When’s the last time I spoke to a *real* adult?

modern family-wallpaper5

This weekend, when I was hosting a debate on "R: Send Your Children to Public Schools" one of the speakers said she thought the most destructive assumption of the public school system was that children should all be partitioned into same-age groups, moved about in those sets, and that any cross-age interaction is abnormal and disruptive.  (I'll note that this tends to hold for most non-public schools as well).  Critics of homeschooling tend to bring up worries about "not being socialized" but, a … [Read more...]

Mary Asks More than Détente [Pope Francis Bookclub]


In 2014, I’m reading and blogging through Pope Francis/Cardinal Bergoglio’s Open Mind, Faithful Heart: Reflections on Following Jesus.  Every Monday, I’ll be writing about the next meditation in the book, so you’re welcome to peruse them all and/or read along.In this week's selection, Pope Francis discusses the way Moses is developed, morally and spiritually, through prayer, especially through the act of turning away from unworthy petitions. When God proposes to give Moses a new people t … [Read more...]

But Who Will I Take Care Of? [Desire of the Everlasting Hills]


Last week, I had the pleasure of seeing Desire of the Everlasting Hills at a screening hosted by the Catholic Information Center.  The movie, which is available for streaming, is a documentary about three celibate, gay Catholics.  Eve Tushnet reviewed the movie for The American Conservative and wrote: There are some fascinating theological contrasts: Paul’s most direct experiences of God come when he is being rescued or spared something he expected to be unbearably painful—the most intense examp … [Read more...]

I’m Speaking in Maryland (and possibly Austin, Memphis, and New Orleans)

pax cath

On October 15th, I'll be heading out to Maryland to speak at a Theology on Tap in St. Mary's County.  Pax Catholic has been running a series of talks on conversion, and I'll be chiming in with a talk titled: "Backed into Belief: A Journey from Atheism to Catholicism."The full logistical details are available at the facebook event page at the link.  If you're in the area, I'd love to see you there!It also so happens that, as part of my current job, I'll be travelling a couple times t … [Read more...]

As We Have Also Forgiven Our Debtors…

shana tova

This year's Rosh Hashanah marks the beginning of a shmita year for Jews; the time, once every seven years, when the land is supposed to be left fallow, the poor are allowed to eat what does grow, and debts are forgiven.  The New York Times had an interesting piece this week on how rabbinical authorities have translated the tradition in the modern age, when few people (Jewish or otherwise) work on farms: Yossi Tsuria, a founder of NDS, a video-software company now part of Cisco Systems, has been … [Read more...]

7QT: Submarines, Alchemy, and Pious AI

blur face

--- 1 --- While we've discussing the virtues of counterfactual history, I ran across this interesting argument about real history from Wired arguing that U-boats in WWI marked the beginning of unrestricted warfare, starting us down the path that would lead to the firebombing of Dresden and the use of drones today: The Brits, worried about losing hugely expensive battleships to U-boats, kept their big guns near home. They formed an effective blockade of German ports using smaller vessels, s … [Read more...]

What’s Wrong with the Cuddling App?

squeeze box

I've been trying to work out exactly how I feel about Cuddlr, the new app that connects partners for a bout of platonic cuddling.  On the one hand, I keep trying to find ways to promote more non-sexual touch.  On the other hand, this particular solution gives me a wiggins, and I've been trying to put my finger on why.  Here's how Salon describes the app: You log on, link up with your Facebook profile and start browsing for nearby cuddle partners. If someone looks especially smush-able, you send … [Read more...]