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...]

If You Like A Queer Calling, You May Want to Help Out the Authors

I'm a big fan of the blog A Queer Calling, and I'm lucky enough to know Lindsey and Sarah in real life.  They write thoughtfully and generously about their experience offering learning how to live their vocation of love in a partnership, and they've placed hospitality/offering love to others at the center of their relationship.I've tried to make a space in my life for one-to-many hospitality (seeking out apartments and buildings with large living rooms, centrally located in the city to be … [Read more...]

Winner on the Sin Round of the 2015 ITT

The answers are up, and now the votes have been tallied for the first question in the Christian round of the 2015 Ideological Turing Test.  Here's the faux-Christian response to "What sin, if any, lies at the root of all sin" that real Christians found the most convincing: The root of all sin is man’s sinful nature, but if I had to identify a particular *sin* that lies at the root of all others, it would be pride. The first step away from sin is recognizing our own fallenness and our desperate n … [Read more...]

Discussing Good Ways to Pray Badly tomorrow in DC

I'll be at the Catholic Information Center in DC on Tuesday night as part of their summer Theology on Tap series.  My topic is "Making Mistakes Well in Prayer" and it's drawn from the final chapter ("Trusting Christ As Peter Does") of Arriving at Amen: Seven Catholic Prayers that Even I Can Offer. How do you find your way through a new and challenging prayer practice or an old one that's gone stale? Learn a few habits and strategies for beginning prayers badly in order to learn how to engage in … [Read more...]