A Sondheim Song for Your Papal Mixtape

My parish started its Adult Sunday School (taught by Dominican friars) this past weekend, and we kicked off the semester with a discussion of the Pope's encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si.  I'm not about to summarize the whole encyclical or even the whole class, but I am pleased to tell you that, if you're building up a Laudato Si mixtape, I have a song to recommend.One of the themes of our discussion was what Pope Francis terms "the technocratic paradigm" where we increase our power t … [Read more...]

I’m So Glad I Watched Colbert’s Biden Interview

I don't have much to add to it, I just figured a lot of you would enjoy watching it, but might not have done it yet.  I got all verklempt.  … [Read more...]

Dissenting Catholics Expect The Church Will Change

Pew has a big report out on American Catholicism, and I've got a piece up at FiveThirtyEight about the optimism of Catholic dissenters:Although dissenters are often tarred as “Cafeteria Catholics” who pick and choose from among the church’s teachings, without much thought for the whole, the dissenting Catholics that Pew surveyed seemed fairly confident that the changes they support will wind up being viewed as orthodox and applicable to everyone. On every controversy that Pew included in its … [Read more...]

Workplaces Make Terrible Monasteries

I'm a little late to the discussion of Amazon's treatment of its white collar workers (I've been on vacation in CA), but I really liked Matthew Schmitz's take on the company at First Things.It sounds like Amazon works really hard to filter its employees for people who are willing to give most of their life to the company, and that winnowing process can include harsh treatment of people with other commitments, but isn't necessarily intended to result in a workforce living in fear of … [Read more...]

Donating to Women Prisoners Denied Medical Supplies

Prisons price tampons and pads out of the range of what some women prisoners can afford.  Forcing indigent prisoners to bleed into their clothes can pose health/sanitary problems, but, even if it were no problem, medically, it would still be a terrible situation to force prisoners into simply because it is humiliating.And, as far as I can tell, my friend Clare has the same "Someone ought to do something" reaction as me when she read that, but then decided that she was that someone.She's … [Read more...]

The Exuberance of Quotidian Goodness

In Sunday's Book Review, the NYT asked authors whether virtuous characters can ever be interesting. The first author came down firmly on the side of the villains, saying, "No one has ever preferred Amelia to Becky in “Vanity Fair,” or Melanie to Scarlett in “Gone With the Wind.”  But Alice Gregory, the second writer, said you can't do better than a good person if what you want is conflict.  The trick is remembering that the antagonist is the world. But as anyone who has earnestly attempted it wi … [Read more...]

Discounts and Donations on my Birthday!

Today's my birthday!  I'm celebrating by going to the monthly DC Shape Note sing and singing things like "David's Lamentation!"Um, well... in a festive way.  (Maybe that was not the right song example to give)  Is "Balm in Gilead" better? Meanwhile, for you guys, I'm pleased to announce that the ebook version of Arriving at Amen is discounted all week!If you've read the book and liked it, maybe today's a good day to give me a birthday present by getting a copy of Arriving at … [Read more...]