Covering Religion Surveys as Both a Catholic and a Statistician

I'm over at First Things today, to talk about how I cover religion statistics as both a Catholic and a journalist (two roles both oriented toward truth).In a way, these religion surveys remind me of the perennial studies of how few Americans believe that the earth goes round the sun, that evolution shaped human development, that vaccines don’t cause autism, etc. Each of those questions touches on something objective, just like questions about sin do—they’re a measure of how widely a fact is k … [Read more...]

Hosting a Hamilton Listenthru

If you've been enjoying listening to the Hamilton cast album, I definitely recommend hosting a listenthru party.  I had about 30 friends over this weekend to hear the whole album together, and we all had a great time.We started the afternoon with the rule "No singing along, and, if you can't stop yourself from mouthing along, try to do it unobtrusively" but, as we got into it, that became "Ok, sing along to choral exclamations and maybe a bit of lipsync" to, eventually: "TOTAL DANCE PARTY FO … [Read more...]

Happy Halloween from Me and Yorick!

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Extending Family and Keeping an Honorary Aunt in your Basement

I love this essay by Mikkee Hall ("Why I moved 1,600 miles to live downstairs from my godchildren") on expanding families and supporting unusual vocations to love in the Washington Post.As I hit my mid-30s, I knew it was time to make a radical change. So when my best friend and her husband moved their family of six to Denver, I packed up what would fit in my car, sold the rest and joined them to live in their basement. [...] I live in my friends’ basement apartment with the sounds of four y … [Read more...]

I’m headed to CA for the Convinced premiere!

If any readers live out by Orange County, CA, or have friends who do, I'll be there this Friday for the premiere of Convinced, a documentary about converts to Catholicism.Convinced includes interviews with a number of converts to Catholicism, and the one I'm most excited to meet in person is Holly Ordway, the author of Not God's Type: An Atheist Academic Lays Down Her Arms, who is like me insofar as she's a curly-haired, argumentative atheist-turned-Catholic who fought her way into the f … [Read more...]

The Pitiful Princedom of Hannibal

At First Things, Alexi Sargeant  has an interesting take on the kind of evil on display in the tv show Hannibal.  (Note: I don't watch the show -- too brutal -- so my experience of it is mostly gifsets shared on tumblr; I do love the showrunner's previous show Pushing Daisies). So, I recommend the essay as a whole, but I'm just going to riff on one particular part of it.In Sargeant's view, Hannibal is a Lucifer-like figure, but not the kind that tries to overthrow all rules and pretends to se … [Read more...]

Beginning the Benedict Option Today

I got to hear Rod Dreher and Ken Myers (of the Mars Hill Audio Journal) discuss the Benedict Option this weekend at the Tocqueville Forum.  At least 200 people turned out, so, when it came time for questions, I wanted to make sure to ask something that would help us all do something in the near term (rather than rely on Rod to make another visit to draw us all together again).I asked both speakers what they would recommend that people in the audience do now (either this week, or, if … [Read more...]


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