Good Fights, Like Good Friendships, Are A Long-Term Promise


Monique Ocampo runs a series of interviews with Catholic women on Wednesdays and I'm her guest this week.  I've posted a snippet of our discussion below, but you can read the full Q&A at her place.How do you balance working in news with apologetics? Most of the time, there’s no balancing act at all — I don’t write apologetics at work; I cover statistics-heavy facets of the day’s news.  The biggest way that my faith impacts my writing is that I try to reflect on the effect my pieces will … [Read more...]

Concussion Tests and a Voting Mess [538]


Here's the roundup of what I've been working on at FiveThirtyEight over the last week:  The ‘One Person, One Vote’ Case Relies On Statistics That Nobody Has The plaintiffs are challenging the usual method (counting total number of people living in a district) and are asking that states use the total number of eligible voters instead. The trouble is, we don’t have robust statistics on the number of eligible voters. If the Supreme Court were to set new standards for districting, we would … [Read more...]

Letting Prayer Lead from Self to Other

cry woof

Tonight I'm speaking in NYC at First Things at 6p.  I hope to see some of you there or next week when I do a Theology on Tap in Boston on June 2nd.As part of the Patheos Book Club, I got to do a Q&A with Will Duquette about Arriving at Amen.  Will's a great guy, a third order Dominican and the kind of person who titles his blog "Cry Woof! And let slip the dogs of whimsy..."Here are a few excerpts from our conversation:  Cry Woof: Your use of the examen started out narrow and even … [Read more...]

Accidental Stylites and the Benedict Option

Luke the Stylite / Wikimedia Commons

This weekend, I'm hosting an in-person discussion of "the Benedict Option" -- ways for modern Christians to root their faith so that they can wind up living it more fully and more joyfully.  Rod Dreher is the biggest promoter of the idea, which takes its name from the Benedictine monasteries that acted as centers of Christian faith, both for the monks that lived within them and (more relevantly for me!) the lay communities that sprang up in the shadow of the monasteries.  These ordinary people h … [Read more...]

Talking to Vox Nova about Conversion and Learning from Others

vox nova

I got to chat with Jeannine Pitas of Vox Nova about my new book, Arriving at Amen and some of her more wide-ranging questions about religion.  Here's a teaser of what she asked: Q: On a more general note, what do you think that Catholics can learn from atheists? In turn, what can atheists learn from us, and how can we present that knowledge in a way that will be met with receptivity?Catholics can learn the tradition of critical thinking and useful skepticism that is so highly valued in … [Read more...]

The Undiversity of Clinical Trials and Anti-Islam Groups


Here's what I've been covering in the world of data at FiveThirtyEight this week:  A Few People Lead Many Of The Anti-Muslim Groups In The U.S. [T]he simple count of anti-Islam groups can be deceptive. Growth in anti-Muslim groups seems to be driven as much by a few key leaders founding multiple organizations as by new people forming independent groups....Geller and Spencer are, between the two of them, the leaders of 17 percent (four of 24) of all the anti-Muslim groups that … [Read more...]

The People Who Made My Book Exist [Radio Readings]

beeminder book

You can listen to “Fights in Good Faith,” my weekly radio program, streamed Saturday at 5pm ET and tomorrow (Sun) at 1pm.  And it’s now available to download and stream.Every week, I put up a “Radio Readings” post, so you can track down the books, articles, and (this week) productivity tools that I cite on the show. So, without further ado, here’s what I’m talking about this week.Arriving at AcknowledgementsMy first book, Arriving At Amen: Seven Catholic Prayers that Even I Can Offer … [Read more...]