves into Another Country Andrey Popov/Shutterstock

On Twitter, Ron Fournier post his latest piece, here, with a glum, "We can't trust Hillary. Her team is convinced trust doesn't matter to voters!"To which I replied: "[They] Might be right; a majority contentedly distracted w/Kardashians and zeitgeist can be brought along; we get "leaders" we deserve."Fournier suggested that people can watch the Kardashians and The Bachelorette and still be well-informed, but I have my doubts; I suggested that a "Kardashian Distracshian" is precisely … [Read more...]

Hebdo-Gellergate: Can we Square a Free Speech Circle?

CRM / Shutterstock.com

Sticking a toe into the Charlie Hebdo/Pamela Geller question has not interested me. Watching a debate about what constitutes "authentic" freedom of speech that is meant to provoke, vs "inauthentic, hateful" freedom of speech that is also meant to provoke -- often with the very same voices taking both sides -- has left me thinking more about how too many people in America believe, along with the president, that no crisis ought to be wasted; everything is fodder for ideological exploitation and … [Read more...]

If you like your nun soap, you can’t keep your nun soap…

Japanese Cherry Blossom Soap. Sold out.

At least not if Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-California) and Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) have their way, because the government can't leave anything alone; everything must be regulated: the Personal Care Products Safety Act (S. 1014) will basically regulate the small cottage industry of artisanal soap-making out or existence with annual fees, multiple registrations and detailed information about every product they offer.You like the lady who keeps goats and makes that great lye-soap with … [Read more...]

Steak & Godly Intimacy: Poverty Plus Personal Perspectives

shutterstock roast beef dinner by photoed

In different ways, a few Patheos Catholic bloggers have been talking about poverty, and from a personal point of view, and all unplanned.It started off with Rebecca Lane Frech thinking back on the paradoxical freedoms and intimacies that came with being short of money, when she and her family had to lean on others, who in turn leaned on them:When we were poor, we shared and there was a joy in sharing. I can remember the phone calls to my friend S where I would say “Payday is tomorrow a … [Read more...]

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...]

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...]

ISIS-supporter confirms my point: West too hip to deal

Shutterstock Isis Flag

Regular readers know I've said this often and since at least 2008: the inability of the West to acknowledge Islamic extremism with a fluent language of faith -- their apparent feeling that modern secularist enlightenment can handle events invoking and inviting supernatural forces -- means they lack the means to fully address an evil that will be dissuaded by neither bombs nor sanctions.Today, in a follow-up to his earlier piece, "What ISIS really wants", Graeme Wood presents some reader … [Read more...]