It’s so easy to explain who and why we hate, isn’t it?

Strange Gods cover with blurb

After reading some truly bizarre and uninformed hysteria over the Hobby Lobby decision -- so much incoherence on social media! -- and at least three out-and-out hate screeds against Catholics being on the Supreme Court (imagine, had the decision gone differently, and people ranted against "those women" on the court!) I couldn't help but think of these two excerpts:Hatred is a twisting perversion of paradoxes wherein one can claim a love for God so fervent that it justifies hating another, … [Read more...]

Brendan Eich, Refusenik to an Idea cum Idol *UPDATED

man in stocks

Some great stuff over at OSV this week, particularly this and this, but I wanted to link a piece I contributed on the Brendan Eich story, wherein I flesh out my first thoughts, shared here.A mere two weeks after taking over as CEO of Mozilla, tech-prodigy and Javascript inventor Brendan Eich was released from his contract. No one had disputed either his leadership or creative abilities, and there was nothing in Eich’s management history that even hinted at unfairness or discriminatory p … [Read more...]

Fourth Financier Suicide After Brutal Self-Torture

Image courtesy of shutterstock.com

Yes, the headline sounds appalling and weird, because the story is appalling and weird.On Tuesday, the lifeless body of Richard Talley, 57, the CEO of American Title Services was found in his Centennial, Colorado home.Talley's death was a strange one indeed. The Denver Post reported:A coroner's spokeswoman Thursday said Talley was found in his garage by a family member who called authorities. They said Talley died from seven or eight self-inflicted wounds from a nail gun fired … [Read more...]

Garlic? Honey, I’m like buttah. Like BUTTAH!

like buttah

You know...all fat and salty!Anyhow, back in September I did an interview with Jonathan Merritt at the Religion News Service, talking about idols and the pope and whatnot, and today the piece has dropped:Pope Francis craze may be idolatry, says Catholic writer Elizabeth ScaliaElizabeth Scalia claims to be a shy person, happy to hang in the background. But the popular Catholic Portal editor at Patheos, writing as “The Anchoress”, doesn’t shy away from offering opinions as strong as ga … [Read more...]

Crouched Behind our Ideologies; Blocked from Salvation – UPDATED

tom-berenger-hatfields-and-mccoys-hist

Almost a year ago, I announced that I was going to make a full-hearted effort to pull back from the temptation to ideological excess, and I completely meant it. I was tired of being angry, more than a little convinced that my anger suited the purposes of others, beyond my ken, and fed up with consenting to being bitter -- which was not only exhausting but took me nowhere I wanted to go.Here's what I've learned, so far: It's not always easy. Absent a grace-filled miracle, one can't can't … [Read more...]

Talking “Strange Gods” with Brandon Vogt

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One of my favorite people on the planet is Brandon Vogt, a young man of considerable energy and imagination, but also great faith and astounding generosity. No one could have faulted him, had he sought to profit from his first book, The Church and New Media, but Brandon donated 100% of the book's proceeds to establish school computer labs throughout the Archdiocese of Mombasa, Kenya.Kathy Schiffer has mentioned meeting Brandon in Rome in 2011, for the beatification of Pope John Paul II and … [Read more...]

Pope Francis and Strange Gods: “A Meme on the Rise”? – UPDATED

francis bad meme

Yes, we've been joking for some time about how Pope Francis and I appear to be in some kind of mind-meld on the subject of idols -- he talks about them almost every single week, and brought them up in his encyclical, Lumen Fidei*. In today's homily, Pope Francis really hit hard on the theme:Once again, the liturgy of the Mass elicits from Pope Francis a reflection on the traps that punctuate the life of faith: To become an apostle of one’s own ideas, or a devotee of one’s own well-being, rat … [Read more...]

“We are Church.” As self-referential as the Curia.

titian-venus-in-front-of-the-mirror

You might think it takes a peculiar sort of mind to find common themes uniting an interview with Antonin Scalia and an exhortation from Pope Francis, and you'd be right. My piece at First Things this week brings these two divertingly counter-cultural men together on the subject of narcissism and idols:After his election to the papacy, notes were released outlining the pre-conclave intervention delivered by Jorge Mario Bergoglio, which many of the Cardinal-electors said impressed them … [Read more...]

“Everyone must make his choice…”

choose wisely

Earlier today, I linked to remarks from Pope Francis (which you should go read, because they're great) and I mentioned that they reminded me of what are purported to be the last words of G.K. Chesterton: "It is between light and darkness, and everyone must choose his side."This afternoon, Francis' words came to me again, and once again, they brought me to Chesterton, but a different line.Pope Francis said: "Everyone must make his choice.”Chesterton said: "When you chose one thing, y … [Read more...]

Francis Confounds the Associated Press

lede

Via Matthew Schmitz' twitter feed, where he notes a sense of "disorientation."I can just hear the mainstream secular press.WAIT! WHAT? I thought we had a read on this guy! He was gonna shut up about abortion, already! Next day he's telling doctors not to perform them, and sayin' each aborted kid has the face of Christ? WHAT? That's like the WORST THING HE COULD SAY when people are actually listening!This feels like Charlie Brown and Lucy and the Football! It's almost like he's … [Read more...]


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